Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bad NFL Behavior

The NFL is getting ready to cash in some more as the 2011 playoffs debut this Saturday.  Controversy has risen over the fact that a team with a sub-500 record, the Seattle Seahawks, is going to host a game, against the defending champions no less.  This, coupled with the anticipation of coaches being fired and hired, makes for stimulating conversation on sports talk radio.  One writer, however, reminds us of the more troubling aspects that the league had to deal with this year:  players charged with harassment and assault.

Allen Barra recounts the actions of Brett Favre and takes notable exception with those of Ben Roethlisberger.
All this pales, of course, to the case of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback “Big Ben” Roethlisberger. In March 2010, police in Milledgeville, Georgia, confirmed that they were investigating allegations that Roethlisberger had assaulted a young woman in the bathroom of a local nightclub. The 20-year-old woman decided not to press criminal charges because the publicity would be “too intrusive,” but she stressed in her letter to the D.A. that she was not withdrawing her accusations. (By the way, the incident marked the second time Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault in three years.)
Barra contends that the NFL does little to sanction those who act against their own self interest and that of the league.

This morning Ben Roethlisberger was on ESPN's "Mike and Mike" show.  The first question posed to the quarterback dealt with his personal struggles, to which Ben responded to by quickly shifting focus to the days ahead.

By now most of you know that I'm a Steelers fan.  I don't get too excited during the regular season, watching casually from the sideline (pun intended).  But if the team makes the playoffs, my attention and expectations heighten some.  This year, however, is a different story.  As long as the Steelers are in the hunt for the Lombardy Trophy the question of Ben's case will be brought up.  Whatever happens, the question will always be there.

It's with mixed feelings that I look forward to the playoffs.  If it's one thing that I hope for is for the Patriots to fall short of the big prize.  That might not happen but it would be some kind of consolation for a league that's been plagued by bad behavior.   

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