Regular readers of this blog know my feelings on the whole sordid Ben Roethlisberger saga and how I just wish it would go away... permanently. But, alas, it's not going to go away any time soon. In fact, it's going to continue well into this coming season. We'll hear about it at mini-camp this weekend and then at training camp in August and then during the exhibition games and then during the 4 to 6 games that Ben has to sit out and then for the games he can play in and so on. If you aren't sick of the whole thing by now, then wait'll August rolls around.
The whole Ben mess has got me thinking. Some would say that's a dangerous thing, but you'll have that. Anyway, I think most of us can agree on this - Ben Roethlisberger is a dirt bag. A lot of people thought that long before the incident in Georgia happened, and this just reinforced it for them. Others who were on the fence (like me) are now firmly in the "Oh, yeah, he's a total dirt bag" camp. Will I still cheer for him when he does something good for the Steelers? Yes, I will. I am willing to give him one final chance to redeem himself in the eyes of the team, the league and the fans. But that doesn't change how I feel about him and dirt bags in general.
Stop me if you've heard this of this guy before - a lunkhead who's a jock or is popular for no other reason than he's good looking or is part of the in crowd who thinks he's god's gift to women and the football field and the world in general. Rules? Eff rules. He has his own rules. He'll hit on anything with a skirt and won't take "Ew, no!" for an answer. He'll want to be the center of attention, and god forbid you either ignore him or don't give a crap about him. He'll go out of his way to torture you by any means necessary. And forget growing up and acting like a responsible person. That's lame!
Boys and girls, I've just described half of the guys I went to my formative years of school with. For those of you who don't know, I went to Sto-Rox High up through 9th grade, and I knew a great many dirt bags. I sometimes see them in and around town and just shake my head because, by and large, none of them have changed. In fact, I try to avoid a certain local watering hole because many of them congregate there. To them, it's still 1989, and they're the BMOCs they were back in high school. I just want to give them a good smack upside their heads and say, "Grow the eff up already!".
What Ben did with that girl in the bathroom of the club is still rather sketchy, but what happened in the bar itself isn't. He bought shots and hit on pretty much every girl in the place and called them all "bitches." I don't know how he could have made a bigger ass of himself. Ben turned 28 this year, making him plenty old enough to have put partying with girls barely old enough to drink behind, but being the dirt bag he is, he doesn't wanna grow up! He wants to be the center of attention, and god forbid you ignore his advances. He'll take you into a bathroom and do... whatever he did to that girl.
Anyone with half a brain has to know that behavior like that is going to bite you in the ass eventually. And it did. But dirt bags just don't get it. Do you really think this is the first time something like this happened to Ben? He just happened to get caught this time. And even though I think that chick in Reno is a total whack-a-doodle (that's a technical term, folks), he shouldn't have put himself in that situation to begin with, and he's paying the price for that, too.
Here's some free advice to ya, Benny: find yourself a nice girl who will overlook the fact that you're a total dirt bag and actually have an actual relationship that doesn't involve sex in a bathroom. I've seen some of the women he's dated in the past - athletes (Natalie Gulbis), models, actresses (Missy Peregrym), but not one of them has made it past a few months, to my knowledge. Despite the fact that Ben is the Duke of Fug and Earl of Gross (h/t Ginny over at That's Church), he still gets women because he's a two time Super Bowl champion QB. So then why the hell does he have the need to go after a 20 year old drunk girl? Because he's a dirt bag. No is not a word in the dirt bag's vocabulary.
Lemme share a little story... I was a paperboy during my teen years, and my neighborhood had it's fair share of bullies (remember, kids, today's bullies become tomorrow's dirt bags). One day, I was minding my own business while delivering my papers when I ran into a dirt bag who shall remain nameless. I'm not sure why he laid into me, but when I ignored him, the conversation went something like this:
Dirt Bag - Wanna fight?
Me - Why, so you can just kick my ass?
Dirt Bag - ...
I just walked away. I really think I fried his brain and caused a massive meltdown. He wasn't a problem after that. Using common sense on dirt bags is a great tactic I've found. At least it shuts them up... for a little while, anyway.
And why is it that "Wanna fight?" is one of the dirt bag's mantra? Well, for one thing, they hate smart people and feel the need to demonstrate just how physically superior they are. It's crap like this that causes drunken 35 year olds to get into bar fights arguing over something completely nonsensical. Oh yeah, dirt bags just love to get hammered with their other dirt bag buddies and reminisce about all the cool things they did back in high school.
The worst kinds of dirt bags are your athletes and actors who think because they can do awesome things on the field or make movies that they're entitled to act however the hell they see fit, society be damned. Boy, that sure sounds like Hall of Fame dirt bag Adam "Pac Man" Jones, he of "make it rain" fame. I swear, you give some people a little bit of money and fame, and it just magnifies their dirt bag tendencies tenfold. I really don't know what Ben was like back in college, but I can't imagine he was this bad.
Why is it that at almost 38 years old, I can go to a bar with friends, have a few beers, watch the game and stay out of trouble yet some people my age still have a problem with that? Look, I get that my generation is struggling with the pushing 40 thing. I get that, but that's not a reason to continually act like you're still 18. I consider myself very much a grown up, yet I still read comic books and watch pro wrestling and like cartoons and other things that aren't considered "adult," yet I still manage to avoid getting arrested for DUI or getting into a bar fight or knocking up a woman or many other things that dirt bags excel at.
Now, if you're thinking I'm jealous of dirt bags for the attention and other things they get, then you don't know me at all. I'm the guy who is happiest when he's not the center of attention. I'm happiest when I'm left alone to my own devices. I'm content to sit in a bar with a cold beer, watching the game and ignoring pretty much everything else going on around me. Honestly, I could not care less about everyone else. I'm thankful every day of my life that I'm not a dirt bag, and I hope that Ben (and others like him) will suddenly wake up one day and decide to stop being a dirt bag.
Oh yeah, one more thing... being a dirt bag is a choice, not a mental illness. People out there have been trying to use Ben's many concussions as a reason for his behavior, but that's just a cop out. Remember, this is the guy who got onto a motorcycle sans helmet (after being told not to, of course) before his concussion problems started. There have been hundreds, maybe thousands of athletes over the years who have had concussions, some of them have had to retire because of them (Steve Young and Troy Aikman come to mind), but very, very few of them have been accused of raping a 20 year old girl in the bathroom of a night club in Hickville, GA. So, I don't want to hear any talk of Ben being a victim of concussions or having some sort of mental illness. There is no excuse for how he has acted. Period.
Do I think he's capable of changing? Yes, I do, but he's going to have to actually make an effort and try to change his behavior. It's just not going to happen by osmosis. Now, do I think he actually will change? No, I don't, but I'm predisposed to think that way.
Anyway, rant over.
I'll be back Sunday night hopefully reveling in the Pens being up 2-0 in their Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Montreal Canadiens who did the whole NHL a big favor by ousting the Washington Capitals last night. The Pens are now the highest remaining seed in the East, and another run at the Cup is looking more and more likely. At least I hope it is.