I just don't get it

It's a standing joke that football players aren't the smartest people--my experience with them in the classroom has been a mixed bag. They're certainly no worse than, say, Education or Public Relations majors. But here's a story that makes me wonder.

That's Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's motorcycle, which he wrecked yesterday. Pittsburgh fans have spent the last day collectively crapping their pants over this, since he led them to a Superbowl win last year, and there's no word yet whether he'll be able to play this season. He broke his jaw, lost most of his teeth, had a 9-inch gash across the back of his head, and was treated for multiple facial fractures. He wasn't wearing a helmet.

Now you'd think that if there were a person in any sport who would recognize the value of wearing a helmet, it would be a football player. There's not a guy in the NFL who would willingly play a game helmetless today--they know the sorts of injuries that occur on the field even with all the protection they wear. (Some say the injuries are worse because of the protection, but that's another discussion.) So why would a quarterback, often referred to as a sitting duck in the pocket, who wears a helmet whenever he's on the field, think that it's somehow safe to ride an open, fast-moving vehicle without one?

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