Earlier this week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger began the long, difficult process of reconnecting with Pittsburgh fans by making one important but unexpected step — giving access to the Pittsburgh media. Closer review of the contents of Roethlisberger’s interview illustrates the risk of talking publicly prior to the league office’s proclamation of final judgment as to whether his six-game suspension will be reduced, or expanded.
Specifically, after everything he has endured over the past year, Roethlisberger is not yet prepared to swear off drinking alcohol.
“Moving forward you have to make sure you make right decisions, and that
right decision is going to have to be something I’ll have to make when
the situation presents itself, how the situation presents itself,” Roethlisberger said during his recent interview. “You
can’t stop living, but you gotta live smarter.”
Though we’re not privy to the specific restrictions that the league has placed on Roethlisberger, it’s fairly safe to assume that the NFL hasn’t issued a “thou shalt not” mandate regarding beer and other boozes. (Then again, that would require an assumption that Roethlisberger isn’t a complete and total idiot, an assumption that many may not regard as safe.)
Even if the league has imposed no alcohol ban on Big Ben, he can’t dispute that he has shown bad judgment, or that alcohol impairs judgment — especially the ability to judge whether or not more alcohol should be consumed. So why would he entrust himself to “make right decisions” after drinking something that tends to impede that process?
If he truly intends to make a commitment to steer clear of any and all trouble, he’d avoid consuming anything that could lead him directly toward it. The fact that he doesn’t get that makes us wonder whether he still doesn’t “get it.”