I'm pretty damn sure everyone had the same two-part reaction when they heard that Roethlisberger had been taken to the hospital after a motorcycle accident. Concern for Roethlisberger's safety followed by snark criticism of how he could be so stupid not to wear a helmet after what had happened to Jason Williams and Kellen Winslow. And while Roethlisberger certainly deserves heckles from the peanut gallery it is worth pointing out that unless he was wearing a football helmet the injuries to his jaw and face could not have been avoided by wearing a helmet.
But since it now appears the injury will not prevent Roethlisberger from playing next season, what will be the lasting effect of this injury?
It would be nice to think that athletes would stop riding crotch rockets all together, but the U.S. is more likely to win a World Cup before young multimillionaires quit thinking they are indestructable.
And you would think the NFL would do something to protect themselves but else can they do beyond threatening to take a player's salary away for non-football injuries as they already do?
No, the lasting impact of all this will most certainly be on Roethlisberger's wallet. Because Roethlisberger is about to become the Rondo Hatton of the NFL. Who was Rondo Hatton you ask? Rondo was the movie monster actor of the '30s and '40s who became infamous for how ugly he was.
And much like Rondo, Roethlisberger is in danger of becoming the villain and losing out on thousands of dollars of advertising through what may turn out to be largely no fault of his own.
Now there's a chance Big Ben won't look that bad, but after seven hours of surgery on his face and jaw to think otherwise is little more than wishful thinking. Which is a shame really because as Tom Brady has proven young, good looking quarterbacks who win Super Bowls are cash cows when it comes it advertising. Even before the Steelers won the Lombardi Trophy Roethlisberger was quickly becoming a media darling.
It has been mentioned that Roethlisberger was on a series of radio shows the morning before his accident, and in one of those odd twists of fate it may turn out the Super Bowl winning quarterback now has a face made for radio.