Looking ahead to this afternoon’s Ravens / Steelers tilt, perhaps the most obvious/least helpful stat I can cite is that Ben Roethlisberger has faced as many sexual assault allegations as he possesses Super Bowl rings. So perhaps it isn’t the boldest statement for the New York Times’ Karen Crouse to declare Big Ben, “divides Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges, the way the Allegheny River does downtown from the north shore, with the split occurring mostly along gender lines.”

Women were less forgiving, their ambivalence exemplified by Cecelia, a sexagenarian hotel employee who said she was tuning out Steelers games as long as Roethlisberger was on the team. œI watched the first four this season, but none since he came back, she said. “It kills me because I really, really love the Rooneys.”

“There are no bigger Steeler fans than women, Jeannie Purnell said. “We don’t sit there and have little discussions about who’s cuter or Troy’s hair. We talk about blitzing packages and blocking schemes.

Purnell said Roethlisberger was a taboo topic. “I love the Steelers, but it’s really hard to be like, yay Ben Roethlisberger,” she said. “I think there are a lot of women who feel like I do.”

Bunny, a bartender who was working the morning shift Thursday, said, œI know a lot of girlfriends that have all burned his jersey, if that tells you anything.