Over the last few days, the Ben Roethlisberger story has picked up a lot of steam, as most of us expected.
There have been heated arguments between Steelers fans and Browns fans, based on the length of the suspension Commissioner Roger Goodell was going to hand down to Roethlisberger for his acts in a bar bathroom back in March.
See, Roethlisberger was suspended for six games, but if he behaved himself and followed the NFL mandated counseling, the suspension could be reduced to four games.
Here is where things get funny. The Steelers bye week was scheduled for Week five, after their fourth game. Week six brings the Cleveland Browns to town. That means, had the NFL not reduced the suspension to four games, then Roethlisberger would have missed this matchup.
We all know how the Cleveland Browns feel about Ben Reothlisberger. They hate him. He is the exact opposite of the players Cleveland has drafted at Quarterback since returning to the NFL in 1999. Roethlisberger is a winner, exactly what Cleveland needs from that position, and they have not had that in a long time.
Not to mention, the Browns could have actually drafted Ben Roethlisberger and instead chose "the warrior", Kellen Winslow Jr.
The Steelers not only get Ben Roethlisberger back for that game, but he benefits from the bye week to prepare for the game and get his timing down with his receivers and new Center Maurkice Pouncey.
The most ironic part of the discussion is that a few Browns players have made headlines with their misbehavior this off-season. Defensive linemen Shaun Rogers and Robaire Smith have been arrested for carrying a loaded weapon into an airport—on separate occasions, no less.
The NFL has decided not to suspend Rogers, instead fining him one game check for his actions. Maybe the NFL was lenient based on his 9-1-1 call to report a drunk driver, and following him until the police caught up?
A decision on Smith has yet to be determined.
Now, there is an obvious difference here, and both sides will be quick to point it out. Browns fans will say, "Sexual assault is way worse than carrying a gun into an airport", while Steelers fans will say, "Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime".
Either way, it appears that both the Steelers and the Browns will be at full strength for their Week 6 match up.
I have gone back and fourth with Browns fans, like Daniel Wolf, who stated they will not finish in the bottom of the AFC North again. Well, your climb to respectability just got a little tougher.
Can they break through in Pittsburgh, against a Steeler team led by Ben Roethlisberger? We will find out in six weeks.