BEN MAKES A GOOD IMPRESSION

I pointed out in the first post that I put up on this website that, in more than 30 years of covering Pittsburgh sports, I had never heard of a local sports figure who generated 1/10th the number of “Why is he such a jackass?” questions as Ben Rothelisberger.

As the story unfolded after the incident in Georgia, it became pretty clear that I wasn’t exaggerating. Peter King of Sports Illustrated, on his way to praising Roethlisberger for trying to fix his image, gives a perfect example of where those “jackass” stories came from.

  • IvanHlinka

    Another Ben Basher who said the NFL needed to make an example of Ben, and the Steelers should have traded Ben, bites the dust.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=5481872

    People in glass houses boys.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      So, are you now guilty of Marrioti bashing?

      • IvanHlinka

        No John, no bashing. I just link the FACT that Mariotti has been charged with a felony.

        He’s been bashing Ben for months. Ben was never charged with a crime period. So he should hold himself to the same standard and either accept a 4-6 week suspension, or resign.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          It may not be up to him to decide whether he is suspended or “resigns”. Let’s see. I know that my life will be ruined if he’s suspended. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go on.

          • IvanHlinka

            What are you babbling about now? All I said was Jay Mariotti should quit his job or sit for 4-6 weeks. He gives no athlete the benefit of the doubt, he ripped Tiger and Ben for their conduct and neither were charged with crimes.

            He was charged with a felony. The lesson here is if one is going to bash a player, the person bashing better live on the straight and narrow.

            Has ESPN suspended Mike Logan yet? His accusations against him are quite disturbing. He was another one who convicted Ben in the media.

            I think ESPN would be a lot better off if they went back to covering sports instead of trying to be TMZ-lite.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            I don’t care.

          • IvanHlinka

            Of course you don’t care, they aren’t Ben.

            You hate Ben because he’s everything as a QB that you’re hero wasn’t.

            And spare me how you “credit” him OK? You’ve been trying to stir the shit with Ben and fan reaction since he got here.

            Ben was drafted? First words out of your mouth were “Are you going to treat Ben like Kordell as soon as he plays bad?”

            You wanted him yanked in 2006 after a slow start. You actually wanted Randel El to get a shot at QB on a DEFENDING SUPER BOWL CHAMPION.

            Tomlin arrives and one of the first articles from you then was “Will Tomlin have the nerve to yank Ben?”

            That’s why you post every rumor of Ben like it’s fact or gospel. He proved you wrong on the field. So in typical Yinzer fashion you go after him off of it based on BS and rumors off of it.

            Worry about your psycho brother making fun of dead people on TV and let those who actually follow the NFL unlike you discuss it.

            Kordell, El, Doug Flutie.

            That’s you’re NFL expertise.

            Congratulations.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            You really do need help. How’s Crash?

          • IvanHlinka

            Those are you’re words and your actions above John. Don’t blame me for throwing them back in your face.

            Just like when you talked about the INT’s Kent Graham threw in 2000.

            Um, he threw ONE, all season.

            What exactly were you watching that year? Kordell sitting on the bench?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            I watched one of the worst QBs ever to put on a Steelers uniform get second, third and fourth chances to prove that he didn’t stink before he was finally replaced by a guy who became the team’s MVP and went to the Pro Bowl.

  • http://sh Karl Marx

    The media is boss and most guys don’t realize this until its too late. This guy is a heel and this one is the hero. How many people have actually had enough contact with Ben to form an opinion? 1%? Less? Barry Bonds was the guy the media loved to hate but Andy VanWhite was just as bad. Why is Barry hated and Andy was loved? Race? Maybe..I once witnessed Andy giving a bunch of kids the finger as they asked for his autograph. Real stand up fella. Another great call media.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      Van Slyke was not a good guy. Compared to Barry Bonds he was St. Francis of Assisi.

  • Ochotexto

    Didn’t Ben just denounce his hometown in Ohio or something ? Saying he’s no longer from there., almost like when someone asks Dennis Miller if he was from Pittsburgh ? I know he’s doing everything but kissing babies in churches these days but it shows me he still gotz some work to do.
    That said the Rooneys decided to keep him and he’s far and away the best QB on the team and one of the top 3 in the NFL. No Ben= No Super Bowl. As a Steeler fan yinz have to decide : you want all nice guys on the field or do yunz want to win ? Both would be nice but that doesn’t happen much these days.

    • IvanHlinka

      I would like to ask the people on this board who despise Ben and want him gone based on rumors if they turn around and cheer for James Harrison? Afterall he is actually GUILTY of beating a woman.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        Good question.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

          Last I checked, James Harrison has yet to be featured in a Sports illustrated cover story denouncing him as an embarrassment and disgrace to an entire city and sports organization.
          Maybe I missed that issue.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Maybe if Ben had been on his way to a Baptism that night in Ga., things would be different.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

            So, you’re saying that a domestic dispute is on the same level as a two-time (alleged) sexual assualt? Both are deserving of front-page news?

          • IvanHlinka

            “So, you’re saying that a domestic dispute is on the same level as a two-time (alleged) sexual assualt? Both are deserving of front-page news?”

            Harrison roughed up a woman, confessed to it, and was charged.

            Ben was never charged.

            Accusations mean nothing. ANYONE can be accused of a crime.

    • Frank

      “Admittedly I’m a cynic. But people never really change their essential nature. He’ll still be the same person that he’s always been. He’ll just be more careful to present a happy, smily public face while reading some agent-scripted stuff about how his Dad “got his son back.”

      That being said, all he needs to do is to present a better public face. It really isn’t important what he’s like in private, except to his own family and associates.” – Ken

      I’m sure a few more massively cheesy/generic KDKA television interviews will help with getting a few more back on the Roethlisberger bandwagon before all is said and done.

    • Ken

      Dennis Miller doesn’t deny being from Pittsburgh. On his radio show, he spoke rather fondly of it and mentioned old hangouts like Danny’s Pizza in South Park.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        Danny’s Parkview Pizza…..best hoagies in the city.

        • Ken

          Absolutely, although it’s been a while since I’ve had one. Someone told me recently that it’s under new ownership and the hoagies aren’t the same now. That would be a tragedy.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            I stopped eating red meat 25 years ago but other people I know still swear by them.

  • francis

    …the steelers are putting on a PR show with benny…they want everybody to forget what a lowlife he is…NOT GONNA HAPPEN…he’s a dirtbag…always was always will be…signing for kids thats killing him but as long as the papers see him out there he’ll continue…everything is controlled…like him and hines walkin out to the practice field together…ya right…they hate each other…you know that was planned…kings article troubles on many levela…first it shows this guy is a fake now…wants win so people forget…not once has he acknowledged any wrong doing in georgia…just vague comments about now…the whole reason he was in the limelight is because of what he did in georgia…but he dosen’t wanna talk about it…CAUSE HE PAYED A LOTTA PEOPLE OFF…BUT HE DID NOTHIN WRONG…SHE FELL YA RIGHT ON HIS FIST…the more they tell benny what to and when to do things he’s gonna start to explode…tick tick tick…i fell bad for the next girl he targets…but i’m sure by now he has a lawyer on retainer…his job is to write checks…the hush money…

    • IvanHlinka

      Actually as I said before King’s comments are full of errors and things that just aren’t true.

      And if Ben did know about the lawsuit and he didn’t want to be bothered with King as a result of it King should be ashamed for taking that cheap shot a year later.

      Why would Ben pay anyone off, the evidence points to his innocence.

      He said she hit her head. But there was NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE of her hitting her head, IMO that’s a good thing in any rape investigation.

      But you clowns continue to believe every rumor, story, or half truth out there.

      I’ll stick to facts.

      He’s always signed for kids at camp. Nothing new there either.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        Major league jackass for five years.

  • Ben’s a rapist

    Ben=rapist

    U do the math

    • Jeff

      Really? Were you one of his victims? Since you seem to know what everyone else doesn’t, how about taking a trip to Vegas with me? (For the gambling of course). Schmuck

  • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

    I think Roethlisberger’s answer of “win another championship” speaks volumes. I think he believes once he “wins” another title, all is forgiven and forgotten, and he can go back to being “Superstar Big Ben.”
    I readily admit that I am not a Roethlisberger worshipper, apologist or admirer. Thus, I’m more than just a little skeptical as to how he, or anyone, can simply flip a switch and become a better person and a better teammate, especially overnight.
    He is simply doing what he thinks he needs to do to get through this suspension.

    • Ken

      Admittedly I’m a cynic. But people never really change their essential nature. He’ll still be the same person that he’s always been. He’ll just be more careful to present a happy, smily public face while reading some agent-scripted stuff about how his Dad “got his son back.”

      That being said, all he needs to do is to present a better public face. It really isn’t important what he’s like in private, except to his own family and associates.

      • Mike

        Ken, he’s still only like 27. Lots of people mature as they get older. Personally to me it seems like this has been a wake up call to him. Time will tell if it lasts.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          I don’t discount the possibility that he can turn it around.

    • Connie

      Ben is like a prisoner on parole he will do anything to get out of jail.
      He is paying big bucks for handlers to show him the way.
      He is still a pig.

  • Arnie

    I’m far from a Ben fan (in fact really can’t stand him), but I hope he is sincere and not just doing this to put on a show for the public. Only time will tell I guess.

  • IvanHlinka

    King’s article is full of BS and flat out inaccurate info.

    “Roethlisberger didn’t give his best effort in the roundtable discussion; he was either texting or talking to one of the other quarterbacks or making calls a good third of the time. He left the room first when it was over, and a couple of us just looked at each other and said, in so many words, “What is wrong with that guy?”

    The day of this “sit down” with the QBs was also the same day the lawsuit was filed in Nevada, July 17 2009.

    Now, the question is, did Ben know about the lawsuit before he sat down with King? It’s no secret that McNulty and her lawyer were trying to shake down Harrah’s for money months prior to the Ben suit being filed. Maybe Ben was tipped off prior to his scheduled round table that it was coming, of course his mind would be elsewhere instead of wanting to kiss King’s ass, wouldn’t you agree John?

    “Since then, there have been allegations of sexual impropriety with a hotel concierge and with a 19-year-old Georgia college student, police investigations that dragged Roethlisberger’s name through the mud in two states, and an NFL suspension for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy”

    He’s wrong on two counts here:

    1. She was 20, not 19.

    2. Ben was never investigated by Nevada police, that’s a civil suit.

    “Now, I’d heard, he’d spent time back in his roots in northwest Ohio with his father and stepmother. He’d gotten some good counseling, not only from professional therapists but also from his first Steelers coach, Bill Cowher, and with-it former Steeler Merril Hoge”

    He’d heard, yeah right. Why doesn’t Peter just admit he “heard” about Ben when he saw Ben on KDKA like the rest of us did.

    “Roethlisberger used to avoid the local press or either talk down to them or give them nothing of himself; now he asks a couple of them for advice”

    Not true, I know people who have dealt with him in the locker room.

    He will give you what you ask for as long as it’s quickly and done quietly. Btw, Jim Wexell (who has bashed Ben in the past) said in 2007 that Ben deserved to win the Chief Award instead of Alan Faneca, I’m sure you know what that award is John.

    “He used to avoid the never-ending autograph lines in camp; now, daily, he signs”

    Not true. He’s always signed at camp. But he doesn’t sign every day.

    He’s not signing every day this year either. There are plenty of pics over the years of Ben signing at camp. Some of which show Ben holding his own sharpie. Does one who “avoids” camp autograph lines even bother to carry one after practice? The ONLY “rule” that Ben and some other players have as far as autographs is they won’t sign Terrible Towels because they are difficult to sign when they are not seating at a table.

    King knows dick of this situation. The next time he asks Hines Ward (you’ll notice Ward is the only one who says he was a bad teammate) for his opinion on Ben he should ask Ward about his divorce due to his carousing off the field and his business partnership with a convicted federal drug dealer.

    • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

      I like Jim Wexell and respect his opinion but I don’t know too many people who ever considered Roethlisberger a good choice for the Chief Award–which goes to the player who shows the best understanding of the media’s job.

      • IvanHlinka

        Well Wexell said he deserved to win it.

        His words, and I quote:

        II. Faneca wins Chief Award

        For the second time in his career, Faneca won The Chief Award for his dealings with the local media. A small group of PFWA (Pro Football Writers of America) members do the voting and they voted for a guy who does all the right things. Faneca’s always in the locker room for the key Wednesday news-gathering time slot. You go to him only when the other team has a great run defense or a lousy run defense, or when you have a question about a poor showing by the O-line the week before or even the rare strong showing, or you go to him to discuss the most important contract expiration date on the team this year.

        In other words, you need him every week and Faneca’s been there consistently to make our jobs easier.

        Alas, therein lies the stigma that’s attached to the award. This story will serve as an explanation:

        Farrior was over visiting Hines Ward and Deshea Townsend in their corner of the locker room the other day and he began shouting to reporters that Ward “… has some controversial topics on his mind!” He said that if we came over, we’d certainly vote Ward another Chief Award this year. When told that Faneca had already won the award, Farrior, Ward and Townsend began mocking Faneca, who was dressing on the other side.

        Faneca, the red head, blushed like I’d never seen him blush and he smiled sheepishly. He was obviously embarrassed because of the stigma that the winner is a kiss-up to reporters.

        It’s easy to understand Faneca’s embarrassment – at least when he’s in public. Privately, these guys want to win that award. It puts them at a different level of achievement, one that indicates polish.

        Roethlisberger, for one, joked this year about wanting our votes, but in all seriousness he deserved and got mine.

        As a star quarterback, Roethlisberger can’t open up the gates the way Faneca does, but he gives the local guys what they need if they handle it properly: quietly and quickly after practice. He does this at the expense of national guys, and that’s certainly appreciated.

        The boys back in the media room sniggered when I told them this, but none could recall a time Roethlisberger refused even their slightest requests for help. It’s another award the quarterback should have won this season, but then again, as the players probably asked themselves: Doesn’t he have enough already?
        ___________________________________

        His words, not mine.

        • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

          That’s his opinion. I don’t recall anybody saying that they agreed with him.

          • IvanHlinka

            “The boys back in the media room sniggered when I told them this, but none could recall a time Roethlisberger refused even their slightest requests for help”

            That sounds like agreement there if they can’t cite ONE example of Ben turning them down John.

            Sorry, you lose again.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            I wasn’t there that day. I was not aware of one person who thought he was cooperative with the media.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

            C’mon.
            The local sports media loves Roethlisberger. They can’t wait to get in front of a camera, or behind a microphone or computer to tell the world that Pittsburgh has a “two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback” who has the abilty run faster than a speeding bullet and to leap tall buildings with a single bound.
            I either hear or see it everyday, on radio/TV, or in the newspapers or here on this blog. Roethlisberger’s media-made mythical talents have become so legendary, one of the greatest defenses (2008) of this generation is generally acknowleged with a shrug or a yawn.
            It’s laughable yet disturbing.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Love the quarterback. Despise the person.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

            What if?
            What if Roethlisberger’s poor performance in Super Bowl XL had cost the Steelers? What if Roethlisberger doesn’t drive the Steelers down the field in the closing minutes against a porous prevent defense in Super Bowl XLIII?
            What if the Steelers hadn’t found ways to win those two games? Would you still be so enamored with the quarterback?
            Roethlisberger is popular because his teams found ways to win two Super Bowls in which he was the quarterback. Had his teams not won those games, he’d be just another quarterback. He’d probably be a better person for it, too.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            What if your aunt had balls?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com Bobzilla

            WOW!!!
            What if my aunt had balls?
            Such a classy answer.
            Thanks for your imput.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Sorry. Couldn’t resist. You really had some big ifs in there.

          • IvanHlinka

            Would that be the same defense that blew 4th quarter leads in 2008 Bobzilla?

    • saneman

      Hiines is the only one who dared call him a bad teammate openly. But others have pretty much called him a bad teammate indirectly if you read through tthe diplomatic language.

      I do think Ben is going to be really in his best shape since his rookie year. He will have to be to make up for the loss of Holmes and an aging defense.

      • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

        I don’t think this is a good year for anybody to be the Steelers QB. A couple of years ago I got an email from a guy who covers the Steelers on a daily basis. I had asked him about Ben. His response looked just like this:

        His teammates DESPISE him.

        • IvanHlinka

          So who voted him Captain the last two years and team MVP last season?

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            They like him as a QB. He helps them win. I got the note from the guy who said his teammates DESPISED him prior to the 2008 season. I know when I would mention his name to players off camera, they would roll their eyes,

          • IvanHlinka

            “I got the note from the guy who said his teammates DESPISED him prior to the 2008 season”

            http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08248/909259-66.stm

            Obviously.

            John here has more mysterious notes than Juan Epstein did on Welcome Back Kotter.

          • http://justwatchthegame.com JohnSteigerwald

            Are you calling me a liar? The story you linked says that his teammates used to consider him a punk. If I have no credibility with you, what are you doing here. You can dispute my opinions. That’s what it’s all about. But you don’t get to call me a liar.

      • IvanHlinka

        Hines is the only one who’s been running his mouth about Ben.

        Tomlin laughed at Ward’s opinion of the new Ben on NFLN last night.

        And I quote:

        On Hines Ward’s description (during a recent interview) of the difference in Ben being “night and day” –

        “I don’t view it as ‘night and day’. I probably have more of a personal relationship with Ben than some. He appears to be the same guy, but I acknowledge that our relationship is probably the one he has with a lot of people.
        ____________________________________________________

        Translation: Hines is full of ####

  • Isteve Roissy

    The comments from Peter King certainly give more validity to your prior comments on Ben’s behavior. Ben may just have sort of a low social IQ as to how to deal with people and he never had to learn those social skills due to being a famous jock since puberty. If he had grown up being a 5’9″ average dude and future cube dweller, he would have been made aware he wasn’t playing nice with the other kids much sooner and more directly.

    That being said, we could go thru the pantheon of Pittsburgh and other sports superstars and many have been jerks, even some that people think are great guys. The Steelers are a centerpiece of this town, bring people together, and bring great happiness to many. Ben’s great performance on the field is a huge part of all that. You can easily fall back to Jim Miller/Kent Graham/Mark Malone land for a long time and slip into irrelevancy and no one would care if the QB was a nice guy.

    Let’s hope as ben matures, his people skills grow towards his athletic skills. If we had gotten rid of him, we would be reading articles from writers for the Raiders or redskins or wherever he wound talking about how they never realized how good this guy is and how their town is energized by having a franchise QB for nthe next 10 years and being relevant, while we in Pittsburh suffered through Statue Leftwich, Skinny Kordell Dizon and a parade of other mediocre “4th starter in baseball” type of guys.

    Just win baby.

  • Scootermojo

    it’s only a matter of time before he screws up again….you can count on it.