Dear Ben Roethlisberger,
Phew. You dodged another bullet, brother. Good thing you’re a football player, because if baseball were your sport, you’d have struck out by now.
Strike one? Mere months after you won the first of your two Super Bowl rings, you had a serious motorcycle accident, only a year removed from fellow NFL-er Kellen Winslow Jr’s career-threatening motorcycle accident.
In the wake of Winslow’s mishap, Coach Bill Cowher lectured you about motorcycle safety, desperately hoping you’d not be the next NFL guy to find yourself in the same situation. But that’s exactly what happened. And you weren’t wearing a helmet. Which would have come in handy when your head shattered the windshield of a car. Which necessitated a seven-hour surgery. You were lucky it wasn’t worse.
Strike two? Your 2009 run in with a young lady in Lake Tahoe who accused you of sexual assault. Though details would ultimately emerge which called the accuser’s motives into question, and though you never faced any criminal charges stemming from the incident, you still found yourself in a bad position–one which could have easily been avoided if you had made better decisions.
Strike three occurred on March 5, 2010. After a long night of partying in Milledgeville, GA (really, Ben? Milledgeville?), you were accused of sexual assault yet again, this time by a twenty-year old women whom you followed into the dingy bathroom of a local bar. The dingy women’s bathroom of a local bar.
Unlike the last time, this claim seemed to have teeth. Just like last time, you exercised incredibly poor judgment.
A Latin proverb tells us that a smart man learns from his mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.
You do neither.
Which makes you a fool.
But good fortune does not discriminate against the dim-witted. On April 12 the alleged victim announced she no longer wished to pursue criminal charges, thanks to the circus of media attention she wished to avoid.
You’re a very lucky and impossibly dumb man, Ben. Yet just when I thought you couldn’t do anything to lower my estimation of your IQ, you show up at a press conference to read a one-minute apology looking like this:
Listen, Ben, I’m no PR expert, but it seems to me that the last thing a guy accused of sexual assault for the second time would want to do is show up at press conference looking exactly like Jesse James. You know who I’m talking about, don’t you? He’s the motorcycle guy (hey, you two should ride together sometime) who left his (pregnant) porn-star girlfriend when Sandra Bullock came calling only to cheat on the Hollywood A-lister with a woman whose tattoos make Allen Iverson’s look like they came from a box of Cracker Jacks.
If I had just been accused of forcing myself on a twenty-year old girl in the women’s bathroom of a seedy bar after a six-hour bender in Milledgeville, GA mere months after my last brush with sexual assault? I probably would’ve lost the greasy mullet and dialed up an Opie Taylor look.
And what’s with your disco shirt, Ben? I mean, seriously, is it the same one you wore clubbing in M-town that night? What? Is your “Long Live Ted Bundy” tee dirty or something? At least you didn’t wear this one:
Consider a suit next time. Or at least a button down.
Sorry for writing you out of the blue, but I wanted to reach out and offer you my two cents because you’re clearly floundering, big fella. Feel free to take my advice, or blow it off, whichever suits you.
OH. And just one more thing. If you ever do find yourself publicly apologizing for being involved in similar matters, would you mind reading your statement in front of someone else’s locker?
Because when trying to eradicate the imagery of sexual assault, it’s probably best to distance yourself from the word “Colon,” even if it is nothing more than a teammate’s last name printed neatly on a sign above his locker. Given the circumstances, it’s just too visceral.
But look on the bright side. At least his number isn’t 69.