The NFL off-season is so fucking magical:

Someone recently asked for the advice I’d give to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  Since I took the time to actually ponder the matter, it made sense to summarize the key points here. [...]

Even if he did not have sex, consensual or otherwise, with the alleged victim in Milledgeville, Roethlisberger needs to talk openly and candidly about a lifestyle that seems to suggest the following pattern:  (1) go to bars with an entourage that includes at least two off-duty police officers who serve as bodyguards; (2) congregate in the VIP room; (3) let only girls into the VIP room; (4) ply them with drinks; (5) eventually pick one of them for a possible encounter in a more private area of the club; (6) point her out to one of the bodyguards; (7) allow the bodyguard to take her to the more private area of the club; and (8) rendezvous with her there.

Terry Bradshaw is involved, for reasons which are obscure.  Maybe because this isn’t stupid enough already.

Apparently the Pittsburgh Steelers intend to suspend him for two games, which seems fair, considering what he did.  Or might seem fair, considering what he did, if anyone would say exactly what it is they think he did.  All we’re hearing so far seem to be vague “I’m disappointed in you, young man” statements about “poor decisions” and “off-field trouble”, or finger-wagging about only letting drunk girls in the VIP.  It seems like there are pretty much three ways it could have gone down.  Either:

  1. He’s a dirty, drunken whore, and someone lied to police;
  2. He’s a dirty, dirty whore AND an unbelievably obnoxious drunk who takes his pants off and acts crazy and frightens the shit out of people, leading to a big misunderstanding involving the police;
  3. He’s a rapist.

Let the punishment fit the crime, I say, but that would first require someone say what that crime is.  Because these are not really in the same category.  Now, I know he’s “innocent” as far as the justice system is concerned, but there’s “innocent didn’t do it” innocent and “innocent OJ Simpson” innocent, and these are not the same thing.  (For the record, the current league punishment for being “‘innocent’ but everybody fucking knows you did it” innocent of rape is being sent to the crappy Buccaneers.)  If you are suspending him two games (with pay) for a rape, that’s, um, sort of lenient.  If you are suspending him two games for being stupid and/or disgusting and/or embarrassing, I’ve got no problem with that, either.  But say what you are doing.  You – the NFL, the Steelers – have to address the rape issue.  You have to say what you think happened.  This isn’t quantum mechanics – you can’t punish someone for a superposition of 3 mutually exclusive scenarios, give him the expectation value of justice.  Life doesn’t work like that.  If you think he’s the victim, say so.  If you think it’s a misunderstanding, say so.  And if you think it’s rape, or assault, or whatever – if you think it’s probable, or even possible – well, let’s see how seriously you take it.  Do you want a rapist as one of your biggest (undeserved) stars?  Do you want a probable/possible rapist representing one of your core franchises?