Reports are optimistic that Ben will be ready for the season opener.
Ben's refusal to wear a helmet became public last year and the controversy swirled for about a month. Terry Bradshaw had comments, Cowher talked to Ben about riding, the Rooney's expressed their disapproval but in the end there was no specific contract language that prohibited motorcycle riding, helmet less or otherwise.
Ben's comments at the time struck me as really naive. When asked why you would wear a helmet on the field and not while riding Ben said that the State of PA didn't require a helmet but the NFL did. To Ben this was all the approval he needed to ride without a helmet.
When I was his age I rode crotch rockets of the day with top speeds about 60 mph below the sport bikes of today. I had no one to be responsible for, no multi million dollar career to protect, and no team mates counting on me. PA law required helmet use but I always rode full face, long pants and jacket. My wife and I honeymooned by touring the southern Appalachians then the Outer Banks to the Virginia Tidewater. When we started a family I sold my bike and haven't ridden since and that is precisely when skiing became my passion instead of just another recreation. I firmly believed then as now, that helmets are for those who have a brain to protect, in skiing as well as biking. (Just my strong opinion, no intimidation meant.)
Perhaps Ben will discover that he too has a brain to protect and at least wear a helmet. If he really discovered his brain he would park the bike until his football days are done or at least stop using motorcycles as urban transport. Americans just don't 'see' motorcycles. Eyewitnesses said Ben was doing everything right, even checking the intersection for cross traffic. He didn't anticipate that the oncoming driver would follow traffic through a left turn on a red arrow. (The driver of the car that made the turn before the car that Ben hit said they made the turn on a yellow arrow.) Motorcycles are invisible to most drivers and if a rider isn't aware of that basic fact and anticipate that everyone will turn in front of you, cut you off in traffic or pull out in front of you from a side street or a parking spot then one day that rider will have the worst type of meeting with a ton of metal.
Folks, if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle please take the time to find the rider that is clearly in your field of vision. If you do ride, protect your brain, wear a helmet. I know all you here ski or board so wear a helmet, east or west, big mountain or small hill, crowded or empty, on piste or off, please wear a helmet.
Big Ben is lucky to be alive. It is nothing but a miracle that his injuries appear not to be debilitating. A career ending injury would not have been the worst outcome in this accident. I'm glad the boy is alive and that, my friends, is far more important then football.