If you listen closely, you can hear the hearts of millions of women breaking.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and uber-bachelor Ben Roethlisberger is reportedly engaged to Ashley Harlan (pictured above). The news began circulating online yesterday but I dismissed it as local gossip in the same vein of Bill Cowher having an affair with Kordell Stewart’s sister. He doesn’t have a sister, people. However, the story picked up steam when KDKA’s John Shumway questioned Ben and the Post-Gazette added more credence when they did what any respectable newspaper would do; send a reporter out to ambush the alleged fiancee’s family.
My natural reaction to this story was, “That’s the best he could do?” Then I remembered he’s a goofy looking lug. My next thought was, “How gullible do they think we are?” According to the PG article, Harlan’s mother was introducing Ben as her daughter’s boyfriend last summer. We are to believe they began dating four months after he got in trouble for banging a drunk skank in a bathroom stall and now they’re engaged less than six months after that? Maybe if they met on the super-secret website used by Charlie Sheen, Michael Jackson, and Tom Cruise specializing in conveniently timed sham marriages.
In hindsight, I guess the shenanigans in Milledgeville could be viewed a bachelor party. Sure would have been a whole lot safer (and smarter) to just hire a stripper instead of seeking free entertainment from loose sorority girls.
Whatever the case, Ms. Harlan is certainly a PR person’s dream. She’s a local, having graduated from Laurel High School in New Castle and went to college at St. Francis. She currently works as a Physician’s Assistant, which puts her somewhere between highly educated nurse and undereducated doctor. So despite her plain-jane appearance, you can certainly sell her to the gullible media as a bright young woman not at all interested in Big Ben’s monopoly money.
While I certainly applaud Ben’s efforts to become a better man after the debacle last March, part of me hopes this news is not true. Despite his dickish behavior, I always appreciated the fact Ben was true to himself. Tom Brady is a deadbeat dad who pretends to be everybody’s dreamy All-American. Bret Favre is an unfaithful pervert who texts his junk to random women while pretending to be a loyal husband to his unbearable shrew of a wife.
Ben never pretended to be anything but a big goof who loves getting hammered, banging sluts, and playing football. He wasn’t a Christian gentleman like Tim Tebow or an overrated famewhore like Tony Romo. For better or worse, Ben was Ben. And far be it for me to question the power of true love (which no doubt blossomed over a beer bong) but I guess I’m a little sad he decided to sell out like so many others before him.
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