Steelers Nation has been riveted by the second Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault accusation in eight months.
Relatives tell me it has been a round the clock story in Pittsburgh, and it seems to have spawned its own cottage industry on the internet.
The tone of the coverage has been moderate, with everyone going at great pains to point out that “we don’t know what all of the facts are yet.” Day by day, more information leaks out.
- We know that Willie Colon was with Ben when it happened,
- We know that two police officers were in Ben’s entourage,
- We know that Georgia police officers posed for pictures with Ben, before the alleged incident occured
We’ve also been told, via ESPN.com that Ben has told the police that “there was no contact.” Whether this report is reliable or not is unknown. Legally, depending on what “no contact means,” it would seem that Ben could be in serious trouble if he actually exposed himself in a public bathroom.
If it is something more innocuous than that, perhaps Ben will be in less legal trouble, but Roethlisberger trashed his reputation no matter what.
The Post-Gazette's Bob Simizk pointed readers to an interesting article done by a lawyer, who indicates that if Ben does indeed get charged, he is going to be in for a hell of a time. I won’t summarize the entire article on the NFL Fanhosue here, but the writer makes a lot of interesting, and most likely valid, observations about how a rural Georgia jury will look at this.
Think my Cousin Vinny, except that nothing is funny about this.
Writing in PG Plus, Gerry Dulac discounted the rumors that Ben has met in person with the Rooney’s or anyone else from the Steelers organization. He also indicated that some sources, outside of Georgia it sounds, do not expect Ben to be charged.
Lot’s, and lot’s of people are speculating on that the Steelers will do. Joe Starkey of the Tribune Review is telling people that the Steelers clean cut reputation is already in tatters. Starkey makes some good points, but he also over states his argument.
On the flip side, the Washington Post ran a series asking about what the Steelers should do about Ben. It is a good series. Perhaps the most interesting article is by Blitzburgh, from Behind the Steel Curtain. Credit Blitzburgh for arguing what many fans are thinking but unwilling to say.
That said, Steel Curtain Rising’s view is that Blitzbrugh is going too easy on Ben.
Bouchette Must Give Steelers Nation the Heads Up Next Time...
Steelers Nation should batten down the hatches the moment Ed Bouchette announces he is heading for vacation.
Bouchette was on vacation when the news of the Steelers ownership restructuring broke in July 2008 (or at least Gerry Dulac was covering the story for the first week or so.) That is a shame because he is the only writer, other than Jim O’Brien, to even talk about how the Dan Rooney and his brothers would manage the ownership succession. Bouchette first discussed some scenarios in his 1993 book Dawn of a New Steel Age.
Its now 2010, and Bouchette picked a bad time to head out of town. You can forgive the Steelers beat writer for planning a vacation the coincides with the first week of free agency. Normally one cannot find a more ho-hum, affair.
But this week was different, as the Steelers resigned Antwaan Randle El and three other free agents in the span of close to 24 hours.
To be sure, none of these were “big ticket” free agents, but such an rapid-fire signing spree has been unheard of for the Steelers.
Steel Curtain Rising will examine the significance of this move in depth in the coming days, but for now we will simply say that the media missed the boat on this. By all accounts they were caught as badly off guard as were the fans.
That is not something to get too worked up about, but one would think that reports who are dedicated to covering the Steelers full-time would have some inking that this off season would be a little different.
Thanks for visiting. To read more analysis of the media coverage of the Steelers, check out Steel Curtain Rising’s Watch Tower.