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Will Ben Roethlisberger Ever Put Past Behind Him?

Steelers and football fans in general are quite familiar with the Ben Roethlisberger come-back story. After all, the fact that he was willing to change and to make this comeback is one of the major reasons why we’re currently readying ourselves for a Steelers – Packers showdown in the Super Bowl.

Ever since the Milledgeville, Ga meltdown, Roethlisberger had shown willingness to change and he’d made several strides in the right direction. He become more open with fans, he’s about to start a family and he’s become much more gentile with members of the press. The organization he plays for did its share of welcoming him back, and after all the negative hype surrounding him, he began to re-surface as the new face of the team.

Apparently though the image of the heel suits him so well some people are having a hard time getting it out of their heads. The Tuesday before the Super Bowl is always media day and an opportunity for those who talk first and think later to spit out all sorts of gems the football world can then attempt to digest in the days before the showdown.

Such a gem was the one dropped by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who didn’t hesitate to bring up the Roethlisberger story again, breathing new life into it. Not only did he reminisce about how that summer’s events had earned the Steelers QB a six-games (later reduced to 4) suspension, he also threw a couple of fistfuls of dirt over about two dozen Steelers, who had cooperated with the league in the investigations which led to the above said suspension.

While the statement in itself wasn’t particularly explosive, one can’t help but wonder about what Goodell’s intentions were when he decided to rat out the Steelers. Is he trying to sow dissent among the Steeler ranks through such devious means? Various reactions to his statement bear testimony to the fact that he’s succeeded. Several players have already come forth to reassure the quarterback of their continued support.

Is this the kind of behavior one would expect from a league figure with Goodell’s authority? How will this impact future disciplinary procedures? How will players cooperate knowing that Goodell will rat them out as soon as he feels he needs to say something incendiary?

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