Joey Porter's Pit Bulls are so disgusted with Roethlisberger, we don't have much to say about him. We'd just as soon hear even less from him.
Roethlisberger has returned to team activities and, last week, conducted his first interviews in his first fledgling PR attempts to refresh his image. Talk about trying to polish a turd.
The NFL Network showed brief excerpts from Roethlisberger's sit-down with KDKA-TV's Bob Pompeani.
In the brief clip, Roethlisberger ...
- Talks about himself in the third person -- which admittedly is not the worst thing in the world -- not like being a serial rapist or anything like that -- but it's irritating all the same. It indicates an elevated sense of self-importance and an exaggerated sense of self-entitlement. That's the kind of attitude that has gotten Roethlisberger despised, with a horrible reputation among bartenders, restaurant servers and "little people" all across Pittsburgh, as was detailed in the Sports Illustrated cover story, among other places. More significantly, it's the kind of attitude that got him into trouble in the first place -- into real trouble with the law and in the court of public opinion.
- Roethlisberger said, "Nobody can question my commitment to being the best player I can be on the field." The counterpoint is that several of his own teammates and coaches have questioned his commitment to on-field performance and self-improvement as a player ever since Roethlisberger came into the NFL. This has been documented in print and broadcast media, including the recent "Beyond the Lines" segment on ESPN. For him to make such a statement indicates a level of denial that shows he just doesn't get "it" -- and isn't willing to see it.
- Denies he's ever had a problem with alcohol. This is serious denial. In response to a question from Bob Pompeani, Roethlisberger said verbatim, "I have never had a problem with alcohol." When he said that, the alarm bells went off: "Ding-ding-ding!!!"
- The counterpoint here is that, "Ben, uh, dude, apparently you do have or the least have had a problem with alcohol. You drank like a champion, just like the tee-shirt in that photo says. You got into trouble when you were drinking. You put yourself in bad situations when you were drinking. You acted reprehensibly when you were drinking. And you created problems for yourself and others when you were drinking. So, yeah, you have had a problem with alcohol, and for you to deny you ever did indicates that you probably still do have a problem with alcohol."
- So, in point of fact, for Roethlisberger to say he's "never had a problem with alcohol" indicates a fairly serious level of denial on a whole 'nother level than talking about himself in the third person or claiming nobody can question his level of commitment on the football field.
If the light fails to go on, Roethlisberger will get in trouble again. And then it'll all be over.
As far as we're concerned, he's still a douchebag. If he thinks this little PR campaign will be accomplished by giving a couple of softball interview with local friendlies, well ... he just doesn't get it. Still.
There may be darker days ahead.