On Monday afternoon, disgraced Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke for the first time since Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down his suspension. Well, spoke is a bit of an exaggeration. He actually emailed a phony and laughable statement to the press. Since I’m as sick of writing about this big goon as many of you are probably sick of reading, I’ll let this be my final word on his eight month rape spree which has left his reputation in ruins.
ESPN on their OTL program recently did a piece on how Ben is viewed by his teammates. I highly suggest everybody watch the piece by clicking here. I never EVER want anybody to question me again when I make a statement such as, “Ben isn’t well-liked by his teammates.” That piece once and for all establishes that he is not a leader, not a hard worker, and pretty much a dick. For all the criticisms one can make about Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, I guarantee NONE of their teammates would ever accuse either one of being the “last one in, first one out.”
Maybe Ben had an appointment with his roofie supplier.
In other bogus statement news, Kevin Colbert, director of football operations, issued one of his own defending Ben’s opportunity “to make things right.” Yeah, that’s why you were trying to trade him. By the way, I want everybody to think about something. Ben’s a top QB, right? Like top ten, possibly even top five. What does it say about a) his reputation in the league and b) how little faith people have that he’ll straighten himself out that teams like the Bills and Raiders would rather draft some rookie linebacker or running back who could easily turn out to be a bust rather than trade that pick for a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback?
My final thought on this entire sordid situation is this. I sincerely hope Ben learns from the example set by Ray Lewis. I can’t believe I just typed that. Seriously, though, back in 2000 a fight broke out at an Atlanta night club between Ray’s group and another group of men, two of whom ended up stabbed to death. Ray was implicated in the incident, eventually pleading to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. His reputation was mud. But this incident changed him, made him find religion, and turned him into one of the best teammates, locker room leaders, and community activists in the NFL.
Even though I’m a bit dubious when it comes to behavioral evaluations and the like, I hope Ben is able to find something to help him. The man clearly has tremendous issues in terms of how he treats people, his work ethic, and his attitudes toward fame, celebrity, and especially women. Goodell called this an “intervention” and that is exactly what it is. Years after his near fatal motorcycle accident, Ben was seen around town riding his bike without a helmet. Less than a year after one woman accused him of rape, he goes out and attacks a poor inebriated coed. You don’t need to be Dr. Melfi to see a giant tragedy on the horizon. I hope for his own future as well as the well-being of society, Ben gets the help that he desperately needs and is able to find some way to turn his miserable life around.
And then maybe, just maybe, there will come a day when I’ll be able to support him without feeling dirty and ashamed.
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