KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Mike Holmgren loves his Harley-Davidson
motorcycle. He often talks about riding it across the desert
outside his Arizona offseason home. He even rode it to work last
week during a Seahawks minicamp.
But Seattle's coach takes steps to ensure all Seahawks' motor
biking ends when each season begins.
Monday, on his way off the practice field, Holmgren was asked
about the latest news on Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers'
quarterback, who helped beat the Seahawks in February's Super Bowl,
suffered a broken jaw and nose in a motorcycle accident in
Holmgren, who drove his sedan and not his Harley to work on a
rainy Monday morning, declined to comment directly.
Through a team official, Holmgren said he lectures his players
at the beginning of each summer's training camp that they are not
allowed to drive motorcycles during the season, from July through
As for the offseason, the Seahawks said they expect their
players to abide by Washington's motor vehicle statutes that
require helmets be worn while operating motorcycles.
Roethlisberger reportedly was not wearing a helmet. Pennsylvania
does not require motorcycle drivers to do so.
Standard NFL contracts prohibit any activity involving
"significant risk of personal injury" apart from football, though
many players still ride motorcycles.
In May 2005, Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher warned Roethlisberger
about safe riding after Cleveland tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. was
injured in a motorcycle accident. Winslow tore knee ligaments and
was lost for the season.
Other athletes injured on motorcycles during their careers
include basketball's Jason Williams, skiing's Hermann Maier and
auto racing's Dario Franchitti.
Some professional sports contracts also explicitly prohibit
other, potentially injurious pursuits such as skydiving -- and even
less obvious ones like playing basketball.
The Seahawks, through a spokesman, declined to discuss whether
any players have contracts expressly prohibiting motorcycle use.