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Blog Entry

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

Posted on: September 1, 2010 6:51 pm
 
So now there's an ESPN report that Ben Roethlisberger will come to the NFL office Friday seeking a reduction of his six-game suspension to three. If true, it's a bold and courageous move by the Pittsburgh Steelers and their quarterback.

And one that is bound to fail.

Look, if there's one thing we've learned about commissioner Roger Goodell is that he means what he says. So when he says he supports an issue, it means he'll fight for it until he can make it happen -- with the new overtime rules Exhibit A and the New York Super Bowl Exhibit B. And when he says he will suspend a player for four to six games, he means he will suspend a player from four to six games -- period.

Not three. Not two. Four, five or six. Goodell is not exactly difficult to figure out. So if Roethlisberger wants to argue his case for three games, more power to him. He's just wasting his time.

"I can't see it happening," said a source close to the situation. "If (Goodell) meant to reduce the suspension to three games he would have said it. But he didn't."

Precisely. Goodell issued his suspension based on what the NFL uncovered in its investigations of complaints of Roethlisberger's off-the-field behavior. Roethlisberger is the first player suspended for violating the league's personal conduct policy who hasn't been arrested or charged with a crime, and that, apparently, is one factor motivating Roethlisberger and his representatives -- at least, according to the report.

But that's why this won't fly. That the league took such a tough stance tells you it found substance to the complaints and had to intervene to save Roethlisberger from himself. Hey, they even ordered an extensive "behavioral examination," whatever that means. To me, it means a guy has issues. Serious issues. And Goodell hinted at that when, referring to a complaint filed this offseason in Georgia, he said of Roethlisberger, "There is nothing about your conduct that can be remotely described as admirable, responsible or consistent with either the value of the league or the expectations of the fans."

Translation: Clean up your act, pal, or else.

That's why Goodell dropped the hammer. Just because Roethlisberger wasn't charged doesn't mean the guy skates. No sirree. He has to answer to a commissioner who is sick and tired of out-of-control players embarrassing themselves, their organizations and the league, and he's determined to clean it up. And he will make an example of Roethlisberger, with a very clear message that you don't have to be charged or convicted to get bounced.

Now, just because Roethlisberger has been a good boy for four months, Goodell is supposed to lighten up? I don't think so. He is nothing if not consistent. He suspended Pacman Jones for a season after repeated incidents, none of which resulted in convictions. But he'd had it with him. My guess is that he's had it with Roethlisberger, too, and is determined to make the quarterback ... and the Steelers ... understand he means business.

Cutting a suspension in half is not my idea of re-inforcing that message.

When Goodell said, "Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare," he meant Roethlisberger needed to be leashed. So he leashed him for four to six games. Roethlisberger may have changed the last four months, but the incidents that got him in trouble are documented -- and Goodell acted based on what he found there. I can't believe he goes soft on him now. What I do believe is that you can take Roger Goodell at his word. When he says he will suspend Roethlisberger four to six games, he means it.

Last time I checked three was not between four and six. Someone pass the message to Roethlisberger.

Category: NFL
Comments

Since: Jul 18, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:45 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

He has to answer to a commissioner who is sick and tired of out-of-control players embarrassing themselves, their organizations and the league, and he's determined to clean it up. And he will make an example of Roethlisberger, with a very clear message that you don't have to be charged or convicted to get bounced.

So rather than suspending those who are charged and/or convicted (Vince Young, Shaun Rogers, Cedric Benson) he's going to make an example of those who are not?

To me starting a drunken fight at a strip club, carrying a loaded pistol into an airport and trying to board a plane, or having your 5th booze related run-in with the law is just as if not more serious than NOT BEING CHARGED OR ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT.



Since: Sep 1, 2010
Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:58 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

Judge,

What are you a Ravens fan.  Stop hating on Ben.  You must want him suspended.  Your articles are horrible.  Your always talking smack against the steelers.  Benson, Rogers, and many more this off season got slaps on the wrist.



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:56 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

Amen



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:55 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

I believe the same thing. Goodell was also wishy washy when asked the question "can Ben's suspension be lower than 4 games" and that was asked of him twice when he visited with Ben at Latrobe. He also went out of his way to say that Ben was going above and beyond. If you ask me, that's out of character with Goodell. He never counts his chickens before they hatch and in that instance he kinda did. I have said for weeks now that Ben would be back for the ravens game and I absolutely believe it, now more than ever.



Since: Feb 19, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:49 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

What evidence is there to suggest that Goodell knows people and their motivations?  Or that he knows how to make them into better people when they've faltered?  He's the Commissioner of the NFL, not the Pope.

He suspected that there was something going on with Roethlisberger.  He may have even been right.  But that does not justify what he's done in this situation or previously.  I think he should be restricted from acting like a dictator until the court system has its say.



Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: September 1, 2010 7:16 pm
 

Big Ben expected to strike ... out

THIS IS A DONE DEAL!
Goodell has been greasing the skids for a reduction for months, by not suspending a series of players who have been arrested and charged. [Young, Benson, that stupid nose tackle for the Browns, etc...] He's trying to lessen the impact and outcry--like when Ford pardoned Nixon...then pardoned the draft dodgers to keep the masses from storming the White House.
He knows he overreacted. He wasn't arrested or charged because the girl said "No" when first asked if he raped her...changed her story three times...and couldn't remember the position they were in... Oh, and I left out that there was no trace of seamen or evidence of penetration. [this is all in the transcript, read it] 


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