There exists in the heart of every young man the desire for a father, to help recognize who they are, to place value on their lives beyond accomplishment, and who will love them regardless. This was never more apparent than the recent dust up over the off-field antics of another professional athlete. Ben "Big Ben" Roethlisberger is a talented, strong arm, long ball quarterback for the rugged Pittsburgh Steelers. He is also just another young man, whose notoriety and status as a professional football player is as likely to harm him as it is to help him. Crashing a motorcycle and knocking himself senseless was a tip off that not all was well with young Ben, but the latest bar scene flap is a little more dangerous in terms of being a statement of where he is at, and it is the thin ice of life that he has decided upon.
It was with interest, then, to hear of Terry Bradshaw, Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh great, attempting to come alongside Ben and advise him in the choices he was making. So far, Ben has pressed ahead with Fred Flintstone like single mindedness. Well, they say there are two ways you can go about learning something. Thus far Ben is going with painful and embarrassing. And what did Terry have to say?
"There's nothing greater if you're single than to walk into a bar with beautiful women, and have them just fill your ego up. And you ask yourself, 'Would they pay any attention to you if you weren't, you know, who you are?' Of course not. Because I'm not that attractive, and neither is Ben. So it's nice when you can throw a football."
That puts things into perspective very well. Meanwhile some hack sports writer is giggling over the fact that Terry was never perceived as a cerebral kind of guy, unlike some newspaper writers we all all have to endure. It seems he always struck him as a simple country boy that 'don't know nothin'.
Hey, paperboy, that's an image Terry cultivated. My guess is he felt it would disarm people and help him sell himself after the game was gone. And there is a lot of truth to the image of country boy, but one thing those uptown newspaper sophisticates just never seem to learn is that being a country boy from the South doesn't make you slow. The man read the best defenses in the NFL, took a pounding and lead his team to four Superbowl Championships. Dumb quarterbacks don't do that. Ever.
"Our relationship is not any good. When I told him to park the motorcycle, he got pissed. Alright? Then he had the accident. And since then, there's, you know ... he doesn't like me, and I'm learning not to like him."
The fact is, it doesn't matter to Terry whether Ben wrecks his life or not, but speaking from experience, it is painful to watch people you care about drive into the brick walls of life. Painful. The thing for Terry is to be ready to hold out a hand in friendship. You can't make Ben do the right thing. But sooner or later, the opportunity to love him as a brother will arise.