After their long-suppressed mutual attraction erupted into a beautiful act of backfield romance  during last Sunday’s AFC championship game against the New
York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall and quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger will awkwardly avoid each other until their team plays again
““ in the Super Bowl.

“It was a one-time thing,” Mendenhall told reporters after
he deflowered his quarterback on national television. 
“Ben’s a great guy and all, but I’m just notready for anything serious.”

The running back, a former first-round pick, said that Roethlisberger would understand.

“Oh, I get it,” said Roethlisberger after he was informed by Mendenhall’s assistant that the two would take separate transportation home from the game.  “He can’t even look me in the eye right now.  It’s ok, he didn’t look at me during, you know”¦”  The two-time Super Bowl champion then asked reporters for a moment to recompose himself.

In a business as tough as the National Football League, workplace romances are historically difficult to maintain without affecting team morale.  For every success story, there
are at least three relationships that end in heartbreak. 


Mendenhall said he informed Roethlisberger of these statistics via text message after the game to help assure the quarterback that their separation is good for the team.

“I think Ben knows I’m not the right guy for him, even if I am the “right now’ guy for him,” Mendenhall said after the game while puffing on a cigarette. 

Upon hearing Mendenhall’s comments, Roethlisberger ended his post-game interviews and walked straight to the Steelers’ bathroom stalls.  About fifteen minutes later he was seen
poking his head out of the door, asking “have you seen Rashard?” to several passersby.  Nobody responded.

Since “the incident,” players, coaches and front office personnel all claim that team chemistry has returned to normalcy.  However, several unnamed sources claim that Roethlisberger now refuses to throw screen passes to Mendenhall, opting instead to throw deep balls to wide receivers in double coverage.

When asked about the allegations, Roethlisberger said, “I have nothing to say about that. 
Why?  Did Rashard say something about it to you guys?  Have you heard anything from him?  Is he seeing anyone?  Have any of you talked to him since he switched phone numbers?”

Mendenhall refused to acknowledge the allegations about his quarterback avoiding him on the field. 

“My relationship with Ben is strictly business,” said the running back.

“YOU BITCH!” screamed Roethlisberger, who was standing three lockers over from Mendenhall at the time.  He then hurled his Super Bowl XLIII ring at Mendenhall and ran into the bathroom, apparently in tears.