Leave The Man Alone Already

Mark Kaboly recounts Ben Roethlisberger's week from the blundering commissioner on, and he talked to Ben's angry bull of a friend about it.

DALLAS – Ben Roethlisberger has done everything everybody has asked him to do … and has done it with a big smile and an engaging personality.

He's gone through the counseling; he endured the suspension; he dealt with the public ridicule; he became a nicer and more approachable person to fans, teammates and the media; he came through the blitz of Media Day without a mark on him, and actually by being quite charming in the process.

For the love of God, he even had to endure the commissioner coming out and making inappropriate comments about his suspension to a national patsy all at a convenient time – the day the Steelers arrived in town for the Super Bowl. Then he went through the "recanted" version of the commish's comments the next day.

Then this TMZ crap came out.

By now you know that Roethlisberger was seen (and taped and posted on a smut website) out at a piano bar a mile or so from their team hotel on the players' day off with a couple of teammates having a good old time and (are you ready for this) singing a Billy Joel song.

The nerve of the man.

He went out with a couple teammates and did some karaoke so surely another four game-suspension is in order.

It's all bull.

It's time to let Ben Roethlisberger live his life.

I've never see a guy put through so much for charges that were never brought against him.

And apparently, nobody is allowing that to happen.

Not in Dallas, and not in Pittsburgh.

Having a little pow-wow with Roethlisberger's good pal Willie Colon the other day on the floor of the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum at TCU should enlighten people as to what it's like for a Roethlisberger nowadays.

And it doesn't sound pleasant.

Remember, Colon was with Roethlisberger at the Capital City club in Milledgeville, Ga., in March where Roethlisberger was temporarily accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old girl.

Colon routinely hangs out with Roethlisberger in private and social situations.

Colon talked of what he did when he, Max Starks, two unidentified linemen, and Roethlisberger arrived at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Forth Worth Tuesday night.

"When we were there, I got on the mike myself and said ‘We are just here to be respectful, no pictures, no autographs,'" Colon said.

Colon, who isn't afraid to speak his mind, was highly upset the fact Roethlisberger was being questioned about an innocent night out.

"It pissed me off because the man has already been through enough with his image," Colon said. "He is extremely humble now, he has matured a lot. He wants to put all his bad media in the past then it gets tainted again because he decided to sit with his fellow linemen at a piano bar and listen to music."

Colon said he has witnessed drastic changes in Roethlisberger ever since his latest incident with the law. He said Roethlisberger would much rather stay at home with his family then go out.

Last year, we all know that wasn't the case at all.

"A lot of the times I have to beg him to come out, but he won't," Colon said. "He is with his family a lot, with his mom and dad a lot, he is with his fiancé, he is with people who he loves to be around."

Colon says he does feel bad for his friend. He said that Roethlisberger "to some degree" feels like being a prisoner in his own house because the quarterback is afraid that negative publicity will follow him if he decides to go out in public with friends and family.

"Everywhere you turn, everybody is always looking at you," Colon said. "We were walking down the street and people would say outlandish stuff and for no reason. The guy is a human being. When people get over the fact that he's Big Ben and that he actually has a heart and has feelings and he does care about what people say. People need to be respectful about that."

Colon said that even though Ray Lewis has reached out to Roethlisberger to try to help him through the situation, there are still plenty of players on the field that don't feel the same compassion toward Roethlisberger.

"You will have your d---heads out there, but you have people who really want to see him get through this," Colon said. "(This all) pisses me off because, what do you want him to do, sit in his house the rest of his life and only come out on Sunday?"

It seems he has no choice anymore.


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