Men with means have and always will push the envelope of good taste as far as they can until acted upon by a force greater than themselves. We should not be surprised by Ben Roethlisberger, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, Babe Ruth or any other notable individual who obliterates the lines of good taste. They do it because they can. End of explanation.

I once was fortunate enough to spend a few hours with one of the kindest unknowns to every play professional baseball, Jimmy Reese. For the average fan he would have remained completely anonymous despite near constant involvement in baseball for nearly 80 years. His greatest professional achievement was a brief stint in the Major Leagues. He served as a back-up second baseman for the New York Yankees. What does a lifetime minor league baseball player have to do with a modern day NFL quarterback? Mr. Reese was a nice Jewish boy and as such was given the unenviable task of being Babe Ruth’s roommate. He was the Babe’s babysitter. As Jimmy told it, he was given a couple hundred dollars each night and told to make sure Babe got home safely.

The money was hush money to clean-up after the messes the Babe would inevitably get into. Babe’s infamous love for living large had a high price and Jimmy Reese was tasked with paying those bills. Back then the media had a vastly different relationship with the players, they did not view off the field behavior as news. They were insiders to amazing events, most of which they took to the grave. They would be appalled at the suggestion that someone write about what they had witnessed.

Today is a vastly different day and the private lives of public people are far from private. Though this is largely to the detriment of our society, there are instances, like Mr. Roethlisberger’s, where it is good that the facts come to light so that circumstances like those involving him might change.

As was stated in the opening: “men with means have and always will push the envelope of good taste as far as they can until acted upon by a force greater than themselves.” The force greater than themselves can take several forms: cash penalties motivate some (but seldom the extremely wealthy), fear of public humiliation motivates others, fear of parents or God motivate many. A strong parental bond can be enough to keep some in check. The bottom line remains — there must be something to keep guys in check. This is just the way males are. I can point to countless studies related to the male brain which demonstrate this.

Added to the genetic predisposition, the culture surrounding life as a public person frequently results in poor choices. This was a significant factor in former Indianapolis Colts, head coach Tony Dungy stepping down from coaching to try and be a mitigating factor in the lives of young athletes. Personal integrity and maturity are two of the most difficult challenges individuals face. To bring guys to the point of putting childish things behind requires a force greater than their libido or greed. We can only hope that whatever is required for each guy to “man-up,” gets instilled in him before it is too late. The ripples of poor choices leave countless individuals hurt and sometimes killed — just ask Donte Stallworth.