So I have this problem. I’ve been a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers since I was 10-years-old. Granted back then the Steelers were the team in the NFL. Little kids, being what they are, want to root for winners so there were a lot of us that were Steeler fans. Little kids are the worst front-runners. Not to mention that growing up in South Jersey we didn’t really have our own team. There were mostly Eagles fans mixed in with some Giants fans.
There was one year that the Steelers played the Eagles in a preseason game. The Steelers won the game and my dad knew a guy who worked security at Vets Stadium and was able to get me into the Steelers locker room. I got to meet a lot of Steeler legends that day. I got to meet and get autographs from Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and my favorite player of all-time Rocky Bleier. My Steeler jersey carries the number 20 worn by Bleier. I cherish this memory because it was one of the few good memories I share with my father but I digress.
As I got older I did not abandon the Steelers as teams like the Cowboys *spit* and 49ers began building their own dynasties. I was no fair-weather fan. I suffered through the Bubby Brister years. I was heartbroken when Neil O’Donnell threw away our chance of winning a Super Bowl against the hated Cowboys. I witnessed the deterioration of Kordell Stewart after he transitioned from Slash to the starting QB.
Then came Ben Roethlisberger. Supposedly the best QB the Steelers had since the much-vaunted Terry Bradshaw. You can’t argue with the results. He took the Steelers back to the promised land of the Super Bowl twice and was victorious both times. Not that there weren’t problems along the way.
Roethlisberger is obviously not the brightest crayon in the box when he’s away from football. He missed some games after crashing his motorcycle while not wearing a helmet. Now in the past year, he’s been accused in a pair of sexual assaults. He wasn’t charged by police but the NFL thought there was enough evidence to suspend him for a handful of games.
I’ve never been a big Roethlisberger fan. Pittsburgh has a history of its QBs melting down. When they gave him the multi-year multi-million dollar contract I knew it was a mistake. Now with his suspension now served he’s back under center for the Steelers.
Call me a pussy if you want but I don’t want an ‘alleged’ sexual predator being the QB for my team. I can’t in good conscience root for the Steelers while he is such an integral part of the team. If they were to win the Super Bowl this year I would not acknowledge it.
Now the problem is who do I root for in the meantime. That’s where fantasy football comes in. Each year I always end up with an inordinate amount of players from a specific team. This year that team is the San Diego Chargers. Not the best team to root for but at least I have somewhat of a vested interest in their success. Philip Rivers is the QB on two of my teams and I also have various running backs and wide receivers scattered throughout all three of my teams.
So for the 2010 season, I will be a Chargers fan unless the Steelers get rid of Roethlisberger before then.