Dear Ben Roethlisberger,
It really sucked when you had your little accident, and the whole thing did no good for the motorcycling community in general. I mean, sure, it's your perogative to be stupid, out there without gear on, but whether you like it or not, you're a role model for a whole lot of people, and they've been judging riders in general based on your conduct. It's a high profile Look, looky there--see, those motorcycles ARE dangerous!
Not too many people are pointing and saying, Look, the rider was a little on the stupid side that day, even though technically the accident was not his fault... (and technically it was not, it was the fault of the driver...)
Let's see. You were not only riding without a helmet, you were on an expired learner's permit, which tells me--because it's PA--that you haven't complete the MSF Basic Rider's Course. If you'd taken the class, you would have had a full license, 'cause that's the way it works there. Did you know you can take it for free there? I had to pay $220, but you, Mr. Megabucks, can take the class at no cost to yourself.
And there's the issue of the bike you were on. I know it was given to you, but come on...you had a learner's permit and you were riding one of the fastest sports bikes out there. Without gear. That's just...well, it's not too bright.
But still, I brushed it off and was glad you weren't killed, and hoped you'd come out and admit you should have been geared up.
But you, Mr. Roethlisberger, took an opportunity to claim your mistakes and turned it into excuse fest '06.
That day I wasn't, I forgot it. I literally forgot it," he said. "You know there are times that, people that have been making a big deal for the last couple years about me riding first of all, and then me riding without a helmet, but it's one of those things that I ride with a helmet also. I do a little bit of both. If you don't wear a seat belt every time you ride in the car should I label you as a person who doesn't wear a seat belt? And unfortunately I happened to not have it on that day because I forgot it in the basement."
Um, if I don't wear a seatbelt whilst driving my car at any time, I'm an idiot, so yes...yes, you label me as a person who doesn't wear a seatbelt. That's easy enough to understand.
But, geez... "I forgot it in the basement..."
Come on, if your helmet is in the basement, it's probably there because you routinely don't wear it. Most people keep their lids with their bike, or at least somewhere near the garage door. We tend to keep stuff we r a r e l y use in the basement.
How hard would it have been to just say
- I was riding a motorcycle without protective gear
- I had a horrific accident
- I was VERY lucky
- It was a helluva lesson learned.
I could respect that. Everyone does really stupid things in their lives, but admitting it is usually alot more admirable than trying to excuse it.
If you don't want to wear a helmet, just say so. Own up to it.
Oh, and get back up on the horse, so to speak. Ride again. If you don't you'll probably be afraid of bikes the rest of your life. But next time, go into the basement and get your helmet...after you've taken the FREE safety course.