January 31, 2011

Five Reasons to Bow to Big Ben Roethlisberger. ~ Joe Yeoman

Photo Courtesy of Aoife

Big Ben Borrows Bazooka to Banish Bad Guys and Bravely Bail Out America.

The Super Bowl, the world’s greatest holiday, is bearing down on us. As a countdown, I will be supplying you, America, with daily blasts about the NFL, parties, and the SB. ~ Joe Yeoman

In this post, I plan on dissecting a man’s inner-workings and prove to you, my oscillateable reader, to sheath your hate and embrace a man that makes you more complete.

Look, I know some of you out there in “Liberal” America hate football because of the barbaric nature of the game; that it is sponsored by enormous, nature hating corporations; that it is truthfully a boys’ club; that at times you are really intrigued by the hype and media attention, but this bothers you because of your “alternative” lifestyle—let alone how many people out there hate Ben Roethlisberger. Well, the NFL is amazing; it is a ballerina act combined with a demolition derby. It is America’s game, and Big Ben is our poster child.

Here are the five main reasons that you should stop slinging mud and start giving hugs:

1. It was “alleged”.

We all know that Ben made a “mistake”—it was all over the news. This “mistake” may or may not have been that he “exposed” himself to a 20-year-old girl at a nightclub, where he had “bought” her drinks, and then followed her into the bathroom after repeated “no’s”, and then, as the accuser put it:

“I still said no, this is not OK, and he then had sex with me,” she wrote. “He said it was OK. He then left without saying anything.”

What he may or may have not done doesn’t matter. Those are his personal issues. I am neither a judge nor jury; I am a consumer. Ben is a product on the field; what he does off that field, we should care less about.

Who are we to regulate a private industry? Who are we to cast judgment on an American that hasn’t been proven guilty, even when another woman came forward, and even though there was the sexual assault charge in Nevada, and even though there might be a second Nevada “incident“, where he may or may not have paid “hush-hush” money? He even went on CBS to admit his “mistakes”. He was suspended for six games, eventually reduced to four, and he went through “physiological profiling“. What more do we want? What more can he do?

Instead, we drag his name through the mud. Other news organizations and websites publish libel pictures of him drunk at a party. Then we scream and shout “off with his head”. This isn’t France. This is America. And in America, we grant second chances, sometimes third, and fourth chances. We aren’t guilty until proven guilty. And we find it okay to let your bodyguard do his job by guarding the bathroom, when we may or may not be soliciting sexual favors for an autograph. (How do we know he just didn’t need to go to the bathroom?)

As for the suspension, it cost Big Ben—and the city of Pittsburgh—2.8 million dollars.

What matters is that we buy his jersey, get a foam finger, and cheer him on as he goes through this tough time.

2. He’s a “working-class” Kinda Guy.

Big Ben has come to symbolize the “Joe Average” of NFL players. He is neither particularly good-looking, a la Tom Brady, nor is he very athletic looking. He projects the aura of a fraternity fellow, just looking to make it in this life, while waiting in line to consume a frothy beverage served from a metal cylinder.

He has a beard.

His playing style is also conducive to middle America; he’s not into memorizing the playbook fully or working on his timing. Instead, he uses his “athletic” ability to create plays (i.e., he’s like a steel mill guy; he gets it done).

It doesn’t matter that he has a 108 million dollar, eight-year contract—after making 22.26 million on his last deal. For a guy with two, count ’em two, Super Bowl rings that is day laborer change. With that contract, he brings to Pitt the toughness that only the first NFL player to host WWE’s Monday Night Raw, for the Diva Bowl, can.

Photo Courtesy of Steel City Hobbies

3. He’s Better than You.

Look, Big Ben crashed his motorcycle, where he was in critical condition and broke his nose and jaw. This was in 2006, and he came back to play that year. The best part—he wasn’t even wearing a helmet when smashed his face into an automobile.

Personally, when I broke my jaw, I was barely able to earn a minor in Theater during my undergraduate, let alone knocking the Bengals out of the playoffs.

He also has a line of Big Ben’s BBQ Sauce. The mild BBQ is “a sweet tasting sauce blended with a touch of Cajun. It is smooth in texture and taste. Perfect on all types of meat and chicken dishes.” See, Big Ben doesn’t have time to worry about the fact that “Chicken” is actually a “Meat”. Just like us, he isn’t infallible, but the difference is that he is willing to admit his slight defects by putting his name on an improperly and redundantly labeled product.

These are the qualities we look for in a leader.

4. He’s a Winner.

His regular season record is 60-26, and he’s 9-2 in the playoffs—with two Super Bowl rings. Winner. ‘Nuff Said.

Photo Courtesy of Steel City Hobbies

He’s the founder of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. They “seek to support police and fire departments throughout the US with a particular emphasis on support for service dogs and to enhance the quality of life for residents of Findlay, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.” He supports America, Firefighters, the Police, and Dogs. Winner. ‘Nuff Said.

He’s got an Official Ben Roethlisberger website. The purpose of the site is “to provide fans with the latest news on the career and community involvement of Ben Roethlisberger.” This shows that he’s connected to the fan base; he understands his roots. Winner. ‘Nuff Said.

5. ‘Cause it’s the F-ing Super Bowl.

Just like you deal with the family members you hate during holidays, let Big Ben into your heart this Feb. 6th. Don’t be a lame-o by watching another channel, doing laundry, or going for a walk. Instead, knock back a few brews and cheer for Big Ben. And if you are still spiteful, give thanks for the Packers. Just make sure you tune in.

Bonus…Wicked Nickname.

Look, he’s named after a British monument, and well, the British rule. Americans have a love affair with them—just look at Beatle Mania. Maybe I have “Big Ben” fever. All I know is that I want my hero to be named after something foreign (coincidentally, I idolize Paris Hilton). What is more American that the re-appropriation of another culture’s customs?

If you love America, then you already love Big Ben.

Wink, Wink.

Nod, Nod.

Joe Yeoman loves you. He is an MFA candidate at the Jack Kerouac School. As a displaced Chicago writer and editor, he hopes to see the Windy City soon.  You can contact him at Joeyeoman [at] gmail [dot] com.

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