Fans think a sports team sticks together through thick and thin, unconditionally united against the foe as well as any peripheral problems. WHAT A CROCK.

Ryan Clark went on Twitter yesterday and threw Ben Roethlisberger under the bus by way of defending Ray Lewis. That's RAY LEWIS of the BALTIMORE RAVENS. Clark said that Steelers fans shouldn't talk about Lewis' murder case because Ben has had his problems, too. BAD COMPARISON: Lewis was charged, Ben wasn't. But to Clark, Lewis > Roethlisberger.

NOT SURPRISING. Nearly every sports locker room is divided, and in different ways.

*There can be a caste system. Stars pal around with stars. When Tom Barrasso played for the Penguins, he wouldn't even acknowledge rookies or fourth-line guys.

*Locker rooms are divided by race. That's very prevalent, especially in the NFL.

*In football, there's a natural divide between the offense and defense.

*In football, the quarterback can be an island unto himself. He's on a pedestal, and everything he says or does is microanalyzed.

*There can be a money divide. Rich with rich, comparatively poor with comparatively poor.

It's easy for this to happen. These aren't necessarily the most educated guys, or the brightest. The locker room is a crude, naked, vulgar place. Don't forget GANGSTA CULTURE.

The most divided locker room I've ever heard of was the Pirates' clubhouse when Jason Kendall, Brian Giles and Mike Williams ruled the roost in the early part of the millennium. That trio was supposed to lead, but they humiliated young players and even intimidated the manager. Who can forget the Pat Meares shrine? That locker room was a terrible place.

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