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Old 06-25-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Default Different View on Ben

Changing Big Ben could be a mistake

Tue Jun 20, 11:45 AM ET

By Brian Baldinger -

If I ran the Steelers, I'd make sure Ben Roethlisberger's next contract included language prohibiting him from riding a motorcycle. And hang gliding. And surfing, rock climbing and whatever else I deemed dangerous. But I would be taking a risk -- just like Ben took a risk when he rode his Suzuki without a helmet -- because I might be cutting the heart out of my most important player.

I fully understand those who say Roethlisberger was foolish to ride without a helmet -- or to ride a motorcycle at all. But it's that daredevil approach to life that makes Ben tick, and messing with that could be a mistake.

Some quarterbacks certainly look the part. They can throw a ball through a tire, read defenses, move in the pocket, the whole bit. But what they lack is the ability to react, the self-confidence and spontaneity to make the right play at the right time. They're stiff and robotic, and they have names like Kyle Boller and Joey Harrington.

That's not Roethlisberger. He competes with a swagger, a freeness that allows him to play virtually error-free football in the postseason while Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis nip at his heels. That swagger is confidence ... confidence to ride fast without a helmet, confidence to walk into the RCA Dome and carve up the Colts.

When Ben tells coach Bill Cowher he appreciates the concern but he's still going to ride, he's expressing the same mentality that makes him a winning quarterback. Ben is fearless. You can't harness him off the field and expect him to be unaffected on the field.

Roethlisberger isn't the only player in the NFL like this. Plenty of guys, from Brett Favre on down, have that gunslinger mentality. And most of them are pretty darned good players. My gosh, it's the same mind-set that drives Tiger Woods to bungee jump 440 feet from a cable car in New Zealand. Was that wise? Probably not, but it's who he is.

It kills me to see a player of Roethlisberger's caliber get hurt. It's not just the Steelers who need him; the league does. So, yeah, if it were up to me, I'd get it in writing that Ben couldn't engage in risky activities. I'd have to, so I could protect my investment in him. But he'd probably go out and do the stuff anyway. And in the end, I probably wouldn't mind.

Brian Baldinger, an offensive lineman for 12 NFL seasons, can be heard on Sporting News Radio and seen on FOX Sports. Listen online at http://radio.sportingnews.com.


I like this thought/idea. It makes sense to me but even with a daredevil mentality I would encourage at least less reckless behavior. Peace.


"Who said they was all tough? They ain't so tough! Smashmouth football baby! Pittsburgh style!" -Jerome Bettis #36 the BUS in 21-9 victory over Chicago Bears in 2005
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Old 06-25-2006, 01:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

Ben's the Homey, but i'll be honest,... he's not the second coming of Dan Marino or Bradshaw in terms of pure passing abillity. His gut's/swagger are 85% of whom he is as a QB. This part of him shouldn't be put on lock down,....just tempered when it comes to activities that could take his life. He's his own man so who can question his preferences. But i for one would just like to see him use the field on sunday's as an outlet. Sometimes a thrill just isn't worth it man.

"Hail Caesar,....Hail the Black and Gold"
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Old 06-25-2006, 02:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

cowher pretty much said the same thing in a recent interview last week. he doesnt want ben to change, and he doesnt want him to loose his edge. he does want him to grow and mature, and learn from his mistAkes though
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

Everyone needs to understand that everyone has hobbies and maybe riding bikes was one of his. The accident wasnt his fault, it sounds like the lady just pulled out in front of him. We are all taking chances out there everytime we get on the road right? Even in our vehicles we are liable to have an accident. But I believe it would be in the teams best interest to have a written rule(s) that you must atleast wear a helmet, and of course have a license to operate the vehicle or bike. or else..
God Bless
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:35 PM   #5

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Default Re: Different View on Ben

Originally Posted by HburgXL06
That swagger
Is that a swagger or a swish?
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

There's nothing wrong at all with living life to the fullest and having a daredevil mentality.
One can also say that when you impart a little wisdom and knowledge into the mix that life can be even more enjoyable.

Ben will be fine on and off the field.....and he'll turn the motorcycle incident into something positive for himself.
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Old 06-25-2006, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

I think people are making this situation more complicated than it really is.

Forget all the talk of cramping Ben's 'daredevil' streak.

Quite simply, if he fails to wear a helmet on subsequent bike journeys he is asking to be killed.

We should all remember how grateful we all were when we found out that he hadn't been turned into roadkill.

I have plenty of friends who ride here - its illegal to ride without a helmet and no-one in their right mind would challenge that.

Ben has alot of growing up to do and he needs to do it quick.

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Old 06-26-2006, 12:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Different View on Ben

He is a renegade, Sorry not all Qb's live like Brady or Manning(STUFFY)
I think his life style is one of the reasons he plays like he does. His Mother was killed at a very young age in a automobile accident. He realizes how short life can be. Yes no helmet probably isn't the best way to go. But golf instead of Pro Bowl isn't the answer either. You can be tooooo laid back(can we say NERD LIKE)I want Ben to be the renegade he started to out to be, just keep the crotch rocket parked.
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