Colon defends Roethlisberger after TMZ report
FORT WORTH, Texas — Right tackle Willie Colon has protected Ben Roethlisberger on the football field for years.
On Thursday, Colon came to his quarterback's defense off the field after TMZ.com reported that Roethlisberger and two teammates were partying at a piano bar after curfew two nights earlier.
"We are not 18-year-olds," Colon said. "We made our (1 a.m.) curfew, we were in bed, and we were on time for practice."
Roethlisberger yesterday admitted taking teammates out to dinner and then to watch live music but denied being out past curfew, saying the players were back at the team hotel "way before curfew."
A manager at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Forth Worth told the Tribune-Review that Roethlisberger and four offensive linemen showed up about 10 p.m. Tuesday and left shortly before midnight.
"They participated along with the crowd," said the manager, who wished to remain nameless. "Ben was very gracious. He bought the house one round of drinks, took pictures. ... It was a really cool night."
The manager said the Steelers ran up an $800 tab and left a $200 tip.
Roethlisberger also sang Billy Joel's "Piano man" with the bar's entertainers.
Can Roethlisberger carry a tune?
"He's a great quarterback," the manager said, "not a great singer. He's not going to have a singing career. He probably needs to go into broadcasting (after football)."
TMZ posted video of the Steelers players singing with patrons.
Coach Mike Tomlin wondered what the fuss was about.
"I'm not concerned one iota," he said. "It's normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not."
Colon routinely hangs out with Roethlisberger and said Tuesday night's dinner and drinks were innocent.
"People are making a big deal out of it," Colon said.
Roethlisberger routinely takes his linemen out to dinner once a week during the season, usually on Thursdays. He said it is a superstition to dine with his linemen on Tuesday of Super Bowl week. Two years ago in Tampa, they went to P.F. Chang's. This year they decided on Angelo's Barbecue two miles from the team hotel.
After dinner, a few players made the trip to Pete's.
"I got on the mic and said 'We are just here to be respectful, no pictures, no autographs' and people were cool," Colon said. "A lot of the times I have to beg (Roethlisberger) to come out, but he won't.
"He is with his family a lot, with his mom and dad a lot, he is with his fiance, he is with people who he loves to be around."
Steelers Pep Rallies
Steelers Pep Rallies continue at the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown on Friday, February 04, 2011. Students, faculty and staff at St. Vincent College in Unity Township cheer during a a 'Stairway to 7' pep rally on February 3, 2011. The
Media Events in Dallas
Reporters from around the world interview the Steelers during a Super Bowl XLV media sessions Wednesday and Thursday at Texas Christian University following Media Day Tuesday February 1, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.