The great and powerful Goodell has spoken. The NFL commish suspended Ben Roethlisberger for six games Wednesday, bringing weeks of speculation to a merciful end.
The details of Big Ben’s ban include mandatory behavioral counseling, which could reduce with suspension to four games. At the very least, that is still 25 percent of the 2010 NFL regular season, causing the Steelers to reportedly begin shopping his services.
The question remains as to exactly what kind of counseling he will undergo.
He probably won’t follow in Tiger’s footsteps and head to sex rehab. His physical appearance and love of the nightlife suggests he might need to put down the bottle, but alcohol is probably not the source of his problems.
A love of sex and alcohol doesn’t exactly distinguish Big Ben from the rest of the population.
Roethlisberger’s problem is simple: he is a colossal d-bag. His lack of respect for others, something that began developing even during his college days at Miami of Ohio, is what separates him from the masses of law-abiding citizens.
Some people, including ESPN’s Tim Hasselback, will argue that Roethlisberger is a law-abiding citizen because he hasn’t been charged. In reality, witness testimony and circumstantial evidence have shown Big Ben broke numerous laws. The witness testimony and evidence may not have been enough for a conviction, but it is enough to show a pattern of dispicable behavior.
Goodell is making an example of Roethlisberger, just as he did with Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson, who were suspended despite never actually being convicted of crimes.
Unlike Jones and Johnson, Big Ben was never actually formally charged with a crime. But the details of the case proved to be a powerful indictment to his character. He isn’t a defensive lineman or cornerback, he is the face of one of the proudest franchises in the NFL. Letting him off the hook just would have done a great deal of harm to the NFL’s public image and Roger Goodell’s reputation.
Did the punishment fit the crime? No. Did Roethlisberger get what he deserved? Yes.
Now the only question is if he will actually learn something. Therapy can be effective, but ridding Big Ben of his idiotic tendencies might prove to be an impossible task.