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Steelers Roethlisberger's Indiscretions Shouldn't be Forgotten

“When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are…” … that is unless you are Ben Roethlisberger.

If you are like me, a big part of your Super Bowl experience involves the anticipation of new commercials produced just for their thirty-second Super Bowl timeslots. One of, if not my favorite, is the “I’m going to Disney World!” ad which is aired immediately following the end of the game, and often times stars the winning team’s MVP. This year, however, The Walt Disney Company, better rethink their promotional criteria for Super Bowl XLV and potentially not go with the winning team’s MVP, as there is a good chance it could be QB Ben Roethlisberger, should the Steelers win the Big Game.

The recent scandals surrounding Roethlisberger certainly do not mirror the wholesome, family image of Walt Disney World. In fact, why on Earth would I, a mother of two gorgeous blondes in their twenties, want to visit the “Happiest Place on Earth” if I know Big Ben is going to be there? I have to say, I can see many moms, and dads for that matter, feeling similarly and be turned off by Disney’s use of Rothleisberger as their official spokesman.

Before allegations of sexual assault and rape surfaced in 2010, Roethlisberger, along with Santonio Holmes, represented the Pittsburgh Steelers following their 2009 Super Bowl win against the Arizona Cardinals in that year’s Disney commercial. Back then, many associated the great football player’s name with designer cheeseburgers in his dedication rather than references of his public sexual indiscretions.

The Walt Disney Company began airing the “I’m going to Disney World!” commercials in 1987, starting it all off with New York Giants QB, Phil Simms following Super Bowl XXI. Disney has aired their commercials every year since, except in 2005, when Disney decided to focus on their 50th Anniversary Celebration campaign.

Should Disney be faced with a Steelers win and a Roethlisberger MVP, they have an alternative in the Steeler’s Head Coach, Mike Tomlin. Disney has used head coaches in their ads in the past, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Jon Gruden in 2003 and Indianapolis Colts’ Tony Dungy in 2007. These coaches however, have only appeared alongside their MVPs. Should there be a Steelers win, it is in Disney’s best interest to break tradition this year and feature the team’s true leader and send Coach Tomlin to Disney World.

I really have no true allegiance to any football team as I am a diehard DISNEY fan and would hate to see Disney tarnish their image with the reputation of Ben Roethlisberger. Ben’s antics were enough for the NFL to punish the QB for his imprudence; Disney should take note and carefully consider this year’s potential commercial superstars.

Go Packers!

Leora Moquin is a diehard Disney fan and professor at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. Though she has no allegiance to a football team, she relates well to Bill Belichick’s fashion sense and Rex Ryan’s love of shoes.

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