FanDuel - WFBC

June 12, 2006

Steelers: Big Ben Injured In Motorcycle Accident: Everyone in Pittsburgh has just had a anxiety attack.

posted by dbt302 to football at 11:31 AM - 223 comments

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2480830

posted by dbt302 at 11:45 AM on June 12

Prefers not to wear a helmet? Terry Bradshaw admonishes him for potentially damaging his career? Does he not recognize his responsibility to his team and the city of Pittsburgh? I am not a Steelers fan - but I am a fan of loyalty, responsibility and respect: three qualities Big Ben apparently has forgotten (assuming he knew them to begin with). I'm glad to hear he's conscious and feel for Steelers fans everywhere.

posted by MW12 at 11:58 AM on June 12

no helmet! Idiot. Wanker. 'nuff said...

posted by rumple at 12:00 PM on June 12

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet? I am not a Steelers fan - but I am a fan of intelligence: a quality that Big Ben apparently has forgotten (assuming he had it to begin with). I'm pretty sure that trumps anything involving Ben's relationship with the Steelers or their fans.

posted by grum@work at 12:03 PM on June 12

Wow, you'd think mandatory helmet laws were across the board. Hope he recovers... and changes his helmet preference.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:05 PM on June 12

Um, dumbass wasn't wearing a helmet on a motorcycle? And yet he wears one when he plays football? Methinks Big Ben is a bit of a moron. I would be very, very surprised if he hasn't violated his contract with the Steelers by taking such a huge risk and then exacerbating it by not wearing protective gear. That's just mind bogglingly stupid. Jerseygirl, there are numerous states that do not have mandatory helmet laws. It freaks me out to see guys get to a stateline, stop and remove thier protective gear and then keep on riding down the highway at 80 miles an hour. And I'm a long, long time biker. I won't ride without my helmet, gloves and Aerostich suit.

posted by fenriq at 12:06 PM on June 12

I don't think the Steelers own him and his every decision shouldn't be made thinking only of the Steelers. However, geez, wear a freakin' helmet, they save lives. I can't believe PA doesn't have a law requiring helmets -- individual choice isn't always a good idea. Further, teams need to make sure that they have fines built into a contract for when the player is engaging in dangerous activities. This way the Steelers could have fined him and perhaps prevented him from injury when he first admitted that he rode a motorcycle without a helmet.

posted by bperk at 12:06 PM on June 12

Do NFL contracts not have standard no motorcycle riding clauses? Or do the players just flout them? It seems that if the teams enforced these clauses (and I think the Browns did -- or at least tried to -- cut back some of Kellen Winslow's bonus after his crotch rocket accident), players would engage in less inherently dangerous behavior. Loyalty, responsiblity, etc. are all good concepts (even if I would question whether or to what extent a player has a responsibility to a city), but money talks and if there were more economic consequences to this, there would be less of it.

posted by holden at 12:07 PM on June 12

The Steelers don't own him but they do pay him. And not being paid for doing something stupid that endangers your careers would be just. And surely would measure up to the standards of personal responsibility that anti-helmet groups espouse as the rationale for their position. And his medical insurance should be voided as well.

posted by rumple at 12:13 PM on June 12

I remember a few years ago when Jeff Kent was still a Giant and he broke his wrist before spring training on his motorcycle (something his contract expressly forbade), he got a good fine and pretty well wore out his welcome in San Francisco. And his lying about how it happened didn't help at all. Now I cheer every strike out that guy has. But I like Big Ben, this was just an example of youthful idiocy and I'm glad he's not more seriously hurt. I hope he learns his lesson. Now Schwarznegger's accident in LA a few months ago is a whole other story. That meathead didn't even have a motorcycle license.

posted by fenriq at 12:14 PM on June 12

I gave up motorcycles for the inherently less dangerous sport of skydiving...... I always wear a helmet for what its worth.....

posted by skydivedad at 01:03 PM on June 12

Idiot. Um, did i cover everything that needed to be said here?

posted by tommytrump at 01:07 PM on June 12

One of my neighbors left behind a wife and 12-year-old daughter because he wasn't wearing a helmet. He rolled his bike going slowly, but had the misfortune of hitting his head hard on the road. I'm amazed at the number of people who ride donorcycles without protecting their head.

posted by rcade at 01:15 PM on June 12

From the link, it seems Ben had the right of way, but some yutz turned in front of him. Kinda made me think of what my dad said when i was considering a bike in my younger days. " It doesn't matter how right you are, they'll still be picking up bits of you with a shovel while the other fellow walks away." Oh yeah, bought a mustang instead.

posted by tommytrump at 01:20 PM on June 12

Um, dumbass wasn't wearing a helmet on a motorcycle? And yet he wears one when he plays football? Well, perhaps we're to conclude that he wouldn't wear one when he plays football either if they didn't make him.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:31 PM on June 12

The original story is updating throughout the day if anyone wants to go back and check it out.

posted by dbt302 at 01:32 PM on June 12

Pennsylvania recently made their motorcycle helmet law "optional". Not sure what conditional clauses Big Ben has in his contract, but rest assured we will be finding out about them, and his chances for playing this season very soon. Kellen Winslow Jr, the "Chosen One" still has not played or been paid since his accident. His career might have ended before it even began thanks to an over-blown ego and a complete lack of common sense.

posted by irunfromclones at 01:36 PM on June 12

I'm surprised he doesn't have some kind of clause that prohibits riding without a helmet, considering how much risk it transfers to the Steelers. I've seen interviews with Ewan McGregor where he's said that while he's filming movies, he's banned from riding his bike entirely.

posted by Smackfu at 01:58 PM on June 12

I heard him this morning on ESPN, spouting the usual cliche'd bullshit, and turned him off. If I thought he was going to die today, well, I wouldn't have changed my morning much, but still. It sounds like he's ultimately going to be okay. He just had the scare of his life today, and once he recovers, he'll be doing more PSAs than otherwise.

posted by chicobangs at 01:59 PM on June 12

I can't find any back up, but I think I remember seeing on TV last year that he was prohibited by contract clause from riding during the season, but not the offseason. (I don't know where pre-season fits in, if that is in fact true).

posted by rainbaby at 02:17 PM on June 12

(or training camp season)

posted by rainbaby at 02:31 PM on June 12

What is the difference between riding a motorcycle with or without a helmet? A closed casket! Just listened to the program Director from WPBG the Steelers Flagship station. Ben underwent surgery.... They didn't say what for... broken jaw, lacerations, several missing teeth, lots of swelling, they wouldn't know much else as far as a head injury for a few days when the swelling goes down. As a further aside the car that hit him had Maine Plates! (New England Conspiracy perhaps) Just saying............

posted by skydivedad at 02:38 PM on June 12

It doesn't really sound like he'll be OK: From The Pittsburgh Channel: "According to a police source, Roethlisberger suffered a broken jaw, broke his left sinus cavity, suffered a 9-inch laceration to the back of his head, lost many teeth and has severe injuries to his knees from hitting the pavement. A plastic surgeon has been called in, the source said." What a vastly and impressively stupid young man.

posted by xmutex at 02:38 PM on June 12

As a further aside the car that hit him had Maine Plates! (New England Conspiracy perhaps) Just saying............ Eeeeeh, not a real good time for jokes, skydivedad.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:40 PM on June 12

I only mentioned that because the Program Director of WPBG did.......... He also mentioned that person is hopefully getting some Police Protection. I swear thats what was said.....

posted by skydivedad at 02:43 PM on June 12

The different stories have him at severe but stable with a broken jaw, all the way to "sort of not okay" in the instance xmutex mentioned. Hope this guy makes it.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:44 PM on June 12

I personally don't see what his choice not to wear a helmet has to do with it. It's his choice. Then again I don't believe in mandatory seatbelt laws either. That said I always wear one when I ride (which is not often). Hope he has a complete recovery.

posted by commander cody at 02:50 PM on June 12

I only mentioned that because the Program Director of WPBG did.......... He also mentioned that person is hopefully getting some Police Protection. I swear thats what was said..... I can see two reasons why the Program Director of WPBG would have made those statements: 1)because it was a hit-and-run (and I imagine the state of the license plate is probably the best witness info they were able to get), and 2)to let us all know that he, the Program Director of WPBG, has a big manly pair of genitals. I can't think of any other reason for making faceless third-party threats.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:55 PM on June 12

I personally don't see what his choice not to wear a helmet has to do with it. It's his choice. Not always, commander c. Many well-paid professional athletes have contractual restrictions that prohibit them from behaviors that their employers consider risky.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:56 PM on June 12

Many well-paid professional athletes have contractual restrictions that prohibit them from behaviors that their employers consider risky. Like Aaron Boone and that ill fated basketball game? I think that voided his contract with the Yanks.

posted by HATER 187 at 02:58 PM on June 12

I guess I could see that lbb. Does anyone know if he has a clause like that?

posted by commander cody at 03:02 PM on June 12

lbb I believe he made the comment out of concern for that persons safety in the Pittsburg Community not as a threat. Similar to what Bartman went through in Chicago a few years ago with the over zealos Cubbie fans.

posted by skydivedad at 03:04 PM on June 12

lbb... PLEASE stop spreading rumours. There has been NO indication that this was a hit and run accident. In fact, all reports that i've read have indicated that the driver of the car left the scene WITH police.

posted by tommytrump at 03:25 PM on June 12

I believe he made the comment out of concern for that persons safety in the Pittsburg Community not as a threat. I didn't hear him; possibly you're right. Still sounds like posturing and bombast to me. This is a football player we're talking about, not John F. Kennedy, and the driver put him in the hospital, not in the morgue; does Program Director really think that people in Pittsburgh are stupid enough to risk a lengthy jail term to attack him/her? Well, whatever. My guess, though, is that Program Director just wants everyone to get the point that Pittsburgh fans are hardcore, man.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:26 PM on June 12

lbb... PLEASE stop spreading rumours. There has been NO indication that this was a hit and run accident. In fact, all reports that i've read have indicated that the driver of the car left the scene WITH police. Whoooops...right you are. My bad. I did read that and then forgot it when I read skydivedad's bizniz about this Program Director and the Maine plates. So, tommy, why do you think PD mentioned the state on the plates? Had a bad experience with a lobster when he was a wee small tot?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:29 PM on June 12

This seems like rumor now. Steve Bartman? Hit and run? They took the guy and the car from the scene of the accident. There was no run. The public is calling for the other driver's head?

posted by jerseygirl at 03:29 PM on June 12

...PLEASE stop spreading rumours... WHAT!! There are RUMORS ON THE INTERNETS?!?! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! *runs*

posted by lilnemo at 03:46 PM on June 12

LBB. I think the program director mentioned it because......ok, call me crazy, but because it was....wait for it.....FACT! He was trying to provide information. Or, maybe, he is trying to incite something. He might not be the brightest bulb in the socket, in fact maybe HE rides his bike without a helmet and has suffered from the concequences of that himself.

posted by tommytrump at 03:47 PM on June 12

The driver of the car -- which had Maine license plates -- left the scene with police officers. From the FPP.... actually the Maine Plates aren't rumor ........

posted by skydivedad at 03:49 PM on June 12

Daily donorcycle rider here. When I was Ben's age, I rode in jeans, t-shirt and a crappy helmet. Now I get jokes about wearing my "snowmobile suit" in the middle of summer. It's just too bad that someone got him (at-fault left-turning car makes up a huge percentage of car-motorcycle collisions) before he had a chance to wisen up. I hope he heals well and recovers completely.

posted by dusted at 03:49 PM on June 12

So, tommy, why do you think PD mentioned the state on the plates? Had a bad experience with a lobster when he was a wee small tot? Mmmmmm....lobsters......

posted by commander cody at 03:53 PM on June 12

From the FPP.... actually the Maine Plates aren't rumor ........ Understood. That's in a link. No one said that was a rumor. The program director, however, may or may not be a putz. That's inference though. Not in links anywhere and also conjecture and rumor: - That there's a public outcry for an organized kickball game using the Maine Plate Driver's head at 7pm this evening. - Hit and run

posted by jerseygirl at 03:56 PM on June 12

Does anyone know if he has a clause like that? There is standard language in all player contracts regarding activities which involve a significant risk of personal injury.

posted by bperk at 03:56 PM on June 12

There was a driver on the grassy knoll And a preemptive 'it's always time for jokes.'

posted by mick at 03:58 PM on June 12

As a motorcyclist myself I can feel for Rothlisberger. The article said the car was damaged on the right front fender. Sounds like the car just turned left in front of him. Probably the car drivers fault. Nonetheless, I ride and I always wear a helmet. Anybody that needs a law to force them to wear a helmet, might as well not, because they are already brain dead. Based on some of Rothlisberger's motorcycle comments, it doesn't sound like he had any brain to protect.

posted by Atheist at 04:06 PM on June 12

Completely off topic, but yeah.....mmmmmmm....lobsters!

posted by tommytrump at 04:09 PM on June 12

Unfounded rumor: Rothlisberger was hit four times. That was just the front page.

posted by BullpenPro at 04:14 PM on June 12

New Hampshire is a state that has neither a mandatory helemt law nor mandatory seatbelt laws. I personally choose to ride inside my car with a seatbelt. I have always felt, however, that if the other guy (ben, in this case) wants to ride around at 80 mph with his head three feet from the asphalt then I guess its his head.

posted by kyrilmitch_76 at 04:24 PM on June 12

Lobsters, just like motorcycle helmets, are way underated.

posted by Termite at 04:29 PM on June 12

I'm watching the Pittsburgh news right now. It was NOT a hit and run. There has been no signs of anyone wanting the head of the lady (62 and from Pittsburgh)who was driving the car. Ben has a 9 inch gash to the back of his head, a cut over his right eye, he has a broken left sinus cavity, severe knee injuries, and a broken jaw. Needless to say, nothing else has been mentioned about any other news in the area. No word as to if he is still in surgery or not. Ben was riding a 1995 Suzuki Hayabusa. Top speed of 194 MPH.

posted by dbt302 at 04:41 PM on June 12

Ya know, i'm thinking Pennsylvania might be on to something making it optional whether or not to wear a helmet. However, i'm gonna make a suggestion, if you choose NOT to wear a helmet, it should be a law that you MUST sign your organ donor card.

posted by tommytrump at 04:43 PM on June 12

Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Tribune just reported that there is no clause in Ben's contract that will protect the Steelers from the obvious financial losses they have just incurred. They have to honor his contract according to Mariotti's report.

posted by sublime4390116 at 04:49 PM on June 12

all motorcyclists should have their organ donor card filled out and will up to date. if they're in an accident my money is always on the non-motorcycle driver.

posted by mosher at 04:56 PM on June 12

On preview: He doesn't have "motorcycle" specifically, but all NFL players have "the clause" that protects teams from off-the-field injuried resulting from stupidity. The Steelers could demand he pay back their money, but seeing as he just helped them win a Super Bowl, i really doubt they would. But that all depends on the severity of the injuries. Now back to the regularly scheduled program... Looooong battle to get the helmet law repealed. Every year for as long as i remember, the motorcycle lobby would push a bill to repeal the helmet law. They finally got it through and repealed it two or three years ago. Methinks that might be revisited. The folks that want the helmet law back on the books weren't that far from getting it. I think the hit-and-run rumor can be credited to John Clayton on ESPNnews. His report that ran most of the early afternoon said they were looking for the car with Maine plates that left the scene. I think he misuderstood, because most other reports said the driver of a car with Maine plates left the scene with police. He must have missed that part. And, finally, if he lost his teeth, he'll fit right in in Pittsburgh.

posted by SummersEve at 04:58 PM on June 12

Three keys: fractured sinus cavity, broken jawbone and SEVERE knee injuries. Don't look for big Ben on opening day; hopefully he'll be back some time this season. This could cost Ben a fortune literally. $20M contract extension and up to $10M/year in endorsements. On the bright side, maybe there's a Bell Helmets deal out there...

posted by Toad8572 at 05:02 PM on June 12

Description of the accident about halfway down in this Post Gazette story.

posted by SummersEve at 05:12 PM on June 12

Ben was riding a 1995 Suzuki Hayabusa. Top speed of 194 MPH. The Hayabusa was introduced in 1999. Top speed sounds about right. EDIT: it's a 2005, which means it's got a limiter that makes the top speed around 180MPH. /pedantic

posted by dusted at 05:13 PM on June 12

Don't look for big Ben on opening day; hopefully he'll be back some time this season. This could cost Ben a fortune literally. $20M contract extension and up to $10M/year in endorsements. On the bright side, maybe there's a Bell Helmets deal out there... He could also do razor blade ad's. You know, "Hi I'm Big Ben and I used to use Brand X razor blades, but just look what they did to my face!. Now I only use Gillette!"

posted by commander cody at 05:16 PM on June 12

Now I only use Gillette!" i don't think that will fly in pitt.

posted by mosher at 05:25 PM on June 12

he would probally not continue a play if his helmet fell off during a game but on a motarcylcle there of cource id no danger

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 05:27 PM on June 12

show this to your kids and they will always wear a helmet

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 05:28 PM on June 12

Jeff Kent. Kellen Winslow. Jason (Jay) Williams. And now Big Ben. YOu would really think that by this point in time a) young atheletes would realize that it is foolish of them to go riding around on motorcycles and b) that all professional teams would have clauses in their contract deals that would not allow players to ride motorcycles (or at least prevent them from doing so without a helmet on).

posted by NightingalesGone at 05:29 PM on June 12

I really thought that after the Jay Williams fiasco a few years back young players with ridiculous amounts of talent might think a little more about getting on a motorcycle...

posted by everett at 05:31 PM on June 12

I wish people would stop blaming the biker for riding a bike! I have been riding for 20 yrs (with a helmet) and every season at least one person,"usually an elderly person" causes me to avoid some kind of dangerous incident. I have been lucky.

posted by bo_fan at 05:34 PM on June 12

he would probally not continue a play if his helmet fell off during a game but on a motarcylcle there of cource id no danger show this to your kids and they will always wear a helmet

posted by tselson at 05:36 PM on June 12

New Hampshire is a state that has neither a mandatory helemt law nor mandatory seatbelt laws. And we sell fireworks. And the state's in the liquor business. You thought the bottom of the license plate was just a clever motto. At the state line Maine presents half mile of signs about what you're no longer legally allowed to do.

posted by yerfatma at 05:46 PM on June 12

lol

posted by commander cody at 05:46 PM on June 12

And, finally, if he lost his teeth, he'll fit right in in Pittssburgh. I think you might be confusing Pittsburgh with some country hick town. There are lots of beautifull people in Pittsburgh and most of them have lots of teeth. As for Ben, being a Steeler fan I am very concerned for Ben's health but being a commpasionate person I am even more concerned regarding the quality of his life after the extent of these head injuries reveal them selves. Football is very entertaining but it is not everything. God speed to your recovery Big Ben!

posted by PGHTOS at 05:49 PM on June 12

bo_fan: I don't think anyone is blaming Ben for the accident, just for being an idiot for not wearing a helmet. Like i said in an earlier post, it doesn't matter how right the guy on the bike is, the EMT'S are gonna be scrapin' bits of him up with a shovel while the person in the car walks away from the accident. Bikers who don't wear a helmet should be legally obligated to sign their organ donor cards.

posted by tommytrump at 06:03 PM on June 12

I've seen interviews with Ewan McGregor where he's said that while he's filming movies, he's banned from riding his bike entirely. Yeah, he was on Top Gear and said that he was recently filming on the Isle of Man, and forbidden from riding a bike by his contract. Which sounds like purgatory for a bike nut. Every year for as long as i remember, the motorcycle lobby would push a bill to repeal the helmet law. Is it made up of Harley owners who generally wear mixing bowls on their heads? Because I can't imagine motorcycle organisations in countries where sports bikes dominate advocating for this. What a fucking idiot.

posted by etagloh at 06:06 PM on June 12

I wish people would stop blaming the biker for riding a bike! Whoa, whoa, whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don't like is the guy is a pro football player. The guy has gotta think, "You got a contract; you got a responsibility." Seriously... The same way that one could expect Ben not to start eating doughnuts and drinking beer three meals a day, you can also expect him not to take any unecessary risks, including riding a motorcycle... especially without a helmet.

posted by everett at 06:28 PM on June 12

Seriously... The same way that one could expect Ben not to start eating doughnuts and drinking beer three meals a day, you can also expect him not to take any unecessary risks, including riding a motorcycle... especially without a helmet. Eating doughnuts (mmmm....doughnuts) and drinking beer three meals a day is risky?

posted by commander cody at 06:35 PM on June 12

Commander, Sounds like you need to have some dinner. How about meeting at the Red Lobster? You buy the beer.

posted by Termite at 06:45 PM on June 12

What a load......

posted by chrisly13 at 06:45 PM on June 12

What a load......

posted by chrisly13 at 06:45 PM on June 12

In PA the push for the repealing of the helmet law was led by ABATE of Pennsylvania... To answer your question, etagloh: Yes. As the Post Gazette tells us: "If it's a nice day like this and you want to go downtown and buy a pack of cigarettes, you'd just like to be able to leave it off," said George, of Mount Holly Springs, Cumberland County. and... Among those in favor of repealing the law was Minority Whip Mike Veon, D-Beaver Falls, a motorcycle enthusiast who said he often stops after crossing into Ohio, where helmets are not mandatory, to take his helmet off.

posted by SummersEve at 06:55 PM on June 12

Pennsylvania recently made their motorcycle helmet law "optional". For the life of me, I don't know what that means! Does it mean a) You can wear a helmet, and b) If you don't wear a helmet, you're not breaking a law? How stupid and plainly obvious. Of course helmets, if not required, are "optional." You don't get a ticket for wearing one. Any person who doesn't wear a helmet lacks common sense. They'd rather look "Cool" than take a good chance at saving their own life. Also, helmets should be required in every state, no questions. Most states are adopting seat belt laws, but you can get on a motorcycle and not have a seat belt OR a helmet? Brilliant.

posted by dyams at 06:57 PM on June 12

Commander, Sounds like you need to have some dinner. How about meeting at the Red Lobster? You buy the beer. If you're going to buy the after-dinner scotch shots, I'm there Termite.

posted by commander cody at 07:14 PM on June 12

I agree that people should wear a helmet and seatbelts, but it grates against my libertarian nerves to have a law that says so. It just plain ain't the governments business to make laws to protect people from themselves.

posted by commander cody at 07:17 PM on June 12

For the life of me, I don't know what that means! Does it mean a) You can wear a helmet, and b) If you don't wear a helmet, you're not breaking a law? Possibly they left the law on the books, but just removed the penalty clause. I can't think of what else this "optional" bizniz would mean, apart from simply repealing it.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:20 PM on June 12

It just plain ain't the governments business to make laws to protect people from themselves. It's the government's business, generally, to scrape dead people off the roads.

posted by etagloh at 07:23 PM on June 12

you can get on a motorcycle and not have a seat belt OR a helmet Good idea , a seat belt on a motorcycle. As it goes flipping down the road you can go for the ride with it, and have the weight of the bike behind you when ya hit your head. Has to be the dumbist fucking thing I have ever read on here. I can't beleave that with the exception of PGHTOS, the only thing anyone is worried about is how this will impact the football season for the Steelers. As a Packer fan, a motorcycle rider and a human being my first and only concern is his full recovery. He could have been standing on the corner and gotten hit by a motorcycle, he would not have a helmet on for that. If getting hurt in a motorcycle reck was his fate that is what was going to happen. A fall in the shower could cause as much damage to his skull as anything. Maby he should not be allowed to shower. If he stopped showering and with the lost teeth he could play for the Bears and fit in with the Bears fans.

posted by CB900 at 07:39 PM on June 12

I understand why everyone is so concerned about him not wearing a helmet, but a helmet would not have protected his knees. Those are pretty important to a pro football player too, are they not?

posted by MrFrisby at 07:42 PM on June 12

I agree that people should wear a helmet and seatbelts, but it grates against my libertarian nerves to have a law that says so. It just plain ain't the governments business to make laws to protect people from themselves. But it is the government's business to make laws to protect those that can't protect themselves (children), or make laws that protect those from dangerous people (other people in the car). A fall in the shower could cause as much damage to his skull as anything. Maby he should not be allowed to shower. If he stopped showering and with the lost teeth he could play for the Bears and fit in with the Bears fans. That is a wonderfully, insultingly stupid slippery slope argument you've made there.

posted by grum@work at 07:45 PM on June 12

That is a wonderfully, insultingly stupid slippery slope argument you've made there. Better wear a helmet! Wouldn't want to slip and fall on your slope and hurt yourself!?

posted by jerseygirl at 07:51 PM on June 12

But it is the government's business to make laws to protect those that can't protect themselves (children), or make laws that protect those from dangerous people (other people in the car). Oh absolutely, children wearing helmets and seatbelts should be the law of the land, but adults should have the right to decide for themselves. After all, it's their ass on the line and they're the ones who'll suffer the most, so the government has no business in it.

posted by commander cody at 08:06 PM on June 12

It's the government's business, generally, to scrape dead people off the roads. Yep, now that is the governments business. Wouldn't want anyone to spin out on the pools of blood.

posted by commander cody at 08:07 PM on June 12

After all, it's their ass on the line and they're the ones who'll suffer the most, so the government has no business in it. I'm sure PED users feel the same way.

posted by forrestv at 08:20 PM on June 12

That is a wonderfully, insultingly stupid slippery slope argument you've made there. But its ok to say he would fit in in Pittsburgh??? I do not live close enough to Pittsburgh to poke fun at the people of that fine city. Beside this is nothing to the rash of shit I have taken form Bears fans from last season.

posted by CB900 at 08:27 PM on June 12

People who ride without helmets should forfeit their medical insurance for any head injuries suffered. That would be a true personal responsibility position. And no government picking up the insurance pieces either.

posted by rumple at 08:28 PM on June 12

I honestly feel bad about Big Ben and hope he recovers. However to clear up the helmet laws...you can do whatever the law allows, but riding a motorcycle without a helmet is like having unprotected sex- in Haiti!

posted by urall cloolis at 08:32 PM on June 12

Really, I have no problem leaving this up to personal choice. I mean, with too many safety regulations in place already, we're meddling dangerously with natural selection. This is a lot of passion for any activitiy that goes on all the time. Ben's just not so smart seeing as though he's putting the potential future millions he could earn on the line just so he can have a little wind in his hair.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:33 PM on June 12

I can't beleave that with the exception of PGHTOS, the only thing anyone is worried about is how this will impact the football season for the Steelers. Because this is SportsFilter. Because the Steelers are defending champions. Yes it is horrible that he got hurt but we as SpoFites have the duty to either disect how this will affect the Steelers or turn around and talk about a totally non-sports related topic. After all, it's their ass on the line and they're the ones who'll suffer the most, so the government has no business in it. Except that once the accident happens the government is going to have buisness in it. Whether it be insurance, law suites, ect. the government is most likely to get involved. That is why they have to prevent these things from happening, instead of waiting for more paperwork to fill out and tax dollars to use.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:35 PM on June 12

Mr. Bo Fan, NO one is blaming the rider, they're blaming the non-helmet wearing millionaire that plays in front of zillions of people, including kids. What a guy! He's a real hero! Ass. (But riding must just be a real rush if it's worth your life for just one ride!)

posted by sportsmomma at 08:45 PM on June 12

Beside this is nothing to the rash of shit I have taken form Bears fans from last season. That's "ration of shit", CB900. Think about it: other people can give you a ration of shit, but only you can give yourself a rash of shit.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:48 PM on June 12

However to clear up the helmet laws...you can do whatever the law allows, but riding a motorcycle without a helmet is like having unprotected sex- in Haiti! Racism, xenophobia, and sexism. The retard trifecta. PANTHEON to the white courtesy BANHAMMER please.

posted by lilnemo at 08:48 PM on June 12

CB900. You're partially right. I really don't care about Ben Roethlisberger as a person. I don't wish him ill, but i really don't care if he recovers or not. He doesn't care about his own health, so why should I.

posted by tommytrump at 08:56 PM on June 12

i hope the motorcycle is ok, go browns

posted by devildog37 at 09:06 PM on June 12

Has anyone stopped to think that if he chose to wear a helmet, he might choose to wear an open-face helmet? His face still could get messed up. OR, the car could have run a red light and hit him at 60mph? Riding is taking a risk everytime you go out. Same as driving a car (but without a steel cage around you!) I understand that when I ride, I have friends who understand that when they ride, and I am sure that Ben understood that when he went out riding. No matter how much protection you wear, you can still die. Trust me, I wont stop riding. I hope he recovers quickly. From a ravens fan.

posted by jlane1326 at 09:10 PM on June 12

Racism, xenophobia, and sexism. The retard trifecta. Xenophobia, maybe. Racism and sexism? That's a big time reach. Are you really advocating that the site start banning people because you perceive a racist agenda subsumed in their comments? Although it wasn't the most well-thought-out post, I believe Urall's reference was to the astronomical AIDS infection rates in Haiti, with totals comparable to the United States(!). Click here for the details, if you want them. I perused Urall's other comments and found no evidence of bigotry or troll-ism. In addition, calling someone a "retard" for making a comment you don't like is grossly insensitive to the developmentally disabled -- if you really want to walk the politically correct line, lilnemo.

posted by Venicemenace at 09:11 PM on June 12

the retart trifecta?? It sounds to me like you're engaging in selective persecution complex lilnemo. urall hit the nail on the head. Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is stupid. Having sex in haiti without a condom is stupid. How is that in ANY way racist, or sexist, or xenophobic?

posted by tommytrump at 09:12 PM on June 12

Thank you lbb, now I can stop itching.

posted by CB900 at 09:14 PM on June 12

... for making a comment you don't like is grossly insensitive to the developmentally disabled.. Agreed. Apologies to anyone I offended. How is that in ANY way racist, or sexist, or xenophobic? A better question would be, what does such an analogy have to do with this thread? In light of that, I retract my statement, but reserve the right to state that I found the analogy tasteless to say the least.

posted by lilnemo at 09:20 PM on June 12

LBB: According to websters dictionary....RASH..(noun) a large number of instances in a short period, as in ....."a rash of complaints about lilnemo's postings." So, i supose one could get a rash of shit from bears fans.

posted by tommytrump at 09:24 PM on June 12

Lilnemo, in truth I'm almost impossible to offend....unless someone insults BIG PAPI. Just playing devil's advocate (or in this case, urall cloolis' advocate). Hope Roethlisberger gets well soon. Although I'm a Pats fan I hate to see a great athlete wounded in such a manner...

posted by Venicemenace at 09:31 PM on June 12

Oh absolutely, children wearing helmets and seatbelts should be the law of the land, but adults should have the right to decide for themselves. If there is a car crash and an adult is not wearing a seatbelt, he immediately becomes a danger to everyone else in the vehicle if he becomes airborne. Someone in the back seat being propelled forward/sideways into another passenger is going to cause some serious injuries. That's why mandatory seatbelt laws help not just those who are forced to follow them. People who ride without helmets should forfeit their medical insurance for any head injuries suffered. Sadly, many Americans don't have health insurance, so they wouldn't notice the difference. However, I do agree that some level of culpability towards the injuries should be assessed in determining insurance payouts. Has anyone stopped to think that if he chose to wear a helmet, he might choose to wear an open-face helmet? His face still could get messed up. That's very true. But I'll bet big money that 9 out of 10 head injuries suffered in motorcycle accidents could be avoided/reduced by wearing a helmet. OR, the car could have run a red light and hit him at 60mph? I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion at hand. Why not mention that a safe with a big dollar sign painted on the side could have fallen from the sky and landed on his head? It's just as relevant to the story. Riding is taking a risk everytime you go out. Same as driving a car (but without a steel cage around you!) So you are saying it's the same, except with a big difference? That's why contracts state "no motorcycles" but don't state "no cars". The safety of the vehicle enclosure is what makes cars much safer than motorcycles. It's not the same risk at all. I understand that when I ride, I have friends who understand that when they ride, and I am sure that Ben understood that when he went out riding. No matter how much protection you wear, you can still die. But you reduce the chances of dying if you wear more protection, and that's the point being discussed. He chose not to wear the suggested protection, and now he's paying the price.

posted by grum@work at 09:31 PM on June 12

...a rash of complaints about lilnemo's postings... Subtle. Something about the pot and the kettle to be read in there I'm sure. You wouldn't want to tally complaints here at SpoFi tommy, just go back to commenting about the FPP and take my word for it.

posted by lilnemo at 09:34 PM on June 12

Lilnemo, in truth I'm almost impossible to offend....unless someone insults BIG PAPI. Just playing devil's advocate (or in this case, urall cloolis' advocate). Understood. And a good case made. :)

posted by lilnemo at 09:36 PM on June 12

He doesn't care about his own health,so why should I. He did not get drunk and get on his bike and run into a light post the driver of the car was at fault. I have been riding for over thirty years and I can tell you this, most bike recks happen because the person in the car has his head up his/her ass. If people would hang up there fucking phones and watch what the fuck they are doing it would be a safer world for all of us.. Not wearing a helmet should not make a biker the target of every asshole with a set of car keys.

posted by CB900 at 09:51 PM on June 12

I should wear a helmet for reading all these brilliant posts. D-D-D

posted by chrisly13 at 10:15 PM on June 12

CB900, the point is that biking is dangerous, its that Ben could have very easily given himself a much greater margin of safety, especially in light of how easy it is for some moron in a cage to not see a bike. I ride and there is no way I'd ride without my helmet, even if there was no law. I've been hit before, I've been down and I know, for a fact, that I would not be alive or a non-vegetable without my helmet on. People have absolutely no idea of how much force is involved in even the slowest accident. And if Ben didn't know then he should have had someone there to tell him to wear the helmet. I heard on the radio that he usually only rides Harleys and cruisers. This bike was a Suzuki Hayabusa, as you know, one of the fastest production bikes on the planet. Not wearing protective gear on a bike that can go 180 miles an hour is about as bright as going pole dancing in a barbed wire thong.

posted by fenriq at 11:01 PM on June 12

What a way to savor a Super Bowl Championship. This is stupid and also a shame. Big Ben should have been thinking about his safety and his future. Let us not forget his responsibility to his teammates and fans. AFC North will be different now. Baltimore now has a quarterback. The Ohio teams are improved too. This was the last thing Pittsburgh needed to have happen. Speedy recovery Big Ben!

posted by bal66708300 at 11:06 PM on June 12

The latest update on Ben's surgery. http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_163223639.html

posted by dbt302 at 11:08 PM on June 12

I don't disagree with anything you said fen, I don't understand the reason for building a bike to go that fast. what is the point??? I was just pissed at the comment tommytrump made, as if he had this coming.

posted by CB900 at 11:33 PM on June 12

i used to ride without a helmet. then i was surfing the net and saw some pictures of motorcycle accidents at rotten.com. it looked like the skull just shattered and splattered brains all over the road, kinda like if u would throw an egg to the floor at an angle. NOT pretty. I wear one now. Hopefully he will learn a lesson and wear one in the future. i am sure he will be hearing from the front office of the Steelers. Also hope he recovers in time to beat the clowns..er, i mean browns.

posted by steelergirl at 12:08 AM on June 13

CB900, nobody has "it" coming to them when they get hit by a car, Ben got unlucky and wasn't prepared for it. As for the speed bike, I don't know, there are some stretches of road I wouldn't mind winding a really fast bike up on. Not that I'd do it now, I've got kids! And I traded my sportbike for a V-Strom! And even that doesn't get used too much these days with a newborn and a big hound that needs alot of exercising!

posted by fenriq at 12:09 AM on June 13

No matter how much protection you wear, you can still die. The point is, really, everything in life is a risk but sense dictates that you try to minimize harm from potential risk by protecting yourself the best you can. Motorcycling is dangerous, you'd be foolish to not want to at least wear a helmet, if not leathers. Yeah, an open faced helmet might not necessarily saved his teeth, but depending on how he landed, it could have vastly minimized his injuries to his head.

posted by jerseygirl at 06:05 AM on June 13

It'd be awesome if one of the posters here from the head trauma ward could live-blog Ben's recovery. Fight amongst yourselves. With the safety scissors.

posted by yerfatma at 06:21 AM on June 13

i bet the head coach in Seattle is sitting back right now with a Cuervo thinking: "ya baby"

posted by ptluigi at 06:35 AM on June 13

Yes, I'm sure Mike Holmgren is kicking it high style right now, getting wasted on Cuervo to celebrate an injury to a player. Ass.

posted by rocketman at 06:50 AM on June 13

No mention of his knees this morning. The chief of oral and facial surgery spoke to the media last night talked about his facial injuries and said his "brain, spine, chest and abdomen appear to be without serious injury." He then says, "There are no other confirmed injuries at this time." I wonder if the doc is only talking upper body or if that means his knees are okay.

posted by SummersEve at 07:25 AM on June 13

Good idea , a seat belt on a motorcycle. As it goes flipping down the road you can go for the ride with it, and have the weight of the bike behind you when ya hit your head. Has to be the dumbist fucking thing I have ever read on here. I was only saying there's obviously no way of wearing a seatbelt on a motorcycle, fucking take everything so fucking literally moron. Use your stupid brain, asswhipe. I meant the comment for individuals with a bit of common sense, of which you're not one obviously.

posted by dyams at 07:28 AM on June 13

Bottom line, motorcycles are dangerous. You can't say they're not. Doesn't matter how safe you ride. It's the other driver who makes the mistake. He didn't have to be on the bike. As Terry Bradshaw told him, "Wait till you retire". Hope he fully recovers, but he put his whole career, and many potential dollars earned, at risk.

posted by YawkeyWay at 07:52 AM on June 13

Well, this thread has certainly brought out the best in SpoFites great and small...two of the stupidest comments I've seen to date, right here in this little thread. Also, it's "wreck," not "reck," Einstein. If you can't be bothered to sober up before you post, then maybe you should head back to the Yahoo! short bus chatroom.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:13 AM on June 13

Big Ben should have been thinking about his safety and his future. Let us not forget his responsibility to his teammates and fans. On the surface that sounds right. But you have to take into consideration that the cavalier attitude Roethlisberger had about riding a motorcycle without a helmet is the same kind of attitude that helped him quarterback the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory. Whether what he did was right or wrong, I don't know, but his decision to do so is part of his character. Without that character, Tommy Maddox would have probably gotten his starting job back.

posted by forrestv at 08:21 AM on June 13

Bottom line, motorcycles are dangerous. You can't say they're not. Yes, they certainly are. Why, just the other day, a motorcycle jumped out from behind a tree and bit me! Dangerous things, ought to be locked up. Motorcycles aren't dangerous, but riding a motorcycle is riskier than driving in a car, and it's not a stretch to say that it's a riskier activity than some people ought to be doing. I'm not saying that Big Ben is one of these people, but riding safely requires a pretty good commitment to developing and maintaining riding skills. Even once that skill is developed, riding safely requires an ongoing commitment that is unlike that required for driving a car safely: a biker's safety is much more influenced by the condition of his/her vehicle, and his/her ability to survive an accident or minimize injury is strongly affected by what he/she wears. The consequences of being a dilettante are much more severe where a motorcycle is concerned. When you ride without a helmet, what does that say? That you hate helmets? That you love the wind in your hair? That you live free or die? Sure, it says all that, but it also says, "I'm not going to get in an accident," or alternately, "I'm not willing to think about consequences." Take your pick.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:29 AM on June 13

I dont know why States just dont end the discussion about searing helments. To me is no different that seat belts. We have been having the same discussion out here in the heartland. I hope and pray that Ben heals up and is able to play better than ever!

posted by daddisamm at 08:37 AM on June 13

The morning update on Ben. http://kdka.com/topstories/local_story_164090545.html

posted by dbt302 at 08:38 AM on June 13

Let's not continue with namecalling guys. I know it's damn hard, especially if you get riled up. When you ride without a helmet, what does that say? That you hate helmets? That you love the wind in your hair? That you live free or die? Sure, it says all that, but it also says, "I'm not going to get in an accident," or alternately, "I'm not willing to think about consequences." Take your pick. Spot on. There's no reason to not wear a helmet at the very least.

posted by jerseygirl at 08:57 AM on June 13

I have been riding for over thirty years and I can tell you this, most bike recks happen because the person in the car has his head up his/her ass. If people would hang up there fucking phones and watch what the fuck they are doing it would be a safer world for all of us.. Not wearing a helmet should not make a biker the target of every asshole with a set of car keys. posted by CB900 at 9:51 PM CDT on June 12 cb900, well put. i second that emotion.:))

posted by ptluigi at 09:33 AM on June 13

rocketman, that was supposed to be a sarcasstic remark, ya bonehead

posted by ptluigi at 09:34 AM on June 13

If people would hang up there fucking phones and watch what the fuck they are doing it would be a safer world for all of us.. Not wearing a helmet should not make a biker the target of every asshole with a set of car keys. It goes both ways. If some bike riders would not zip in between traffic at 90 mph showboating, if they wouldn't split lanes to avoid traffic backups, if they'd ride responsibly themselves, they'd be doing themselves and people in vehicles a service. I've seen plenty of motorcyclists acting like complete assholes on the road and its astonishing. They're already at a disadvantage and they're endangering themselves further, not to mention everyone else on the road. Yes, car drivers are terrible at times and I don't doubt they are at fault in bike/car accidents at times, too. But it can and does go both ways. I fucking hate cell phone people, too. The other aspect of this is, the helmet protects the bike rider from falls, injury etc. You know what else it protects you from? Shit on the road. I flinch when a rock spits up at me on the highway, and I've got a pane of glass between the rock and my head.

posted by jerseygirl at 09:40 AM on June 13

good point, jersey girl. i ride a 2006 night train and have never had it past 70 mph. i cringe when i see those sports bikes go by me at 120 plus.

posted by ptluigi at 09:56 AM on June 13

I'm just glad he's alright. When he gets out of the hospital, he'll have a lot of 'splaining to do, but that's not for right now.

posted by chicobangs at 10:53 AM on June 13

I apologize for not giving you the benefit of the doubt, but your spelling and grammar skills led me to question your intelligence. Remember kids: Presentation Counts!

posted by rocketman at 11:03 AM on June 13

I want to make something clear. I never said that Ben had this coming, just that he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and that he used very poor judgement in not protecting himself. I never said he broke a law. There's no law in Ontario that says i can't build a patio deck in my bare feet on my own property, but i would NOT even think about doing something like that without safety shoes, and eye protection for when i'm cutting the boards. It's JUST COMMON SENSE. I would just take advantage of the protective equipment available to me.

posted by tommytrump at 11:15 AM on June 13

Oh, and now we hear that he didn't have a PA bike license, and that his learner's permit expired in March. Which means that he was riding illegally, and may well have been subject to the exception in PA that makes wearing a helmet mandatory. Eejit.

posted by etagloh at 11:57 AM on June 13

From all the news reports I'm hearing his face took most of the damage. You don't need a face to play football, do you?

posted by HATER 187 at 12:16 PM on June 13

How much risk is too much risk? Some people find the risk acceptable to talk on the phone while driving. Some think riding a bicycle without a helmet is an acceptable risk. Ben thinks riding a motorcycle helmetless is ok. Does that make him an idiot like so many people seem to believe? I don't think so, his level of acceptable risk is just different than yours or mine. If we all drove our cars at 25 miles an hour there would be far less accidents, so is it stupid that we drive at 60-70 mph? We drive 70 mph because it's acceptabley dangerous to us. Riding without a helmet is acceptabley dangerous to Ben, that doesn't make him an idiot.

posted by tron7 at 12:22 PM on June 13

just to verify, there were no grammar or spelling mistakes in that post. i guess some people skipped there reading classes. enough said.

posted by ptluigi at 12:32 PM on June 13

I don't think so, his level of acceptable risk is just different than yours or mine. Tron, I'm not picking on you. But come along on this journey with me. Kind of curious as to where personal decisions on risk to their own health crosses the line of effecting others. You're sharing the road with a biker. He's helmetless. In front of you both about 1/4 ahead is a dumptruck. As dumptrucks do, its sort of spilling some of it's load - sand, gravel, etc. It hits your windshield, maybe leaves a star in the glass. Maybe even startles you with the quick, sharp hit to your car. However, the same sort of gravel strikes a biker in the face with the same sort of force and he swerves into your car. His acceptable risk just caused a car accident in which you're involved. That still ok? Essentially his choice in personal safety protection, or lack thereof, caused a distraction and a hazard to others.

posted by jerseygirl at 12:58 PM on June 13

jerseygirl: It goes both ways. If some bike riders would not zip in between traffic at 90 mph showboating, if they wouldn't split lanes to avoid traffic backups, if they'd ride responsibly themselves, they'd be doing themselves and people in vehicles a service. Everything you said is accurate except for the lane splitting. Multiple scientific studies have shown that lane splitting is about twice as safe as moving with traffic (see below). It's been legal in California for years and several states are considering legalizing it. ...A study conducted four years ago by a University of Southern California researcher supports that claim. The study, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Transportation, concluded that lane splitting is safer than sitting in stop-and-go traffic, where bikers are far more likely to be "sandwiched'' between two cars. "For a motorcyclist, that's the safest place to be," Professor Harry Hurt said shortly after releasing his study. "A lot of people think it's a hazard, but the cold, hard facts are that it's not.'' Source: SF Gate, October 2000 And: Is lane-splitting on the tollways safe? Yes. The 1981 Hurt Study on motorcycle accident causation factors, recognized by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for many years as the premier scientific study on motorcycle safety, has documented evidence that motorcycles traveling between lanes of stopped or slow-moving cars (i.e., lane-splitting) on multiple-lane roads reduces crash frequency compared with staying within the lane and moving with other traffic. Responsible lane-splitting for motorcyclists is legally acceptable in many countries and is encouraged to reduce traffic congestion and to realize safety benefits. More recent research on the benefits of lane-splitting is available from numerous sources, including the 1996 ISO/DIS 13232 document and the 2000 National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety prepared by the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. ISO/DIS 13232 is particularly interesting as it was developed as the global standard to guide passive safety research on motorcycle-automobile impacts. The standard is based on a survey of 501 motorcycle accidents in the USA (Los Angeles) and Germany (Hanover).From the survey, 25 impact configurations were defined depending on the impact point on the car, the impact point on the motorcycle, and the impact angle. The relative frequency of those impact configurations that could be associated with lane-splitting behavior (5 configurations) is approximately 6% in total. On the other hand, the relative frequency of impact configurations that could be associated with staying within the lane (2 configurations: motorcycle rear-ending the automobile at zero degree impact angle and automobile rear-ending the motorcycle at zero degree impact angle) is approximately 12% or double the accident frequency that could be associated with lane-splitting behavior. Source: Freedom Riders Club

posted by dusted at 01:00 PM on June 13

Jerseygirl (and I'm not picking on you) - in your second example, it's the dump truck that's losing its load that is at fault, not the motorcyclist. Mix it up a bit. Say a lumber truck loses it's logs and one goes through the windshield of your Honda. Is it your fault that you weren't driving an SUV that would have placed you up and out of danger?

posted by dusted at 01:04 PM on June 13

Riding without a helmet is acceptabley dangerous to Ben, that doesn't make him an idiot. I've got to think that as he lies there today, with his jaw wired shut, his nose busted, face all swollen, a giant laceration on back of his head, and many of his teeth either gone or ruined, he probably considers HIMSELF an idiot.

posted by dyams at 01:04 PM on June 13

dusted, thanks for saying what I was going to say about lane splitting. The bottom line is that Ben shouldn't have been riding a sportbike capable of 180 mph without protective gear on. That he got hurt is almost beside the point, he shouldn't have been exposing himself to such unnecessary danger of injury. I'm sorry he's hurt and I hope he gets better, regardless of his ability to play football again.

posted by fenriq at 01:08 PM on June 13

it's the dump truck that's losing its load that is at fault, not the motorcyclist. Mix it up a bit. Say a lumber truck loses it's logs and one goes through the windshield of your Honda. Is it your fault that you weren't driving an SUV that would have placed you up and out of danger? An SUV isn't going to come out of that unscathed either. That's an extreme and different animal than what I am speaking to.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:17 PM on June 13

Oh absolutely, children wearing helmets and seatbelts should be the law of the land, but adults should have the right to decide for themselves. After all, it's their ass on the line and they're the ones who'll suffer the most, so the government has no business in it. Ying Yang Mafia's point was very good: Except that once the accident happens the government is going to have buisness in it. Whether it be insurance, law suites, ect. the government is most likely to get involved. That is why they have to prevent these things from happening, instead of waiting for more paperwork to fill out and tax dollars to use. I would go one further and point out that nearly every state requires drivers to pay for liability insurance. This insurance includes body injury liability. Anything that increases the likelihood of injury in an accident (like not wearing a helmet) would necessarily increase the number of claims -- and the cost of those claims. The more claims, the more those state-required insurance premiums go up. Frankly, it is irresponsible for any state that requires liability insurance not to insist on helmets (on bikes) and seatbelts (in cars) or any other safety device that would effect the premiums they are requiring. As an insurance holder, it really ticks me off every time I see a biker without a helmet. Riding without a helmet is acceptabley dangerous to Ben, that doesn't make him an idiot. Tron7, that is a great point. How many people, when they're only going a couple of blocks to the grocery store, don't put their seat belts on? How many change a lightbulb while standing on a chair, or keep an electrical device (blow drier, waffle iron) next to the sink? If something bad happened to you in one weird instance, people would probably say, "What was X doing sticking a fork into the toaster to get the toast out? Idiot." We've got Ben pegged as Mr. Easy Rider No Helmet Guy, but I see nothing that indicates anything more than he got on his bike once, neglected to grab a helmet, got hit. And while I would have been irked plenty if I saw him riding without the helmet, I also know that the neighbors in my apartment building would probably be just as irked if they knew I like to use wood matches to keep my candles going when the wick is burned up. That could start a fire, you know.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:20 PM on June 13

Edit: In some cases, insurance rates are regulated by the states, so the accidents effect premiums less and taxes more. Same difference.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:25 PM on June 13

An SUV isn't going to come out of that unscathed either. That's an extreme and different animal than what I am speaking to. OK, make it a pig truck and a pig that comes flying through your windshield. Whatever. My point was that you can't blame the victim of someone else's error. You wrote "his acceptable risk just caused a car accident in which you're involved," when in actuality it wasn't his "acceptable risk" that caused the accident - it was the truck losing its load.

posted by dusted at 01:25 PM on June 13

Jerseygirl (and I'm not picking on you) - in your second example, it's the dump truck that's losing its load that is at fault, not the motorcyclist. That's true, but... Mix it up a bit. Say a lumber truck loses it's logs and one goes through the windshield of your Honda. Is it your fault that you weren't driving an SUV that would have placed you up and out of danger? Tell me this, dusted: how many times have you seen gravel blow off a dump truck? Now, how many times have you seen a logging truck lose its logs? A lot of things can happen on the road, but some of them are a lot more likely than others. Knowing your environment is part of what makes a driver, rider, bicyclist, hiker, or whatever capable of making informed and intelligent decisions about risk. I see a lot of bikers out my way who clearly don't really understand much about rural areas. They love to ride in packs with some of them riding the center line or drifting over; think of what will happen if they come around a corner and here's Farmer John coming the other way with a tractor pulling a big ol' cultivator... Anyone see this one?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:28 PM on June 13

Interesting stuff on lane splitting... never knew that. but I see nothing that indicates anything more than he got on his bike once, neglected to grab a helmet, got hit. Interviews of him saying he doesn't wear a helmet because he doesn't want to. But i do agree with your "we all do stupid things" point. a lumber truck loses it's logs and one goes through the windshield of your Honda. Is it your fault that you weren't driving an SUV that would have placed you up and out of danger? And it could rain anvils. If you were somewhere else you'd have lived. Let's not go crazy with the examples. Having an SUV instead of a car is a much bigger choice than putting on a helmet. An SUV isn't always safer. I think you'd be hard pressed to find an every-day example of not wearing a helmet being safer than wearing one. Maybe it's more similar to smoking or not smoking? Some people like to smoke even though they know the risks.

posted by SummersEve at 01:31 PM on June 13

Like everything, if Lane Splitting is done cautiously and responsibly, and from everything I had read this morning, it can be safe. I see many a biker taking it slow and meandering cautiously through stopped traffic keeping a good distance between the cars and themselves. But for every two good bikers, I've probably seen a biker zipping through moving traffic, barely missing side mirrors. The initial point of the comment I had made in regards to lane splitting, etc was that for every asshole car driver on their cellphone or reading a fucking newspaper (you see a lot highway commuting everyday) there's an asshole biker being just as moronic and irresponsible and bikers are physically at a disadvantage already.

posted by jerseygirl at 01:31 PM on June 13

"And it could rain anvils." Or pigs! That made me laugh. Yeah, we're in hypothetical example marshland, we'd better turn around. I think everyone is pretty much agreeing with each other.

posted by dusted at 01:36 PM on June 13

Who wins in a fight? Helmetless Big Ben with a truckload of anvils, or Mike Ditka with an armload of logs?

posted by YawkeyWay at 01:51 PM on June 13

Da bears. Hey, I don't bemoan Ben having the choice between helmet and no helmet - and I'm not so sure the correlation between his relative safety and my relative safety beside him with and helmet and without - but I certainly reserve the right to call him an idiot. Mostly because I think it's wholly accurate. Sometimes if it walks like a duck and quacks ike a duck it's an idiot who thinks it's better riding a high speed motorcycle without a helmet, on roads frequented by 65 year-old blue-haired women making illegal left turns. Dude. Hello?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:01 PM on June 13

Just horrible. I have had a good bit of time to think this over now. Obviously, whole city is distraught. But the fact of the matter is Ben does not owe me anything or anyone else on this site. He did nothing illegal and its not like he is popping wheelies in a parking lot (Winslow). If there is a clause in his contract (which i am sure is coming) and then he rides or rides without a helmet then get on him. Not when the man is in the freaken hospital.

posted by steelcityguy at 02:02 PM on June 13

How many change a lightbulb while standing on a chair, or keep an electrical device (blow drier, waffle iron) next to the sink? If something bad happened to you in one weird instance, people would probably say, "What was X doing sticking a fork into the toaster to get the toast out? Idiot." If I got hurt from standing on a chair you would call me an idiot? But, yeah I get your(and weedy's) point, if your taking an acceptable risk and then get injured I guess people have the right to call you an idiot.

posted by tron7 at 02:16 PM on June 13

One of my favorite pleasures in life is fresh toast during my bath. Are you saying I shouldn't keep my toaster close to the tub for easy access?

posted by chicobangs at 02:19 PM on June 13

Ahhhhh - scented oils, bubbles and a freshly toasted bagel. My, my. And you dare ask if there's such a thing as heaven. (I say this in the Mr. Peterman voice, and frankly, it's hard to argue.)

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:25 PM on June 13

If only we could incorporate a garbage disposal into the shower drain...

posted by jerseygirl at 02:40 PM on June 13

Maybe it's more similar to smoking or not smoking? Some people like to smoke even though they know the risks. I like this comparison - goes well with whomever made the natural selection comment above. Reducing the number of stupid people in the world would certainly have a greater, more positive impact on government spending, which ultimately benefits the people (though admittedly not as much as a Super Bowl title - but then, the Steelers just got one of those, so perhaps the big guy upstairs was just doing the folks in the Pitts a solid before taking care of business).

posted by MW12 at 03:10 PM on June 13

But, yeah I get your(and weedy's) point, if your taking an acceptable risk and then get injured I guess people have the right to call you an idiot. I'm not sure that was my point. I was trying to say that, except for the most neurotic of us, we're all running around in a thunderstorm waving a golf club. And it seems when one of us gets struck by lightning, the rest of us seem to feel comfortable calling that person an idiot. While I will defend to the death your right to call anyone an idiot for any reason (and duly suffer the consequences), I think it's a little hypocritical for any of us to call someone out when they get pinched for doing a stupid thing, since many of us are guilty of equivalent stupidity from time to time. Which, essentially, is reiterating your "acceptable risk" comment. I was agreeing with you. So, go ahead and install that shower toaster. I won't call you an idiot. I don't know what you have in your house, but my chairs are specifically labeled "No Standing." Also, the little packets in my shoebox say "Do Not Eat." If you hurt yourself from standing on a chair or eating a shoebox packet, then... and only then... are you an idiot.

posted by BullpenPro at 03:26 PM on June 13

I live in Maine where the only helmet law is when you have your permit and for the first year of your license. Although I feel that it is a good idea to wear a helmet, very seldom do I. I have been riding for about 10 years now. I know that it makes sense, but I just really don't like them. To me, helmets are uncomfortable. Yes I know, so are head injuries, but I just don't like them. As for Big Ben, if he doesn't want to wear one and if he doesn't have to (unless he really didn't have a license, or there is something in his contract) if he doesn't have to. I know that it really bothers the Steeler's Fans that he is injured (if it happened to Tom Brady I would cry) but Ben is his own person and if he wants to ride like that, it is his right. As to jerseygirl, if that rock came off the dump truck that was big enough to crack your winshield, I can guarantee that the rider would still come crashing into the car. It is very difficult not to twist when something that big hits you, helmet or not. As a Patriot's Fan and a helmetless motorcycle rider, I can honestly say that my first concern was the well being of another human being when I heard this story. To Ben: I wish you a speedy recovery. I work with a few Steelers Fans and I don't want any excuses when the Pats beat the Steelers this year.

posted by grabofsky74 at 03:29 PM on June 13

What a dumbass. You wouldn't catch Donovan McNabb (I hope) doing that.

posted by GoBirds at 03:32 PM on June 13

He was on a bike that can go 180 MPH, what kind of helmet wil protect a person from the damage a bike like this can do? You don't drive a bike like this, ya aim it and pull the trigger. That said, had he had an open face helmet on no change in the out come. Does antone know how fast he was going?

posted by CB900 at 03:32 PM on June 13

Does anyone know how fast he was going.

posted by CB900 at 03:40 PM on June 13

Which, essentially, is reiterating your "acceptable risk" comment. I was agreeing with you. Now who's the idiot. -sigh-

posted by tron7 at 03:49 PM on June 13

As to jerseygirl, if that rock came off the dump truck that was big enough to crack your winshield, I can guarantee that the rider would still come crashing into the car. It is very difficult not to twist when something that big hits you, helmet or not. I was talking about a piece of gravel, not the Rock of Gibraltar. Rock of Gibraltar falling from the sky automatically wins that Rochambeau.

posted by jerseygirl at 03:53 PM on June 13

I got hit by the rock of Gibraltor once, I had a helmet on so it was no big deal. Though, I never should have tried passing that anvil truck.

posted by tron7 at 04:03 PM on June 13

It happened to me to. I swerved out of the way to avoid the pig flying on the log and got hit by the rock instead.

posted by jerseygirl at 04:05 PM on June 13

Sounds like a scene from Final Destination 4.

posted by MrFrisby at 04:13 PM on June 13

There's lane splitting and then there's lane splitting. It's legal to lane split in California at speeds of 35 MPH or less, yet I often see bikers doing it when traffic is 80 MPH or more, and motorists least expect it. At those speeds, I can barely see a small object like a biker until he's roared by me, and I am the rule, not the exception.

posted by irunfromclones at 04:35 PM on June 13

Sportsfilter: I am the rule, not the exception.

posted by rocketman at 04:55 PM on June 13

Goo goo g' joob.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:26 PM on June 13

Has anyone considered how Big Ben's parents and the rest of his family feel about all of this? The NFL may have no say in the final outcome.

posted by bal66708300 at 06:19 PM on June 13

By the way, doctors say Ben's knees are fine. "No major structural damage to either of his knees." -Dr. Larry Jones. Meanwhile, short round says, "Hey Lady, you call him Doctor Jones."

posted by SummersEve at 06:45 PM on June 13

We are all looking at the bad when we should be looking at the good. Thank God the rock of Gibaltar didn't hit Ben head on. That would have been a cause for concern.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:49 PM on June 13

Meanwhile, short round says, "Hey Lady, you call him Doctor Jones." Nice.

posted by bperk at 06:55 PM on June 13

Has anyone considered how Big Ben's parents and the rest of his family feel about all of this? The NFL may have no say in the final outcome. As in, "You're grounded, young man! And you can forget about ever riding a motorcycle again!"? My mom was always super-cool when I crashed my bicycle and bled all over the place. An ace with direct pressure, that woman.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:25 PM on June 13

Tron7, that is a great point. How many people, when they're only going a couple of blocks to the grocery store, don't put their seat belts on? Those that drive any distance without putting on their seatbelts, beyond moving the car around in their garage, are idiots in my book.

posted by grum@work at 08:11 PM on June 13

Seriously? Never ever ever? Live a little, my tight-pantsed friend. You take a chance getting up in the morning, crossing the street, or sticking your face in a fan.

posted by yerfatma at 08:45 PM on June 13

Those that drive any distance without putting on their seatbelts, beyond moving the car around in their garage, are idiots in my book. One thing I realized quite recently in life is that I hardly ever put on a seatbelt when riding in a cab. Like somehow being in a cab didn't really count. Then one day I acknowledged that many cab drivers are awful drivers, sociopathically super aggressive and accidents waiting to happen. And that meeting up with that plexiglass divider when flying down the highway to the airport at 80 mph or even cruising around town in the low 40s would not be particularly pleasant. (To bring this back to sports talk, ask Tom Glavine about how that feels.) Now I try to buckle up every time in get in a cab.

posted by holden at 09:08 PM on June 13

No helmet, AND no licence, now can we call him an idiot and get no argument?

posted by tommytrump at 09:14 PM on June 13

I'm glad that Ben's o.k. (relatively speaking/typing) whether he plays in the NFL again or not--and I'm sure he will.

posted by curtangle at 10:40 PM on June 13

No helmet, AND no licence, now can we call him an idiot and get no argument? Not having a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license doesn't add anything to the argument that he is an idiot. But it does suggest that he is irresponsible.

posted by forrestv at 11:29 PM on June 13

Okay, so what happens when I'm riding my Vincent Black Shadow down the highway and a roadrunner and a coyote with an ACME Rocket Pack strapped to him pass me on the wrong side of the road and cause me to wreck. Who's the idiot here, and who's the suuuuper genius?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:08 AM on June 14

Mike Doughty?

posted by yerfatma at 06:11 AM on June 14

Not having a valid Pennsylvania motorcycle license doesn't add anything to the argument that he is an idiot. But it does suggest that he is irresponsible. And a lawbreaker.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:41 AM on June 14

But it does suggest that he is irresponsible. And a lawbreaker. That about sums it up. Can this thread stop before it hits 200? It's about time for the "Dead Horse" sign to appear.

posted by dyams at 09:27 AM on June 14

It's about time for the "Dead Horse" sign to appear. Are you insinuating Barbaro should have been wearing a helmet too?

posted by SummersEve at 10:14 AM on June 14

Wow. That's sad news about Barbaro dying. I thought he was improving.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:18 AM on June 14

Didn't even know about it (Barbaro) when I made the "Dead Horse" sign comment. I guess it would be a bit inappropriate at this particular point.

posted by dyams at 11:15 AM on June 14

It's apropriate, Barbaro's family can't read anyway.

posted by tron7 at 11:52 AM on June 14

Wow. That's sad news about Barbaro dying. I thought he was improving. I'm pretty sure Barbaro is still alive. There are no articles to suggest otherwise. The same can be said for this fellow.

posted by grum@work at 11:57 AM on June 14

Lousy Barbaro, costing me money. I'll fix that horse good. I'm taking a little trip to the glue factory, and he can't come.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:04 PM on June 14

Woah, bad joke not a rumor starter. Barbaro's just fine (for now). He's busy responding to all his well wishers, but otherwise fine.

posted by SummersEve at 12:10 PM on June 14

Bela Lugosi's dead, Barbaro, not so much. It is always time for a joke though.

posted by tommytrump at 12:11 PM on June 14

It's about time for the "Dead Horse" sign to appear.

posted by wingnut4life at 12:32 PM on June 14

Can't let the Bauhaus reference go unnoticed, thats some good work tt, you'll make sargent for this.

posted by HATER 187 at 12:34 PM on June 14

That about sums it up. Can this thread stop before it hits 200? Seems this is number 200. Nail in Coffin!

posted by Folkways at 12:40 PM on June 14

Darn you folkways, I was waiting for that spot. Well let's not leave it at an even 200, mkay? Hell, at least this thread wasn't about those two guys and that girl we are always rehashing the same ol arguments about.

posted by MrFrisby at 12:51 PM on June 14

I wanted to throw in random Simpsons quotes till we hit 200 but I crapped out on 199. I stink! Purple, monkey, dishwasher.

posted by HATER 187 at 01:06 PM on June 14

there's always 300, hater.

posted by SummersEve at 01:18 PM on June 14

just for the record; what is the largest number of posts to one thread?

posted by elovrich at 01:26 PM on June 14

203. I caught it first. I've already got your post on e-bay.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:33 PM on June 14

Hey if we start throwing around crap about Barry Bonds, T.O., and how male athletes are superior to female athletes we should hit 300 in no time.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:17 PM on June 14

what is the largest number of posts to one thread? Around 340, he guessed.

posted by yerfatma at 03:40 PM on June 14

What was this thread about again?

posted by wingnut4life at 06:14 PM on June 14

Dead horses riding motorcycles. Oh, and if the pro biker nazi is around, not all those who ride bikes are angelic cherubs.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:41 PM on June 14

How can a thread start out about the choice to wear a helmet, then damn near turn into a Roe v. Wade riot. Even if Ben loses his football money, his Fathead endorsements should skyrocket with all the swelling and everything. Get well soon Ben.

posted by Bishop at 08:52 PM on June 14

I think Ben should get an endorsement deal with some kind of windshield repair/manufacturer. "McGruder's windshields - Man.. they taste great! Touchdown!"

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:06 PM on June 14

A few things: a) I thought it was strange I hadn't heard (or read) about Barbaro dying. b) Thanks for the "Dead Horse" sign. That one gets me every time. c) The "Fathead" comment was great. Maybe Ben will branch out on his own and market "Swollenhead" or "Helmethead". d) I now totally accept threads over 200 posts, as long as by the 200 mark anyone looking at the latest entries will have a hard time picking out what the original story was about, and that these late posts contain decent, witty material. e)

posted by dyams at 07:51 AM on June 15

Speaking of endorsements, I found this in a recent article: No Chunky for this monkey: The accident certainly will postpone Roethlisberger's $2 million commercial for Campbell Soup, which was scheduled to be shot this week. Roethlisberger's broken jaw will prevent him from doing much television for the next month or two. With his jaw wired, it would be tough for him to even down Chunky Soup.

posted by wingnut4life at 08:17 AM on June 15

Sure, it eats with a fork - not a straw. Vroom.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:59 AM on June 15

I can see an Oster blender deal in the works.

posted by irunfromclones at 01:15 PM on June 15

"When you absolutely have to drink a steak -choose Oster." Apparently, his jaw isn't wired shut. I think as soon as he makes his remarks about helmets, the Steelers will wish it had been.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:52 PM on June 15

Big Ben left the hospital around midnight last night- with a motorcycle escort....

posted by irunfromclones at 02:33 PM on June 15

Why is Barbaro riding a motorbike without a helmet anyway? Shouldn't he just be resting his leg, he shouldn't be out horsing around this soon anyway.

posted by tommytrump at 11:55 PM on June 15

Sweet sufferin' god, tommytrump, where's he gonna get a helmet? And you don't expect him to run on that leg, do you? 214!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:15 AM on June 16

It's not the shifting that bothers the leg, it's the braking...

posted by irunfromclones at 05:43 PM on June 16

It's not the shifting that bothers the leg, it's the braking... Is that kinda like, it's not falling 20 ft. that hurts, it's the sudden thump when you hit the ground?

posted by tommytrump at 10:49 PM on June 17

People are making such a big deal about wearing a helmet while riding on a Motorcycle. While everyday people are injured when they dont buckle their seat belts. People make stupid choices all of the time that can cause seriois injuries. I am not sticking up for big Ben, I just would like people to think about the big picture. We all know somebody who has been seriously injured when not wearing a seatbelt while driving.

posted by daddisamm at 06:50 AM on June 18

Can we all just agree Ben is stupid and irresponsible for breaking the law and jeopardizing his health and life needlessly.

posted by tommytrump at 02:08 PM on June 24

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