SI story on Roethlisberger features several new details

SI story on Roethlisberger features several new details

We pointed out before calling it a night that the new Sports Illustrated contains a feature regarding Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Though the magazine is not yet on newsstands, the article by Jack McCallum has been posted on the SI.com web site.

Here are some highlights (or, as the case may be, lowlights):

1. Agent Ryan Tollner claims that Roethlisbeger has gotten the message. “[H]e’s a good person who doesn’t want to be remembered as the kind of guy who’s being presented to the public right now,” Tollner said.

2. In 2006, several months after Roethlisberger had suffered serious injuries due to riding a motorcycle without a helmet and then vowed to always wear a helmet in the future, KDKA-TV captured images of him riding a motorcycle without a helmet. He shot a middle finger to the camera as he drove away. The story never aired, possibly due to concerns that it would have disrupted the station’s relationship with the Steelers. (KDKA broadcasts the team’s preseason games, and also is the local CBS affiliate.)

3. Accounts of Roethlisberger’s “Do you know who I am?” attitude arose repeatedly during the visit by Sports Illustrated writers to Pittsburgh.

4. A source close to Roethlisberger said that his goal with the alleged victim in Milledgeville wasn’t intercourse but “Clinton sex.” (Please, enjoy your breakfast.)

5. The police officer who resigned in the wake of the Milledgeville incident, Jerry Blash, has a sign in his carport that reads “RESERVED PIMP PARKING. HO’S IN BACK.” (We’re far more offended by the fact that it’s not funny at all.)

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6. A person named “Craig” told SI that, a few weeks before the Milledgeville incident, he overheard Roethlisberger making lewd comments to a pregnant waitress at a T.G.I.Friday’s restaurant. “Did your boyfriend forget to pull out?” were among the things Roethlisberger allegedly said.

7. Roethlisberger held a party on the one-year anniversary of his motorcycle accident, and his behavior resulted in Roethlisberger being required in the future to pay the $5 cover charge at the bar, which thereafter prompted a call from a Steelers security official asking why Ben had been banned. The owner of the bar said that Roethlisberger hasn’t been banned but also said, “Tell him he’s an arrogant asshole, and every Steeler can get in without a cover except him.”

8. An unnamed friend of Roethlisberger’s said that, when they are out together, the friend feels obligated to apologize to waiters and bartenders for Ben’s behavior. The friend has never witnessed sexual impropriety, but he has seen Ben “disrespect” women.

9. I’ve long believed that words and actions during playground basketball games are one of the biggest indicators of a guy’s true character. So this observation from the unnamed friend struck a chord: “He is embarrassed by Roethlisberger’s pettiness and immaturity during pickup basketball games – he says Big Ben will whine about team selection, talk mean-spirited trash and flex his biceps when he makes a good play.”

10. Teammate Willie Colon, who was with Roethlisberger on the fateful night in Milledgeville, had this to say about the situation. “The fans have a right to be upset,” he said. “They buy tickets to support us. Remember that Ben is a human being, and human beings make mistakes. Hopefully he learns from his and moves on.”

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We recommend reading the entire article, along with additional info from David Epstein, which eventually will be posted at SI.com.