I love the Cleveland Browns as much as anybody. Because of this, and I know “hate” is a strong word, I hate Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more than anybody.
He’s a heck of a football player and yeah, I wish he played for the Browns. He’s probably a tiny bit better than Jake Delhomme, fresh off his eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions last season.
The point is, I’m not a guy that is rooting for Roethlisberger … ever.
However, with “Big Ben” constantly in the news lately for an alleged indiscretion with a college student in Georgia – his second alleged offense with women in the past two years – I’m not ready to put him in the slammer just yet.
In no way is Roethlisberger a victim. Should he be hanging around with 20-year-old college students? There probably is no need for a big celebrity to be hanging out with co-eds from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Georgia.
But at the same time, he is a 28-year-old male with millions of dollars at his disposal. From the time his season ended last January 3, until mid-July when training camp starts, there isn’t an awful lot for Roethlisberger to do except lift weights and stay in relatively decent football shape.
Sure, Steelers fans are going to hope he watches film all offseason and dedicates himself to getting better and winning the seventh Super Bowl in franchise history, but that’s not too realistic.
Roethlisberger, and all athletes, are going to go out and have fun with friends. They have the funds to do whatever it is they want to do. When they do choose to go out, they’re subject to unwanted attention from media and fans … and even from female fans. That’s the price they pay for getting those boatloads of money.
The fact is many women want to be with Ben Roethlisberger because he’s Ben Roethlisberger.
We saw it with Kobe Bryant in the summer of 2003 in Eagle, Colorado. Women throw themselves at athletes, and then make allegations about what happened.
While what the men are doing may not be morally right, it’s not illegal. I don’t feel bad for Roethlisberger in any way. He just signed an eight-year, $102 million contract in 2008.
You can have all the money in the world, but with those perks comes this type of attention. Athletes need to remember that.
Contact Tim Ertle at