Should Big Ben address his teammates?

While talking to the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen during a televised interview on Wednesday, Steelers’ receiver Hines Ward said that Ben Roethlisberger should address his teammates in wake of what has transpired this offseason.

“A lot of players really don’t know the situation, other than what we hear in the news or the media,” Ward explained. “I think when he addresses the whole team going into training camp, we can all put it behind us and move forward.”

There was certainly nothing malicious in Ward’s statement. He wasn’t calling Big Ben out, nor was he suggesting that the Steelers haven’t embraced him upon his return to the practice field. What he is saying is that it would be a good idea if the team’s two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback addressed his teammates in order to put the situation behind him so they can move on as a team.

And I happen to agree.

Roethlisberger has ever right to keep his personal matters to himself and if he decides to do that, then he doesn’t deserve to be criticized. I wouldn’t want my dirty laundry to be aired out in front of a group of my peers, nor would anyone else. But Big Ben is already past that point.

Thanks to the media, his teammates already have a grasp on what happened and they’ve already drawn their own conclusions. But if he were to briefly stand up in front of the team and reaffirm his commitment to them, the Steelers and to winning, it might go a long way in putting the situation to rest. He doesn’t have to share details or even apologize – he just needs to kill the very large elephant in the room so that big bastard doesn’t sit there all season.

In general, people want to forgive and move on. I’m willing to bet that if Big Ben opens up to his teammates before training camp (or whenever) that he won’t have to say another word about the situation the rest of the season because it’ll be done. Again, he isn’t obligated to say anything. But given the importance of his position, his role with the team and how close professional athletes generally are, it might be in Roethlisberger’s best interest if he takes Ward’s suggestion to heart.

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Cheated on your wife? Fine, just don’t ruin my football team.

Ben Roethlisberger was accused not once, but twice of sexually assaulting two separate females, while Tiger Woods admitted to cheating on his wife with multiple women, including at least one porn star.

But neither of them hold a candle to Michael Vick in the category of most disliked athlete. The same goes for Al Davis apparently, seeing as how he was found to be the second most disliked sports personality among voters in a recent Forbes survey.

From FOX Sports:

For the second year in a row, Michael Vick topped a fan poll taken by Forbes as the most disliked national sports figure, reported Sunday.

The Forbes survey sampled sports fans and filtered out lesser-known figures like disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis and sports agent Scott Boras, who weren’t known by a lot of fans but really disliked by those who knew them.

In the end, Vick was still held in a lower opinion than Ben Roethlisberger, Tiger Woods and Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis, with 69 percent of those polled disliking Vick.

Davis was a surprising second with 66 percent, given the amount of bad PR that Woods (53 percent) and Roethlisberger (57 percent) had in the past year.

Wait, Al Davis was second? So let me get this straight: you can commit adultery or be accused of sexual assault and still be more liked than if you ruined an NFL franchise. That’s kind of disturbing. I know I’m drawing a rather incomplete conclusion based on this unscientific poll, but I wouldn’t think that Al Davis would be ahead of Tiger and Big Ben on the most disliked scale.

I guess it goes to show you how much Americans love their football.

Goodell to review Roethlisberger’s “behavioral evaluation” within the week

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the media at the owners meetings on Tuesday that he would review the behavioral evaluation he ordered as part of Ben Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension within a week. If Goodell determines that Big Ben has made progress, then he may allow the quarterback to rejoin the Steelers for offseason workouts.

What I would like to know is what process Goodell is planning to take when determining whether or not Roethlisberger should have the privilege to return to his team. What is Goodell going to do, send Big Ben into a crowded bar filled with horny chicks to see if he’ll behave himself? I’m not trying to sound insensitive in light of the previous allegations against Roethlisberger, but seriously – how is Goodell going to know whether or not the QB is worthy enough to return to football?

Furthermore, how is Goodell going to determine whether or not he should lighten Big Ben’s suspension from six to four games? Anyone can behave themselves for a month if they want something bad enough. Who’s to say that Roethlisberger has learned anything? Does Goodell have a couple of eagle scouts watching the quarterback’s every move?

I guess Goodell will just have to go with his gut and trust that Roethlisberger has suffered enough embarrassment to have changed (or is in the process of changing). I don’t doubt that the commissioner is taking this matter seriously, but I would love to find out what constitutes Big Ben learning his lesson and therefore, what it is that he did to earn a four-game suspension over a six-game penalty if that is indeed the outcome here.

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Big Ben finishes behavioral evaluation, but will he change?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has completed his behavioral evaluation ordered by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

The behavioral evaluations are just part of Roethlisberger’s punishment after he was accused of sexual assault for the second time in less than a year. If he fulfills his requirements, Goodell may reduce the quarterback’s suspension from six to four games and while Big Ben’s camp is hopeful that he’ll be able to participate in team activities soon, the Steelers have no timetable for his return.

Goodell is doing a thorough job in this situation, but who knows if Big Ben has learned anything – or will learn anything. He may be fulfilling his requirements in order to get back on the field, but that doesn’t mean he has changed. Has he been humbled by this experience? Will he make smarter decisions in the future? Will he strive not to put himself in situations where it may lead to him getting into more trouble?

Roethlisberger is a young, single guy. To think he’s going to spend the rest of his football career staying at home and nuzzling up to the fireplace while watching HGTV and sipping a glass of wine is unrealistic. But in order for him to avoid future punishment and embarrassment, he needs to improve his decision-making. Steeler fans can only hope that this process will lead to a wiser, more humbled Ben Roethlisberger.

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Police officer in Big Ben case resigns; is there a third victim? reports that the Georgia police offer who took the report the night Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old female has decided to resign.

In the same article, ESPN notes that there could also be another victim (which would be the third) of sexual assault involving Big Ben.

Also revealed in the GBI reports released Thursday was the fact investigators wanted to talk with a woman about a separate incident reportedly involving Roethlisberger.

The documents show that after the alleged assault in Milledgeville, a 16-year-old in a youth law enforcement program told authorities he knew about incidents involving Roethlisberger and a friend’s sister.

Authorities repeatedly sought to interview the woman, who is in her early 20s, but she declined. The teen had said he believed the two-time Super Bowl winner twice made unwanted sexual advances toward the woman.

I find it interesting that the police officer that took the first report has decided to resign. Per the article, the officer made derogatory comments about the accuser to other officers the night of the incident and was also photographed a little over a week after the incident with Roethlisberger, who was smiling in the photo. Did the officer resign out of guilt for doing something wrong or was he embarrassed about the photo?

From the very first report until now, I’ve tried hard not to make accusations about what happened the night Big Ben was accused of sexual assault (uh, the second time he was accused of sexual assault). But this entire situation smells like a rotting corpse. Here’s a guy in Roethlisberger that has already been accused once of sexual assault and while wasn’t charged, he somehow managed to put himself right back into a similar situation less than a year later.

How this sewer rat thought that inviting under aged females to a private VIP party in a college bar and getting them all drunk was a smart idea is beyond me. I don’t mean to speculate, but I think he’s incredibly lucky that he has surrounded himself with people that will cover for him. That said, I truly believe that this is one dumb individual, one that will likely put himself in a similar situation down the road. And once he does, let’s hope no one gets hurt and authorities can finally nail him on something. I realize he’s never been charged, but that doesn’t mean he’s innocent.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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