Ben Roethlisberger parties at a Texas piano bar five days before Super Bowl
“It was superstition and tradition,” Roethlisberger said. “Tuesday night, I take the linemen out to dinner. I just had an enjoyable night. The tradition for the Super Bowl is, one night and they pick where. It's usually a steak place. They picked barbecue this time.”
TMZ offered Internet footage of Roethlisberger (sitting down, most of the time, off to the far left of the video screen) enthusiastically singing along with the crowd to a chorus of Billy Joel's "Piano Man."
According to the website, Roethlisberger paid a tab of about $800 and tipped an additional $200. TMZ also quoted patrons as saying the quarterback was "nice, fun and took care of everyone."
Roethlisberger, incidentally, was accused last year of sexually assaulting a woman at a bar in Georgia. No charges were filed.
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin had no problem with Roethlisberger's actions, even if it was five days before the Super Bowl.
“I'm not concerned one iota,” Tomlin said. “It's normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not. During the course of the season, guys go out on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Believe it or not, guys live lives.”
-- Chuck Schilken
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: Ben Roethlisberger. Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images