Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super Bowl XLV:
Sing Us a Song Tonight

By Mike Batista

Ben Roethlisberger just can't stay out of bars, can he?

According to TMZ, Big Ben was spotted at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Fort Worth Wednesday (Correction: Tuesday) night singing "Piano Man."

Let's hope Billy Joel doesn't press charges.

Apparently, Roethlisberger was nice to everyone at the bar and tipped $200 on an $800 bill.

Think he figured out the math by himself?

Perphaps Roethlisberger should have taken a shot at singing Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," because redemption seems to be the theme this week as Roethlisberger prepares for Super Bowl XLV.

Only Roethlisberger and the women he was with really know what happened on that March night in Milledgeville and in the hotel room in Nevada.

Roethlisberger wasn't charged in either case. All we know is that whatever happened, it wasn't cool. And it unleashed a chorus of stories in the Pittsburgh area about Roethlisberger's treatment of women, and people in general.

It was clear Roethlisberger had a lot of growing up to do.

There have been signs this season that Roethlisberger is starting to change his ways. Just the fact that he paid the bill at the bar shows that he's turning a new leaf. He used to skip out on bar tabs.

Roethlisberger won this year's Chief Award for media cooperation. That's not something Pittsburgh writers would have considered him for in the past.

Earlier in the week, when Roethlisberger remarked about Steelers and Packers fans covering Dallas in a sea of yellow, he even seemed slightly effeminate.

Of course, no one is asking Roethlisberger to start dating men as part of his transformation. He's still allowed an attraction to women. And despite what happened or didn't happen in Milledgeville, at least one woman is attracted to him. Apparently Roethlisberger's getting married, too.

But these are all baby steps. I need to see more.

Has Roethlisberger donated to any women's causes? Has he volunteered at any women's shelters? Considering the sketchiness of his dealings with women in the past, it would be nice to see Roethlisberger acknowledge women's issues beyond just wearing pink during games in October.

Perhaps Roethlisberger's already done that in private. If that's the case, good for him. I was in a community service fraternity, Epsilon Omega Psi, at Emerson College (our colors were black and gold). Our advisor told us that it's only a good deed until someone finds out about it.

Maybe marriage will lead to fatherhood for Roethlisberger. If that happens, being a father will be the most important job he ever has.

Raising a child would go a long way toward proving that he's a changed man, a lot more than raising another Lombardi Trophy.

Not that Roethlisberger has to have kids. You need to be ready for that. An onrushing linebacker can be a picnic compared to a dirty diaper.

What I'm saying is that Roethlisberger's redemption process extends far beyond the field, and far beyond Super Bowl XLV.

1 comment:

  1. You have nothing but anecdotal evidence that Ben ever skipped on a bar tab. Stories by bar managers with an axe to grind. His friends say he often gave them money to pay his tab. Comes down to who you want to believe.