The NFL, as you’ve already heard, has suspended Ben Roethlisberger, AKA ALL YOU BITCHES AND HOS, TAKE MY SHOTS, AKA Big Ben, AKA The Duke of Fug and the Earl of Gross, AKA The King of Quarterbackylonia and the Prince of Douche, AKA The Creator of the Mullethawkenberger– whew! I have a lot of nicknames for him and only one of them is complimentary — for six games which will be reduced to four provided he undergoes some behavioral evaluation (oh, to be a fly on the wall) and also behaves himself.
I agree wholeheartedly with this suspension without pay. It’s fitting for his behavior, because whether or not he’s sexually violent, he is without a doubt a slimeball who has shown no regard for the NFL’s rules governing players’ off-field conduct.
So now the question is this … Trade Ben?
You know what? I go back and forth on this.
- On one hand, punish him and let him serve his punishment and then let him try to earn back some fans.
- On the other hand, he’s a SLIMEBALL not deserving of the black and gold and he really needs to learn that even for NFL super stars, actions have consequences.
- On one hand, he DOES know how to throw a football well.
- On the other hand, what good is that if he can’t throw the ball for four to six weeks?
- On one hand, he has led the Steelers to two Superbowl victories and should we just turn our back on him?
- On the other hand, he apparently walked around a nightclub with Little Ben airing out and that is an image I’d like severed from my mind’s eye.
- On one hand, can Byron Leftwich or Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch lead this team to a championship?
- On the other hand, is winning everything?
- On one hand, should how a player behaves off field have any bearing on how we view them on the field?
And here’s where I need to stop and talk with you.
Not for EVERYONE, but I think for lots of us, that last bullet-point comes down to a male/female sort of thing. Here’s what I mean. I think that men generally have a much easier time separating a player’s athletic ability from a player’s penchant for being a douchebag, whereas women see the player and where his face should be, they see an ACTUAL douche bag. The men generally see a player’s skill and his off-field antics as separate books, whereas women tend to view them as two chapters of the same book. Am I way off base there?
I’m not saying either view is right or wrong. I’m just saying what I’ve noticed in talking to people about Benny or Tiger Woods.
Recently, when Tiger Woods was playing in the Masters, me, my sisters and our husbands were huddled around the TV and this happened:
BIL: You know, I see Tiger Woods, the golfer. I don’t see Tiger Woods “the Cheater.”
Me: I see a man-whore.
Sister Pens Fan: Me, too.
Former Ohio Sister/Current Princess Aurora: Man-whore.
We girls spent the Masters taking turns shouting insults at the TV every time they showed Tiger’s face. We got creative. We used sheer mind-power to will him to miss shots. We used to love Tiger. One of my sisters in particular used to adore Ben Roethlisberger and used to yell at me regularly for being so mean to him on my blog.
That same sister would make sure my body parts were never found if I ever wrote anything negative about Sidney Crosby.
There are loud rumblings that the Steelers are shopping Ben for a trade, and you know, I’m okay with that. As a writer, I’d like to not have to try to separate his football-throwing performance from what I’ve learned about him over recent months, because I just don’t think I can do it. I still see Michael Vick, the dog-killer. I still see Jeff Reed, the paper-towel-dispenser-kicking, slut-loving, drunken duke-put-em-upping child. I still see Matt Spaeth, the public-urinator.
If Benny is NOT traded, this Fall I’m going to see Benny the Roethlishawklett-sporting, Little Ben-waving, shot-buying, allegedly sexually-violent stupidhead out there on the field and I’m going to have a hard time caring about him or what he does. I know it.
I understand those who want to keep him around just as much as I understand those of us who would really like to not have to deal with the noise that will surround him this football season.
Either way … LET’S GO, PENS!