Big Ben Article in Sports Illustrated: Is his Image Beyond Repair?

7 May

I pose this question to EVERYONE – PR professionals, women, Steeler fans, sports analysts, old ladies, religious zealots, people who care, people who don’t care – is Big Ben’s image beyond repair? Moreoever, does it deserve repair? Does he deserve a 2nd chance?

If you haven’t read the 5-page article on Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sports Illustrated yet, read it. (And, to you, from me, a present – here’s the link: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1169185/index.htm)

We already knew the facts: young, super star quarterback. Was in a motorcycle accident. Was accused of sexual assault once. Then again. Rumors swirled of more “covered up” allegations. All of the sudden, local radio stations were swarmed with phone calls from young women talking about what a jerk he was to them, and so on.

That type of backlash was to be expected.

Then former teammates started dishing that he was never liked among his peers in the locker room. And now this. This article digs a little deeper. Bar owners and people who claim to have known Ben for awhile shed more light on the story. He was cheap, rude, arrogant, disrespectful, crude to women, and so on. The author of the article told KDKA yesterday that, if he’d wanted to, he could have made Ben look A LOT WORSE if he’d wanted to.

Well, Ben already looks pretty bad, so that isn’t saying a whole lot, now is it?

My question is this: can Big Ben’s image be repaired, or has the damage been done? Is a winning season and some counseling sessions enough? What about community service? What if he dates a nice girl? Goes to church? I mean what WOULD help this guy? I can’t even fathom what it would take to change MY personal opinion of him now.

Who IS doing his PR, anyway? First off, who LET him “apologize” with the mullet? For someone trying to convince the world he wasn’t a rapist, he certainly didn’t hire the right stylist. He could have at LEAST taken the time to shave. Or bathe. I mean, the mullet was bad enough. But the fact that it looked like he hadn’t seen a shower in weeks? Gross.

A part of me – the kindhearted, forgiving, see-the-good-in-everyone, part of me, wants to be able to be sympathetic to Ben. I want to say, hey, Ben, give me a call – I’ll give you the chance to tell YOUR side of the story. Totally unabashedly, without judgement, and honestly. And then, I want to actually BELIEVE what he says.

Notice I said I WANT to be able to do that all. But I can’t. I can’t bring myself to change how I feel, and what I feel, is that, seemingly, he’s kind of a jerk. Do I know him personally? No. Am I saying he deserves all of this? I don’t know. As I said, I don’t know him, I don’t know what’s true and what isn’t. I will say this, though – guilty or not, he’s made some mistakes. He needs to do something to turn his life around, and, if he wants to stick around in Pittsburgh, and if he EVER wants to gain back the respect of Steeler Nation (does he even DESERVE the respect of Steeler Nation?!?) he needs to do SOMETHING to repair his image.

But what?

That’s what I want to know. What can he do? I don’t even know. What are all of YOUR thoughts??

One Response to “Big Ben Article in Sports Illustrated: Is his Image Beyond Repair?”

  1. Al Barker July 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    To all like Steeler fans, Ben was rewarded after leading the Steelers to a Super Bowl win in SB XL with a 106 million dollar contract. If anyone would receive such a contract how would anyone act? Powerful….dominating….use it to my advantage…act like a fool…make bad choices…need I go on. Human behavior is very predictable and seemingly self-destructive but usually after something happens like the sexual assault allegations the behavior changes to a more acceptable behavior. So let us as steeler fans promote this change and accept his past as just that…HIS past. So it seems to me that if the girls don’t want to persue the matter then the matter is settled. I hope he didn’t do any of the allegations but if he did then he knows it and has to live with it as does his new wife. I for one want to believe everything Ben says but will watch and see how his next couple of years go. How bout you.

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