Imagine being a 24 year old Superbowl champion quarterback with millions in the bank and the world at your feet. You’re cruising through life, speeding along, wind in your hair… Feels great, right? Now imagine your teeth imbedded in the windshield of a Chrysler New Yorker, or in the pavement, or both. Does it still feel great? Well, maybe it does. After all, you can probably afford a pretty good plastic surgeon.

News of Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger’s June 12 motorcycle accident spread quickly from the Steel City to the rest of the country. Details were sketchy at first, but sports fans with a need to find out more soon figured out where to turn. Both Steelers.com and PittsburghLive.com had close to 300,000 unique visitors for the week — substantial increases for both sites.

We learned that Big Ben wasn’t wearing his helmet despite having received warnings about safety from members of his own coaching staff. We learned that he wasn’t carrying a valid permit to operate a motorcycle. And we learned that his injuries weren’t life threatening, but easily could have been.

Can Roethlisberger recover in time for the Steelers to make a run at repeating as champions? It’s too early to tell, but I’m guessing that one or two shots from a defensive lineman will make him happy to be wearing a helmet.

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