Shutdown Corner - NFL

Ben Roethlisberger(notes) defended himself to reporters on Thursday after video was posted on TMZ of him drinking at a bar with teammates earlier this week.

The entertainment website posted a short clip of Roethlisberger, drink in hand, singing at a piano bar late Tuesday night:

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback defended himself to reporters on Thursday after he was asked questions about his night out:

"It was a superstition and tradition on Tuesday night. I take the linemen out to dinner. We went out for barbecue and then we wanted to hear some live music. We just had an enjoyable night."

He also spoke about why he requested Billy Joel's "Piano Man."

"That's a great piano song isn't it," he said. "You've got to request that when you're at the piano bar." Roethlisberger also mentioned that he and his teammates were home before the team's 1 a.m. curfew.

TMZ reports that Roethlisberger bought several rounds of drinks for himself, his teammates and the other patrons in the bar. The bill came out to $800 and he left a $200 tip.

To sum up, Roethlisberger went out for drinks, tipped well, had fun with other customers and was, by all accounts, on his best behavior. He didn't cause a scene or get behind the wheel or draw any negative attention to himself.

So what's the problem here? Because of his incident in Georgia, he's supposed to lock himself in his hotel room every night? Other than opening himself up to ridiculous lines of questioning from reporters and having to defend himself for having a good time, Roethlisberger didn't do anything wrong (other than requesting a Billy Joel song). 

But why listen to me when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin summed up the situation perfectly:

"I'm not concerned about [Roethlisberger going out] one iota. It's normal for guys to eat dinner believe it or not. ... I understand things being reported or viewed differently but that's not our concern. Believe it or not guys live lives."

The following night, Roethlisberger's life was more low-key. He said he stayed in and watched a movie in his hotel room. 

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