Steelers fans, like most football fans, want our quarterback to be a larger-than-life hero - a fearless swashbuckler. But when our QB unbuckles his swash inappropriately and gets flagged publicly for it, we get queasy. This is not The Steeler Way.
If you think Ben Roethlisberger's punishment was too severe ("The NFL Hands Ben Roethlisberger a 6-Game Suspension," April 22), think back to your school days when the teacher made an example of the biggest troublemaker in order to subdue an unruly class. Remember how fast everybody else fell in line?
Big Ben, he of the oversized wall posters and shoe ads, blundered into NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's cross hairs and got blasted.
The Rooneys and Steeler Nation - who believe The Steeler Way is better than everyone else's way and profess that belief with a self-righteous smugness - are in a predicament with Big Ben. While it may never be proved in court, his behavior pattern is that of a serial idiot. Many fans, including this one, want to see his train wreck someplace else. Hasta la vista, Fratboy.
While the rest of the NFL snickers, we ponder Ben's fate, weighing our loyalty to the player and to the team against intangibles that are not measured in Lombardi trophies or fantasy football points. Things like civility, decency, respect and responsibility. What matters more: winning or The Steeler Way? The answer will be a revelation to us all.