Roethlisberger Maelstrom Only Just Beginning, We're Afraid

The reaction to Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle accident isn't yet approaching Barbaro proportions — he's not a loveable racehorse, after all — but it's up there. Aside from multiple facial fractures — which were repaired successfully, according to surgeons — Roethlisberger seems to have escaped other major injury, and there's already talk of a six- to eight-week recovery period. Actually, doctors' biggest fears were that he'd end up looking like Jack Lambert (sorry, it's a defense mechanism. Because we care).

The recovery period for the Steeler Nation may be longer, however. The first sign that Steelers' fans were taking this hard came with the news that hundreds of people were holding vigil outside of the hospital during the surgery. And being Steelers fans, of course, some had brought with them portable grills. This is absolutely true; Roethlisberger's seven-hour surgery provided yet another opportunity for Steelers' fans to do a little tailgating.

"WOOOOO, facial reconstructive surgical team! WOOOO!"

"Get your Big Ben towel-holding surgical forceps here! Official forceps of the Big Ben surgical team!"

Fans are also flooding the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Roethlisberger's personal blog with good wishes for a speedy recovery, as should be expected. But at the same time, many are royally P.O.ed at Ben, because, as we know, he wasn't wearing a helmet. And that's causing quite a stir. Some reaction to that after the jump.

Multiple Injuries, Few Answers For Roethlisberger [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Ben Roethlisberger — Official Blog

(UPDATE: Doctors say the injuries are only on Roethlisberger's face and that he'll be ready to play by Week 1. Lucky fella, that guy.)

I think you're one of the greatest players in the NFL now, but your refusal to wear a helmet is, honestly, a slap in the face to the thousands of people who've been seriously injured in motorcycle accidents. — Tyler.
— Ben Roethlisberger Blog.

I'm pretty upset with you right now, but that has to slide for the time being.
All I'm going to say is that you have to remember that it's not only the automobiles that are recalled by their makers.
You can be as careful as ever, but that doesn't mean that everyone else always is.
Now we've both learned the hard way that we have to choose our battles wisely, head vs. car and/or head vs. pavement is not exactly the fairest of match ups. — Posted by: Tatiana
— Ben Roethlisberger Blog.

I HAVE to curse our state (Pa) for their choice of making helmets optional?????) I cringe EVERYTIME I see someone on a motorcycle without a helmet (sick of hearing that one yet????).. — Brenda
— Ben Roethlisberger Blog.

We all love you and care to much about you to see you get hurt again so please wear a helmet! I know i can't make you but i hope you will quit putting yourself in danger, but like i said your in my thoughts and prayers and i hope you recover fast. i think today is the longest time i've ever watched the news but it was worth it. — Amber.
— Ben Roethlisberger Blog.

There should be no sympathy for him. He had a choice. Not that he deserves it, but that's what happens. It's like if you're a kid and you stick your finger in a socket. Lesson learned. — Rory Bernhard.
— from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Any football player should take it upon himself to not put himself in a situation where he could put himself in harm. Because it's not just affecting him, it's affecting his teammates. [Mr. Roethlisberger's] actions can adversely affect the whole Steelers organization. It comes down to a level of personal responsibility ... I think it's so stupid he has to be on a motorcycle. — Kevin Woodward.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Everyone's talking about this, not soccer. I just don't get it. I don't get it. — Kara Laux.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.