OBR Daily Blog 1/17

Great, now we must root for the Jets (with Braylon) to beat the Steelers? Ugh. Go NFC!

4:00 PM

(Subscriber) Adkins: The Tough Questions: With a head coach in place, Adkins gives insight on Browns search for … http://bit.ly/gFcDDe

Latest Links from the OBR Newswire
OBR Newswire on January 17th, 2011 AT 4:00 PM

These are links from the OBR Newswire for January 17th from 06:44 to 15:20:

12:32 PM

Fan View: A letter to Pat Shurmur: Jeff B. attempts to give the new Browns coach a peek into fans’ misery. http://bit.ly/fsm7fA

10:55 AM

@heythisisrobbie It was a nationally televised game, though, so Braylon might have actually been concentrating.

The Karma of Ben
Dave Kolonich on January 16th, 2011 AT 12:00 PM


The laws of NFL Karma typically state that no player or team can always sustain positive momentum.  What goes up, must come down – or vice versa. 

So far during these current playoffs, the recently reversed fortunes of the New Orleans Saints finally plummeted in Seattle.  The redemption story of Mike Vick ended with a late-game interception.  Peyton Manning returned to his early career playoff follies, while Atlanta's brilliant regular season run was derailed by the Packers. 

Earlier in the regular season, this same universal constant was shown in both Minnesota and Dallas – as two of the league's higher profile teams were reduced to reclamation projects.  Along the way, Cincinnati returned to a more natural and familiar state, while the likes of one-year wonders Mike Singletary and Josh McDaniels were exposed to a cruel cosmic fate.

On the other end of the Karma spectrum, the NFL saw a revival of sorts in New England, along with hints of success in Kansas City, Tampa Bay and St. Louis.  While not a perfect science, NFL Karma basically states that all teams and players have to take a turn at both extremes of the league.

And naturally, the Browns' expansion malaise is simply the exception that proves the rule.

However, there is one player who is completely immune to these laws.

Ben Roethlisberger. 

In fact, I would go as far to suggest that Roethlisberger is completely untouchable.

On Saturday, the Ravens gift-wrapped a Steeler victory by fumbling away a first-half lead, before delivering yet another futile fourth-quarter performance.  Among the highlights were a dropped touchdown pass by Anquan Boldin and Ray Rice's first fumble of the season.  Throw in some critically ill-timed pass interference penalties and yet another chapter was added to the eternally glowing narrative of Roethlisberger.

To recap, let's revisit Roethlisberger's career so far.

  • Roethlisberger is drafted by a playoff-caliber team, then put into perhaps the greatest position to succeed in league history.  Roethlisberger becomes the quintessential "game manager" in Pittsburgh, relying on a powerful running game and devastating defense.
  • A year later, Roethlisberger delivers perhaps the worst quarterbacking performance in Super Bowl history, but is rescued by a combination of Steeler defense and some suspicious officiating.  Naturally, Roethlisberger manages to bring home the first of two championships.
  • Roethlisberger survives an offseason motorcycle accident – one that could have easily killed him, or at the least permanently damaged his body.  One face plate later, Roethlisberger picks up right where he left off.
  • Roethlisberger is again bailed out in a Super Bowl – this time by Santonio Holmes – who makes one of the greatest catches in league history.
  • During this past offseason, Roethlisberger again escapes trouble – as the ineptitude of Georgia police officers allows him to avoid rape charges.
  • Then, only a few short months later, Roethlisberger's profile and popularity are restored to an elite level, thanks solely to his on-field performance.  In many ways, it's like the incident never even happened.

So, the question now becomes – will Roethlisberger ever face the laws of NFL Karma?

If such a thing occurs, I expect nothing less than a parting of the rivers surrounding Pittsburgh.  Perhaps all of Roethlisberger's incredible fortune so far will be swallowed up into the NFL abyss.  In terms of true Karma, this could prove epic.

But then again, the Browns fan in me has been waiting some seven years for this new answer to reveal itself.  But, the rationalist in me knows that this answer may never come.

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