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.