Ben Roethlisberger: Are the Pittsburgh Steelers Bigger Than Big Ben?

Omar BrownCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2010

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 19:  Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks during a press conference following practice on April 19, 2010 at the Pittsburgh Steelers South Side training facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

"We can't defend the behavior or the actions as an organization and we won't, but we do defend his opportunity to make right, and I think that's the right thing to do."

Kevin Colbert said this when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decided to suspend Roethlisberger for up to six games due to an incident back in March when a Georgia college student accused Roethlisberger of raping her.

"This guy has helped us win two world championships. He's made some mistakes, but he also deserves the opportunity to rectify those mistakes. And we stand behind his opportunity to do that," Colbert said.

Colbert is the Pittsburgh Steelers director of football operations (also known as the general manager).

Since Colbert returned to his hometown in 2000, the Steelers appeared in four AFC Championship Games won five AFC North titles, and two Super Bowls.

The Lions went to the playoffs five times, in the 10 seasons Colbert spent in Detroit. 

"Kevin's impact is immeasurable. We have an awesome working relationship, because we have one very important thing in common. We don't care who gets the credit, and all we want to do is win," Mike Tomlin said.

"No, we don't see that role changing," Rooney said. "Kevin has been a key part, a critical part of our success the last few years, and the way he's done his job is outstanding and we hope he continues to approach it the way he has," said Art Rooney II.

“We didn’t have the type of off-season that we’re proud of and we’re anxious to get back on the field and have a team that competes for a championship and have a team that our fans can be proud to call their team,” Colbert said.

Well it looks like behavior problems are not quiet as far behind big Ben, like Colbert and the rest if Steeler nation would like them to be.

All Ben needed to do was stay out of trouble and comply with NFL policy, and his suspension could have been dropped from six weeks to four weeks. But Ben can't seem to find a way to keep the bad PR light from shinning on the Steeler Nation.

Ben and his posse had the cops called on them here recently.

According to Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch, after Roethlisberger was denied a tee time at the more prestigious Muirfield Village golf course; Ben went across the street to another Country Club at Muirfield Village.

Baptist's source at Muirfield said Ben's "reputation proceeds him;"

According to Baptist, multiple reports suggested the troubled Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, during a round of golf, was seen urinating on the course early Friday evening by a Dublin homeowner.

But a source at the club, who said he did not want to be identified, told The Dispatch that it never was verified whether Roethlisberger or either of his two playing partners was the culprit. reports  that a source close to Roethlisberger told them that the man seen urinating was another member of Roethlisberger's group.

The homeowner with the view of the 17th tee of the Jack Nicklaus-built course, called the golf club to complain. After Police arrived on the scene to investigate, the homeowner Nanette Fowler,  decided not to press charges, said Dublin police spokesman David Ball.

The way this thing has been swept under the rug, with all this he said she said, we may never know if it was Ben or not?

Does it really matter? I mean, heck, who hasn't done it right?

But the point of this story, is that this is just the kind of behavior the first Golf course not only expected, but managed to avoid thanks to Ben Roethlisbergers reputation proceeding him.

Now Colbert has a reputation of his own to contend with, is he going to be as prudent as the prestigious golf course was, or is he going to allow the reputation of his prestigious franchise to take the same significant risk he pawned off on the Jets earlier this year.

Is this a double standard, or are the Steelers conceding they are not bigger than big Ben?

The recent police investigation surrounding Roethlisberger regarding the golf course incident is the cherry on the cake, or should I say pie thrown in Steelers nation as well as the entire NFL fan bases face at this rate.

This cherry is on top of the rape allegations, yes you heard me right, allegations plural; yeah that's right that means more than one...

Roethlisberger was recently sued by a Nevada woman who claimed, she had been sexually assaulted by him in 2008.

This incident just adds to what happened back in March when a college sophomore accused him of raping her while she and he where in a night club bathroom in Georgia.

Georgia detectives investigated the role Pennsylvania state trooper Ed Joyner played while moonlighting as Bens body guard during the alleged rape incident.

According to Carl Prine of PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

During a taped interview, Joyner begged Georgia detectives not to run his name through databases because it would "flag" him on Pennsylvania State Police computers. Joyner also yelled at Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents for contacting his bosses directly, according to case files.

Witnesses said Joyner barred them from rescuing the woman left alone with Roethlisberger in a staff restroom, accusations the trooper denied to investigators. Roethlisberger never was charged, but the NFL slapped him with a suspension that could run as long as six games.

Citing orders that he wasn't supposed to work as a bodyguard, police officials yanked permission for Joyner to work for Roethlisberger in April, a decision he is appealing through his union.

Now what is Colbert going to do?

He has proved time and time again that he is not going to be tolerant to off the field incidences that bring the light of shame on the franchise by Santonio Holmes; who would have been serving a four games suspension along with Ben for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

But what of the controversial former Super Bowl MVP who was traded to the Jets?

According to New York Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, "We understand there's risk, a significant risk, but at the end of the day, we felt the price was reasonable and the risk was reasonable,"

Tannenbaum acknowledged the "significant issues" off the field. Strike one occurred when Holmes was cited for marijuana possession in 2008, the result was a one-game suspension by the Steelers, (Paid Suspension).

Holmes is being sued Holmes a woman has filed a criminal complaint; She accused him of throwing a glass in her face at a bar in Orlando; Tim Tebow arrived just in time to save the ladies face from being shattered. No Tebow wasn't there he sent one of his angels to take care of it.

To make a long story short, Holmes' rap sheet includes a domestic-violence arrest where the charges were dropped. Roethlisberger, after all these years, was finally selected by the players as the Steelers MVP for the 2009 season.

My question: Will Kevin Colbert be forced to trade two MVP's in the same season as a result of "significant issues" off the field?

Or will he coward his teams prestige to big Ben Roethlisberger’s light of shame being spotlighted on the franchise with his presence on it?

Who's bigger than who?


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