I guess I understand why someone might see Ben Roethlisberger's presence in a piano bar as noteworthy. He's a superstar athlete. He has a checkered past that just so happens to be laced with bar-related imagery. But seriously - read this story, and then tell me why it's a story.
It's not a story. Yet when I get home from work and fire up SportsCenter (I'm a creature of habit), I've got to put up with Merril Hoge,, Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon scoffing at this. They're right. They shouldn't need to talk about it because TMZ talked about it. TMZ reported the facts, and the facts kind of say it all - there's nothing to see here.
After the jump: alternate headlines for this farce. You are encouraged to flex your creative muscles and join in.
Confirmed: Ben Roethlisberger Is A Successful Human Male
Ben Roethlisberger A Generous Tipper
Ben Roethlisberger Sings Like Billy Joel Writes
Ben Roethlisberger Not, In Fact, Under House Arrest
NFL Teams Do Not Mandate 24-Hour Player Commitments
Linemen Tempt Fate, Choose BBQ Over Steak
Modern Pro Athletes Still Prefer Piano Bar Ambience
Mike Tomlin Sees Big Picture, Lets Players Eat
In all seriousness, it's understandable that pro athletes are put under a more intense microscope when the stakes are bigger. I think this latest Roethlisberger "scandal" is Buffalo Bills-related, in that there's still a group of Bills fans that blame Buffalo's four Super Bowl losses on Bills players partying too hard leading up to the game - an idea that Jim Kelly flatly denies, by the way. Never mind that the Giants, Redskins and Cowboys were outstanding football teams.
Players lead lives, as Tomlin said. Of all of the media events that have made me say "Yeah, it's about time they just played the damn Super Bowl" over the years, this breaking point has got to be the most ridiculous.