Big Ben's Piano Man night sounds like a Super publicity stunt
Did Ben Roethlisberger's careful Super Bowl PR plan — the one he's talked openly about having — include a friendly stint at a Fort Worth piano bar?
It sure seems like it. When TMZ "caught" the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback crooning songs while downing drinks at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar — a bar right by the Steelers' Fort Worth hotel — it wasn't exactly a Wikileaks unveiling.
And Roethlisberger seemed all too happy to talk about his after-midnight stint as the "Piano Man" in his media session Thursday. "That’s a great piano song isn’t it?” Roethlisberger said of the Billy Joel tune he selected. “One of the best. You’ve got to request that when you’re at the piano bar.”
See America. Roethlisberger isn’t that predator that some of those dastardly media types think he is. He goes to piano bars! And leads sing alongs! And even brings along his offensive linemen, those guys who never got the spotlight!
Back down Chris Hansen.
Yes, in Super Bowl XLV, even the controversies are manufactured for maximum positive public relations. Roethlisberger wants everyone to know that no one will scare him from going out — no matter how many women cry rape. And yes, he decided to go to a piano bowl rather than the strip club Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward led a fact-finding expedition to Monday night because that's who the real Big Ben is. He's into Billy Joel and all those classy things.
Did he mention he's now engaged to be married?
Roger Goodell might usually not be able to stop rolling his eyes at Roethlisberger. But in this rare case, the NFL commish might be all right with the Big Ben plan. After all, with everyone talking about the Piano Man in North Texas, who has time to focus on all the press conferences coming up about the league's teetering labor situation.
OK, there probably won't be NFL games next September. But we'll always have that grainy clip of Big Ben at the microphone.
The bar's obviously been raised for those oh-so-low-key Green Bay Packers as well. When does Aaron Rodgers hit a bowling alley?
Oh, wait. Rodgers doesn't have to recraft his image.
"I haven't been out carousing," Rodgers fired back in his own media session. "I'm a homebody, so I've been spending a lot of time in my hotel room."
At least, he gets a nice suite. Three days till kickoff.