Big Lead Sports Bar



Multiple sources are reporting that Ben Roethlisberger's suspension will last as little as four and as many as six games into the 2010 season.

Per Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, "When the suspension is announced, it will contain conditions that will allow it to be reduced based on Roethlisberger's behavior and compliance with clinical evaluators."

According to ESPN's report, the Steelers were bracing for up to eight games without Roethlisberger, which tells me a lot about the team's view of how bad the situation was/is.

Atlanta, Tennessee, Tampa Bay, and Baltimore are the Steelers' first four opponents, then a conveniently-scheduled bye week in week five followed by Cleveland and Miami - games which they could or could not have Roethlisberger available.

Trade rumors are still circulating, but I would put the chances of that at well below 50%. That being said, if ever there was a time for the team to cut ties if that's what they really wanted to do, it's in the next two days, with the draft and the 2010 cap situation as the backdrop.

As much as I've championed for Big Ben over the years, he may be walking into a real hothouse of emotion the first time he takes the field in Pittsburgh, and for a length of time after that. There is no good vibe to be had, and I don't know how that helps a team in a quest to win a Super Bowl. It's going to be a tremendously long road back for him to patch things up with the city and the fans, if ever, and it might just be in everyone's best interest to move in a different direction. But even I wonder if that's the right decision. I'm just glad I'm not the one making this call, because it's incredibly complex, with huge amounts of money and interests to consider.

Adam Schefter: "Pittsburgh has begun contacting teams to trade Ben Roethlisberger for a top 10 pick. At least one team considering it. Story far from done.

Jason LaCanfora, "Steelers had very brief talk with Rams over weekend, but STL has no interest in Big Ben. Steelers hoped to get 1st overall pick. As we reported exclusively last week. Steelrs open to dealing the QB, but no chance of moving to 1st overall. Trading Big Ben now almost impossible."

Schefter: "Every team that everybody debated for Donovan McNabb is now back in play on Ben Roethlisberger. Same candidates, different QB." 

ESPN 1250: "The Steelers are actively shopping Ben Roethlisberger for a Top 10 draft pick, Seattle, Oakland and Buffalo are in mix" 

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tola'at sfarim said...

vick got 4 games.

Paul Rupp said...

Call me crazy, but I'm sticking by Ben until he's proven guilty in court... or at least until I see enough evidence to convince me that he raped this girl.

I've seen just as much, if not more, evidence pointing to this girl doing some gold mining as i have pointing to Ben doing something illegal.

D. C. said...

The first thing I thought of when I saw this post was...look how skinny he used to be.

It will be tough, and the Steelers will not be as good as a team without him, but I say trade him.

And I was once a loyal a loyal Large Benjamin fan.

Koz said...

It is sad for me to see how desensitized we are to obnoxious, disgusting behavior. If you're defense of Ben is "I don't care what he does off the field as long as he's eligible to play for the Steelers and plays well" that is one thing.

But people who defend him by saying "he's not been proven guilty of rape" strike me as nearsighted. There's no denying he's a moron. You don't have to be charged (or convicted) of rape to warrant the outrage that has been sent Ben's way. I don't blame people for dropping their #7 jerseys or deciding to walk away from the Steelers for a while. Where there's smoke there is fire. Ben might not be a rapist; but he's certainly not someone to be proud of -- and that's really disappointing to me as a Steelers fan.

For me, the most damning thing might have been his ridiculous haircut and getup at his "press announcement" the day before he met with The Commish. That told me all I need to know about how clueless he is about the seriousness of continuing misconduct, allegations, and general idiocy. A first year PR student (or TO's crazy PR lady) could easily identify that as major fail.

I don't think there's ever been a more nervous day than today in Steelers history. The fan base is split almost in half as to keep or trade him. His talent and credentials on the field demand the trade be significant, but I can't imagine fair value for him a this time. As much as he disgusts me, I don't think the Steelers should trade him because I don't think they will be able to get enough in return. He's a moron, but he's our moron and I think we have to ride this out. If we had younger, more capable backups waiting in the wings, things might be different.

Steve said...

This is knee jerk and excessive in my opinion. Check out this article:

A more reasoned presentation of the facts without the media bias.

Anonymous said...

Suspension is way too harsh. Should be 2-4 games conditional.

Also if they trade him they have 2 get at least 2 good starters out of him. So maybe a good corner and a 1st round draft pick.

Steve said...

Hey Steve can you put an "N" on your user name so people don't get us confused? I mean, I would but I'd rather be a d1ck about it.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

I have said before that it has gotten increasingly more difficult to give Ben the benefit of the doubt here.

I think that for the right price, he is not untouchable. And if 50% of our fanbase is behind trading a franchise QB we had waited 25 years to find, I think that says a good bit about the current temperature of the Nation.

Spatula said...

Once ESPN, Fox, CNN, Yahoo, etc. can force a team to get rid of player who is accused of a crime (sorry, Koz, that's all it is -- accusations), who else will they force out of a job simply on the basis of irritation? Like most normal humans, I'm annoyed at Ben's choices. But, if the NFL gets rid of every player who makes stupid decisions and/or is accused of a crime (even if the prosecutor declines to prosecute), you might as well plant corn in the stadiums. Let's trade every Steeler who has ever had a drink, is thinking about a drink, or has ever passed a liquor store. We can't be too careful, the media might say that they're bad people and don't represent the team or the city. In a futile attempt to get people to like us, I say we should do whatever the media and our opponents in the AFC North tell us to do.

Koz said...


I understand where you're coming from, but again, I think it's more than just the recent accusations. This even goes back to Motorcycle Gate. The reality is most players don't have this drama around them. Ben does. It's not because "the media is picking on him." It's because he puts himself into drama. I'm sure plenty if not all of the NFL players spend nights out. But out of those hundreds of players, Ben and Pacman have found their way into the news. Is that the medias fault? No it's because unlike the majority of players who go out and have a sensible time, these guys have made high risk choices that have bit them in the ass.

It's like Tiger Woods whining that TMZ takes photos of his kids. Hey buddy, you brought the spotlight on yourself. Sorry for your kids, but you shoulda thought about that before hooking up with random women (also not a crime).

Ben has done the same with his immature behavior. The QB position is too important to have too many questions surrounding it. Just as we say we don't know the whole truth about whether these accusations are true, we have to consider there are things the Steelers' personnel are aware of that we don't know about. Could Ben have no trouble from here on out, whether he's a Steeler, Raider or Seahawk? Maybe, and I hope he stays out of trouble. But more often than not, I think the Steelers make the right call on personnel decisions, so I trust them here.

Chip said...

CNN, ESPN, Fox, and Yahoo aren't forcing the Steelers to trade Ben.

The good people of PITTSBURGH are forcing the trade. When you look at polls where 50-60% of your fanbase wants him gone...and 25-35% of that fanbase says they won't follow the Steelers as long as he's there...

Well, if you ran ANY business and that many people disliked one of your employees, you'd get rid of him in an instant. The Steelers have always sold us the fact they win but they also win the right way. You can bring up "Well this guy did this...this guy did that..." Doesn't matter.

Dan Rooney is an ambassador because of his rep. A lot of people follow the Steelers follow the team because of their rep (Not just the rep of "We win Super Bowls" but we win without a team full of criminals). You can't pound into Steeler Nation's head that we're a classy, respectable franchise and then keep a rapist at QB.

I applaud the Rooneys for doing the right thing. They are once again proving that they are the greatest owners in the NFL.

Spatula said...

Roethlisberger (and Tiger Woods, for that matter), are being prosecuted on grounds of morality, not legality. Now, both men offend my morals, but I keep that to myself (Matthew 7:1-6). How does our society decide who to ostracize on moral grounds and who not to? This is a serious question. There are plenty of celebrities and politicians who get free ride or who have defenders arguing that their moral lapses are private issues. Are we simply schizophrenic, or is there a reason for our selective judgmentalism?

Scott Zigarovich said...

I may be in the minority here, but I don't think Ben has done anything to warrant any suspension.

I can't defend Ben's actions, but I can defend his right to play football. Without charges, or even an arrest, he is just being suspend on the basis of accusations made by intoxicated,under-age, delinquent 20 year olds.

Without any burden of proof, I think the NFL is setting a dangerous precedent.

At some point we have to defend the rights of accused.

Steve said...

Chip - Do you get nose bleeds riding a horse that tall?

Nobody's forcing a trade, not the media, not the NFL and even if 100% of the so-called "good" people (comical) of Pittsburgh demanded a trade, it's the Rooney's who will, or will not "force" anything.

Again, like I said before, we'll see how many Steelers fans (screw everyone else) want Ben gone if the Steelers go 0-4 to start the season and how many of them will stop following the Steelers if Ben can lead them into the playoffs, or to another AFC Championship.

You seem pretty adamant about your dislike and resentment of Roethlisberger. Will you stop following them? (and by following, I mean stop watching games.) I didn't think so, and most of those who actually give a ratt's ass about the Steelers and football in general won't either. It's April and the hot air is blowing hard.

Oh and what did the Rooney’s do that you are applauding? Evil Ben's still a Steeler the last time I checked?

Koz said...


Now that is a good question. There are so many people in the world, but the mass media allows us to scrutinize a small number of them incredibly so. If Ben was the QB for a lesser profile franchise, this would be less of an issue, I think (not a less serious issue, but less newsworthy).

The fact that Woods and Ben are paid big money for their services means they are held to a higher standard (perhaps unfairly in some people's minds). It sounds kind of cliche, but the whole Spider-Man "With great power comes great responsibility" couldn't be more true. You have a tremendous platform to either do good or bad. Unfortunately, these two have made poor choices, disappointed their fan bases (who provide the revenue for the star's big $ contracts) so they feel the wrath.

On the other side of the coin, Tim Tebow has been lauded everywhere for his Christian beliefs and morality. If he didn't play for a 2 time national champion but instead was a D3 athlete, we'd never hear about it.

This standard isn't new. Some see it as a double standard. I don't. I think it's fair. You make the big bucks, you get subject to scrutiny. Directly to your point, I think we are both schizophrenic and selective in our judgment. This conversation could go on forever, but I think it's one of the most interesting things about our culture today.

Koz said...


The precedent has already been set. The NFL's "personal conduct policy" is a morality clause. It definitely creates a slippery slope, but I think it's warranted.

Unknown said...

If the most damning thing to you is his outfit then I fear there is no pleasing you on this matter. Really?!? His outfit at a press conference is somehow damning? Furthermore, Ben wasn't just "not charged" they didn't even have enough evidence to ARREST the man. All it takes to arrest someone is probable cause which would be the smoke you can't have without the fire.

Unknown said...

innocent or not of this particular crime, the jury of the pittsburgh nation has found him guilty of arrogance and douchery....see ya ben! i hope your new town puts up with your smug, arrogant ass for a few wins, a chance for a super bowl, and some police dogs.

now, let's open up the running game!

The Mad Bubbler said...

If Big Ben didn't rape anybody, then OJ Simpson didn't kill anybody.

Unknown said...

Tks Steve. I wonder where Lewis would be now if Goodell was Commissioner back in 2000? 6 games is too much.

Steve: This is knee jerk and excessive in my opinion. Check out this article:

A more reasoned presentation of the facts without the media bias.

12:03 PM

Anonymous said...

It's official - 6 game suspension.

The story does say however that Godell will evaluate Ben's progress before the season starts and may shorten the ban to 4 games.

BurressWithButterflywings said...

6 games seems to be about right for the accusations.

Too bad he didn't help kill someone, he'd be Super Bowl MVP and never miss a down!

Chip said...

Ray Lewis's shenanigans occurred under Paul Taglibue, yes? He was far more lenient with criminals than Herr Goodell. His handling of Ben is pretty consistent with what he's done with Pacman and Michael Vick.

And to those accusing me and others who want him gone of abandoning the Steelers, I have to wonder. Are you going to stop watching and supporting the Steelers if they trade Ben?

Steve said...

I may be old school here and not all upity with the whole idea of self-prostitution and the new generation of openly casual sex (I thought AIDS would have scared that out of people) but sorry, DTF name tags = Whore. What's that, you can get them a Kohls'? I gotta get out more.

Oh well, new Millenium, new thinking...I guess maybe we need a new disease too. I can't believe none of these girls have been criticized for their conduct at all, in addition to the fact they were allowed to drink and be intoxicated in a public establishment. I should be able to sue them and the club just for pissing me off.

Like I said, maybe I'm old fashioned, but isn't it ironic that we're bashing the morals of a man who's career and life has been tarnished forever by the accusations of intoxicated women with no morals themselves.

I hear the NFL was considering placing Ben in a tub of water with stones on his chest and if he sunk and drown he was innocent.

Yeah right, his hair and choice of dress makes him a scumbag too. I guess dressing like a lawyer or CEO paints a picture of wholesomeness. We know we can trust those guys. What a world of judgemental, torch burning pricks I live in.

Unknown said...

Preach on Steve.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chip - why don't you keep your anti-German ethnic slurs to yourself.

Unknown said...

Stallworth was only suspended 16 games after pleading guilty to actually KILLING a man(via DUI/2D manslaughter). Give me a break

and Chip, Paul T was the old commish? You dont say? And he was lenient - no kidding? Thanks for the regurgitation.

NickDawg said...

I am a "good person" who resides in Pittsburgh and am a season ticket holder. I am pissed he got suspended that long (2 would have been sufficient). All the people I know still support him and will be extremely pissed if they trade him. I care about watching winning football and until proven guilty by a court of law that our constitution set up, he is my guy at qb!

Scott Zigarovich said...

@ Steve

You make a lot of great points. Some blame has to be put on the girls in this situation.

1. They were in multiple bars while being under-age

2. They were clearly intoxicated

3. They followed Ben back to the VIP room and took his drinks.

4. The accuser engaged in two-way sexual talk with Ben.

5. The DTF tag.

At the end of the day, the only legal transgressions in this entire case have to be laid at the feet of the DTF group. They are the only ones who broke the law, yet Ben is the only one being punished.

Steve said...

No Chip, I would not stop watching them if they traded Ben, that's almost as asinine as not watching if they "didn't" trade him.

Koz said...

If the girls are of so ill repute, what does it say about a man who enjoys company with them?

pens fan in philly said...

I heard Goodell suspended the girl for 4 games.... What the hell does the girls involvement have to do with Ben's suspension. Her being drunk and underage makes his behavior acceptable??

Media Bias??? All it took for me to form my opinion was reading her statements to police that she reported the same story drunk and sober. I also read in an article that some 16 yr junior police officer (or something like that) reported a story of Ben exposing himself to a friend's sister.... that isnt a story you just make up and it happens to be nearly identical to the night club incident. I can only imagine that his celebrity status in Pittsburgh would allow him to get away with this behavior to a lot of local girls.

When you look back at all the allegations against Ben, you would be blind not to see a pattern.
I think some people need to think about the simple fact that if the circumstances involved any random douche acting like he did around their daughter, friend, cousin, or anyone they'd be very upset. What makes him an exception?

Constant Gardener said...

It doesn't matter if a woman's drunk, high, wearing a "DTF" thing or a pro-- if she does not consent, it's rape. If she says no, it's rape. If she says stop, it's rape. If she's so out of it that you can't get clear consent, then there's a damn good chance it's rape. If you have off-duty cops abusing their power and guarding a door, there's a damn good chance it's rape. Apparently we still have many miles to go before we stop blaming rape victims for allegedly "asking for it" and start holding rapists fully accountable for not controlling themselves.

Unknown said...

Actually she gave several different stories. One to the cops when she was drunk outside the club. A different one on her drunken, written police report, a different one in the ER and yet another on her sober, written police report.


That "damn good chance" is called probable cause which the cops couldn't find. If there was probable cause he would have been arrested.

Scott Zigarovich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott Zigarovich said...

@pens fan in philly

Her being drunk and under-age does not make his alleged behaviour acceptable.

But there are reasons for these laws against under-age drinking. If a person chooses to drink to the point where they can't be mindful of their own well being, that is nobodies fault but their own.

The accuser in this case needs to be held accountable for her actions. She wasn't forced to drink that much, she wasn't forced to join Ben in the VIP area, and she wasn't forced to engage in sexual talk with Ben. She is a victim of her own poor judgement.

And I'm not saying Ben shouldn't take blame here as well, he acted inappropriately. But it is difficult for me to also hold Ben accountable for the poor judgements made by the accuser. Ben can only be responsible for Ben.

Lets not make these girls out to be class citizens. They are no better than Ben in this case.

Constant Gardener said...

Jon, they didn't have the victim's cooperation, and the bar made sure to destroy any corroborating evidence by sanitizing the bathroom immediately after and erasing the tape. Lack of evidence does not prove lack of crime or guilt, just lack of the ability to convict.

Thank you for proving my point, Scott. Underage drinking is clearly just as bad as sexual assault.

Scott Zigarovich said...


Sexual assault is infinitely worse than under-age drinking.

But nobody in this case did that. There was however a group of under-age and intoxicated females. which is the only provable illegal activity here.

Ben didn't break the law.

The DTF group did.

pens fan in philly said...

You just dont get it do you? The girls have nothing to do with how Ben acted... he chose to act how he did, doesn't matter if they were drunk or not. They are not members of the Steelers, NFL or anything here that we are talking about. Ben got suspended based on his actions and his actions alone. These guys always have drunk girls throwing themselves at them anytime the got out.

SeanCollier said...

Remember the Catch-22 about proving rape.

If you have sex with a drunk girl, it's rape. Legally, consent cannot be granted by anyone above a certain level of intoxication. Sex with a drunk girl is rape. Not half-rape. Rape rape.

However, it can be extraordinarily hard to prove that in a court of law.

If a) this girl was drink, which is clear, and b) there was sex, then, by definition, Ben is guilty of rape, regardless of whether or not it can be proven.

The fact that he was not charged is moot. Rape occured. Don't like that definition of rape? That's probably because you were guilty of it yourself in college.

Scott Zigarovich said...


Thats just not true.

"Some people have argued that drunken sex is, by definition, "rape." This isn't true. This confuses "consent" in law with "capacity." Consent is merely an act of volition (will); it doesn't require an intelligent choice. Having a drunken escapade that you later regret doesn't mean that you "didn't consent." If drunken sex was outlawed, both parties to the escapade could claim to be "raped," because any of the touchings that either person performed could be said to be "not consented to" (because of alcohol). So the issue is not that drunk people are forbidden from having sex; the issue is whether one of the drunken parties is being forced to have it, against his or her wishes AT THAT TIME."

Unknown said...

Quit using facts Scott it's way more fun to just make this stuff up as we go.

okel dokel said...

I will always root for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates. I do not base my rooting interests on ethics, morality, rumor mongering, conjecture, supposition or having a winning record on 18 years.

Based on what Art Rooney said, and didn't say, Ben will not finish his career with the Steelers.

Finally this moral high ground the Steelers supposedly reside on is a joke. The Steelers of the 70s, 80s and 90s had some shady characters. Fortunately for them TMZ and Twitter did not exist. Tomlin was an idiot for making those comments about a month ago.

God, I look forward talking about sporting events again. I am more interested in Tyler Kennedy's injury status and not this ongoing soap opera.

SeanCollier said...


That law doesn't exist to criminlize drunken sex. That law exists because rape laws OVERWHELMINGLY favor men. It's nearly a miracle to prove a case of rape.

The point is that not having charges filed couldn't be more irrelevent. Regarding the actual truth of the matter - was there rape or wasn't there - the law is, for the most part, an ineffective joke. Everything else we've heard screams rape with a capital R. Furthermore, the conduct policy does not exist to echo criminal charges; the conduct policy exists to punish those who tarnish the league and their team. Ben has done that, in spades.

The punishment is more than fair; light, if anything. There are three parts to Ben's job. One is to play football. The second is to ensure his well-being so he can continue to play football; he is, without a doubt, one of the worst NFL players ever in this regard. The third is to represent the Steelers; he's possibly the worst representative they've ever had. Ben is very, very bad at his job.

Scott Zigarovich said...


All you're saying is that you don't like the rape laws.


From the aforementioned link

What part of this statement screams rape....

"13. THE ACCUSER HERSELF WAS UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE MATTER. When the officer on the spot said "I need to talk to the alleged victim, not [the sorority sisters]," he asked the accuser if Roethlisberger had raped her. She said:

(A). "No.""

Scott Zigarovich said...


Here are your sources.

(DA news conference; PART 2, starts 2:42, key point: about 4:10: [also at:])

DC steelerfan said...

Trading Ben would be a shortsighted overreaction to a situation where both parties showed very poor judgment. While I don't think much of Ben's actions, the young lady is far from an innocent victim. She was drinking illegally, wearing a suggestive badge, and certainly enjoyed socializing with an NFL star. No one forced her to do any of these things, and by her first statement there was no rape. As the mother of a grown daughter and a grown son, I would hate for my daughter to behave in such a manner, or for my son to be judged with so little evidence against him. I sincerely hope that Ben receives help and shows better judgment in the future and I fervently hope that I can continue to cheer for Ben as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers.