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Big Ben: What's not to like?

Can you cheer for Ben Roethlisberger?<em> Should</em> you?

If you’re a Packers fan this weekend, it’s a moot point.?Everyone knows where the Cheeseheads’ allegiance will lie in Dallas.

But for the rest of us, with no horse in the Super Bowl XLV race, it’s a matter worth considering.

Can you cheer for Ben Roethlisberger?

Should you?

Outside Michael Vick, no NFL player is more divisive than “Big Ben.” For all he’s done on the field,the Steelers quarterback has been plagued — or plagued himself — with boneheaded moves.

So can we look past the sexual assault allegations that cost him the first four games of this season??Or is it impossible to separate the man from the player?

A pattern of behavior impossible to ignore

Americans can ignore a lot when it comes to sports stars. But Roethlisberger’s case has proven itself to be different. Perhaps it’s because he plays for such a venerable franchise.

More likely, it’s the disgusting acts of which he was accused.

Every NFL fan has a mother. Many have daughters or sisters. And none would want any of them treated like Roethlisberger allegedly treated women in Lake Tahoe and Milledgeville, Ga.

Even without charges, those kind of accusations say something.

Only fame separates Ben from average NFLer

Of course, no matter how despicable Roethlisberger’s behavior, actively rooting against him requires ignoring one key fact.

You might be cheering for somebody worse.

Roger Goodell can do everything in his power, but NFL players as a whole aren’t always model citizens. Young, rich and coddled isn’t exactly a recipe for perfect behavior.

One big difference with Roethlisberger: He’s a star, so his faults make headlines. Boo if you must. Just don’t expect saintly opposition.

 
 
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