Tough Love

As die-hard Pittsburgh Steeler fans, my family has been watching with baited breath, the fall from grace of their beloved quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger. When the initial rumors of scandal drifted north from Milledgeville, Georgia, it seemed immediately obvious, that Roethlisberger was suffering, at the very least, from a lack of maturity and good judgement. Even after the announcement that no criminal charges would be filed against him, it was hard to feel sorry for Big Ben. Apparently, Steeler fans across the region believe that his behavior is repugnant and needs to be addressed.

According to a Pittsbugh Tribune-Review survey, more than eight of ten Steeler fans agree that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should have been disciplined or should be traded. The poll was conducted April 20-21, before Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Roethlisberger's six game suspension for violating the National Football League's code of conduct.

The phone survey of 652 randomly selected residents in seven western Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny (city of Pittsburgh), was conducted for the Tribune-Review by Susquehanna Polling & Research.

Residents were asked, in light of no criminal charges, what they believed should be the proper course of action regarding his future. The choices were: suspend/fine; trade; no disciplinary action; undecided; or refuse to answer. In addition, they were asked if they considered themselves Steeler fans, and asked their gender and age.

The responses among men and women were practically identical; 6o% condone a suspension or fine. 24% of women felt the Steelers should trade their quarterback, compared to 20% of the men surveyed.

I shouldn't be surprised that the fans were as staunch in their convictions as they were. After all, this is western Pennsylvania, where neighborhoods still celebrate the feast days of ethnic saints with festivals and parades. But still, we're talking about the mighty Steelers, and what's good for the Steelers, is good for Pittsburgh. Certainly, losing one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL can't be good, at least in the short term, for the team.

"Moral values and integrity," stated Steeler fan Cynthia Lichius, in explaining why she thinks Roethlisberger should get the boot. This is a national news thing, and it happened to Pittsburgh, and our guy did it."

I guess that about sums it up. In spite of the fact that Roethlisberger led their team to two Super Bowl victories, the people of Pittsburgh simply don't want their city associated with the kind of notoriety Ben's bad behavior generates.

No moral ambiguity here! That's what I love about this place.  (P.S. Ben is really from Ohio, anyway!)

1 comment:

  1. I am so torn on this one. The Roonies believe in morals with their team and it is what I love about the Steelers. I want him punished for even being involved in such behavior. 6 game suspension..fine with me. But to trade him away? To the Browns or Raiders? Oh good lord NO! Seems like more of a punishment to the Steelers nd their fans if we send away our still young 2 time QB Champion. ugh..what to do...?