I'm sorry, but I've seen this before. In fact, although either unwilling (or not wanting) to admit, many of us have.
What NFL&id=1181" title="Ben Roethlisberger" target="_blank">Ben Roethlisberger has done (twice) in the past two off-seasons, or rather, is being "accused" of doing, is straight out of a movie.
If you care to indulge, track back about a decade, when a little movie by the name of Body Shots , starring Tara Reid, Sean Patrick-Flanery, Amanda Peet, Ron Livingston, and, you guessed it, Jerry O'Connell was a late-night sensation.
The movie chronicled the current, hip dating scene of the mid-90s, taking all the fun and humor out of what Swingers had just instilled in the fabric of our night-out lives just a couple years prior.
Regardless, the movie took us down the spiraling slope of a drunken night, bad decisions, and reminded us all too well, that there are two sides to every story.
If only to understand my perspective, or to watch a mediocre movie that shows Tara Reid pre-breast enhancement, I suggest any and all take a gander at this film.
If nothing else, it completely displays what it is to be a professional athlete, the guy that "no one says no to", a drunk guy who can't tell the difference between "yes" or "no", or that even nice guys can be gigantic jerks.
The truth is, (a quick, prefacing thank you to Jack Nicholson) Pittsburgh Steelers fans "can't handle the truth". They just can't.
Even if there was video tape. Even if Big Ben admitted it. Even if we literally were there in that tiny bathroom, saw and/or heard it all.
Most still wouldn't be able to believe it .
We get it, Ben Roethlisberger is a likable guy. Hell, he's a big, burly, cuddly, lovable guy.
He makes plays happen, keeps plays and drives alive, and has brought the Pittsburgh faithful two NFL titles.
So, naturally, after being accused of rape in 2008, many (if not all) forgave him on site, dismissed the breaking news as anything but a wild rumor, and went about their day.
But what about this time?
Sure, it's possible Roethlisberger is just a big-name star being taken advantage of (irony!). It's not like that's never been done before.
But are we actually stopping to think about this?
What if this was the real Ben Roethlisberger? What if he did do these things?
The case has been dismissed. He can't be proven of doing anything wrong. Everything will soon be going back to the spot it was in before.
Roethlisberger, hand in the cookie jar, is escaping without punishment.
But, dare I ask, what will happen if this happens for a third time?
Will everyone be so quick to dismiss it; to defend Roethlisberger?
Who knows? It's actually impossible to fathom Roethlisberger allowing this to happen again.
But either way, the events that have conspired in that last two years have caused us to at least wonder:
Is Ben Roethlisberger just an unlucky fool, or the sleaziest dirtbag we still don't know about?
With his slicked-back, light-brown hair, curling around his neck as he read his written apologies, this writer couldn't help but wonder. But even more, I couldn't help but wonder if I was the only one still completely undecided on an innocent man's judgment.