Pittsburgh Steelers: Is This a Wake Up Call for Big Ben?

Samuel IngroAnalyst IMarch 8, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Mike Tomlin talks with Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers while waiting for the game winning touchdown call to be confirmed by instant replay during the game on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

In the wake of yet another scandal involving sexual assault this week, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is facing another unnecessary offseason incident. Unfortunately for Ben, this time the woman in question went directly to the police and was examined at a hospital, unlike the last one.

In all honesty, Ben will most likely come away clean. When is the last time a rich athlete faced serious consequences outside of Plaxico Burress? This isn't the point, however.

After last year's incident involving a hotel employee named Andrea McNulty, it should have hit Big Ben even then. As a high-profile celebrity in a lawsuit happy world, his partying ways are sure to continue to get him into trouble year after year. It's not a fair situation to be in, but it is indeed reality.

A true leader on the field, needs to conduct himself as a leader off the field as well. For a man who is supposed to be leading the most successful NFL franchise in history, he tends to act more like a college student on a Friday night after finals than the franchise passer of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The recent comparisons between Ben and Sidney Crosby go no further than the fact that they are both the most recognized member of their respective teams.

Crosby doesn't party much at all. If he drinks at all, he does a great job keeping that fact under wraps. When you're the leader of a team and your teammates and fans count on you, you should refrain and set an example. Sidney Crosby does that and so much more, arguably becoming the face of the entire National Hockey League.

Sid is a rare example, however, and comparing anyone to him simply isn't practical. A page from his book should be taken, though. That is, the fact that you should be in the best shape possible, since you are making millions to do your job after all, and take it seriously.

So many people would kill to be in his position, and he takes it for granted. Roethlisberger continues to not only let down those fans who look up to him, but he's letting his teammates down as well. It's time for Ben to grow up and drop the college boy routine.

This needs to be a wake-up call, to dedicate himself to the fans and team that pay his million dollar salary and be the leader he's fully capable of being, both physically and mentally.

Coming off a disappointing season like the Steelers had, they need him to step up and be a leader now more than ever. He owes it to the fans, the city, and even the competition.