Q: What's the last thing a father wants his daughter to tell him?
A: I'm engaged to be the future Mrs. Roethlisberger!
Let's be real here, general consensus says a woman wanting to marry Big Ben is equivalent to a pit bull declaring it's unfaltering love for Mike Vick (assuming pit bulls have the same level of understanding about Vick's past as this suburban girl has of Ben's -- totally possible). So what's going on? Maybe she's been listening to too many old Backstreet Boys singles, or maybe she's been kept in a cupboard under the stairs all her life. Or maybe she's ahead of her time. Look at Kobe Bryant, what comes to mind first rape or championships?
This is not a defense of Ben's unacceptable behavior. But this is the NFL. We pay these guys millions to entertain us by tackling, ramming, and concussing each other. And their successes and losses warm or break our hearts (or bring us dangerously close to tossing our tv's across the room). So when you take someone prone to bad decision making, allow him to flourish in a sport that revolves around hard hitting and brute strength, pay him more than his father will make in a lifetime, and call him "Big Ben" you're asking for trouble. People learn from their mistakes, stupid people learn after a mistake finally impacts their quality of life. And while one could argue that repeatedly not wearing a helmet while biking, constantly throwing footballs while three 250 pound men are sacking you to the ground, and garnering slaps and general dislike from Pittsburgh's (unbelievably attractive) female community are all mistakes that offer impediments to one's reputation/QofL, Benny Boo needed that extra something to put it all together.
So why would this girl want to give her dad a heart attack? Maybe she really wants money. Maybe she's that big of a Steelers fan. But more likely the events of this summer finally broke through the Ohio-grown shield protecting Ben's "brain" from common sense/decency. It might be love, or it might be a great way to lead a comfortable lifestyle (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5MWVAmFhjo). Either way general consensus in Pittsburgh is that he's finally learned his lesson. To be clear: lesson learned does not equal person changed. But lesson learned opens the door for a girl with the "savior" mindset to swoop in and let him put a ring on it. Lesson learned + fiance who wants to transform Big Ben to Big Bashful Ben = potential for person changed.
So sure, we can criticize Ben's poor judgement, tendency to assault women, and lack of aesthetically pleasing bone structure. People enjoy hating on famous athletes for a reason. But that's not going to stop him from playing in the AFC Championship game, adding a new ring to his collection, and moving on with his life. And honestly, in 10 years will we remember Ben as Rapelisberger, or as the quarterback who defined a new style of Pittsburgh Steelers football?
See (some of) yins in the playoffs.