Sunday, March 21, 2010
Steelers Speak Publicly About Fat Ben
We are starting to hear from all corners of the Steelers organization, from the President to the Head Coach down to the lowly punter. And even though they are speaking in different places to different types of people (some saying more, others less), everyone is toeing the company line.
Said top brass Art Rooney II: "I mean, look that's one of the things, we do have a little bit of luxury of time," Rooney said Thursday afternoon. "If we were at a different point in the year we may have to be thinking and doing something different. But at the moment, I think we're in a situation we're going to let this investigation play out and then go from there." His comments were perfectly neutral and generic. Well done, boss.
Next up is Head Coach Mike Tomlin: "I'm highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben personally," Tomlin said. "My concerns are many, but I think at this time it's kind of appropriate to watch these things and let these things run their course.
"But I think it would be inappropriate for me to have strong feelings one way or another with the investigation being ongoing and so forth. Like everyone else, you watch these things unfold," Tomlin added. Again, more thoughts that are perfectly understandable (I'm not quite sure why these even make the news...). You get the feeling that these guys are ready to turn on Ben if he's guilty.
Finally, punter/locker room neighbor Daniel Sepulveda: "It's regrettable to see him struggling in the media the way he has in putting himself in these positions," Sepulveda said. "You know, it's hard to comment on that kind of thing. We're going to be there for him as teammates in any way we can be to help him through these deals. I don't know, he's a very capable quarterback obviously. My locker's next to his in the game locker room, and that's on business day, you know that's game day. So I don't think I've said more than a couple sentences to him in the three years that I've been here even though we locker next to each other, but you know it's all business on game day so you can't read into that. . . . It's tough to say, we're gonna be there for him in any way that we can be, but you know it's not cool to see him getting in trouble like this all the time."
"Well, it's not good," Sepulveda said. "It certainly doesn't help. But, you know what? Leading a football team, that's an on and off the field thing. So, gosh, you know it's not a great way to earn the respect of the rest of the guys on the team. But you know at the same time we are a team, he is our leader. We're gonna be there for him in any way that we can be to help him through this because you know obviously he's gonna get attacked as a result so, and that's what the Steelers do, we stick together, we're a team. And that starts with the leadership of the Rooney family. . . . and that culture runs all the way through to the punter. So, you know, we're gonna be there for him."
Sepulveda has certainly said more than anyone else, but he was stumbling through that statement while on a radio program. The highlight of all that nothin is that Big Ben never talks to him (what $100 million QB would speak with the punter anyway?!?!??!? IN FACT, the only people lame enough to talk with the punter are the place kicker and maybe the long snapper...).
Ok, so whats the point of all this? Three people inside the Steelers organization speak out about the rape case and the general consensus is "no comment until the investigation is over, but we'll stick by our QB." The interesting thing to me is that no one is coming out to defend Ben's personal character. No one is saying "Ben is such a nice guy, I can't believe he did this." And they aren't saying "Ben has been a great friend to us, so we will stand by him through this tough time." This only further confirms what most of us already know... Ben's a jerk. That's been the word coming out of Pittsburgh for years. Why has it taken so long for Big Ben to be the offensive captain of the team? Because even his teammates don't respect him. Ask a football fan how many team MVPs Ben has earned since 2004, and what will they say? Two? Three? Nope. He received his first one this past season, and it's no surprise to Steeler fans.
There are still two things that are irrefutable: Big Ben is an outstanding football player, and he hasn't been criminally charged (let alone convicted) of anything. Even though he's had his share of problems with Ken Whisenhunt, Bill Cowher, Hines Ward, car windshields, concussions, and women everywhere, I'll still take him over no-rings McNabb, Tony Homo, or any other QB in the league. And check out that glorious 'stache at the top of this post? Would a sexual predator sport a mustache like that? I rest my case.