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Old 04-13-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger
By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/sp...gewanted=print

N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell summoned Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to league headquarters on Tuesday, and the question is: what took so long?

Roethlisberger may be the most popular face in the league aside from Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. But he has engaged in a pattern of reckless behavior and poor decision making — the 2006 motorcycle accident that nearly ended his career; the civil complaint last year from a woman in Lake Tahoe, Nev.; and a complaint from a 20-year-old woman last month in Georgia. No charges were filed, and Roethlisberger received free passes.

Now the quarterback has put Goodell, the law and order commissioner, in a corner.

From Michael Vick to Pacman Jones to Plaxico Burress and others, Goodell has wasted no time throwing down the gantlet and issuing verbal and financial penalties.

On Tuesday, the league issued a statement regarding Roethlisberger: “Commissioner Goodell met today with Ben Roethlisberger and his representatives to discuss the recent incident involving his personal conduct. In accordance with the league’s personal-conduct policy, our office will review all the facts and follow up at the appropriate time with the Steelers and Ben.”

Enough is enough. The league has to sack Roethlisberger — for his sake, for the sake of the league and for the commissioner’s own credibility. He should be suspended for four games.

Perhaps unintentionally, the league has protected Roethlisberger better than the Steelers’ offensive line. He should have been summoned to New York after the motorcycle accident. The league argued that it was simply a vehicular accident and there was no conduct issue involved.

Really? A high-profile quarterback riding without a helmet and without a valid motorcycle license nearly kills himself and then says during the mending process that he would ride again — without a helmet. Sure sounds like a cry for help.

The N.F.L. dismissed the Lake Tahoe incident as alleged misconduct and pointed out that the woman’s complaint was filed a year after the alleged incident.

Finally, after the latest incident, Goodell decided that it might be good to have a chat with Big Ben. Roethlisberger needs more than a chat. He needs to be benched, and even that may not be enough.

Marvel Smith, a former All-Pro offensive tackle with the Steelers, offered a series of candid perspectives on Roethlisberger. Speaking with Sirius NFL Radio, Smith, who played with Pittsburgh from 2000 to 2008, said a number of players were looking to see how Goodell and the Steelers handle Roethlisberger, especially in light of the trade that sent the troubled wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the Jets after his well-publicized off-the-field incidents.

If Roethlisberger is not punished, the Steelers’ locker room could become divided.

“I’m not going to say Ben gets away with a lot, but he’s held to a different standard, for sure,” Smith said. “If they plan on using Santonio as a scapegoat for that, they are going to have a huge issue in that locker room. Guys already feel like, I guess you can say, they put Ben on a pedestal. He gets away with more than any other guy on the team would.”

Smith played on two Super Bowl championship teams with Roethlisberger and felt for the most part that he handled acclaim well.

“I can see how certain things or situations might happen to him that he really ain’t got no control over after he put himself in that situation,” Smith said.

When Bill Cowher was the Steelers’ coach, Smith said, Roethlisberger had an extremely short leash. “Ben had won a Super Bowl and Coach Cowher still wouldn’t let him call his own plays,” Smith said. “Now it’s like Ben can do whatever he wants, really for the most part. If Ben don’t like that play, it ain’t in the offense.”

The league has the option of allowing Pittsburgh to take action, in which case Roethlisberger can appeal, or taking action itself. The commissioner’s decision cannot be appealed.

Goodell should not leave the decision to the Steelers. However, if the Steelers’ Dan Rooney, the patriarch of the N.F.L., wants to handle the Roethlisberger matter internally, Goodell will have to yield.

The Steelers have been known as the class of the N.F.L., but the situation with Holmes and the embarrassing publicity surrounding Roethlisberger have tarnished the Steelers’ armor.

The most sobering observation Smith made was when he was asked if he thought Roethlisberger could win the fans back.

Of course he can. Just win.

“Steelers nation is everywhere,” Smith said. “They don’t care about anything but football.”

If the Steelers win and Roethlisberger tones down his act, “this time next year there won’t be nobody talking about it,” Smith said.

Roethlisberger may be too far gone for punishment to make him really change his ways. Regardless, Goodell needs to come down on Roethlisberger and come down hard.

E-mail: wcr@nytimes.com
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

I was impressed that Ben might be playing his last game of his career with the steelers
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

Whelp - A$$ Chin got a free pass for dickie dunkin and impregnating a woman, cheating on her, planted his demonic seed into the woman he cheated with and married her after his spawn was born. Goodell is probably the kid's godfather.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

What a pompous blowhard.

Too bad he doesn't tell us speifically what Ben's supposed to be punished for?

Bad judgement has become a suspendable offense?


Trying to bang strange girls in awkwark locations? True it's not especially smart, I can see where the Steelers can disuade him from doing this again, But try to make a precedent of it Bud. From now on any NFL player who bangs a girl he didn't know before the night started can be suspended? What shall we call this rule?


It just keeps getting stupidier and stupidier. But alas Ben will end up suspended by the team or the league, because some black players that were actually charged and plead guilty to crimes before him were punished.

Go figure?
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:47 PM   #5
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

I didn't read the entire article, but a lot of stuff I have read or heard people say is based on race.

Yes, Ben is a white guy. However, he has never been criminally charged with sexual assault. McNulty in Nevada refuses to go to the cops, she probably knows it's bogus and wouldn't hold up in a court of law. Civil suits are less about law because you don't have to prove something happened, just get a group of 12 people to believe is was possible that it could happen.

But what I have heard amounts to he won't be suspended because he is white........he won't be suspended by Goodell because he was not charged.

I think he should be forced into counseling by Goodell. If the Steelers want to suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, that's their right.

I don't see Big Ben getting any type of pass here though. Tomlin is pissed at him, the Rooneys are pissed at him......Goodell is pissed at him. He's now on a very short leash and he knows it. One more screw up, no matter how minor....and he's gone from the Steelers and suspended by the NFL. Last I checked, that's not a free pass.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer View Post
I didn't read the entire article, but a lot of stuff I have read or heard people say is based on race.

Yes, Ben is a white guy. However, he has never been criminally charged with sexual assault. McNulty in Nevada refuses to go to the cops, she probably knows it's bogus and wouldn't hold up in a court of law. Civil suits are less about law because you don't have to prove something happened, just get a group of 12 people to believe is was possible that it could happen.

But what I have heard amounts to he won't be suspended because he is white........he won't be suspended by Goodell because he was not charged.

I think he should be forced into counseling by Goodell. If the Steelers want to suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, that's their right.

I don't see Big Ben getting any type of pass here though. Tomlin is pissed at him, the Rooneys are pissed at him......Goodell is pissed at him. He's now on a very short leash and he knows it. One more screw up, no matter how minor....and he's gone from the Steelers and suspended by the NFL. Last I checked, that's not a free pass.

The irony is that Ben is going to be suspended because he's white. If he were black no charges ( ever) would = no league mandated punishment.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

First thing this writer is a Moron. The accident that Ben had has nothing whatsoever to do with the league. If Ben would have gotten hurt and his career was over then maybe the steelers as a team could have demanded a portion of his signing bonus back, but that is NOT Inapprpriate behaiver. The Nevada Incident, I mean WHAT Woman is gonna be Raped, and go to her bosses to report it, and then waits a whole year before mentioning it again ? I mean I might buy that she would report it to her Boss, and if nothing was done in the next three or four days she would then report it to the police,,,but a year ? So that Incident doesn't even count. And this last one, hey Ben himself admitted to having some sort of a sexual act that wasn't finished cause the girl slipped or something and banged her head. But IF it was a pure forceful Rape, any NORMAL Woman would have come out of that bathroom screaming and yelling she was attacked. Not finding a friend, and walking out casually. So all this Free pass BS is just that....BS!!!
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulater View Post
The irony is that Ben is going to be suspended because he's white. If he were black no charges ( ever) would = no league mandated punishment.
Very true....if he gets suspended by Goodell then it will be because he's white and needs punished to balance out all the black players that have been suspended.

I am not racist, but when you are actually slapped with cuffs and have a mug shot, yeah a suspension is probably warranted. It's not Ben's fault that the skin color of the poster boys for Goodell suspensions (Pacman Jones, Chris Henry, and Donte Stallworth) is darker than his own....and it's damn sure not a good reason to be suspended.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Time to Stop Giving Free Pass to Roethlisberger

The only quote I like in this article is this:

if the Steelers’ Dan Rooney, the patriarch of the N.F.L., wants to handle the Roethlisberger matter internally, Goodell will have to yield.

Mr. Rooney is the Don Corleone of the NFL. No matter what you think about Ben. I would never EVER want to disappoint that man.
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