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Should We Cheer For "Big Ben" in Sunday's Super Bowl?

Due to is many run-ins with the law, many people will be routing against Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Is that justified? Do we put to much stock into athletes being role models?

Author:  JC Carr

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches, many Americans will face a moral dilemma, “Should I cheer for Ben Roethlisberger?”

When ethical, or not so ethical, behavior and sports cross, emotions generally run high.  Take Michael Vick for example.  Many supporters felt he had done his time and, as long as he was playing well, should be able to continue employment with the NFL.  Others felt he should be banned from football, should remain in jail, and one person even suggested he be put to death.

Sports often challenge our own sense of morality and the scandal-laden case of Ben Roethlisberger is no different.

Listen, I don’t want the guy dating my sister.  Hell, I don’t even want him hanging around your sister, but, I got to give it to him; he wins.  He makes big plays and he wins.  We know at minimum he’s no choirboy.  At worst he’s an alleged sexual predator.  But we can’t lose sight of the one thing we know he is, an athlete.

Nobody ever said athletes were role models, right Chuck?  This is what always pisses me off about the world, we look to our celebrities and athletes as the people to model ourselves after. Whether it be pointing to the sky in honor of our dead grandmom, to carrying a small dog in a handbag, to “making it rain” in the strip club, famous people are who we admire more than anyone.  We often neglect the real difference makers to deify the athletic superstar.  But lets’ not forget, they are just regular people.

In Big Ben’s case, they are below Joe Citizen, at least in the good-judgment department.  Take away the two alleged sexual assaults, the drinking, the womanizing, and you still have a helmet-less motorcycle-crashing, public urinating, bad lounge singer (see Piano Bar).  But you also have a 29 year old two time Super Bowl winner and that’s rare company.

If he wins his third ring, that’s sacred company.  Give the guy his due, it’s not always pretty but he comes up huge when called on.  And that’s all he has been asked to do.  Athletes work for their respective organizations the same way a computer programmer works for Apple: they are hired to do the thing they do best.

Every team wants winners.  There is no bigger goal in team sports.  So on Sunday, if you’re a Steelers fan or just a sports fan and you’ve got a little cash on the Steelers, go ahead and root for Big Ben.  Just beware of going to Disney World after.  And if you feel it’s morally wrong to cheer someone with such a questionable history, turn off your TV and go to church.

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