Goodell to Reduce Roethlisberger’s Suspension?

| by Off The Record

Friday is a big day for the Pittsburgh Steelers, their fans, and fantasy owners who selected Ben Roethlisberger in the 12th round of their fantasy drafts to back-up Brett Favre. 

Roethlisberger, his attorney David Cornwell, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and team president Arthur J. Rooney will be meeting in New York to determine how many games, if any, they will cut from Roethlisberger’s original six-game suspenion. Brett Favre was giving an informal invitation, but will not be attending.

Roethlisberger was suspended the six games under the “The Personal Conduct Policy” for being accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Georgia nightclub in March.  It was the second such allegation against Big Ben who has two Super Bowl victories underneath his belt. A belt that seems to come off a little too often when Jaeger Bombs and Miller Lite are mixed with college bars and young women.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio reports that ‘most observers believe Goodell has had in his mind all along to reduce the suspension by two games to four’ if ‘Roethlisberger complied with a number of league-imposed conditions, including a comprehensive behavioral evaluation, and stayed clear of any other off-field problems.’ Fortunately for Big Ben, he hasn’t been accused of sexually assaulting any women lately (the longest stretch of his career), so he should be rewarded with a reduction in his suspension.

Details on the behavioral evaluation:

  • Roethlisberger will be shown pictures of young women, booze, teammates, and football and he has to respond “good” or “bad.” He must score 75% or higher to pass and has 30 minutes to complete. Pictures of young women wearing Pittsburgh Steelers jerseys will be mixed in to try to trick him. These are called ‘roadblocks.’
  • Roethlisberger will be given a taste test. Unmarked plastic cups will be filled with Vodka-Redbull, Budweiser, Gatorade, and water and he has to respond “good” or “bad.” He must score 75% or higher to pass and has 30 minutes to complete. A young woman will be giving him the taste test, so if at any time he tries to sexually assault her, Roethlisberger automatically fails the test and the behavioral evaluation.
  • Roethlisberger must score 75% or higher on both evaluations to pass.

Paolantonio is also reporting that ‘Roethlisberger’s representatives plan to ask the commissioner to reduce the suspension by at least three games.  Therefore, he will miss the Atlanta, Tennessee, and Tampa Bay games and return Week Four to play the rival Baltimore Ravens at home.  If Roethlisberger only gets a two game reduction, he will miss the Ravens game and then have two weeks to prepare (Bye Week) and return to play the Cleveland Browns (Week Six) at home.

In his absence at the start of the season, Byron Leftwich is supposed to start with Dennis Dixon backing him up.