February 1, 2011
If there was any question before today that Roger Goodell’s desire to see Ben Roethlisberger squirm has spun out of control, today’s item in Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback once again highlights the commissioner’s sadistic feelings toward the two time Super Bowl champion.
Spinning the almost non-existent collective bargaining agreement talks to suit his 18 game money-grab for every dime of the $1 salary that he will be earning next year, Goodell appears to have no time for the reality of Roethlisberger’s renaissance.
Ben paid heavily though he was not arrested or charged for the seedy incidents that exploded onto the sports news world as a result of the birthday party blow-out gone horribly wrong.
Yet, with his talk of conduct unbecoming to the league and tarnish upon the NFL shield, Roger Goodell should listen to his own words – especially as Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Goodell spoke to Peter King on January 7th about Ben’s teammates not having a single positive thing to say, after the Steelers had secured the #2 seed in the AFC, second only to the Pats.
Whether it is worse to utter these grossly unfavorable words on the eve of the playoffs or have Peter King drop the bomb on the Monday of Super Bowl week is a toss-up.
Goodell’s words would have been out of line back in April, let alone at the end of a successful regular season, one in which Roethlisberger, by all accounts, worked hard to prove to a team that he had helped lead to two Super Bowls that he was truly sorry for the events that had taken place during the off-season.
For the commissioner of the league to comment on sensitive and sketchy details from a closed investigation, it begs the question; why was he trying to underscore the fact that he had the right to levy punishment against a man who, in the eyes of law enforcement, and the legal system, had conducted himself in an immoral but not illegal fashion.
From the start of camp, through the return from his suspension, right up to leading his team to his third Super Bowl, Roethlisberger has worked to become the person that a man of his caliber, talent, and visibility should be.
The commissioner of the NFL is the last person who should be attempting to drag Roethlisberger back to square one when he stands poised at the edge of history.
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