Sunday, January 23, 2011

It's Too Soon for Big Ben's Redemption

I have no love for Ben Roethlisberger going to his 3rd Super Bowl. Not barely six months removed from a summer where he almost threw his career away on being stupid and boorish once again. Not after a police department messed up a slam dunk case of rape to protect an athlete acting entitled.

I always disliked Big Ben as a player but I hated his mental stupidity. The no-helmet, motorcycle crash after the Super Bowl in 2006. The hardcore partier. And now the bathroom behavior with that co-ed who reminded me of star-struck chicks I went to school with but didnt deserve to be taken advantage of.

I didnt mention his 1st rape case because based on the facts, it looked like the woman was a groupie chick crying rape but really bragging about getting it on with some athlete. But again, poor decision making in light of this 2nd incident.

His fame kept him from facing a serious charge of rape and a trial as the police department mismanaged the case. Fame doesn't always protect you (see Lawrence Taylor pleading guilty to rape this month) but when it does in these cases, it's an slap in the face of justice/fairness.

I don't want to hear about this being a redemption story for him. Not yet. It's way too soon and the rehabilitation far from complete for me to know he gets it. Don't compare this to Ray Lewis 10 years ago because he was the getaway driver in a murder, not the participant. Ben hasn't earned my respect yet nor will he for at least another year until proven otherwise. 

What does winning a Super Bowl redeem him from? Michael Vick winning the Super Bowl is more redemption because he lost everything and slowly got it back. Big Ben missed 4 games as if it were an injury and picked up where he left off. He didn't lose anything really but like Vick, redemption will come with his actions off the field, not on it.

Ben got plenty of heat last summer and deservedly so in some quarters. But during an appearance on Sunday Night Football, there was only 1 mention of his case. Meanwhile during a Michael Vick appearance, it was mentioned several times with analyst Cris Collinsworth giving his 2 cents.

So all love for Mike Tomlin and for Troy Polamalu if he's healthy. Respect to Mr. Rooney as an owner of dignity and progress. But I'm rooting for Green Bay solely because I don't want Roethlisberger to hoist his 3rd Lombardi while his victim has to watch. 

I believe in forgiveness but I don't believe in it without penance and restitution. That's why I support Chris Brown, Michael Vick, Robert Downey Jr, and others who made amends and, as time passed, showed growth. It makes me sick expecting the stories in the coming days about how Ben's a hero, no longer a pariah and a sign of forgiveness.

Yes he's clutch. Yes he's deadly in the 4th quarter with little time left. But if you're mad at Vick for his dogs, show the same disdain for Big Ben as he still needs to prove his maturity. I'm glad he's found or rediscovered God (I'm experiencing a spiritual reawakening at the moment) but being a fellow believer doesn't give you a pass for instant forgiveness.


  1. Amen. May Clay Matthews bring the message to Ben's grill on Feb 6

  2. You articulated my thoughts EXACTLY! Especially about the part of forgiveness with repentance...

  3. Yes indeed - hoping Clay lays a good one or 3 on his mug.

    Well said my friend. You can be forgiven but you must show that you've turned a corner. And he hasn't yet while people are too quick to say he has.

  4. I hope Clay Matthews snaps Ben's jaw. The dude deserves zero forgiveness. The only thing he's sorry for is the woman complaining. He's a predator. \
    Never in my life did I think I was going to be cheering for the Pack.