The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Moral vs. criminal code

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Roger Goodell had a tough row to hoe when he decided on Ben Roethlisberger's punishment. He had no legitimate criminal judgment to go on, but that was based on a police investigation that appeared to have more holes than the Steelers' offensive line. Whatever's happened with Roethlisberger -- and the frightening part is, we may not know unless he does what we think he did again in the future -- this issue came to the commissioner as a very interesting hot potato.

Clearly, Goodell couldn't let this slide -- a two-game suspension would have made a mockery of everything he says about "protecting the shield" of the NFL. But going after Roethlisberger as if he's been convicted of a crime would have sent an equally troubling message. No matter how convulsed and obstructed the criminal investigation, Goodell would not have benefited the league had he acted as judge and jury. Instead, Goodell opted for a sense of measure, lowering the boom just enough to send a message about the importance of personal conduct in a general sense.

Of course, Roethlisberger's biggest hurdle might be regaining the faith of his own front office -- the rumors are coming hard and fast that the Steelers are done with him, or would like to be, for the right draft currency. One thing's for sure -- Ben Roethlisberger has best be ready to learn a lesson nobody seems eager to teach him. As much as it strains credulity at this point, he might actually find himself in actual criminal trouble if he keeps acting as it seems he has been.

By Doug Farrar  |  April 22, 2010; 1:13 AM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , Crime , Doug Farrar , NFL , Pittsburgh Steelers , Quarterbacks , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Thank you Mr. Goodell for trying to make the "professionals" professional, and respectable. I don't understand how anyone could be upset with Roger Goodell's decision to suspend Ben "acting like a fool" Roethlisberger, except maybe Steeler fans. There have been numerous reports flooding the internet and airwaves reporting Big "idiot" Ben using his early achieved success to treat other people like garbage; from bartenders, to underage college girls drinking in bars, to his very own teamates comming out to say Roethlisberger's character is far from the image his Team and his sponsors would like to portray him as. It's like someone hit a Roethlisberger pinata and all of Big Ben's dirty deeds came pouring out instead of candy. How can anyone say, "he hasn't been found guilty of anything"? He is an EMPLOYEE of a major money making business which he represents. Why do people make excuses for such fools? Why does it seem harsh to so many when someone is held accountable for their foolish actions? I read today that after Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident that he swore to always wear a helmet when he rode his motorcycle. Not too long after a photographer saw Ben riding his bike with no helmet, and got the finger for taking his picture. Does Ben Sound like a guy that sincerely sees the error of his ways? At least he'll have some time to think about it now.

Posted by: erikkmiller | May 6, 2010 4:28 AM

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