Just Finished Big Ben's SI Cover Article...and Thinking About Women

Tim McGheeCorrespondent IIIMay 8, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

I’m the guy who in a Bleacher Report article attempted to tie NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to racism after he, in my opinion, pitched Ben Roethlisberger a creampuff with his six week suspension that could turn into four provided that Big Ben quickly changes his evil ways.

Many arguments against my claim were presented to me.

Those of you who educated me on the facts surrounding Mr. Goodell’s decisions were right, and I was wrong.

I consider this general mea culpa enough to put me in a position to move on.

Therefore, on another front, my acrimonious tone in this article’s first paragraph is justified.

I just finished Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum’s piece on the subject of Big Ben running amok.

Simply stated, the way Ben Roethlisberger treats women is inexcusable, and the lame “punishment” doled out by Mr. Goodell is a slap in the faces of women everywhere.

What this all means is Big Ben’s women problems have become Roger Goodell’s.

Granted, Ben has all but destroyed the goodwill his many fans give him.

However, Mr. Goodell’s concerns radiate far beyond one 6'5", 241 lb, 28-year-old lout.

With his actions, or lack of sufficient action, the Commish has put up as sacrifice a substantial segment of the league’s fan base.

It is interesting irony that Roger Goodell can emerge from this as a hero.

He can take Mr. Roethlisbereger’s boorish behavior, hook to it Lawrence Taylor and his recent travesties, and begin a crusade to use the man’s men of the NFL to lead a change of the way men think and act with regard to women.

Say what?

Look at it this way.

Even as a 53-year-old man, I still admire the athletic abilities as well as the mental courage of these kids young enough to be my sons.

In short, if they marched in a parade for the respect of women, I’d be right behind them. 

Now, if I feel that way, just think of what the more impressionable teens and college-age men and men just entering the economy would do.

I’m serious about this.

Professional football players leading men in a different direction is a sea change effectively on the order of the NFL’s ties to the United Way.

And, gentlemen, we need it and we need it now.

Our views of women are presently and have been through history all screwed up.

From the flappers of the 1920s and the fan dancers in the 1930s, from geishas and burlesque queens and USO entertainers to crazed girls screaming at the Beatles, from the drugged-out hippie chicks of Woodstock to the booty-shaking women at the disco clubs to drunk sorority girls and any 21st century babe showing leg and cleavage, a huge segment of men have always thought they were “asking for it.”

Sorry, Junior.


I don’t care if every drunk chick out there wears an enlarged DTF badge on spandex, they are merely exercising their First Amendment rights.

Forcing one’s self on a woman who drank herself to a 0.20 is the same as administering a date rape drug in her drink.

It’s morally wrong, not at all ethical, and very stupid because she legally has your ass if she wants it because you're not Ben Roethlisberger.

And, therein lies Roger Goodell's opportunity.

The commissioner is at a crossroads.  Next guy who looks like he had non- consensual sex with a woman gets eight games, no mercy.  Second offense is a season.  Three strikes, you're out.  Treat it like drug abuse, Mr. Goodell, because the abuse of women is much worse than beer, weed, and steroids.

Now is the time.  The NFL can make itself better and effect a whole new way of looking at things.  What I'd give to see the league be a part of that.


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