Thursday, April 22, 2010

That's it for me

The latest Internet reports are suggesting that the Steelers, despite suggestions to the contrary, have not been actively shopping disgraced quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. That’s too bad. I stuck with my favorite football team despite their decision to keep linebacker James Harrison following his domestic assault case. I stuck with the team despite its decision to keep jackass kicker Jeff Reed. But this is where I draw the line. In the grand scheme of things, it's a meaningless gesture, and it won't cost the Steelers a nickel, but if Roethlisberger is not dealt away, I'm done watching the Black and Gold. We've all heard the stories about Roethlisberger’s foul and stupid behavior over the past few years. I'm not going to rehash the whole thing. But I will share with you just one paragraph from a story today by Jonathan Silver of the Post-Gazette:

Numerous female witnesses to Roethlisberger’s night of heavy partying in Milledgeville, Ga., last month described unflattering behavior by the quarterback that included providing alcohol to underage students, calling them “bitches” and making a vulgar, sexual remark to several women.

We're not even talking about the alleged sexual assault. But after reading that paragraph, can anyone, in good conscience, still support a team that is led by this buffoon? Now, here’s something from an AP column written by Tim Dahlberg:

Now that Goodell has acted, it’s time for the Steelers to take some action of their own. The talk about the Rooneys being a family of integrity determined to run a team with integrity has to be more than just talk. There’s no need to wait for a psychological evaluation to figure out what to do. No need to groom another quarterback to take his place. No need to con some other team out of high draft picks just to ease the pain of him leaving. Just send him packing and spare an entire city any more pain and disappointment.

I couldn’t agree more. The Rooneys have always talked the talk. Their track record in walking the walk, however, has been a bit spotty. They cast off so-so players in a heartbeat. The stars? Uh, no. This is the crossroads for me. I've been a Steelers fan since before they won their first Super Bowl. Through the good years and the bad. But unless Roethlisberger is gone, I'm out. Maybe some people can overlook it. I can’t. After Harrison and Reed and now this sickening mess, my cup of disgust has runneth over. Maybe my moral outrage should have come sooner. That's a fair criticism. Maybe I'm late to the party when it comes to having enough of the Rooneys’ selective righteousness. But I'm there now. So, don’t bother coming up to me on Mondays this fall and winter and asking, “Did you see what Big Ben did yesterday?” I won’t know whether you’re talking about a game-winning touchdown pass or another accusation of a bathroom rape. And I won't care, either.

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Blogger MJ said...

You'll be back in a few months when this thing cools off. I, too, am furious at Ben and would like to see him traded, but I'm not going to turn away from the Steelers if they are unable -- or unwilling -- to trade him. After hearing the details of the investigation, I thought he should be suspended four games. That's exactly what the commissioner did, and I'm satisfied. I'm willing to see how Ben handles this situation and whether it makes him a better person.

April 22, 2010 at 4:38 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I assure you, I won't be back until Roethlisberger is gone. Despite being a huge baseball fan, I pledged years ago that I wouldn't attend another Pirates game until new ownership comes in. The last game I attended was the first night game at PNC Park, so we're approaching a decade on that promise. However, if I tell you I'm going to quit smoking, you can assume that's pure bull@#$%. ;-)

April 22, 2010 at 6:54 PM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

We could have had fricking TEBOW! NO WE TOOK THE CENTER! Big Ben is a Big Bum! Yet not long ago, if we know our history with Terry!!! It was doomed to repeat. They put up with it with Terry and they will for Ben also, lets just hope Big Ben gets two more rings! Cause his off duty hours are his. Sheesh, just have some class get an escort!

April 23, 2010 at 1:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There isn't too much that I agree with on Brant, but this is one. Gone, gone, gone already! This man is not the leader he was thought to have been. He is a very immature 28 year old man, without much of a character to his name. Good leadership and bad character don't go together.

The "behavioral counseling" is just plain garbage. Every one of us are in "behavioral counseling" every day. We all continue to learn, mature, and change our perspective. To think that putting Mr. Roethlesberger into some kind of program to put him on a straight path is just a cover up for his lack of maturity. What is the basis of this new "behavior?" Will somebody with many parts of the alphabet behind their name tell him what is right, what is wrong? This is no different than the Tiger Woods "sexual addiction" clinic. These are just masks for public consumption. The issue in question is not some external facade of behavior. Rather the issue is the systemic motivator behind his actions (just like Tiger, just like me, you, and everybody else). The external facade can only last for a short time, before being eroded away by outside influences.

April 23, 2010 at 6:39 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Awe christ, enough with the tebow! :-)

April 23, 2010 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Excellent points, Anonymous. What's that old saying? A tiger doesn't change his stripes? A few weeks of counseling doesn't change the character of a person, which is formed over his or her entire life. Roethlisberger might be able to modify his behavior in the name of self-preservation, but my guess is that this is not the last time we will hear the words "Roethlisberger" and "accused" in the same sentence.

April 23, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, I guess you won't be watching golf anymore, either? After all, Tiger Woods was off doing every porn star under the sun and texting them to talk dirty to him.
I guess you also never watch any Roman Polanski movies? Hell, he raped and sodomized a 13-year-old after plying her with alcohol and drugs.
L.A. Lakers games, anyone? Kobe Bryant plays for them.

April 24, 2010 at 1:31 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

A few differences there. Woods is a "private contractor" of sorts, not a member of a team. I watched the Masters, but I rooted for Mickelson and Couples and Kim. I haven't seen a Polanski movie since "Chinatown" in the mid-70s. And Kobe Bryant was involved in a single incident in which it was his word against the woman's. Roethlisberger has engaged in a pattern of questionable, perhaps criminal, behavior. That said, I detest Bryant and the Lakers with all my heart, so I wouldn't be watching any of his games anyway.

April 24, 2010 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Why punish the other 52 Steelers on the roster because one of them is a major jagoff? Do you think that Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward are bad dudes? How about Mike Wallace, Arron Smith, Brett Kiesel, James Farrior, Larry Foote, Antwann Randel El, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Max Starks, Jason Hartwig, Greg Warren, Daniel Sepulveda, Ryan Clark, Chris Hoke, Bryant McFadden... and now Markice Pouncey?

I understand the anger, but I think it's unfair to turn your back on the Steelers when a vast majority of them are great players and even better human beings.

April 24, 2010 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I don't think my not watching the Steelers will be regarding as "punishment" by anyone on the roster, the coaching staff, the front office or ownership. They have not lost a 40-year fan because of one jackass. They have lost me because they have repeatedly shown that their claim to run an organization in which character matters has clearly been exposed as a sham. The message from them is clear: If you're a so-so player and you screw up, you're gone. But if you're a star, you can do pretty much whatever you want. I don't think I can look my wife or daughter in the eye if I spend my Sundays this fall yelling, "Wooooo, Yay Big Ben!" It's just a personal decision on my part. It's me saying, "Enough is enough." The occasional miscreant, I understand. But the Steelers are becoming Cincinnati East, and I'm no longer going to look the other way at the hypocrisy.

April 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I think Ben is at least a jackass and at most, a rapist. More than likely, he's somewhere in between. I "generally" watch steeler games... if it's a Monday night game, I probably don't stay up for the end of it... but I enjoy watching football and the team I watch is the Steelers. That said, as a matter of principle, and as a show of solidarity, I can get behind not watching them because of this issue.

After all, taking my son out to a museum or something on a sunday afternoon isn't much of a sacrifice... and since most of steeler nation is completely gay for the black and gold, the lines won't be as long :-)

April 25, 2010 at 3:29 PM  
Anonymous x anonymous said...

E why can't he be a jackass rapist?

April 26, 2010 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger MJ said...


Just saying there are plenty of other dudes on the Steelers that have more than earned their place in our community. Just look at Aaron Smith organizing a blood drive after his son was diagnosed with cancer. How many people turned out to help him and countless other people a couple years ago?

I'm not going to dispute that Roethlisberger is a dirtbag, I just think there are a lot of good people still playing for the steelers.

April 27, 2010 at 12:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Rooneys stood to lose money by keeping Roethlisberger, he'd have been gone by now. But they know damn well that Steelers fans won't stop coming to the games even if they put the reanimated corpse of Bobby Layne at QB. They won't stop coming even if the team loses all the games Ben doesn't start. They have a money tree and, for all their proclamations about image, they're not about to prune it.

April 28, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

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