Who Cares How a Quarterback Treats Women?
The title of this post is intentionally provocative. It, of course, refers to the rumors that the Pittsburgh Steelers are shopping troubled quarterback Ben Roethlisberger due to his recent behavioral issues that led the NFL to suspend the player for the first six games of the 2010 season. Reading comments on various websites most Browns fans are opposed to acquiring Roethlisberger either because of the excessive demands of the Steelers, dislike of the player who has been the face of a hated division rival, or most frequently disgust with his treatment of women. I could understand and agree with all those reasons for not wanting the Browns to trade for Roethlisberger. However, there was also a lot of folks who strongly disagreed. I can't understand all their reasons. Some asserted how awful the Browns have been over the last decade. Can't argue with that one. Some lamented the crappy quarterbacks currently on the roster. I wouldn't argue that point either. However, quite a few expressed the sentiment of the title of this post "If he can play football who cares how he treats women?" Well, there are several reasons to care. First and foremost, the quarterback is the public face of the organization and automatically a team leader. Picking up a player with his recent history sends the message that the Browns endorse and accept his behavior. A lot of the team's fans are women and the rest have mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters. Right or wrong, many of us would feel the team was excusing Roethlisberger's actions by picking him up.
Separately, from a football standpoint it would also be a suspect move. Everyone mentions his two Superbowl rings as evidence of his greatness. Nope, not buying it. The rings can be evidence of team greatness, but on their own are not necessarily indicative of individual greatness. Also, they tell us about the past not the future. His main positive is his strength and ability to take a hit without going down. However, he has also had a few injuries and has shown poor judgment both on and off the field.
Bottom line: There are many reasons to oppose the notion of overpaying for an overrated player that is suspended for a quarter of the upcoming season and could be suspended for good if he screws up again. He may go on to have more success in the league, but you don't bet your team's future on the slight chance that Roethlisberger will suddenly start exercising good judgment.