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And Another Thing


Some thoughts on Big Ben

We're still waiting to see whether Ben Roethlisberger will be formally charged with crime for what did or didn't happen in a college-town Georgia nightclub a week ago. But while we're waiting, a few thoughts:

* The fact that Roethlisberger was accompanied that night by a couple of off-duty cops has, strangely, been held up by some as a point in his favor. I hardly think so. What it says to me is the guy either couldn't be trusted, or couldn't trust himself, to put himself in a situation involving young women and alcohol without taking someone along to ride herd on him.

"Bodyguard," after all, is a word that cuts two ways: He's there to protect his guy from others, and also -- at least in this case, it seems to me -- to protect him from himself.

* Roethlisberger's well-connected lawyers have hired a private investigator, ostensibly to look into the events of the night in question. Uh-huh. More likely, they've been hired to dig up dirt on his accuser. Whoever this young woman is, she's about to be subjected to character assassination of nuclear proportions. It's how these deals work.

* In regard to that, you can almost see the handwriting on the wall. The cop who initially investigated the complaint posed for photo with Roethlisberger not an hour before. The witnesses, on a Friday night in a bar, are likely to be shaky at best. And, let's face it, Roethlisberger has the best defense money can buy.

Given all that, I'm thinking now the prosecutor, mindful of his conviction rate, will be very leery about charging Roethlisberger. Or Big Ben's handlers will convince the young woman to drop the complaint for, you know, her own good (read: a hefty cash settlement). I've seen it go down that way too many times in cases involving sports celebrities not to bet it won't happen this time.

* Last but not least, Roethlisberger, and his defenders, are painting him as some innocent victim of the Evil, Conniving Woman Who Just Wants To Get Hers. He claims, and his defenders claim, that he was just out to have a good time, and not, you know, looking for mischief and perhaps something else.

I only have one question about that.

If he wasn't looking for mischief (and perhaps something else), what the hell was he doing in the women's restroom? Hmm?

Ben Smith's blog.