I keep hearing and reading about how Ben is immature, needs to grow up, is completely irresponsible, needs to make better decisions, etc, etc. That was my knee jerk reaction to all this as well, but now I'm beginning to think it's an unfair assessment. This is no BB a$$ kissing or Steelers-can-do-no-wrong type bull. I'm being very objective when I say it's unfair to paint him in this way. If it turns out he did do something wrong, then all bets are off here (and he would then deserve all the criticism in the world), but for the time being, let's assume it was your everyday hookup. Here me out.
How many of you guys out there (even if you aren't single, imagine you are) have put yourselves in his shoes. Better yet, how many of you have actually been in a similar situation at some point in your life? You and some buddies meet up with a few girls (before the night begins or just meeting new people), go bar hopping, get a little tipsy (or more) and things just start happening. You start noticing more looks your way, more attention. In a crowded room you notice she's not avoiding physical contact, maybe she starts touching you during conversation - an innocent tap or even a brush. She's laughing at things you know aren't that funny. Then suddenly you feel her holding onto your hand or arm a little....you know what I'm taking about...just discrete enough for only the two of you to realize. Then with all the music going, the dancing starts wherever you're standing or even out on the floor. At this point (if you haven't already figured it out), she's into you.
Insert disclaimer - it is not my intention to objectify women. I hope no one takes any offense to how I'm laying this out. I respect women as equals and believe they should be treated as such. Nothing is ever assumed during a night out like this. There comes a point when you know what you're doing may or may not be well received. A line gets crossed, welcomed or not, and it becomes obvious what direction should be taken from that point. I'll restate, if Ben crossed that line unwelcomed, he deserves everything coming his way.
So now you're dancing with this girl and the touching and holding are taken to a whole new level. Now it's obvious. Now you're essentially attached at the hip. And with all that going on, what comes next? A baby in a baby carriage...just kidding. Kissing is next!
I don't need to go any further. It just sounds to me like Ben went out with his buddies and hooked up with a girl. Why is that such a big deal? Where does growing up come into play? Why is he held to such a higher standard? That type of stuff happens every night in every single bar and club across the world. Also, who cares where it happened? I'm sure people wouldn't appreciate it happening right at the bar in front of everyone, so it was in a more discrete location, albeit not the cleanest.
You know why it's a big deal? Because we are all making it out to be. Oh my God, Ben Roethlisberger went out to a club and hooked up!?! What an idiot! How dare a single guy do such a thing! Why do people latch on to stuff like this and start lynching the "guilty" party?? Is it because we wish we were that person? Is it because on some level we are all still little high schoolers wishing we were the star QB, jealous he gets all the attention, and love the fact he's been knocked down a peg and seems human like the rest of us?
If it wasn't that joke of a column TMZ that broke this, it would have been someone else. I said this in a comment before, but it's worth saying again. Since when did we stop laughing at "inquiring minds" and start treating it like gospel? It's pathetic. Maybe we are the ones that need to grow up?
Something obviously happened here. Either Ben f'd up or this girl wants a payday. When I say f'd up, I mean he sexually abused a woman, not that he hooked up. There is nothing wrong with hooking up, whether you make 100 million dollars or 1000 dollars. It's what humans do.