Before I really begin, let me say that I know a few hardcore Pittsburgh Stillers fans… no, that’s not a misspelling of the team name, but what the fanatical natives call their team. After talking with them, I found out they feel the same way I do about their Super Bowl Champion QB, Ben Roethlisberger - what an idiot.
“Big Ben” Roethlisberger got into a motorcycle accident in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday. Riding his 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa, Roethlisberger collided with a Chrysler New Yorker from the opposite direction driven by a 62-year-old woman. The car was making a left turn at the intersection where the impact happened. Okay, understandably, accidents happen and this one was very much one that is believable to happen. But what is unbelievable is this…
Roethlisberger wasn’t wearing a helmet.
It’s easy to call Big Ben out at this point because despite his injuries (broken jaw and nose, missing and chipped teeth, and facial lacerations), he is in serious, but stable condition. Yes, Roethlisberger will be okay. It’s because of this fact that many of us are calling Roethlisberger an idiot, a dummy, and whatever else you would call someone who didn’t learn a lesson after seeing two young high-profile athletes getting hurt riding a motorcycle - the Cleveland Browns’ Kellen Winslow, Jr. and former Chicago Bulls PG Jay Williams.
In all seriousness, instead of a scathing commentary on Big Ben’s stupidity, we could all be writing his obituary right now.
It’s sad that this happened because Roethlisberger has a chance to become as “legendary” as the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. Okay, the “legendary” label is a bit premature for both as they could probably play another decade, but consider what they have been doing thus far in their relatively young careers - win. Brady has three Super Bowl rings and he doesn’t turn 30 years old until next year before the season starts. Roethlisberger is the youngest QB ever to lead his team to the promised land which was achieved this past season when the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Big Ben’s star was on its way to becoming as bright as Brady’s, but there is a marked difference between the two.
Despite both of them winning, Brady may be the only one of the two that is ABOUT winning and not simply “just” winning.
Luckily for Roethlisberger, news is that he will be okay enough to play this season and the opener too, nonetheless. There will be a lot of questions concerning his return - Is he truly healthy? Is he still hungry to win? Will he be limited because of his injuries? Et cetera. But the most important question is - Did Roethlisberger learn his lesson? I don’t expect him to ride a motorcycle during the season, but I’m wondering if he’ll realize what Brady realized when he won that first Super Bowl - a whole organization and its diehard fans count on him.
Yesterday when Roethlisberger collided with that car and crashed broken unto the concrete and the news broke, you better believe that the Steelers organization and Stillers fans were right there with their support for Big Ben. But, you also better believe that they were crushed and broken almost as much as Roethlisberger, on top of one other emotion that you have to hope Big Ben is feeling as well right now.