The Steelers organization has a rich tradition of getting calls from the NFL in their favor (suck on that, Tunison), but the latest ruling from the league–whether or not quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be suspended–might be the least of the team’s concerns. The Steelers might be looking to get out of the Big Ben business. When asked for a vote of support for his starting quarterback, Ambassador Rooney declined comment.
“My job is to be in Ireland,” Rooney said. “I would just say that it’s a serious matter, and it’s being handled properly by (Steelers ownership and management). I think they’re handling it very well.”
Two things: First, I don’t think Roethlisberger should be on the role model hook as much as some have indicated, and the comparisons to black players seem like apples and oranges, whether he’s a Pittsburgh Steeler or a Cincinnati Bengal. Ben didn’t run over anyone with his Bentley or fire off any bullets in a strip club. I think a suspension from the NFL would be irresponsible here, but any sort of public discipline from the team would just be dumb.
Why suspend your own quarterback? Why deprive your fans–and your team–of your best chance to win? It’s Ben’s job to play quarterback, and the reason he still has a job is because he’s one of the few people in the world that can do it. That should be enough reason to keep him around, especially when no one can seem to trade for value in this offseason. Ben does his best screwing against opposing defenses. So turn him loose.