Ben Roethlisberger is a newlywed college graduate who has not had a brush with the law in two years. He has taken steps to improve his public image by being more accessible to the media and more accommodating to the fans. Those are all good things in my opinion and show signs of growth, maturity, and stability. But to some members of the Pittsburgh media, it will never be enough. The newest and most ghastly crime Roethlisberger has committed is having opinions of his own. Oh…. My….God….. Ben. You can’t do that, son. Opinion havin’ is the job of trained professionals on the radio, television, newspapers, and internet. You keep your smart mouth shut, play football, and most importantly, leave the talking to us.
Apparently Ben Roethlisberger thinks it’s going to take a bit to learn Todd Haley’s offensive. Ben told Rich Eisen that understanding Scruffy Todd’s playbook is more difficult than the paper Scholarly Ben had to write on Tibet and that he made need a Rosetta Stone to help him figure it out. Damn, boy. The Secret Service will be requesting a sit down with you for that kind of talk! Ben didn’t say he was refusing to learn the plays. Ben is not asking for a trade to Indianapolis to play for his old coordinator and friend, Bruce Arians. Ben has not said he dislikes Todd Haley. Now, it’s true that Ben has been guarded about his opinion of new offensive coordinator but that situation, which wasn’t really a situation, got blown out of proportion. When Ben said the two of them hadn’t talked yet, media imagined some line in the sand had been drawn between the QB and the coordinator. No mention was made that it was the off season and, at that point, Haley had only been employed by the Steelers for 36 hours. The only person to point out any of that was Art Rooney II and really, what does he know? Ben was asked if he had any input into the hiring of Todd Haley. He replied that in fact, no, he had not had a say in who the new voice in his headset was going to be. That was easily extrapolated to Ben whining about being excluded from the process of picking him a new boss. To some in the Pittsburgh, and even national, media if Ben Roethlisberger walked on water the headline would read: “Ben Can’t Swim”.
It’s okay by me if you like Ben Roethlisberger or if you don’t like Ben Roethlisberger. I’m not sure what side of the fence I come down on in that argument. But maybe, if you are a member of the media, tossing out opinions for a living, you should have to preface your comments with any of your prejudices you hold toward that athlete, politician, musician, etc…. Let me begin. I don’t like Gregg Gianotti (93.7 The Fan) so when I hear him dismiss anything Ben has done to attempt to repair his public persona by tagging every positive thing Roethlisberger has done with “and all of that” at the end of every sentence, it pisses me off. Placing “And all of that” at the end of a statement is like saying “Do NOT take anything positive away from the previous words”. Gianotti (who I dislike) is fond of saying crap like “I know Ben Roethlisberger has gotten married and graduated college and become much easier to approach AND ALL OF THAT but…..” At least Mark Madden, who I REALLY dislike, lets it be known who he does and doesn’t like before he weighs in with his stupid opinions. He will not hesitate to say how much he likes Big Ben or how much his dislikes Hines Ward. Fair enough, Mark. I still think you are a blowhard douche but props for taking a stand and sticking to it. Ed Bouchette, a man I respect a great deal, writes opinion pieces that are more like miniature documentary pieces. You know how he feels about a player yet you still get to make up your own mind. Kudos Ed!
Ben is unhappy that BA got canned. They were buds, the Arians system racked up impressive stats, and there will be a whole heap of change coming with the Haley playbook. You don’t think Troy would have some level of discomfort if they replaced Dick LeBeau? But everyone really likes Troy. There is no “and all of that” at the end of statements about Polamalu. Maybe Ben doesn’t know what to think of the new offense or his new offensive coordinator. He’s been a little busy recently. It’s the off season you know. You aren’t allowed to have opinions about it, Ben. That’s the media’s job.