Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Ever Classy Large Benjamin

To say that Ben Roethlisberger has been in the news a bit lately is a bit of an understatement. Frankly, I don't even want to get into all of the garbage he's been accused of lately. If you want to know anything about that, read his Wikipedia entry. But if you've heard anything about the guy I think it's quickly become apparent that he is not a classy guy.

Well, Roethlisberger decided to give the media another doozie recently. A couple of the Pittsburgh area TV stations interviewed him and he decided to make some statements to his fans about his recent behavior. When I saw the headline on ESPN, I figured that was a smart PR move and something long overdue. However, when I actually read what they had to say I was even more appalled.

The lede from ESPN:
A contrite Ben Roethlisberger said he got caught up in being a caricature called Big Ben, not the grounded player and person he once was, leading to his off-field problems and affecting his play as the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.
Now referring to Ben as contrite is only appropriate. He took an opportunity to apologize, which in some cases can be laudable; in his case I would say it was necessary. However, when I think of contrition I think of deep sorrow and remorse for actions and I don't think that's what came from Mr. Roethlisberger. The whole idea of getting caught up in the "caricature" of "Big Ben" seems to be him looking for an opportunity to escape his guilt. This man is hardly at all removed from his terrible behaviors and it seems like more of his foolish "caricature" is popping up all the time. To simply write off these mistakes so simply does not seem like the heart of a changed man. To me, it seems like Ben isn't willing to own up to his mistakes.

As you read in the article further, you see more and more it was this awful "Big Ben" person that caused all the problems, but really Ben Roethlisberger is a good guy. I say that's a bunch of baloney. Big Ben and Ben Roethlisberger are one in the same. Own up to your actions and accept the stupid decisions you made and apologize for them. I don't want to see some straw man strung up that is an alter ego of yourself. Who do you think you are? Bruce Wayne?

Another sign that clearly he's still going about things wrong is his admission that he "wanted to apologize to them for so many things." With what he says of it, it's clear that his "desire to apologize" has been something that he chose to wait on. That doesn't sound like contrition to me. Why wait to make these statements until now? Ben, I'm glad you've decided to change but I really hope it's for real.

For how much Roethlisberger gets discussed in the sporting news, I'm surprised this one flew under the radar so much. Maybe others were more convinced of his turning a new leaf. I'm not so optimistic. I think he understands a lot of things need to change if he's going to keep playing football, but I don't feel like he's going to mystically become a good guy. He has a long way to go and I hope a lot of other sports figures learn from his dumb mistake so we see fewer people making these kinds of mistakes.

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