My father used to say it takes two to tango. He was referring to the fact that in any relationship, whether they be professional or personal, there are no perfect individuals. Even in a situation that involves an obvious villain, there is always a victim. Some individuals prove to be perpetual victims.
I used to share a office with a work colleague who happened to be the father of two daughters. Both daughters had been married and divorced multiple times, with one daughter having achieved the trifecta. Needless to say, my work colleague loved to go on and on talking about how utterly worthless he felt each of his ex son-in-laws were in his opinion. It actually became quite uncomfortable for any listener, myself included.
On one particularly aggravating day filled with hostility and rancor, I finally asked my colleague a simply question after my father's words of wisdom came to mind. What was the common denominator in each situation? He seemed confused and asked me to clarify. I merely pointed out that his daughters were the one constant in each relationship. If each of these men were as despicable as he described, then why did his daughters keep on marrying that type of man? Though he seemed pretty distraught by my question, the good news was he never tried to discuss his daughters love interests in my presence ever again.
Ben Roethlisberger's one and only interview since last season's disappointing ending and drama filled off season recently aired preemptive to the first day of OTA's on Tuesday. In an obvious attempt to express his side of the story in a controlled setting and effectively close the book on all the drama, Ben took the opportunity to issue an apology and be the bigger man. In no way trying to play the victim, even though he was repeatedly attacked unfairly throughout Antonio Brown's insanity tour by the man himself and a multitude of national media, Ben accepted responsibility for his comments toward AB on his radio show and offered an apology. He even called AB a good friend and hoped they could put the whole situation behind them someday. Ben and I definitely have a different definition of what a good friend actually is.
Whether intentionally or not, Ben has provided Brown with a golden opportunity previously believed unthinkable. He has given Brown a road back in, an avenue to forgiveness if you will. After Brown burned every possible bridge around Pittsburgh, Ben has erected a temporary rope suspension bridge for Brown to cross back over. The sad part of it all is the fact that Brown seems oblivious to the possibility.
Steelers Nation is filled with individuals who would love nothing better than to welcome Brown back into the fold with open arms someday. Time has a way of healing old wounds, and forgiveness is often an option as we all enjoy a good redemption story.
That's what made Brown's obvious attempt to force a trade to a location where he could obtain the max contract he desired so puzzling. He didn't know when to quit when he was ahead. Similar to a mother of dragons, he couldn't just burn a few bridges, he had to burn the whole city. He exposed his true nature like Pee Wee Herman at a movie theater. There is just no coming back from some behavior.
Incredibly, Brown has been granted the ultimate second chance, all on a silver platter. All he has to do is accept Ben's apology and move on. Take responsibility for his own actions moving forward and let the healing power of time do the rest. Once the still fresh sting of betrayal has faded then a mutually beneficial dialog can commence. Antonio Brown can't allow this golden opportunity to pass him by, but it appears he will.
He seems determined to play the perpetual victim to the end. Brown has had conflict or issue with Ben, Tomlin, coaches, ex-players, local media, and fans across social media. What is the common denominator in each situation? Or should I say who?