Big Ben is a Big Doofus

I’m so sick of people asking me about Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, I’m a huge Steelers fan. Yes, I’ve been a Big Ben supporter ever since he won his first Super Bowl with us. Yes, yes, yes, I am now severely offended, angered, and irritated with his dumb ass. For me, it is official: Big Ben is a big doofus.

Last Wednesday, Roethlisberger was suspended six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. This comes a week after prosecutors decided not to charge Roethlisberger in a case involving a 20-year-old college student who accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Georgia nightclub in March. Then, came the draft, and there were mutterings of a trade. The Steelers were willing to trade Big Ben for a first round, top ten draft pick. No one bit the bait, but I was left conflicted. Did I want to trade Ben Roethlisberger? Or did I want him to stay?

I know how Steelers president Art Rooney was feeling. He’d just booted Super Bowl savior Santonio Holmes for violating the league’s drug policies. Holmes will now be a New York Jet, and although I was shocked at this announcement, good riddance to bad rubbish. Which is now how I’m beginning to feel about Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger: Moron extraordinaire.
What did you expect, man? That the girl in Georgia wouldn’t recognize you? Like you don’t stick out in a crowd. You’re a 6-foot-five Neanderthal with enough Super Bowl bling to blind half of Atlanta, and you thought you’d get away with being a jack ass? Or was it your entitlement? Because you’re a successful quarterback and respected team leader, she should be honored that you chose to sexually assault her? Hmm? Tell me, Big Ben, do you have a response, or did the 50 sacks in 2009 shake your brain loose?

The other night, Jake asked me if I would give up on the Steelers if we lost Ben, because it is assumed that if we lose Ben, we might start sucking even more than we did last year. And no one wants to root for a sucky team, right? At the time, his comment irked me. I responded with, “Of course, I’ll still like the Steelers without Big Ben.” But then Jake continued: “What if you traded Troy Polamalu? What if you got rid of Hines Ward? What if Tomlin went and coached another team?”

I stuck to my guns at the time. YES, I WILL ALWAYS LOVE THE STEELERS!!!! But that may have been just pride. Since our conversation, I’ve gotten to thinking. Wasn’t I sad when Jerome Bettis retired? Wasn’t I disappointed when Bill Cowher put down the headphones? What is a team, if not a group of players? And what is it that we, as fans, are really clinging to? It’s not because we like the color of our jerseys. It’s not necessarily because we live in, say, Pittsburgh, because I don’t now and I never have. Maybe it really is about the players. And what happens to a team when the players become the enemy? What happens to a fan when a hero falls?

I don’t know what this NFL season will bring. Donovan McNabb is a Redskin. Holmes is a Jet. Terrell Owens is still a nothing. And Ben Roethlisberger—my quarterback—is a doofus. All I can tell you is I miss the days when I respected my football icons. I miss the days of Big Ben being squeaky clean. And soon, with my team in such upheaval, I may be saying, “I miss the days when the Steelers had their shit together.”

9 thoughts on “Big Ben is a Big Doofus

  1. There was talk that we, the Cards, would pick him up, or maybe the Seahawks…I’m glad that nothing has happened yet.
    As for his upcoming season…I think it will be very different than we have seen in a while. So many changes, and the draft is playing more and more into the teams than ever before.
    You want a team to cheer for…resepct…Titans!!!! 😉
    P.S. I think TO will end up with the Redskins and he just might actually do well…

  2. It’s tough when teams transition, when your favorite players leave or disappoint, and the club brings in scumbags, loser cheats–or the ambiguous, winner cheats. (As a Yankees fan, I’m thinking of Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, Jason Giambi….) It’s important to have a core group that you can stand by, and surprisingly, it’s important to love the coach because even if it’s a team of misfits or prima donnas or underachievers, a respectable or lovable coach can lift your spirits, help you keep the faith.

    It’s important to stick with your team through the lean, frustrating, losing, scandal frayed seasons because then you earn and appreciate the playoff appearances and championship parades. As a Yanks fan, I’ve been blessed, as a Jets fan, not so much… but all of the struggles will pay off soon!

    (Oh, and Santonio Holmes is not bad rubbish; he’s a Super Bowl MVP who likes to spark spliffs in the off-season. We’ll take him! The Steelers can keep their mullet rockin’ rapist.)

    1. Well, I do love Tomlin. But I loved Cowher, too, and he left me (sob, sob, sob). You’re right. I will be strong. I will stand by the TEAM, not the DOOFUS.

      (I know Holmes isn’t rubbish. I’m just green with envy. In fact, I’m so green with envy, I would probably look very nice in a Jets jersey right now.)

      1. Take him. Keep him. Santonio Holmes is going to hell in a hand basket. He’s yours. JEESH!!! It’s just AWFUL!!!!!!

  3. Really interesting post, Sara! I’ve struggled with this. I’m a huge hockey fan, and still root for the Detroit Redwings, but I don’t follow their games much anymore because lately I’ve become so sick of many of their money-grubbing players, games that are delayed so the TV broadcasts can fit in ads, and how money can basically buy a team… I’ve started watching a lot more college hockey.

    I’m loyal to my sports teams, win or lose, but maybe we shouldn’t be loyal to teams who show no ethics? I’m not sure that leaves us with any teams to root for, but perhaps if as fans we stood up more for how we feel, organizations like the NFL wouldn’t be so eager to hold on to players like Ben.

    1. I went the same way with college football. The problem? My college team is REALLY bad–the Michigan Wolverines. However, the kids can’t be too whiny or they’ll just get cut. Plus there’s still a certain amount of innocence in college sports.

      It’s hard to find professional athletes with ethics. Even when we do, it’s hard to find TEAMS with ethics. Guess we just gotta do our best to not condone their behaviors but still watch the games. Because seriously, what is fall without football??!

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