Is Ben Roethlisberger an Idiot or a Criminal?

Tom SmithCorrespondent IMarch 10, 2010

There are many reasons to like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

He had a great collegiate career at a non-powerhouse school in Ohio, was the 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft, and is already a two-time Super Bowl winner. And he accomplished these feats with zero flash (that can be a good thing).

"Big Ben" could be a hero to "middle America." But there is also a troubling side to Ben: He might very well be an idiot.

I actually hope he is just an idiot. He could also be a criminal.

The idiot resume:

  • Despite repeated pleadings from his coach to wear a helmet while riding his motorcycle, Ben refuses. He promptly crashes the bike a few months after his first Super Bowl victory. He receives career-threatening injuries, including a severe concussion and a broken face. Needless to say, a helmet might have helped.
  • Multiple photos like the one above have surfaced on the Internet. Is it really appropriate for a public figure to get trashed in public? No, not if you don't want people calling you an idiot.
  • Sexual assault allegations in July 2009. I suppose "hooking up" is one of the perks of being a wealthy, single professional athlete. But in the times in which we're living, you have to use your brain. If you have consensual sex with a stranger, there are steps you should immediately take to prove it was fun for all. The outcome of a civil suit is still pending.
  • Equates a concussion with a bruise on his shoulder last season. Ben dismissed all the "hub bub" about concussions by simply saying "It's a violent, physical contact sport, and there's a chance you're going to get hit. [The media] don't talk about the bruises we have all over our bodies. If I showed you a bruise on my shoulder and a bruise on my shin, it wouldn't get talked about as much." HELLO! The brain is not located in the shin!
  • More sexual assault allegations surface on March 5 of this year. This time, it is alleged that Ben assaulted a girl (at 20 years old, she is still just a kid) inside the women's restroom at a college bar. The investigation is ongoing.

Now it is extremely possible that the woman in Lake Tahoe and the girl from the college bar in Georgia are lying, simply trying to take advantage of Ben the Idiot. It is equally possible that one or both of them is telling the truth about Ben the Criminal. We don't know yet.

I was willing to give Ben the benefit of the doubt after the first allegation, but this second one stinks. At this very least, Ben is a world-class idiot who should lose his sponsors. At worst, he is a sexual predator who should be locked up.

I doubt it would happen without charges being filed, but if I ran the Steelers, I'd be looking for a way to get rid of Ben before something else comes up. With his track record, it now seems like just a matter of time.

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