Ben Roethlisberger Remains Essential to the Steelers Franchise

Mimi McCannCorrespondent IApril 17, 2010

I have changed my daily routine.  

I generally love to read the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and PG+ online, then watch Dan Patrick as I work.  

Today, I swapped my online reading for a good book and I left the TV off because I want to get some distance from hearing about Ben Roethlisberger.

My opinions have bounced back and forth as I think about what a great player he is and then I am confronted on a daily basis by some of the worst possible news that a Steelers fan could read.

I have had enough.  I have seen enough.  

I cannot express my disappointment that I am reading this news.  It is tragic.

However, Roethlisberger's escapades would have never made the news if he were not an NFL superstar.

The suit may have been filed in Reno and the accusation made in Georgia, but there were no criminal charges filed in either case.  For argument's sake, even if criminal charges were filed, this story is minor news in relation to the seismic implosion that is occurring for this now infamous quarterback.  

He has made serious errors in judgement.  Subsequent rumors are making it sound like Roethlisberger has been behaving badly for quite some time.  This behavior needed to be interrupted.  

Yet, we would not be as shaken by Roethlisberger as a man spinning out of control had he not possessed his enormous talent as an elite NFL quarterback.

To whom much is given, much will be required.

Roethlisberger's talent is virtually unequalled among his peers.  

The youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and he is also the only quarterback in the league who has won more than one Super Bowl but has never lost at that level.  

He is employed by the Steelers to win games.  

While the team holds a high standard among teams in the league in regards to the character of the people on their roster, they are in business to win.  

The team most certainly needs to step in and hold their quarterback not only accountable for his wanton behavior, but at the very least, to his privilege to hold his job—but trading him is going too far.  

His jerky contract was terminated, but I'll guarantee you that he can still sell tickets to Steelers games if they win and get into the playoffs.

If Dennis Dixon is handed the keys to the offense, this bad scenario could easily turn worse.

If it's embarrassing being the Bungles, try being the Browns.

Dennis Dixon has one NFL start under his belt.  

If you look at his collegiate experience, he doesn't have a large or concise body of work from which to draw any conclusion.  

He started for the first time at QB with an impressive 4-0 during his junior year in 2006. 

Everything looked great until he was slaughtered by aggressive blitzing by Cal.  

Picks and sacks ensued, and so did a five-game losing streak that sent Dixon to the bench behind Brady Leaf.  

He fared better his senior year—rolling over opponents that included USC—until he injured, then later tore his ACL.  His Heisman hopes and his season screeched to a halt. 

He shows promise, but he is young, inexperienced, and untested while the rest of the team is poised to make a legitimate run at a successful season.  

If he fails, we are back to Batch, or as some suggest, Leftwich or Bulger.  Those guys are great backups, but beyond that, I do not see them leading the Steelers very far.

The team needs to do what is best for business.

No customer wants to be stuck with the green new guy because the company that they are dealing with didn't groom an adequate successor to the high-maintenance, yet high-performance guy that they had in there who would always get the job done for you. 

If Roethlisberger is picked up by another team after being traded in order to take a stand, what has been gained if the Steelers start to lose.

He is still in the league and we lose.

Football is not the church in the moral sense, it is a huge business.  I'd rather the Steelers succeed as often as possible.  

Protecting the investment that the Steelers have made in Roethlisberger is the best thing for the team.  

His new team won't get behind Big Ben because of his escapades—they will get behind him because he wins.

I hope that the Rooneys continue to work with Roethlisberger while demanding that he straighten up.  He has been on a dangerous path and all of our bets are on him.

The Santonio Holmes trade cost the Steelers dearly, but it sent a clear message.

However, trading No. 7 will cripple the organization for years to come.  

I am in full favor of the Steelers continuing to look for talent at the quarterback position but in the meantime, let's support a company who says first and foremost that Roethlisberger has to work to earn back our respect, but recognizes that Roethlisberger's performance at his position is the best we're going to see in a long time.

I like it to be my job, not the Steelers, to teach values to my children. This scandal reminded me that I shouldn't be putting sports heroes on pedestals in front of them, no matter how wholesome that they first seem.   

If Roethlisberger's sick, get him help.  If he's a criminal, lock him up.  Otherwise, let him play and find a way to cheer him on.  

I guarantee in the end it will be better than the franchise eroding further into the mire.


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