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Chris Richardson
National Blogger

Chris Richardson

The lead writer for IntentionalFoul.com.

The Bad Apple Experience, Steelers Style

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are quickly becoming a case of a few potential bad apples (who are still innocent until proven guilty) spoiling the bunch. Not only that, but the apples in question would normally be considered the pick of the bunch. Consider this, the two members of the Steelers who have been in the press this offseason -- for less than desirable reasons, I might add -- are the type of players who get rewarded with "face of the franchise" designations. First, we have Ben Roethlisberger and his unwillingness to separate himself from the college frat boy/party time scene. Even worse are the situations he puts himself in during said party time.

Did Roethlisberger commit sexual assault during his stay in Milledgeville, Ga? I have no idea, but perhaps next time, he'll avoid situations where such accusations occur. Of course, we're talking about a guy, who after almost having his head removed by the pavement while riding a motorcycle without a helmet, is still making questionable decisions about his decorum, so idea of him avoiding negativity seems far-fetched.

Is it wrong for NFL players to go out to a bar and have a good time? Absolutely not, but then again, there's nothing wrong with using good/smart/protective judgment either. When reading more about the allegations, nothing from Roethlisberger's night in Georgia sounds anything like good judgment, guilty or no.

Adding a little bit of "You Stand Alone" to the situation, it looks like Roethlisberger's act is wearing a little thin with the rest of his teammates and Steelers fans in general. Apparently, it looks like the "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" standard is in effect for Big Ben.

And we haven't even touched on the Santonio Holmes "incident." Holmes is the latest in a long line of Super Bowl MVPs who play(ed) for the Steelers, and apparently, he went to the same charm school Larry Johnson did, because I'm not sure what else explains the desire to throw a drink in the face of a woman (in regards to Holmes, allegedly) at a bar, which he followed up by asking her not to press charges. For his efforts, Holmes is now the target of a lawsuit filed by the lady in question, Anshonae Mills.

Whether Holmes is guilty or not doesn't seem to matter. The fact that he was in a situation that devolved into another negative media storm is disappointing to his employers, which tells me all I need to know about how the decisions of Holmes and Roethlisberger are being received.

Are these actions enough to turn the Steelers into the NFL's version of the Jail Blazers? Seeing how there were only two players involved, it's doubtful, but then again, the fact that these situations occurred with two of the most recognizable players on the team, the perception of the Pittsburgh Steelers as a whole is what suffers the most. If you have any doubt of that, check out some of the comments on one of the more popular NFL blogs in cyberspace.

Granted, a lot of these PFT comments most likely come from Steelers haters, but then again, it's not just the haters voicing their dissatisfaction, either.

Nevertheless, as it always is in sports, if the Steelers come out this fall and reel off five or six wins, I have little doubt most of this offseason's trouble will be conveniently put aside -- at least by the majority of Steelers fans.

By Chris Richardson  |  March 30, 2010; 1:58 PM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , Crime , NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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