|Sportswire||Apr 21 2010|
Word just came from the NFL commissioner’s office that two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Rothlisberger has been suspended for six games next season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Rothlisberger was accused of sexual assault by a twenty year-old college student, who says Rothlisberger raped her in a nightclub bathroom. He faces no criminal charges, so the policy violation stems from his “poor judgment” in hanging around college bars trying to get young girls to hike his balls. Sigh. It’s a big, interesting world out there, filled with Eiffel Towers, Great Walls, Barrier Reefs, and Machu Picchus, yet guys like Rothlisberger spend their off-seasons playing Gears of War and shooting at deer. Don’t get us wrong—we understand that reaching an elite level of professional athletics eats up a tremendous amount of time and, as a consequence, an equal amount of self-awareness. But there’s unaware and then there’s really unaware. Just as Tiger Woods should have known that being the most famous figure in American sports means affairs will eventually come out, Rothlisberger, who is twenty-eight, should know that putting the make on co-eds is a bad idea. Sure, they look good, and they’re probably not interested in your money, because at that age they think they’re going to be millionaires too one day, but the level of behavior in that environment is a recipe for disaster. Example: one of our college friends once dragged a girl by her heels through a fresh pizza that was lying on the floor. He did it on purpose, when she refused to leave his room. When you aren’t famous, you might get away with something that fucked up and misogynistic. But if Rothlisberger had done it, he’d be in jail right now. That’s why he shouldn’t hang around college students—college isn’t reality. That world is hard to let go, and if you aren’t famous, you don’t have to. But when you’re a millionaire celebrity, let go you must. Big Ben didn’t, and now his team (one of our favorites) will go through three eighths of the upcoming season without him.