"My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated (New York) 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 (Manhattan) that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”
Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare.”
The Personal Conduct Policy also states that discipline is appropriate for conduct that ‘undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.’ By any measure, your conduct satisfies that standard.”
That was Roger Goodell's letter to Ben Roethlisberger, as justification for his ridiculous 6-game suspension of the quarterback.
I took the liberty to change two small items (in parentheses) in case Goodell wants to copy-paste-print into his upcoming letter to Braylon Edwards.
Which should be coming, oh, sometime close to, uh, NEVER.
This despite the fact Edwards has exhibited far more conduct that could be considered "damaging to the shield" of the mighty, pristine, family conscious NFL.
Let's go back to last year....
Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James, early Monday morning following an argument in downtown Cleveland.
In March, Edwards was partying with suspended wide receiver Donte' Stallworth in Miami the night Stallworth later drove drunk and killed a pedestrian. Edwards was not with Stallworth at the time of the accident.
Last November, Edwards was fined $150 and given 30 hours of community service after he was found guilty of driving 120 mph.
But hey, let's let the legal process play out here, folks. No jumping to conclusions or piling on by the media, like, well the Big Ben case. There, you may assume, jump to conclusions, and get on the highest soap-box in the land.
Because Big Ben is...
b) A quarterback
... and we just can't have white QB's pulling this outrageous shit like getting drunk and hitting on a bunch of college aged chicks.
Never mind that Big Ben is 28 and the girl was 20. Let's treat it like he's 64 and she's 14 and he tied her up in the basement.
Never mind that she was wearing a button that read "DTF" and was herself so drunk, the police report said she was in "brown out" condition whereby she had a hard time remembering much of anything from the night.
Never mind that the doctor who examined her, said he couldn't conclude that she had been raped, and that what little DNA was there, wasn't enough to tell whose exactly, it was.
Let's make sure to bring up the two year old lingering civil case against Ben, in which no criminal charges were filed, and no charges ever will be filed. And while we're using that as some flimsy proof of "pattern of behavior", make sure we ignore the fact that the woman in the case might be legally crazy.
In July of 2009, Andrea McNulty came forward and claimed that Roethlisberger raped her after he lured here in to his hotel room at a Nevada Harrah’s where she worked. Since then, the validity of her claims has been questioned not only because there was no evidence and no police reports filed, but also because of the accuser’s mental health issues.
McNulty is said to have had a fictitious relationship with a soldier in Iraq that was actually the wife of a married man that she allegedly had an affair with. McNulty fell for the soldier (who didn’t exist –but she didn’t know that) and even told people they were engaged.
Oh yeah, in the time between Big Ben's alleged rape and when she filed her civil suit, McNulty checked into no less than FOUR hospitals to get treatment for a variety of mental health issues. This is the same insane woman who then offered Big Ben the chance to end it all, by just admitting the rape happened, and donating $100,000 to a women's charity of her choice.
And because it is the tiresome NFL off-season, where we just wait and wait and wait for football to come back into our lives, let's jump on any little story and inflate it into weeks worth of programming for ESPN and hundreds of hours of yak on sports radio stations from coast to coast.
In fact, let's run the most absurd reach of a Sports Illustrated cover story in magazine history (move over, pit bull cover!) in which we quote bar owners indicting Big Ben for... wait... NOT PAYING A $5 cover charge because he's famous!
O. M. G!!!!!!!!!!
Mark Baranowski, owner of the popular Cabana Bar in Pittsburgh, says that when the quarterback first came in with a group of hangers-on a few years ago, he refused to pay the $5 cover and used a variation on the Do you know who I am? line to intimidate an employee at the door. Roethlisberger agreed to sign a few items, for which he was going to receive free drinks, but Baranowski says he did it sloppily and halfheartedly.
I hope Goodell read that part carefully.
HE SIGNED AUTOGRAPHS, HALFHEARTEDLY!
Meanwhile, what is the league saying with it's (non)actions on misbehaving black wide receivers?
Oh, hell. We expect much worse from them! If they aren't shooting themselves in the leg, they are falling out of the back of pickup trucks to their death while chasing their terrified girlfriends from the house.
Or maybe having some thug pump their girlfriend's car full of bullets so they won't have to pay child support for another baby-momma.
Big Ben, though, oh no, YOU BETTER STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT, BOY!
This league has an IMAGE to protect!
If somebody could flow-chart how the NFL makes decisions on criminal behavior and on-field discipline, I'd love to see it. Because right now, the league looks like a rudderless ship on behavioral standards.
I've seen more consistency and logic from a "Magic 8-Ball" toy.
Goodell can just shake it up, and pick one of the following.
- ● As I see it, yes
- ● It is certain
- ● It is decidedly so
- ● Most likely
- ● Outlook good
- ● Signs point to yes
- ● Without a doubt
- ● Yes
- ● Yes – definitely
- ● You may rely on it
- ● Reply hazy, try again
- ● Ask again later
- ● Better not tell you now
- ● Cannot predict now
- ● Concentrate and ask again
- ● Don't count on it
- ● My reply is no
- ● My sources say no
- ● Outlook not so good
- ● Very doubtful