Wedding bells can be found in Ben Roethlisberger's future, but cohabitation will have to wait. The Pittsburgh Steeler's quarterback revealed some of the nuptial plans to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but buried at the bottom of the story readers will find an interesting nugget with no details or explanation.
Mr. Roethlisberger cited the couple's religious faith and beliefs as the reasons for not living together until marriage.
As our jaws collectively drop, let us all say, "What the heck? Tell us more."
Obviously, other bloggers were smart to pick this up and highlight it as the lead, so why did the Post-Gazette leave it towards the bottom? Maybe the editors were too busy reading about how no one in the UK cares about virginity anymore.
Of course, this isn't just any quarterback engagement. Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault -- twice. No criminal charges were filed, and the league suspended him for four games earlier this season.
I would love to see a transcript of the PG's interview to see if Roethlisberger offered more details about his faith and whether the reporter followed up with further questions. For example, what is this "religious faith" he speaks of? Is he active in a particular congregation?
Ben Roethlisberger spoke of Jesus Christ and said he'd prepared for a news conference by reading the Bible.
"It's not like I found faith for the first time," he said. "It's just getting back to the way I was raised."
He used phrases like "inner peace" and "life, family and faith."
"To have forgiveness, the ultimate forgiveness, is awesome," he said.
However, I'm still grasping for details about his faith, even simply: Is he Catholic? Baptist? Eastern Orthodox? The PG story mentions that he met his fiancée at Saint Vincent College, a Catholic liberal arts school, but that doesn't tell us very much.
It might also be worth checking in with Rep 1 Sports Group, the sports agency that represents Roethlisberger, that LZ Granderson wrote about for ESPN last year. (Move past a little column-y sarcasm for the details).
Faith is not just a passing fancy but something that is important to them. So their beliefs raise questions about what they want to be associated with and how much of Roethlisberger's status plays into that decision. Not to judge him or anyone else -- that's for God to do -- but to discern. If the Steelers trade Big Ben, the team will at least get players in return. If Rep 1 parts ways with him because he keeps behaving un-Christian-like, well they get nothing but peace of mind -- maybe.
The skeptic in us probably should ask whether Roethlisberger is finding faith for a convenient PR move. However, it's worth looking back on his previous actions and statements. For instance, I came across a Baptist Press article about his interviews filled with God talk. Still, there's a tough question or two around that idea someone could ask him.
In a previous interview, the PG even challenged the quarterback with the following question. "When athletes talk about finding religion, it produces its share of eye-rolling. Do you expect that reaction from fans?"
I would love to know if a reporter has directly asked him about his faith in connection to the allegations made against him. Unfair? If not, how would you phrase the tougher questions? Journalism is about specific facts, after all.
PHOTO: It's been a TMZ kind of year for Ben Roethlisberger.