Ok, here we are, gearing up for Week Three and Pittsburgh is down to one uninjured quarterback, Charlie Batch. Guess what? As much as I love Batch as a reliable quarterback who can manage a game, he is prone to injury. He’s been injured a lot over the last million years. But he’s still good and he’s our guy. So, how can the Steelers, who are now 2-0 and alone at the top of the AFC North keep winning when we are averaging a lost quarterback a game? It’s called defense. It’s called Troy Polamalu. It’s called Jeff Reed earning his paycheck by being the leading scorer on this team. And who is to blame for all this mess? You thought I was going to say Ben Roethlisberger, didn’t you?
No, I don’t hold Ben accountable for this debacle of a “so far” winning season. I hold Roger Goodell responsible. Why? Because he suspended Ben Roethlisberger for being a douche bag. Read what I just said there. He suspended Ben, not for committing any actual crimes, but for being a putz who let his fame corrupt his character. Whether or not he actually sexually assaulted anyone is not what’s being called out here. I am calling out Goodell because he punished a quarterback, a team, and a city. He punished an entire roster of players, two of which have been hurt doing the job Ben is better at doing. He is punishing an entire city of fans that bleed black and gold. This is a man who wants to have an extended season of 18 games, yet is trying to curb injuries to players and reduce later in life problems resulting in the constant pounding of players on the field.
Now, some will say Ben deserved what happened to him. I might agree with you. But what I don’t agree with is the severity of Ben’s punishment compared against the leniency or overall lack of punishment for players who actually broke the law. Let’s look at Goodell’s greatest hits and misses.
Ben Roethlisberger – Quarterback For The Pittsburgh Steelers
Crime - Twice accused of sexually assaulting women, overall d-baggery “All you bitches take my shot” is second only to “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” as best use of English in the media, allowing his ego and fame to continually put him situations that could result in conduct unbecoming of a NFL Quarterback and human being. Never charged.
Result – Six game suspension (reduced to four by the gregarious Goodell), not allowed to practice, dress or be on the sidelines, have any contact with players, or fans, or women under the 21 and the influence of alcohol. Can’t talk to teammates about football or anything football related. Persona Non Grata in the downtown area.
Braylon Edwards – Wide Receiver For The New York Jets
Crime - Arrested and charged with DWI while already on probation for a bar fight in Cleveland, which he pleaded no contest to and avoided suspension.
Result – Suspended one game, but is allowed to dress and be on the sidelines.
Shaun Rogers – Defensive Lineman For The Cleveland Browns
Crime – Carried a loaded handgun into an airport with the intent to board a plane, which should be a felony, I believe.
Result – No suspension. $400,000 fine.
Vince Young – Quarterback For The Tennessee Titans
Crime – Caught on tape in a fight at a strip club. Well, let’s see Strip Clubs and Fighting are exemplary conduct for a role model quarterback, right?
Result – Nothing. No suspension. No Fine.
Cedric Benson – Running Back For The Cincinnatti Bengals
Crime – Punched a bartender in the face and was charged with misdemeanor assault. This follows a sordid past with authorities as he was arrested twice in 2008, once for boating while intoxicated and resisting arrest, and then additionally he was arrested for DWI.
Result – The Bears released him after the second incident in five weeks back in 2009. However, he has yet to receive a suspension in his latest fracas and will probably not receive one although he has shown a pattern of behavior that goes against the conduct policy.
Ronnie Fields – Defensive Lineman For The Denver Broncos
Crime – Arrested for unlawful carrying of a weapon in May of 2010
Result – None yet, but consider that the incident involving Ben came out in March and he was suspended in April. It’s been almost five months and no decision on Ronnie Fields.
Hey Goodell, how many times are you going to look the other way or fail to act after setting this precedence with Ben? Seems like you are not holding up your end of the bargain of holding players accountable for their actions. How many guns have to be involved in incidences? How many people have to be killed in accidents involving drunk driving players? So far, you’ve been lucky, but let’s stop acting all high and mighty, suspending a guy for acting like a dick (no charges filed) and go after some real criminals. Maybe, the tale of Plaxico Burress should be a lesson for all players. The only reason he’s not playing is because he’s still in jail and the only one injured in his arrest was himself. But how many players get a pass or a fine, which is a joke considering their salary, instead of real punishment?
Someone throw a flag. Goodell is offsides!