Big Ben can't catch a break

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

The more we learn about Ben Roethlisberger, the easier he is to despise.

Not that we weren’t already well on our way there after the latest Roethlisberger escapade involving a 20-year-old college student and alleged sexual activity in a Georgia bathroom that she didn’t consider consensual.

Big Ben was absolved of any criminal activity in that one but the fact that the judge and Roethlisberger felt it necessary to apologize suggests Ben wasn’t exactly squeaky clean in the whole situation.

But if the Steelers or Roethlisberger himself were hoping that incident, along with one nine months earlier where he was again accused but not charged with sexual assault in Lake Tahoe, would be the worst blows to his image, we wonder what they think of today’s Sports Illustrated cover? The story entitled: The Hangover: Bad Behavior. Bad Judgment.

The article, penned by Jack McCallum takes the already tainted image of the Steelers quarterback and adds about four more levels of boorish, spoiled brat, entitlement to a guy who even football-crazy Pittsburgh is starting to turn on.

And if the football crazies in Pittsburgh are turning on him, you know something is seriously out of whack.

McCallum brings to light another lawsuit pending in Nevada where a waiter lost his job, supposedly on the say so of Roethlisberger who happens to be a friend of the owner. All because the waiter had the audacity to ask a Roethlisberger acquaintance for proof-of-age ID.

Then there’s the Steelers fanatic with Steelers tats covering his body who is considering putting a red line through the one of Roethlisberger on his left biceps. Or the Pittsburgh bar owner who got so fed up with Roethlisberger’s spoiled-brat act that he has instructed staff to charge him the $5 cover if he ever returns. Even a call from a Steelers security rep wondering why Big Ben was banned was returned with a message that Ben had not been banned. Turns out, Roethlisberger can come back, just not on the same terms as his teammates.

“Tell him he’s an arrogant a------, and every Steeler can get in without a cover except him,” was bar owner Mark Baronowski’s message to the Steelers rent-a-cop.

McCallum paints a very vivid picture of a city turning on a guy they at one time worshipped.

Then there’s the reaction from teammates. Normally, and particularly where a quarterback is involved the rest of the team would be pushing each other out of the way to tell the world what a great guy Roethlisberger is and this is just a series of bad decisions on his part. Instead, you get guys like Hines Ward saying his four to six-game suspension by the league is warranted and hopefully this is a wake-up call for Big Ben.

What the few Ben Roethlisberger believers still out there — his agent and lawyer — blame all of this on his immaturity. He just needs to grow up they say.

Were he 22 and coming out of college that might wash. But Roethlisberger is 28.

Playing for the Steelers, a proud organization owned by the Rooney family that is the embodiment of class, Roethlisberger is a very poor fit.

For now, the Rooney’s, at least most of the family, are standing by Roethlisberger, hoping he’ll clean up his act. Earlier this week though, Art Rooney’s grandson, Tom Rooney who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives was asked about his favourite football team. “The Steelers,” Rooney said. “I have no choice, but our quarterback is still an idiot.”

No word on whether Rep. Rooney has already purchased his Dumb and Dumber T-shirt featuring the likenesses of Tiger Wood and Roethlisberger.

At the half

St. Louis Rams linebacker David Vorbora sat out his four-game suspension for a positive steroid test last season and like just about every player that tests positive, swore up and down he didn’t do it. But Vorbora has taken it one step forward and is suing the supplement company he says provided him with a so-called non-steroid supplement that tests he had done prove contains the steroid methyltestosterone ... Ouch. Getting verbally abused by an opponent is one thing, but when one of your own, a Hall of Famer no less, starts laying into your team it has to hurt. Gael Sayers did just that recently saying Bears quarterback Jay Cutler “hasn’t done the job”, suggesting Lovie Smith might be on the way out the door, and all but calling Brian Urlacher a has-been. Sayers is not happy with this current edition of his Bears. He even thinks Mike Martz needs two new receivers and Martz thinks the receiving corps is the strength of the team.

Fourth and inches

New Orleans Saints guard Jahri Evans has agreed to terms on a seven-year deal worth $56.7 million US, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal is being believed to be the richest ever given to a guard. Sounds like the Saints got refunded for all that missing Vicodin ... This just in. Tim Tebow who has yet to do anything of significance in the NFL other than get drafted ridiculously high led all players in jersey sales for the month of April. From the tell-us-something-we-don’t-know department, Roethlisberger jersey sales have plummeted.


Videos

Photos