Good morning, Burghers!

Did you grab your morning edition of the Post-Gazette off of your porch like me?

If you did, here are some of the stories you would NOT have found on page A1.

  • “Fleury, 3 mates voted All-Stars”: In which you would learn that the Pittsburgh Penguins have four of the six All-Star starters.
  • “Security lapses cited at Leland”
  • “Bill would allow voter input on city tax increases.”
  • “State report details longwall mining damage.”

Instead, what you will find on page A1 of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is the story about how Ben Roethlisberger may or may not be engaged, entitled “Big Ben’s big secret gets out, but who is she?”

You’ll then open up to page A2 to find the continuing saga under “Steelers Nation agog over engagement” and it will end with this line, “Mrs. Harlan is said to have introduced Mrs. Roethlisberger to an acquaintance as the mother of her daughter’s boyfriend.”

And now I’m going to smash my forehead against my desk a number of times. Let’s count them out.

[headdesk] [headdesk] [headdesk] [headdesk] [headdesk]

My thoughts:

1. Someone go tell the Post-Gazette that it’s “Steeler Nation” not “Steelers Nation.” Thanks.

2. Agog? Really? Are we going to buy commemorative plates to mark this auspicious occasion? Little figurines for sale in the Strip of Ben being dragged away by a woman in a wedding dress and a Steelers helmet? Will they televise the wedding and sell DVDs of it called The Jagoff Takes a Bride? Will she be all, “I, Ashley Harlan, take thee Benjamin Todd William Wendy Fitzworth Buckinghamshire Spaulding Roethlisberger …”

3. Are we making a big deal out of this because we’re THAT obsessed with the Steelers, or because a mere eight months after he drunkenly had sex with a random girl in a gross bathroom stall in Georgia, Ben is apparently ready to keep it in his pants for everyone but his wife? I don’t ever recall caring or hearing about any other pro athlete getting engaged here in the Burgh. Ever.

4. If I told my father I was marrying Ben Roethlisberger, he would say the following to me, “Okay. Let me sit down here for a minute and just do some calming deep breathing.” Then he’d pray. Then a few minutes later: “Here’s the number of a doctor to talk to about a half-dozen potential STDs. Here’s the number of a store where you can buy a taser powerful enough to immobilize a roid-raging gorilla, no questions asked. Here’s the number of a lawyer to help you with the prenup. Here’s the number for 911. Here’s the number of a self-defense expert who will teach you how to collapse his trachea should the situation ever warrant the forceful collapsing of the son of a bitch’s trachea. Also, pumpkin, was Jeff Read unavailable?”

5. I can’t wait until they attend their first formal function. “Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting The Duke and Duchess of Fug and the Earl and Countess of Gross.”

It just rings.


  1. Mis
    January 5, 2011 6:38 pm

    Amen Magnus!
    I also saw WTAE asking via Facebook if anyone knew her or had pictures. Real classy.

  2. Noelle
    January 5, 2011 6:56 pm

    Monty, MAJOR LOLs!! *snort!*

  3. Leenyburgh
    January 5, 2011 7:10 pm

    It’s true. I work with a girl who grew up with her, knows her family, and can confirm with confidence. Apparently they go to church together.

  4. Ambet
    January 5, 2011 7:24 pm

    Regardless of his earning potential, I cannot believe anyone would agree to marry him given his recent past, especially anyone local. Politicians might give lip service about “family values” but in Pittsburgh, we live it. Someone in the family would say “Are you f’in crazy?”

  5. tw
    January 5, 2011 8:10 pm

    I knew it would hit tmz soon..and it has. They of course got the pix of his lady and like someone here already said it was officially announced in her hometown paper.


  6. tw
    January 5, 2011 8:37 pm

    one more thing…I’m probably reading too much into this, but they got engaged on Christmas and supposedly the Golf guy already reported just a couple days later that a date of July was already set? That’s really quick. It could have happened, but this all seems a little planned and that PR idea is looking somewhat plausible.

  7. Sarah
    January 5, 2011 8:53 pm

    The guy from Golf Digest reported in on December 26 or 27th. Ashley’s cousins girlfriend said something about it on Christmas Day. Guy from GD said the ring was huge and a date would be soon. GD guy said yesterday that July was set.

    Part of the “spreading like wildfire” of this rumor was the guy from Golf Digest. If you are like me (dorky, I know) and have saved searches on your Twitter, the engagement tweet from the cousin’s girlfriend came up on Christmas Day.

  8. eileen
    January 5, 2011 9:19 pm

    I soooo called this. When everyone was saying the Rooney’s were going to get rid of him.
    I thought, no they won’t. They will tell him they will keep him if he straightens his act up and even if its just for appearance, he would have to get married within a year to some nice local girl.

  9. bucdaddy
    January 5, 2011 10:24 pm

    So … is that a Saint Francis sweatshirt or what she tells Ben when he says, “But honey, all the guys are gonna be there!”?

  10. bucdaddy
    January 5, 2011 10:28 pm


    I’ll be damned.

  11. Johnaz6312
    January 6, 2011 12:04 am

    Way to go Ben!! Good Luck Buddy!!

  12. Bitter
    January 6, 2011 1:31 am

    Steeler Nation. BOOYEAH

  13. Jessica
    January 6, 2011 1:46 am

    My Dad read the story, started laughing then said to me, Honey it’s safe for you to go out to bars again!

  14. YinzerInExile
    January 6, 2011 8:53 am

    I’m the most cynical and sarcastic person on the planet, and while I fully accept that it is far (far) more entertaining to speculate about PR stunts, bandy about punny little quips, debate the O/U, and suggest motivations, I feel compelled to point out that some people are forgiving, not all relationships play by the same rules, and not all ‘burghers have parents that openly bash the choices of their offspring.

    So while this chick *may* be headed for Golddigger of the year, and her father *may* be quetly gnashing his teeth, and she *perhaps* has Ben by the balls over his *alleged* indiscretions, it’s also just as likely, for example, that their previous relationship was casual/ended amicably, and that something really did spark after she reached out to him (if that’s what happened).

    It also doesn’t take everyone “years of soul-searching to realize they’ve been stupid and make strides to change that.

    Just sayin’.

    My only question is: I thought Ben’s parents both died. So who’s Mrs. Roethlisberger?

  15. YinzerInExile
    January 6, 2011 8:57 am

    Oh, and it’s totally Steeler Nation. Steelers Nation is just lispy and too hard to say. I suppose Browns Nation, as mentioned, would also be too difficult to say, and we can certainly revisit that when it forms. Or, rather, y’alls great-grandkids can take it up with my urn.

  16. Butcher's Dog
    January 6, 2011 10:45 am

    @yinzerinexile: Mrs. Roethlisberger is his step-mom. Dad’s still alive; Ben spent time with him when the shit started flying this past spring/summer.

    How much fun would it be to have Ginny Nation plan the bachelor party/wedding/reception? I’m thinkin’ Casey Hampton as ring-bearer, for starters. Discuss.

  17. YinzerInExile
    January 6, 2011 11:02 am

    @Butcher’s Dog — ahhhhhhhh! Thank you! I don’t know why I thought they both died. Or why I didn’t just Google that. :P

  18. lovesthenorthside
    January 6, 2011 2:02 pm

    @dack: piss off. i don’t listen to or read sports blogs, nor would i try to pass off someone else’s funny as mine.

  19. John in the Rocks
    January 6, 2011 2:51 pm

    Good luck to both of them. I’m a believer of second chances, and I hope Ben has truly seen the light. I reserve the right to be skeptical, but I truly do hope he’s turned the corner.

  20. Valerie
    January 6, 2011 3:20 pm

    I agree with bucdaddy. It’s Steelers Nation. That always bugs me when someone says they’re going to watch the “Steeler game.” It’s not one player, it’s a team. ;)

  21. Angry Mongo
    January 6, 2011 3:25 pm

    I disagree. IMO, the object of the phrase is a singular thing, NATION.

    It may be a nation of Steelers but it’s Steeler Nation. Do a search in Google for Steelers Nation and everything comes back as Steeler.

  22. Valerie
    January 6, 2011 3:31 pm

    That’s because all the groups/message boards/media made it that way. Doesn’t make it grammatically correct.

  23. Angry Mongo
    January 6, 2011 3:47 pm

    neither is Americans Nation or something like Samoans Nation, yet there is more than one person in them.

  24. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    January 6, 2011 3:51 pm

    Steeler Nation, Steelers Nation, Stiller Nation. Makes no difference to me. I’m just happy to be a member. To be honest, I’ve probably used all three depending on my state of intoxication/non-intoxication. So many other things to focus on in my opinion.

  25. Sooska
    January 6, 2011 3:56 pm

    The only ones agog over this appear to be the PG and KDKA. No one else cares.

    Has anyone wondered about the young woman whose name has been bandied about like that of drunk college girl in a bathroom stall? wait. What if this isn’t true? then KDKA has some splain’in to do over why they’d use her name if they never were able to get to speak to her to confirm or deny. Horrible on KDKA’s part. The PG at least never used her name.

  26. H
    January 6, 2011 4:32 pm

    @ Sooska

    Actually, the PG did use her name in an article posted yesterday and even went to her parents’ home to try to talk to them.

  27. Dak
    January 8, 2011 2:02 pm

    @lovesthenorthside: Sure you don’t pal! That’s why that same line has been in use non-stop since the day the “news” broke! Check Twitter! But yeah, you came up with it after the fact because you’re so darn clever!

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