So the big news in Steeler Nation today was the signing of head coach Mike Tomlin to a 3-year extension, thus assuring the team's legacy of stability in the coaching ranks will carry on for the foreseeable future. And rightfully so. Tomlin has guided his teams to the playoffs in two of his first three years and to winning records in all three campaigns since taking over the reins from Bill Cowher in 2007. And oh yeah, he became the youngest head coach in NFL history to lead his team to a Super Bowl championship. Pay the man, we've been saying, and alas, the time has come. Tomlin can now focus on training camp. It's an important one and he's got his work cut out for him, to say the least, after last year's sloppy, up and down season.â†µ
Anyway, as has been the case all offseason, any shred of good news was matched by something negative. This time, compliments of... wait for it... Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben was golfing today in Columbus, Ohio and allegedly took a moment to relieve himself off the track. No big deal, right? Well, apparently he urinated up against the property of a private home situated alongside the course. The woman of the house allegedly saw Big Ben whip it out and wanted to press charges on him for indecent exposure.â†µ
Thankfully, no charges were pressed. It's not that big of a deal. Period. We all have done that on the golf course before. But we're not all Big Ben, the suspended quarterback of the six time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. You'd think that being a two-time Lombardi winner would get you a free pass out of situations like that - and most of the time, that's exactly the case. But for Roethlisberger, there are no more 'get out of jail' free cards. There's not even any wiggle room for semi-marginal behavior like that. Not when Roger Goodell and league headquarters are watching your every move from up high in New York City.â†µ
Roethlisberger knows that his suspension can be reduced to four games from six pending compliance with the rehabilitation measures set out by the league, and of course no more future incidents. He's just got to treat every last decision in his personal life as an important one with potentially severe consequences for himself, his teammates and his vast legion of fans across the globe.