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Old 01-25-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/1...coming-his-way
By Gregg Doyel
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Jan. 25, 2011Tell Gregg your opinion!

They're watching. They're reading. And they're going to remember. Who am I talking about? I'm talking about you -- because you're watching. You're reading. And you're going to remember how the media treated Ben Roethlisberger in the 12 days between now and the Super Bowl.

The pressure is enormous, and I'm talking about the pressure on me and people like me -- people in the media, those who will frame the pregame discussion of this Super Bowl in general, and that Pittsburgh quarterback in particular.

I know what you want. Lots of you, anyway. Lots of you want Roethlisberger to pay, in the currency of rehashed media outrage over the next 12 days, for crimes you don't know he committed. I can feel it. I feel it from sports readers, and I feel it from sports writers. Seeing how I'm a member of both camps, it feels very much like peer pressure.

And I hate peer pressure.

Don't ever tell me what to think.

And don't tell me to hate Ben Roethlisberger, because I can't. Not this Ben Roethlisberger. I like this one, and if you didn't know about his past, you'd like him too. He doesn't act like a superstar jock, cooler and more important than you. That used to be him, yes, but not anymore. I've spent several Sundays in the Steelers' locker room this season, but I can't give you a ton of anecdotal evidence of Roethlisberger's regular-guy vibe. By definition a regular guy is unremarkable, and that's how he now acts. Unremarkably.

Once the cliché of the hard-partying jock -- Internet photos of Roethlisberger, drunk and flanked by women, are legion -- he reportedly got engaged recently.

Roethlisberger's teammates say he is no longer aloof with them, no longer carrying himself as the sun, around whom the franchise should revolve.

"He's one of the guys now," says receiver Hines Ward.

Around town, folks are noticing. Pittsburgh isn't Los Angeles, to name one star-struck city. Image isn't everything in Pittsburgh. Decency matters, and for months the city was fed up with Roethlisberger. He helped win two Super Bowls, but a large, loud portion of the fan base wanted him released after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell found Roethlisberger in violation of the league's personal conduct policy in April and suspended him for six games, later reduced to four.

That faction still exists, I'm sure, but it's smaller. Quieter. You don't win over Pittsburghers with phoniness. You win them over with sincerity, and Roethlisberger is doing it.

"I was surprised," Ray Skoff, 41, a Steelers season-ticket holder for two decades, told a Pittsburgh reporter last week. "Behavior and attitude-wise, I believe he's done a total 180, how he presents himself on and off the field. It seems totally different."

Here's one anecdote. It's small, but small stuff is sincere. This was Sunday, after Pittsburgh had beaten the Jets in the AFC Championship Game, and Roethlisberger was walking from his locker to the shower. Halfway there he realized he was about to collide with a TV guy -- a cameraman, not an anchor. This TV guy wasn't a name. Wasn't a star. He was, in the grand scheme of things, nobody. He was certainly nobody to Roethlisberger, but Roethlisberger stopped and motioned for the man to walk first.

"Please," Roethlisberger said, gesturing with his hand.

That moment in time might not impress lots of you, but that's OK. Lots of you carry your own baggage about what Roethlisberger did, or didn't do, on March 5, 2010 in Milledgeville, Ga. And I say that with no disrespect to you. We all have baggage, and some of mine involves animal abuse. I own three dogs, love them more than I can say, and when Michael Vick was found guilty of killing dogs I hated him. Couldn't forgive him. My baggage wouldn't let me.

But then a small thing happened with Vick. A mutual acquaintance, a sportswriter at another website, was talking to Vick before last season. The sportswriter doesn't have children, but he and his wife offer dog-rescue services from their house. They take in abandoned or abused dogs, nurse them to health, prepare them to be adopted. Vick heard about it and offered a donation, but he wanted it kept private. This wasn't for show. This was personal.

That's small, but it's big. Vick and Roethlisberger have something in common, in that both quarterbacks are on their last legs with the public. Society is sick of Vick, and it's sick of Roethlisberger. Both know it, and both have responded well. Neither can undo the past, or even demonstrate that they're worthy of this second chance. But they're trying.

There are huge differences between Vick and Roethlisberger. One's crime was against animals. Another's was said to be against women. Vick was charged, tried and found guilty. Roethlisberger wasn't found guilty, or even charged. Does that prove he's innocent? No. Of course not. But it means that we don't know -- it means you don't know -- what happened between Roethlisberger and that woman in Nevada in 2008, or between Roethlisberger and that woman in Georgia in March.

No matter. Lots of people have decided in their heart that Roethlisberger is guilty, and there is no appealing that sentence. You should have seen my incoming Twitter feed Sunday night. Here are three sneering Tweets people sent me within five minutes of the final whistle, the first two from readers, the third from a writer:

9:52 p.m. The odds of a girl being raped in Pitt 2nite just went up.

9:55 p.m. Wow, emotional Ben, on his knees, thinking about all the girls in Dallas he's going to molest.

9:56 p.m. By the time Super Bowl XLV hype is done, and the Big Ben redemption stories have been told, we'll all be confusing him with Tim Tebow.

That's a sliver of what's out there. That's what people are thinking, and saying. And now they're reading, watching. They'll remember which of us were naughty to Roethlisberger, and which of us were nice.

What I'll tell you is this: I don't know what crimes Roethlisberger has committed or not committed against women, and I don't know what he's capable of doing. I'm not saying he's innocent. I'm saying I don't know.

But I do know what I've seen from Roethlisberger since he returned from his suspension. And it's been pretty damn impressive.

(
Quote:
Lots of you want Roethlisberger to pay, in the currency of rehashed media outrage over the next 12 days, for crimes you don't know he committed.
Including some of the newbie Trolls that are polluting this board with their stench. - mesa)
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

It has to be a work in progress. Nobody changes overnight. Its a daily struggle between right and wrong.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

By all accounts, most importantly those from his teammates and from the beat writers, Ben has undergone a 180 degree change and in the words of Ron Cook, is "Now a joy to talk to".

I think Ben is trying real hard, he's surrounded himself with people who care and he seems to be listening to them. His interviews rarely include the word "I" and he goes out of his way to praise those around him. From what I've heard, he no longer travels with an entourage or with bodyguards and he's traded in the night life for a simpler existence.

I think he's serious and I think he's grateful for the second chance and I'm pulling for him 110%. But as for whether or not he's a changed man, it's simply too soon to tell. Merrill Hoge put it well when he said that if Ben wins this SB, his biggest test will be what he does afterward -- after he's officially "part of the conversation" when talking about elite or HOF QB's.

It's easy to toe the line when there are cameras and microphones everywhere and most of your time is spent in public. But there's an old saying that says: "The true test of a man's character is not what he does while everyone's watching, it's what he does when no one's watching."

I think Ben's on the right track, but I wouldn't declare anything "changed" until I've seen what he's done after the lights are turned off, the media goes away - and no one's watching.

But if I had to bet on it, I think the smart money would be on Ben.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

I still read the occasional "Kobe is a rapist" comments every now and then. Especially the last two June's when he won titles. It will never go away. People are judgmental, hypocritical, pathetic gas bags.

Regular folk LOVE when famous rich people are accused of stuff. It makes them feel better about themselves. Ben is no different then any other single, horny athlete who has millions and is famous. The only difference is he banged chicks who accuse him of rape a year later and another who was supposedly raped yet they didn't have intercourse. I can not for the life of me understand what kind of pathetic lousy judicial system this is when they allow people to accuse others of things and have zero proof or and legs. If you are raped, rape can be checked immediately and it will prove who ever did it, did it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

I believe he's trying very hard to earn people's respect back. As time moves on, He'll eventually become a new man.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

Quote:
Originally Posted by OX1947 View Post
I still read the occasional "Kobe is a rapist" comments every now and then. Especially the last two June's when he won titles. It will never go away. People are judgmental, hypocritical, pathetic gas bags.

Regular folk LOVE when famous rich people are accused of stuff. It makes them feel better about themselves. Ben is no different then any other single, horny athlete who has millions and is famous. The only difference is he banged chicks who accuse him of rape a year later and another who was supposedly raped yet they didn't have intercourse. I can not for the life of me understand what kind of pathetic lousy judicial system this is when they allow people to accuse others of things and have zero proof or and legs. If you are raped, rape can be checked immediately and it will prove who ever did it, did it.
Good post!

I'd wager a guess that many of the people who judge Ben the harshest have more skeletons in their closet than the Munsters and Adams family combined.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

I read that article earlier this evening and was planning to post it - good find

I wonder if Roethlisberger should print out his responses to all the questions he is going to get on this next Tuesday on media day on one of those laminated cards you see the O-coordinators with on the sidelines. Or maybe he should print his answers on one of those oversized wristbands he wears on the field with the plays

It is going to be an interesting media day with Ben in the main ring - I am glad this is not his first trip to the Big Dance and he has some idea what awaits him with regard to the media circus
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

I think he has taken steps to improve himself as a person. Now like many have said on here, its a work in progress and no one changes to a new person overnight, it takes many week, months, even years to achieve being a new person. I hope Ben continues the path that he is on, eventually I think he will win back some of the people who begrudge him now.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

Love the Steelers, cant stand Ben. My opinion on him doesnt matter but, if Ray Lewis can change his persona than so can Ben.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Do you believe Roethlisberger is a new man? I do

Ben is good he have change....any time u put God in front of your speach U R a change Man in my eyes....when they beat the Jets & they talk to him the first thing that came out of his mouth was GOD IS GOOD.......THAT tells me that he s a change Man........do your thing Ben & do worry about the ASSHOKE that's trying to put u down......
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