Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HOW TO WEAR OUT YOUR WELCOME


"CLEARING MY DESK"

              


By Ben Roethlisberger               

No, Big Ben didn't write this commentary, but he could have "written the book" on how to wear out even his most staunchest supporters with his latest recent escapade in Georgia.

So how do you manage to alienate an entire fan base after you've already won two Superbowls as quarterback for that team? Well if you live in a city like Pittsburgh where winning football games seems to be the only thing important in life, you have to work at it hard... real hard. No one would argue that Big Ben has worked very diligently at accomplishing this dubious distinction.

For years, Ben Roethlisberger has had a way of grating on teammates, coaches, fans, women and yes, now even district attorneys. However, he has developed ever-growing popularity during this same time with the American Bar Association (For those of you who are still undergraduates, those are the attorneys, not club owners).

Yes, sadly, Ben Roethlisberger is well on his way now towards carving out a niche unlike any other champion athlete in Pittsburgh history. Think about it: What Steeler has ever been in the national news like Big Ben? Oh, we had Ernie Holmes shooting at a police helicopter back in the '70s, but that was mere child's play by comparison.

The Penguins may have an occasional brush with alcohol-induced over-exuberance, but there's been nary a wife-beating or any sexual escapades that I can remember as a result of it.

The Pirates?... We won't even go there. They have other problems of a non-sexual nature...like the worst pitching staff maybe in history.

But the thing that I'm most worried about is the impact that the Roethlisberger shenanigans will have on the Steeler fan base. Will fans want to cheer for such an out-of-control person? Even worse, can you imagine how bad it will be when Ben throws his first interception at Heinz Field? Here's another ugly thought: Let's pretend that Ben takes a blindside hit from Ray Lewis and lies motionless on the field. Will the fans cheer? It happened to Terry Bradshaw, after all, and he was never even arrested!

ABOVE: Big Ben might be using another finger the next time he gets carted off a field.

Speaking of Bradshaw, Terry has always been a man of great candor and so I guess that I shouldn't have been so shocked when he blasted Big Ben a few weeks ago. His comment, "I know he doesn't like me and I've really learned to not like him" could very well sum up the absolute disdain that Roethlisberger has brought upon himself from nearly all Steeler fans and even esteemed Steeler alumni.

So how will NFL fans remind Roethlisberger of his misdeeds every chance they get? All you had to do was listen during the Steelers first round draft selection last week for an advance preview. While Roger Geddell announced, "With the 18th pick in the 2010 draft..." the raucous New York crowd chanted loudly, "SHE SAID NO, SHE SAID NO".

For Steeler fans everywhere, the sad realization may very well be that Big Ben's best days as a Steeler are probably now well behind him...barring one of the biggest behavioral makeovers in human history. If he wasn't already so deep in the Rooney's wallet, you can rest assured that he would be gone already.

ABOVE: The "Large One" in happier times with the Rooneys.


Will Roethlisberger repent and turn over a new leaf? Anything's possible, but when you realize how many photos there are of a drunk Ben, or shots of Ben actually pouring whisky down a co-eds throat, you begin having second, third, fourth, etc...doubts.

Roethlisberger may very possibly have sexually assaulted a number of young women while intoxicated which leads immediately to another question: Is he a sexual predator or simply an out-of-control alcoholic? Or both? Roethlisberger is clearly in need of some kind of an intervention, that's for sure. So for his sake, the sake of young women everywhere and of course, the precious NFL, Geddell was certainly more than justified by his actions.

Let's just hope that it works.