Ben Roethlisberger returned to the National Football League after serving a four-game conduct suspension. He taped interviews with pre-game shows on ESPN, CBS, and (we assume but didn’t see it), Fox. The results: mixed.

On the Worldwide Leader, Merrill Hoge (former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Merrill Hoge) served up softball after softball. CBS’ interview, conducted by Bill Cowher (former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher) wasn’t much better, although the discussion between the studio analysts after the interview did pass some critical judgments on the immature actions of the quarterback. (Boomer Esiason called the interview a “Cowher Confessional,” which is a travesty to anyone who’s ever done real investigative reporting.

Fox got into the action post-game, with Terry Bradshaw (former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Terry Bradshaw) offering the final word.

“While we all whoop him up pretty good and he deserved it, you welcome him back with open arms and that’s what the Steeler fans did today,” he said.

Roethlisberger admitted to some vague bad behavior, blaming a construct named “Big Ben” who wasn’t his real person. The quarterback said his piece and got treated with kid gloves by three former Steelers greats. What did we learn on Sunday? The NFL, as always, is a boys’ club. Read more