Thursday, April 22, 2010

So Let's Just Say....

Big Ben Roethlisberger's night in Milledgeville went down exactly as the accuser and police report describe it.

This is quite a leap, remember, because the one account of said night we have yet to put officially on the record, is that of the accused, Big Ben himself.

But let's go ahead and consider it all gospel, but with one small twist.

Instead of the woman claiming she might have been raped in that bathroom in a near blackout condition, let's say she was happy to have "bagged" an NFL star, and was desperately hoping she'd become a Big Ben Baby Momma.

And she posted absurdly embarassing photos of the encounter all over her Facebook page.

Big Ben's ugly junk, an NFL QB hunched over a crapper with his pants down, a 20 year old college student with slot machine eyes sprawled half naked on the dirty floor of a bar bathroom.

On the internet. Forever.

Wow. Embarassing, eh? I guess Roger Goodell would have to rush in and "defend the shield" as the saying is now fashionable.

“I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you. My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”

That statement from Goodell is equally applicable to a retracted claim of rape, or the hypothetical Baby-Momma-Facebook drama I outlined above.

So in essence, the Commissioner of the #1 sports league in the world is now going to start suspending players based on the NFL's lofty - yet undefined - "league values."

Back when Fred Smoot led a dozen or so fellow Vikings on the sex boat cruise that went horribly, morally wrong, was that something "admirable, responsible or consistent with the values of the league?"

There were no suspensions. Only a single docked game check for Smoot and Bryant McKinnie.

I know, times are a changin'. Thank you, Pac Man Jones, Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress et al. But Goodell has stepped out onto creaky limb that simply cannot hold the weight of his ego.

Many black players, and black pundits in the sports media sphere had been implying or outright crying "racism" for years on the NFL's amorphous "conduct policy." Never mind that there never was a clear cut "White Pac Man" that somehow escaped suspension because of skin color.

There was just a clamor to bag a prominent white player with a significant suspension.

Well, they got it. But I'm afraid it'll only hurt future NFL miscreants, the majority of whom have been black. Thanks in large part, to the inescapable fact that the league is 65% black.

This is not profiling. This is math.

I don't so much pity Big Ben, but the poor bastard who is the NEXT NFL player to get slightly crooked with the law. The bar of evidence has now been set so low, I can't imagine how the league's next Leonard Little or Dante Stallworth will survive a lifetime ban.

Most chilling yet, is the league stepping in to mandate that Ben undergo a "personal evaluation." Lester Munson, the sharpest knife in all of sports media law these days, says the union will likely not sit well with that.

"The union will challenge the six-game suspension, but its real challenge will be to the demand for a behavioral evaluation, likely to be a degrading requirement for Roethlisberger. It is a new form of punishment, and the union will want to send a signal that it is not happy with this level of invasion into the life of one of its players. Roethlisberger obviously will be put into the NFL's substance abuse program with its weekly and even daily alcohol checks, but the total evaluation requirement takes this a step beyond the alcohol program. My expectation is that the union will file a grievance and demand an arbitration. Only if Roethlisberger objects to the grievance will the union drop it. He might want to avoid further examination of the incident and show some level of contrition by waiving the grievance."

Look, my personal opinion is that Big Ben is a dopey, stubborn loser, with a severe drinking problem. I'd prefer if he just stepped up and said:

"Look, give me the full six game suspension, and keep your counseling. I've got a drinking problem, and I am going to stop. I'll be checking into AA immediately, and I'll deal with this on my own. As a man. My side of the story that night in Georgia is very different from what has been said and reported so far, but you know what, that doesn't matter apparently, so I'm gonna keep it to myself. Lesson learned. I'm a big boy, I'll take my punishment. Have a good day."

Meanwhile, Playmakers The Reality Show continues, even though the league shut down the scripted version on ESPN all those many years ago.

Roger Goodell is now fully invested into "doin' good." And as we know from the movie "The Outlaw Josey Wales:" "Doin' good, 'aint got no end."


  1. Hey Czabe,

    Yesterday you were questioning the competency of a front office that made decisions on whether to draft a guy based on how he acted at dinner. Today the league is saying if guys have "behavior issues" they are going to be suspended. Maybe there is something to having dinner with a player (or taking him to a strip club) before drafting him... I'm not saying nothin', I'm just saying.

    As a side note, it seems that the Steelers are overreacting in a big way by attempting to trade the franchise QB. It's like they forgot what it was like all those years with the likes of Bubby Brister and Cordell Stewart. And what's the deal??? Roethlisberger isn't black, so no one calls Tony Dungy to straighten him out? White guys gotta fend for themselves?

  2. Fuck this, what a travishamockery. I really hope that Big Ben gives them the middle finger and lets them suspend him for however long they deem and take the suspensions as a result. I wouldn't stand for this if I was Ben.

  3. I'm not saying Goodell did the right thing or not. However, if a teacher would have done a similar thing or let us say some other profession; a suspension would have been warranted along with the couseling. It happens in all walks of life, this is no different. Why should the NFL be any different?

  4. Dwain,

    I mean, really. You just compared a pro football player to a TEACHER!? Like there is any similarity in professions, or expectations of their behavior outside of their job?

    My man! Puhlease!

    This would be like comparing a bouncer to a nurse. Or a crane operator to a surgeon. Or a stand up comic to a park ranger. Or a....

    Well, you get my point.

    Each is a "job" and has requirements for the job, and a general expectation of behavior off the field.

    Any actual criminality (i.e. arrest/charges/conviction) can put any job in jeopardy. But in this case, there was distinctly NO criminality. Only unseemliness.

  5. Big Ben reminds me of the losers I used to see in the bars in my hometown of Virginia Beach. The losers were typically pretty boy gym rats with tight-fitting t-shirts and greased back hair. They hit on every lady in the bar. They were quick to start a fight with anyone. Their primary targets were the drunk chicks. To put it simply, Big Ben is a predator with a drinking problem; his celebrity status is his wild card. Big Ben is a pathetic piece of shit. Another thing . . . his so-called body guards are Penn. State Po-Po working off duty. Those dumbassess ought to know better. Shame on them. Get some guts Ben.

  6. Czabe: Listen to you every morning on The Hog with B&B, and usually line up with your take on sports & life. But I don't know where you're coming from on this one. You usually (and correctly) take commishes to task for not having the cajones to manage their leagues: "David Stern, call your office." And now that Goodell has stepped up and told one of his marquee attractions "not in my league, not on my watch", you're suddenly pulling out the same tired old rhetoric normally heard only from the players union: "slippery slope, undefined league values, yada yada yada". You say "Goodell has stepped out onto a creaky limb that simply cannot hold the weight of his ego." I say "Kudos to the guy for having the stones to step up and do something before the NFL becomes the NBA 2.0."

  7. Czabe, I see your point but shouldn't all jobs have certain expectations off the field? At that I would hope they are high expectations. Does the punishment fit the crime here? I don't know, but I certainly would expect someone that kids look up to would have better judgement. Explaining what Ben did to an 8 or 9 year old isn't something a parent should have to do with a kid at that age. I know football players shouldn't have to be role models, but in today's society unfortunatly they are.

  8. I don't believe her, in fact, I never believe the woman accusing the man until all the facts are out there (see Kobe). So, I'm looking at just the fact that he was blitzed off his ass and had sex in a public bathroom with a "woman" who couldn't count to 10 at that point of the night. I think it is a fair punishment. You have to remember that Ben has had this pattern throughout his career and hasn't had any repercussions. If it were his first time in a situation like this, I'd be all in with you, but taking his past into consideration, I think this is a fair punishment. Who knows, this might just force him to get the help he needs.

  9. Czabe,

    Your usually well-thought arguments are missing on this one. I offer you two points that you have surprisingly failed to consider in your analysis. 1) Big Ben's previous rape charge -- I know its a civil lawsuit, but do you mean to tell me that Ben didnt receive a little "communication letter" from the head-office indicating that he needs to be better behaved when in the public and that he was officially being "warned" about his behavior and that there would not be a 2nd warning? 2) Your assessment of the lack of criminal charges in Millidgeville is a joke. The police officer that this girl and her friends IMMEDIATELY sought out essentially ended up buddying up to BigBen and has been forced to RESIGN? This doesnt matter to you as some evidence that there MAY be some legitimacy to the story?

    How you fail to consdier these points is beyond me but I have no trouble with what the league did. This is my personal opinion. If someone in my employ has done some "questionable" things in the past and then does so a gain after I issue him a private warning, I dont wait for legal charges to can his ass. Please note that Ben is still employed (you seem to miss this poin). If he did actually rape this girl his ass should be in jail.

    Keep up the good work, but please do better when assessing these touchy issues.

  10. Czabe, I'll leave the 'Did Big Ben deserve exactly what he got?' to the other guys who've commented. My beef is with the frickin' media on this one (at least some of them). I have quit listening to Foxsports in the evenings now (it sucked enough having to stop listening at lunch when Steven A. got your show)...
    The reason I quit listening is that Myers isn't on the show any more, which leaves Hartman and whatever loudmouth they put with him...
    So the other day, the Foxnews 'Poll question of the day' was: "Do you think the NFL is being more lenient to Ben Roethlisberger because he's a white quarterback?"
    It sucked even worse because Hartman had Lincoln Kennedy (I think) in with him, so it just seemed like pandering, to me. It literally made me want to puke in my car, I turned it immediately. Life is too short to listen to that crap, that's why I quit listening to the 4-letter when the whole 'gay players in the NFL' stuff started up.
    Whattheheck? As you've already stated above, he's being punished for being a white QB, if anything; as if it's expected and overlooked for the black guys (which should be an insult to them), but don't DARE be a white QB with a problem like this.

  11. hey steve, "Nice Pick Cowhaaa" has never sounded so funny!