NFL Must Set Example, Suspend Big Ben Four Games
Not long ago, Ben Roethlisberger spoke openly about how he brings his own security detail -- translation: entourage -- when he visits other cities to party. And all I could ask myself was, why in the name of Vincent Chase does he visit other cities to party? Some people visit cities to shop, sight-see, watch ballgames, eat at restaurants or attend weddings. Big Ben, as he's called, travels to booze and hook up?
"Oh, yeah. Roethlisberger is coming in this weekend," a Chicago nightclub manager told me that very month. "He calls ahead and has his people with him."
This should have been a raging red flag for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Football League and anybody who cares about Roethlisberger's stability as a human being. When you're planning out-of-town excursions for the primary purpose of getting loaded, you have a problem. It's one thing to be a 21-year-old college student on spring break who's liquoring up in Cancun, or a single male out in the world taking a rare vacation with friends. But it's quite another to be 28, one of pro football's most marketable commodities, the $102-million face of the Steelers -- a homespun, small-town franchise proudly and efficiently operated in the responsible tradition of the Rooney family -- and still acting like a frat boy on a perpetual lookout for his next toga party.
Or, more to the point, his next sexual conquest.