I’ve heard some talk recently on internet message boards I
monitor and contribute to, and one recent trend is the discussion of all fans
about Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his recent motorcycle
accident. While it is a tragic occurrence for Big Ben and his family, his
actions also directly affect his teammates and their families as well.
With Pro Bowl kick returner Jerome Mathis sidelined
temporarily due to his own motorcycle accident this year, the Texans sure
understand what can be risked by activities that have an element of risk
While Mathis was lucky and only had minor scrapes and
abrasions after his accident, Roethlisberger sustained a broken jaw, broken
nose, and several other facial fractures. Ben was riding his 2005 Suzuki
Hayabusa (billed the world’s fastest legal street bike) without a helmet when he
was struck by a vehicle making a left turn.
It is not clear when, or if, Roethlisberger is going to be
returning to the Steelers. He will be issued at least two citations for
the accident, including one for failing to drive in his class and another for
failure to wear a helmet.
Unfortunately, these two individuals that I’ve mentioned
thus far are only recent additions to the “Athletes Injured by Motorcycle” list.
Other athletes have had their careers ended by motorcycles.
One day after Roethlisberger the crash, Texans quarterback
David Carr was approached by Carmine Pirone and asked about his reaction to the
“You have to be careful with
whatever you’re doing,” Carr said. “You can get in a car accident going fast,
too. I’m not saying Ben was, I don’t know what happened in this situation. You
just have to be careful because you’re not just tied to yourself and your
family, but all the other guys that are out there in that huddle for you. Their
contracts and their families’ lives depend upon whether you’re out there, too.
You just have to be careful.”
At least one Texan understands the
Professional athletes should have a better understanding
about potentially risky behavior could cost them. What I don’t understand is
why Big Ben wears a helmet to practice, but he won’t wear one while out riding
on a high performance motorcycle.
Texans head coach Gary Kubiak also expressed his concerns
about this kind of behavior occurring inside his team. “All
you can do is preach to those guys,” Kubiak said.
“I told them the other day that
you’ve only got so many years as an athlete, you’re not going to have this
talent for long and you better take advantage of it. If you do something like
that, you’re playing with danger because it takes away your time that the good
Lord gave you as a skilled athlete. All you can do is preach it. We had the
incident here with Jerome and then we said no motorcycles, but you can’t follow
them home. It’s just a tough situation.”
Let’s hope the Texans have all taken
mental notes with what has happened recently with both Mathis and