The League

Dan Parker
Browns Blogger

Dan Parker

DP is a Cleveland Browns' season ticket holder and currently writes for the Cleveland sports site Waiting For Next Year.

Goodell had to do something

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Does the punishment fit the offense? It's a hard question to answer, as no one can really define what the "offense" is. Violation of the league's conduct policy? OK, sure. I know there will be those out there that, in support of Ben, will say, "He wasn't even charged with a crime. How can you suspend the guy four to six games for allegations?"

If only it were that simple.

I've often told those that make this blog happen that it's hard for me, as a die-hard Browns fan, to cast an objective eye on anything negative relating to the Steelers. Combine that with the rumors floated yesterday that my Browns might be a potential trade partner for Mr. Roethlisberger, and it was hard for me to even form a coherent thought that didn't involve canceling my season tickets and/or burning the stadium down.

The gray area for Roethlisberger is that it's a "pattern" of behavior, and if one is to put any credence to the Nevada civil allegations raised against him prior, one then notices that there may in fact be a pattern -- and more damningly, a lack of remorse or reform from previous transgressions. Again, everything is "alleged".

But, once would be a coincidence. Twice is a pattern.

I don't envy the task that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had in trying to adjudicate this situation. As a biased Browns fan, I would have loved to see an airtight six games, if only for the fact that the Browns play the Steelers in week 6. A guy can dream, right?

At the end of the day, it's really impossible to say whether or not the suspension and mandated counseling is "too much" or "not enough" of a hit for Roethlisberger, as suspending someone for simply having his name in the news a couple of times but not actually being charged is new territory. That said, Ben wasn't exactly accused of jaywalking, and if you've read the police reports from Georgia it certainly doesn't reflect back well on Ben and by extension the NFL.

So, Goodell had to do something. And, since the first suspension for substance abuse is four games, Ben's (most likely) four games will be commensurate. And that's about the best Goodell could do.

By Dan Parker  |  April 22, 2010; 9:55 AM ET  | Category:  Ben Roethlisberger , Cleveland Browns , Crime , 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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"Does the punishment fit the offense? It's a hard question to answer, as no one can really define what the 'offense' is."

Um, sure they can. It's called rape.

Posted by: meltonj1 | April 23, 2010 12:16 AM

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