Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ben Ruthless...berger

Any of you have 28 year old son? Mine is 24. Close enough for me to relate. Think about some of the yelling matches you've had with said son. Think about the times when you've wanted to bang your head against the wall and wonder who you should kill first, you or him.

Think about all the hours you've prayed hoping he'll act responsibly and demonstrate the values you've worked so hard to instill in him. Consider all the hopes you've had for him to be thought of as a gentleman, if not a scholar. Oh, hell, go for both! A gentleman and a scholar and his good looks are exceeded only by his pleasant personality. Yeah, that's it, think how hard you've worked in hopes of hearing that said one day about your baby boy.

It takes all your heart and soul to bring him safely to a certain point, giving him the foundation of faith, values, morals, and an understanding what it takes to be Real. All too soon you come to the awful spot where you know you've done all you can do and the rest is up to him. You still continue to pray and hope; that's what a parent does most.

Okay, now picture your 28 year old son, and imagine you're in ancient Rome and your son has proven to be all but invincible in the Colosseum, at the Circus, where men are pitted against each other for sport. Fights to the death are the norm. Maiming and cursing, and hurting and swearing, and having your every carnal need attended to because you draw the crowds by the thousands! He is a Gladiator! An elite class. He is a highly trained warrior!  Staggering amounts of money have been invested in him. Oh, you are so proud of your son, now a leading Son of Rome!

However, when he comes home occasionally for a pasta dinner, you can't help but notice that your darling little boy has become a brute. The bravado and swagger that keep him alive against the attacking Goths, is too big in your tiny villa. His flip and off-handed way of dealing with every other person in the family, as though they were there for his amusement and to meet his every need, becomes really insufferable.

You start thinking, "What a monster you are becoming all for the sake of the roar of the crowds and the money that is thrown at you. When did being one of Rome's favored citizens give you the right to act like a brute?! I raised you better than that!!!"

See where I'm going with this?

The Pittsburgh Steelers beloved quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger is in deep dookie at the moment. Most reasonable fans could see the trend building to a bad outcome. The NFL Commissioner just suspended him without pay for six games, (a loss of about $3 MILLION in salary, holy crap!) for acting in ways unbecoming of a gentleman. For acting in ways that do not exhibit the values and behavior expected from players. And, while he's not the first to act out big time in public, wow, he's continually stepping his big feet into really big shit. Not criminal perhaps, but certainly not moral or ethical.

So, from this point on in the discussion, I'm going to look at Ben from a Public Relations professional's slant. I'm going to consider it as though he is a client of mine. In PR, my job is not to judge a situation; my job is to represent it as correctly and truthfully as I can based on the facts and the legal constraints that may prohibit me from saying everything that someone might want to know.

And, if I was Ben's PR guru I'd grab him by his ear, (if I could even reach it,) yank his face down to mine and within inches of said face I'd hiss, "What the hell are you thinking? Oh, check that, clearly you don't think!!!! So this is how it's going to be moving forward or I'm walking, are we clear?!"

I'm an excellent PR professional, but I'm not sure even I could sell this prize pig at the market right now. Even though there have been no legal charges, he continually finds himself in the middle of a murky stew of poor judgment, boorish behavior, and an emerging pattern of outright ruthless conduct when it comes to women. Regardless, as a PR person, I must put aside my personal feelings; I'm not hired to judge the right or wrong of the facts. My role is to give my considered opinion about the situation, craft a plan for communication and exposure, and represent the client in the best possible light to the public. I told you I was good...

But, here's the thing-- I can't successfully work with a client if he won't do his part and work with me by listening to and following my sound counsel. I can't help if he continues to surround himself with shady sycophants instead of ethical individuals who wish to help, guide, and assist. I can't care more about an individual's reputation than he cares about it for himself. I can't continually tell the public that it was just an unfortunate confluence of events predicated upon a young, powerful millionaire athlete, out on the town to blow off steam, combining with the mis-directed desire for young women or men to be close to that energy.

I can't talk about his merits as a gladiator, which is what our modern day football players are, in hopes that this status will prompt us all turn a blind eye and say, "Well, okay, I don't like it but it's perfectly understandable." I can't continue to bleat, "It's not Ben's fault, it's the fault of the young woman in question..."

And to further compound the dilemma, ethically, I am obligated to walk away from a client if I know, without question, they are lying or purposely acting dishonorably. I will not put my reputation on the line if the client isn't willing to do the very same.

If he continues to find himself in the middle of shit storms of poor behavior when it comes to women, even when charges don't stick, eventually any sane person, fan or not, is going to start to think, "Yeah, but where there's smoke there's fire."

But, let's go back to your 28 year old boy. Give him millions of dollars. MILLIONS! Give him a very public personae. Give him a golden arm that makes him the darling of the citizens who jam the stadiums each time he steps onto the field. Give him all of that and then ask yourself, despite all your home training, the hours you invested emotionally, mentally, physically, energetically in your little boy...

...would he behave any better than Ben seems to behave? You could desperately hope, but you'll never know with absolute certainty.

Famed Steelers Quarterback, Terry Bradshaw recently said it best for many of us, "Ben doesn't like me very much, and I'm beginning not to like him very much." Sad. I want the old Ben back, the respectful, eager, talented guy who showed such promise.

Today, say a prayer for Ben's mom. And for him if you're so inclined. But definitely for his mom who must be so sad. Having done all she could, seeing her boy rise to such heights, only to see him be yet another victim of the system that makes it so easy to plunge into the eighth level of hell.

A system that has caused her baby boy, Ben Roethlisberger, Big Ben to all of The Steeler Nation, to become Ben Ruthlessberger. There are no winners in this issue, I'm sad to report.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Prays For Her Son


Alix said...

Totally praying for Ben's mom. And Jesse's. And Tiger's.

What are these indulged and pampered idiots thinking? That nobody is noticing their inappropriate, valueless, morally empty, and classless behavior? With all their celebrity? Do they honestly think it will never catch up to them? That they're immune?

And don't you think they stop for just a moment and go, "OOoops. I'd better cut my losses right now and be a stand up guy BEFORE the media gets ahold of me?"

They're all idiots, I tell you. Rich, over-privileged, over-indulged idiots.

Those poor moms.

Sr. Ann Marie said...


Kathleen Krucoff said...

You are spot on Holly. As I read this, I couldn't help but think about the whole Tiger Woods fiasco too....this time involving a wife and children, in addition to a mother. Prayers are needed and given.

Eva Gallant said...

It is a sad situation. I never thought about it from the Mom's point of view before, though. Thanks for putting that perspective on things.

Robyn said...

Holly you are good... very very good and I would love to have you on my side at any one time ;)

I don't know this guy, but I feel I do now and yes I will send loving thoughts to his Mum because heaven knows she needs them right now.

love to you
Robyn x

Joanna Jenkins said...

Very well said Holly. It's a shame that people lose themselves to their puffed up egos.

I'm sad for the moms.

Glad to see you writing Holly.

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