The League

Leonard Shapiro

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

The clock is ticking on Big Ben


The clock is ticking on Big Ben, and it would come as no surprise to anyone who knows the family that owns the Pittsburgh Steelers that even now there surely has to be some serious discussion inside the organization about the future of their talented but clearly clueless starting quarterback.

Ben Roethlisberger already has had three strikes on his record. The first, riding a motorcycle without a helmet and suffering a career threatening crash, probably could be written off as youthful immaturity exhibited by a kid barely out of college feeling typically indestructible.

The second, a charge of rape in 2008 by a Reno resort hostess who never called the police, should have been a red flag for Roethlisberger in terms of changing his lifestyle -- as in avoiding public places where some people see a moving millionaire target as the perfect opportunity to cash in themselves.

Now comes strike three, with a 20-year-old co-ed accusing him of sexual assault at a Georgia dance club last week, a charge, like the alleged rape, Roethlisberger has denied, as expected.

But this much can't be denied. The Steelers may have a serial moron on their hands, a 28-year-old man who is clearly no longer a child and has to know his career is now truly in jeopardy unless he radically alters his way of life.

The franchise has always been owned by the Rooney family, with Art Rooney Sr. and Dan Rooney both no-brainer Hall of Fame members. Dan Rooney currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, perhaps the crowning achievement of his exemplary life.

There is nothing exemplary about Ben Roethlisberger these days other than the two Super Bowl titles on his resume. Right now, he's a Hall of Fame dolt. There may not be a strike four.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  March 12, 2010; 10:31 AM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , Leonard Shapiro , NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Can you depend on Ben? | Next: Innocent until proven guilty


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I count zero strikes.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 12, 2010 8:58 PM

Sounds like a miserable Redskins fan venting. What a reach of an article?

Posted by: DCScribe1 | March 15, 2010 9:49 AM

What about The REAL Criminals in sports. The Murderers, Arsonists, and The CONVICTED RAPISTS ? Why are they still around ?

Posted by: dabirk2 | March 15, 2010 11:34 AM

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