Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Big Ben

Jeff Pearlman (Mahopac High grad) wrote in Sports Illustrated about Ben Roethlisberger's return to the Steelers. He doesn't like him. Period.

I can't argue.

I promised myself, years ago, that when the Steelers (or the Stillers, your choice) took a quarterback in the first round of the draft, that I would immediately buy a jersey to celebrate. So I did when the team took Big Ben out of Miami of Ohio.

Then the rookie replaced Tommy Maddox in the second game of 2004, and the legend was born. He was brash, cocky, and could play some damn good football. I was taken enough to buy Sean (yes, The Son) a jersey.

Roethlisberger led the Burghers to a Super Bowl title in his second year (worst SB performance by a quarterback ever) and an even bigger win in SB XLIII when he led the Steelers on a touchdown drive that stopped my heart, then allowed me perhaps the most glorious screaming fit I've ever known due to a sporting event (Sean was asleep by that point and the house was otherwise empty as my house partner was off partying elsewhere).

Even after the stupid motorcycle crash, and the first rape charge (by a woman of questionable standing in Reno), I stood by the QB.

Then came the charges in Georgia, and my heart hurt.

It got worse as further details came out about what a true douche this guy is.

The black jersey with the white number seven on it now hangs in my closet and is probably getting this year off. Sean has thankfully grown out of his jersey and won't be getting a new one of Big Ben. I'll help him find another player, if he cares.

Yet I do believe in second chances, largely because he wasn't charged with a crime. Sorry, Jeff. I just do. Sean's favorite player is A-Rod and he goofed. Not because of how he comes off as insincere and other stuff, but because of the steroids. Sean and I had a long heart to heart and he decided to solider on and support his favorite player.

I'll wait for Ben to win me back. His play on the field will help (hmmm...can you say "Kobe?") but I need to see good things and hear good things. It will help.

No woman deserves whatever Ben Roethlisberger or Kobe Bryant allegedly - READ THAT WORD, PEOPLE - did. It's disgusting, and I think I have enough credit in my account to indicate that I'm respectful. The Kobe thing has been brushed under the rug and now he's a hero for winning rings.

Roethlisberger is paying with a lengthy suspension that "King" Roger Goodell has adjudicated. Thus he looks quite guilty in the court of public opinion, and I agree.

Still he can win us back, but it will take more than just a touchdown pass for me. And smooching Oprah's backside won't do it either (maybe we'll get to her some other time).

It will take time, and it should take time.

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