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I Am Not Self Righteous, Just A Normal Steelers Fan Is All


I turned 42 years old today. Big deal? No not really, but it does mean that I have followed the Steelers now for about 38 years now. I have seen it all when it comes to this franchise, at least up until the latest incident with Big Ben that is. This post will not be liked by half of you reading it, according to this poll. The half of the half left I hope to run off as well. I do not sugar coat things like other Steelers blogs do. Most of the bloggers are afraid to chime in completely with their stances and views as they do not want to offend ANY of their readership. Most sit on the sidelines listening to their readership comment and then post standing up for both sides of the subject. You often see this on blog networks as they are more concerned with creating a community of butt kissers. It happens on other blogs as well, although sometimes not as noticeable. I am both rich and retired, so I really do not give a crap who I offend. This helps me post from the heart and I do not worry about who may or may not bookmark this blog. It must work as my readership continues to grow along with my following on Twitter. Yes, whatever.

Following the Steelers all these years, I know what the Steeler organization stands for. I know what standards they preach to their players to try to live up to. They are indeed one of the most respectable, storied and decorated franchises in the NFL. That does not happen by luck. That happens by having a solid business plan and fundamentals. It has been taught and passed down through the Rooney family. In the modern NFL era, the Steelers have only had four head coaches, four I said. Neither of the two previous coaches were fired as well. Only the first modern era coach, Bill Austin, was fired. Three of the four have won Super Bowl titles as well. Six in total since the format started in the 1966 season.

Now before I get into the Roethlisberger situation, let me say I have not been perfect in my life. I do not claim to be. I would also like to point out I have never played quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I should probably add that I have never played any position for the Steelers. I have however had my picture taken with The Chief, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and Lynn Swann. Any questions thus far?

Back to Ben. Only he and his now three accusers know what really happened in all three separate incidents of alleged sexual assault. I do not pretend to know if indeed all three of these incidents actually happened or not. Roethlisberger has not been charged with any crime and thus will not face a jury unless there is a civil trial, which at this point there is not any. Regardless, Ben\’s reputation will take a long time top recover. A long time like after his playing days are over. The alleged incidents are a HUGE distraction to a team that was hopeful to win its third Lombardi Trophy in 6 seasons. The locker room is divided and the trading of Santonio Holmes was the first of many warning shots fired by the Rooney family.

The best thing the Steelers can do in my opinion, is to trade Ben prior to the draft or on draft day itself. The Commissioner has yet to rule on a suspension for Ben and his value is at it\’s highest you could expect it to be following 2 Super Bowl titles and two public sexual assault allegations. Ben is guilty of one thing. That thing is allowing himself to be put into the type situations that have led to these allegations. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. In all fairness to Ben, he needs a fresh start as well. Anything short of a Super Bowl title and everyone will point to sexual assault allegations. You know it and I know it. There is no loophole or excuse for Ben now. It is all or nothing with Steeler Nation now. You are an idiot if you do not see this point of view. I am sure even Ben knows it.

It is time for the Steelers franchise to heel and get on with the future. In a salary cap free year with a team that is still fairly old on the defensive side of the ball, now is the perfect opportunity to dump a HUGE salary and get the necessary picks to help rebuild through the draft. The Steelers never build through free agency and the opportunity of having several high draft picks can not be ignored as well as saving what is left of the standards and ethics the organization has built over the years.

I am not sorry to announce that I hope the Steelers do in fact trade Big Ben. It has been a short, but great run. A divorce is needed dearly for both sides. Everyone sees this, but most will not admit to it. Well, I have. If Ben stays, I will not turn in my Steeler Nation card, but my crystal ball tells me that this will not be a smart move.

Happy Birthday to me. If you want to leave an intelligent comment, do so below. If you want to be a jackass or kiss my butt, please go to a different Steelers blog that fosters that. I do not approve many comments as most are unintelligent and stupid. I want to protect that side of our fan base from ridicule. Which group are you in?

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Oscar

    A correction: Ben was NOT charged with anything

  • http://seanramblings.blogspot.com Sean

    Happy Birthday! I’m still trying to get past the fact that you’re 42 and retired! :)

    I appreciate your opinion on this. Realistically, though, I don’t see the Steelers trading Ben especially after yesterday’s press conference. My guess is that Tomlin and Rooney feel like Ben won’t continue with this type of behavior in the future. More importantly, what team would be willing to acquire the huge salary knowing that a suspension is pending and your new franchise QB is not someone you currently want as the face of your franchise?

  • bware

    Thank you for your insightful column, the truth is always painful to confront. Trade ben? They should have traded ben before his story showed up on Inside Edition I wonder what Mr. Rooney thinks now?

  • Teflonic

    I almost agree with you. I don’t believe that any NFL team, no matter how desperate the team is for a QB, wants to take on the baggage that comes along with Ben right now. It will be detrimental to their Franchise and to their fan base, also not to many teams can afford a hit like that to their financial books. I would say to suspend Ben for a whole season, draft a QB in this draft that they believe will be able to become the new Franchise QB and then if Ben messes up in the year that he is suspended, then drop him. Just my two cents. Thanks for reading.

  • SportChick8

    As a die hard Steelers fan it was refreashing to read something written that speaks the truth. After the first time a young lady stepped forward I was doubtful of Ben but stayed is his corner because things could not be proven. Now after 2 & 3 I have lost all hope that he is innocent. Steeler nation needs to seriously stop defending him. I am however torn on what kind of punishment I would like to see. I do think its a now or never trade time for the Steelers and they will get a great price for him. The one thing holding me back on that deal is I dont want to see him play this season at all, for anyone. I would love to see him benched for the season in favor of giving Dennis Dixon a great opportunity to learn. Ben has clearly taken advantage of his “status” as an elite NFL Quarterback maybe its time he was brought back to earth and humbled by being the third string QB or suspended entirely for the whole season. I never want to see my beloved Steelers lose, but I would gladly take a losing season over watching him play as though he has done nothing wrong.

  • SacOfSteel

    Happy Birthday! My mind says no trade, but my heart tells me otherwise. No player is bigger than the team. I love the team. The Rooney’s have a tough decision to make. Trade a top 5 QB and begin repairing the Steelers image, or, begin repairing Roethlisberger’s image.Trading Roethisberger (I cannot call him Big Ben anymore) will make an immediate impact towards repairing the Steelers brand, which includes PNC, UPMC and the City of Pittsburgh. There would be no doubt that the Rooney’s firmly believe that their name is much more important than winning football games. If they trade him, they will likely get reasonable value, now. If they hold out and retain Roethlisberger, they must believe that he can still be a responsible professional on and off the field. If that is the case, they must go all in with Roethlisberger and suport him through some extremely difficult times ahead. I play a lot of Texas Hold’em and I see this all playing out like a poker hand – fold and play again or go all in and let the cards play out. I’m torn, but I’m leaning towards playing again – I really don’t like the hand I’m holding!

  • The truth

    If the image of the Pittsburgh Steelers were tarnished, it was done long before Big Ben was born. The Steelers has a long history of players being less than perfect like every other origination in the world. I know we, as human, look to try to build other human into something they are not and try to use them as example for our kids; however, the bottom line is we are all humans that will make mistake or get falsely accused.

    Terry Long, 45, an offensive guard whose eight-year career was derailed by a positive test for steroids, committed suicide in Pittsburgh in June 2005 by drinking antifreeze. Twice divorced, he had serious legal problems stemming from his failed food-processing business and had made two previous suicide attempts.
    The youngest of the Steelers to die was 36-year-old Justin Strzelczyk, a tackle who had a series of run-ins with the law after he retired. He died after a 40-mile, high-speed chase on the New York Thruway in September 2004. Driving his Ford F-250 pickup at speeds in excess of 100 mph, Strzelczyk made obscene gestures and tossed beer bottles at the police following him. The chase came to a fiery end when, while on the wrong side of the road, he slammed into a tanker truck.

    Gilliam was among the NFL’s first black quarterbacks. He started for Pittsburgh in 1974 before Terry Bradshaw reclaimed the job.
    When Gilliam’s career ended, his life took a downward turn. He struggled with addictions to cocaine and heroin, and sometimes was homeless. In 1995, he was discovered sleeping in a cardboard box under a bridge in Nashville

    An All-Pro center who played in a franchise-record 220 games, “Iron Mike” was known for playing bare-armed no matter how cold the conditions, and for dominating larger defenders. He paid a price, however. Doctors said the battering he had taken damaged the frontal lobe of his brain, affecting his attention span and concentration. That likely contributed to the many setbacks he endured after his career, among them a failed marriage, a string of bad investments, and occasional homelessness.
    Also after his career, he admitted he tried anabolic steroids as a player, but maintained they were not responsible for his condition. He died of a heart attack in September 2002.

    For years, the Steelers have been dogged by rumors that several of them used performance-enhancing drugs in the 1970s. In an interview last year, Jim Haslett, then coach of the New Orleans Saints, admitted to experimenting with steroids as a Buffalo linebacker, and said the use of those drugs among NFL players started with the Steelers. The NFL didn’t begin testing for steroids until 1987, becoming the first professional sports league to do so.
    Although Haslett didn’t deny making those comments, he later apologized to Steelers owner Dan Rooney, who called the accusation “totally false.” Former Pittsburgh receiver Lynn Swann agreed with Rooney, saying he was “very surprised” by Haslett’s claim.
    “He’s misinformed,” Swann said. “He was not a part of that team. I was on that team, and I don’t use steroids. And I couldn’t tell you of who was on that team if anybody used steroids. Pittsburgh the epicenter of steroid use in the NFL? No. I find that very difficult to believe.”

    However, Peter Furness told the Providence Journal last year that he suspects his brother, Steve, who played defensive tackle for the Steelers from 1972 through ’81, used steroids. Steve Furness died in 2000.
    In a 1985 interview with Sports Illustrated, Courson became the first NFL player to speak on the record about his steroid use. During his playing days, he had 20-inch biceps and could bench press 600 pounds. He later said that contributed to a life-threatening condition that weakened his heart muscles — though he also pointed to his hard-living lifestyle as a factor.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_462321.html

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Walking tall out of a House of Representatives hearing on the scourge of steroids in professional sports, former Steelers offensive lineman Steve Courson on Wednesday reiterated claims dating back to the early 1990s that the Pittsburgh dynasty was fueled by drugs and that both coach Chuck Noll and founder Art Rooney tolerated the free use of “juice” to hike performance.
    Noll, like other NFL coaches, was under great pressure to win, said Courson, but he stopped short of blaming Steelers management for decisions players made on their own “to become bigger, faster and stronger” by using substances that were legal at that time.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_328813.html

  • The truth

    I know most of you are not from Georgia and I may be the only person from Milledgeville, GA. Most of you do not realize that the Club is less than a block from the police station and we do not have crowded streets at that time of night. If these ladies were so concerned about the safety of their friend, they could have easily dialed 911 and the police could have run to the club faster than he could drive. Plus, the police are usually in that area any way and could have been in the club before anything went down. If she had dialed 911, the police would have been in the club within 30 seconds.

    But regardless of what was reported and what was said by the DA, most of you do not know that Georgia has the most strict domestic abuse laws in the country. I have actually known a case where a man and wife got into an argument and she dialed 911. He disconnected the phone from the wall. The police were on the scene in a matter of minutes. The husband was arrested and put in jail. The wife refused to press charges, but the State took over the case and punished the guy to the fullest extent of the law.
    I want to remind that they do not discriminate when it comes to applying the law, and there have been cases where two men have gotten into a fight and one pressed charges, but later had a change of mind. The state again takes the charges up. In fact, they do not care if it is a family fight; they will still press charges on the family member and may charge both.

    Since I know how GA applies the laws in such cases, it says a lot that Big Ben was not charged because it was not enough evidence for the State. The state has some of the best lawyer who reviewed this case and trust me the decision to let Ben go free was not just the DA in Milledgeville. This is why the head of the GBI stated that if the victim did not come in talk to him, the case would be dropped because the State did not have sufficient evidence to charge Big Ben.

    I will conclude that in most black community these girls are quickly becoming a laughing stock and the butt of joke. The latest charges if beyond belief if you actually apply some common sense. The lady stated that Big Ben exposed himself but she escaped, but a week later she shows up to another party and gets assaulted again. LLLLLLLLLLLLLL naw! Is it reasonable that a person would get in harm way, but return to get assaulted again? The evidence would suggest that she must have felt comfortable enough to be within arms reach? LLLLLLLLLLLLLL NAW!

  • The truth

    If the Steelers do trade Big Ben, they will never win another game much less another Super Bowl. You can not place man abover God. While they are losing Super Bowls, Ben will be winning 4-5 more.

  • admin

    It seems The Truth did not read the post. Now he looks like a jackass. I warned you people. Try reading the post, Truth. No where did we say he was guilty other than of poor judgment. the other Steeler stories you posted have nothing to do with Ben and his rape allegations.

    Please do not comment if you can not read the post thoroughly. are you a Bengals or Browns fan by chance?

  • Mark

    I have been a Steeler fan for over four decades and have seen their rise to glory in the seventies (and to a limited degree in the ’00s) and their trolling the bottom layers before and after that period. I have seen Swan and Stallworth make miraculous receptions and the defense knock opposing teams punch drunk. I have watched in horror as last year’s win/loss debacle unfolded. However, one thing has remained constant: The character and class of this team……until now. What happened, or why it happened, to change this team into a shadow if its former self needs to be explored and resolved. Whether it is the lowering of league standards due to the constant media coverage of fools like the wide receiver in Cincinatti or the one from Buffalo (or was that Dallas, or Philly, or San Fran?), it has no place in the Steelers organization. As we all know, the Steeler mentality can be best described as your father grabbing his lunchpail, working hard all day, and coming home tired and sweaty. There is a reason the official Steeler website doesn’t have flashy animations or gimmics as others do: we don’t need ‘em. The Steelers do their talking on the field. Or at least they used to.
    BR is the quarterback for the Steelers. Period. Although he has the helm when on the field, he’s still just the QB. Period. He can’t walk on water or fly. He’s an employee. Period. Given the tawdry details coming out of Georgia, I’m amazed someone in the locker room hasn’t called him out. Had this been the old Steelers, I’m sure Ham, Greenwood, Bleier, Harris, or others would’ve “mentored” him several times by now. As a father with a son of the same age, if BR was my son and did something as this, we’d have as many “come-to-Jesus” moments as required for him to learn what it is to be a man. I’m sure Mr. Rooney can find a way through this, but I’m positive someone on the current roster wouldn’t mind some serious “gravel time” to clear BR’s head. It’s time to grow up boy and be the man you were hired to be! OK, I’m done.

  • steelfool

    Kudos to those in Steeler Nation willing to rid get of Ben, including several in the Pittsburgh media and press who have advocated dropping him. I only lived in Pittsburgh for six or seven years, but I fell in love with the town and the people. I’m impressed by how many devoted fans have called for dropping Ben, even if it means losing games and titles. Ben’s a great quarterback. And a lousy person. He doesn’t deserve a town like Pittsburgh or a team like the Steelers.

    I’ll be disappointed if the team doesn’t trade him. I can’t cheer for a rapist.

  • Jim Elias

    An individual’s personality is set between the ages of 5 and 7. An individual’s value system is set between the ages of 12 and 14. Personality changes just don’t occur. Value systems can change based on Dr. Morris Massey’s “significant emotional event” theory. However, he maintains certain personalities just don’t appreciate significant emotional events. There inherent arrogance does not allow them to feel a significant emotional event that would change other peoples value system. Keeping Roethlisberger and expecting him to change is the long shot of long shots. Trade him now while there is at least perceived value. If the Steelrs don’t trade him, they will get nothing when they finally admit he will not change. Thank you for you dispassionate logic concerning an emotional situation. Also thank you for not publishing guttural comments.

  • Don

    I agree 100% with your comments. I am 60 and have been a fan since, well a long time ago and the Rooney reputation is above reproach. Getting rid of Holmes, a great move and now to jetison Ben would be similarly a good move. This team has always had a great reputation and the Rooneys need to maintain that reputation. Big money is corrupting and apparently that has happened to Ben. Trade him and lets get on to number 7!

  • americangypsy

    Short and sweet, I trust the Rooney’s with this matter. I would like to add, the boy may need a strong tradition such as the Steelers have to help him with his problems.

  • SteelWheel

    Like you I have been a Steelers fan for over 30 years. I too have seen the many up’s and down’s of this proud sports franchise. I’ve watched us fall from grace and wallow in mediocrity. I’ve seen the rise of a new Pittsburgh Son (aka, the Chin) and cheered the regalement of the Rooney clan as a leader of “professional standard” in the sports industry.

    I have no connections to the city of Pittsburgh other than a childhood allegiance of a team that captured my youthful heart. Why? It’s actually quite simple…INTEGRITY. It begins and ends with the Rooney family. Their demand for people of character within their organization is the forefront of what makes their name synonymous with class, success, dignity, responsibility and leadership.

    The formula for success was learned long ago and a large part of it is quality chemistry in the clubhouse. The mere fact that every third person in this world has the moral values of a dime store hustler is purely human nature. You depend on the “leaders” of your team the ones that are counted on and labeled as “quality” is what balances the idiots from infecting the team. The position Ben has been bestowed with is a privilege not a right. He has abused this honor for some pathetic frat boy lifestyle. He has been the face of this proud franchise without truly knowing what he was part of. The harsh reality is football is a public opinion based operation…whether you win or not every bit of your success is public perception…I ought to know…I live in Detroit and the expectation level of the Lions is no where near that of the Pittsburgh Steelers, never has been, never will be. That allows them the flexibility of signing a degenerate like Pac Man Jones and why the Steelers wouldn’t waste their time with him.

    What is fact is that player #7 has tarnished the image of a TEAM that has been built by hundreds of players, coaches & employees. I have always aligned myself with the TEAM of the Steelers. When I bought my first Steelers jersey so many years ago I told my mother to put my number and my name on it. I appreciate the contributions of the players but I root for the triple hypocycloid. I root for Black & Gold. I root for a city created on grit and determination. I root for the success of a family that built a monument out of a single man’s passion. This is the Pittsburgh Steelers…not the Bensburgh Primadonnas. My vote is to trade him…get what you can…and show the world we are the leaders of what social responsibility is. GO STILLERS!!

  • Alan Kavanaugh

    Happy Birthday!!

    Like yourself I have been a Steelers fan my whole life!!
    The Steelers in the past, have been consistent due to excellent ownership, planning and coaching.
    Many of the players who eventually became stars for the Steelers in the past were players that would not have been chosen by other teams. But I remmember Chuck Noll stating that he liked to pick players based on athletic ability and build them up as players from there playing within the Steelers system.
    On that note I would say I have to agree with you. Ben has put himself into these positions. He’s got no body to blame but himself. If this wil effect the team in a “Negative” way then he should be traded.
    Im attending my first Steelers game ever on September 2 (Pre-season) vs. the Panthers.
    If Ben isnt playing Im still going to have a great time. Im coming to the “Mecca” of football to see my favorite TEAM play not an individual player.
    Thanks for all the Blogs.
    Cheers,
    Alan K

  • http://yahoo.com Pgh phil

    Having been a sports fan for 65 years and a diehard steeler fan , I think Ben has to go , or at least sit for a long time . I can imagine the signs at the stadiums throughout the league , including heinz field , that the players will see when they get onto the field , expressing all the sentiments concerning Ben . It would have to have a demoralizing effect on all Pgh steelers and fans . Ben must go , period , for the sake of the team and all of Pittsburghers . We will rise again .

  • BlackBear

    Happy Birthday…..
    In the business world, a good employer with a valued employee will work with the individual in an attempt to help them deal with thier issues. This is what the Steelers need to do with Ben. Its clear he has issues and he needs help. Direct Ben to some counseling, keep him with the Steelers and give him an opportunity to turn things around the best that he can.

    If he screws up agian then let him go.

  • Mary Vail

    Belated happy birthday and for your thoughtful post, much of which I agree with.

    Having read much of the Georgia police & DA info over the last week, its is clear that BR has engaged in conduct that, among other things, is offensive and denigrating to the Steelers organization and to all Steelers fans. At this point I trust the Rooneys to move the team on to the post-Ben era, right away if that can be done in the best interests of the team or later, if that’s when the opportunity first presents itself.

  • dave

    Happy Birthday. Like you, I have been following the Steelers since the 1970s. I’m 44.

    I remember the glory days of Bradshaw, Lambert, Ham, Swann, Stallworth, Mean Joe, Franco, Rocky, Mel Blount, etc….

    I remember the lean years of Cliff Stoudt, Mark Malone, “Hamstring” Hawthorne, Dwight “Hands of” Stone, Walter Abercrombie, Bubby Brister, “Rhino” Reinstra, Darryl Sims, Aaron Jones, etc, etc, etc during the 80s..

    I really have mixed feelings about trading Roethlisberger. I love him as a player on the field. I was ecstatic when we picked him in the 2004 draft. I waited 20 some years of Cliff Stoudt to Tommy Maddox for the Steelers to get another “Franchise” quarterback and win “one for the thumb”.

    I have a #7 Roethlisberger jersey, and right now I’d be embarrassed to wear it in public.

    If they are able to trade Roethlisberger and get good value, I won’t be disappointed. I don’t want to see them dump him for whatever they can get, like they did with Holmes, but if they get a strong offer, they should probably take it. If you wait until Ben screws up again, you get nothing for him at that point. My concern would be A. they don’t give him away for less than a great deal and B. they get another young QB, whether that is Bradford, Clausen, McCoy, Tebow. I’m too old to wait another 20-30 years for Lombardi #7!

  • Jim

    If in fact the Steelers are a no-nonsense, highly principled organization, they have only one choice. The rubber has hit the road and if the DA and police report is only 25% accurate then the Steelers have to trade him. I, for one, will never root for the arrogant, ignorant, mosogynist that Ben is. I don’t suspect that I will be alone. As a side, I am almost certain they will trade him based on Goodell moving up the suspension notification to today or Tuesday. The team trading for him will need to know exactly what they are getting for their draft picks. The Rooneys will do the right thing, as there is too much at stake if they do not!

  • Annie

    I never thought something could take my love of Steeler football away. I’m 46 and have been watching for 34 years. Though Mark Mallone, Bubby Brister, and on and on. Lived in Kentucky when Cincinatti hurt Terry… I saw that game…

    That said – I’m a close relative of a rape victim, and a woman. Everything Ben said after the incident in Georgia is what I KNOW a rapist has said… No, I had nothing to do with her, well, yeah, I talked to her, but no sex. ok, there was sex but it was consensual. So, I gotta pick – am I a mom and woman first, or a Steeler fan, because to cheer someone who may have done this to someone makes me ill. I don’t want to see him in our jersey. Even his disrespectful comments towards ALL the women in the bar is insulting. I was here before he was born… how dare he? And how do the Rooneys not see that this conflict doesn’t take away from the game. May as well get the cheerleaders – this isn’t the same team. I feel a little less superior to the Dallas Cowboy fans now… because it is all about money and winning, and self respect is a luxury the Rooneys arent’ willing to sacrifice for.

    Very sad

  • steelers since birth

    Jarred Allen, come to pburgh, open arms to a defensiveman who can give Rogers such a hard time. good game brother from a guy who loves defense!! GO STEELERS!!!

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