First of all, I believe Mordeci gets 400 "Whose Line Is It Anyways" points for the first Rae Carruth mention...secondly, great topic and choice of questions Chilly.
1. It depends. Some guys I can't stand because of hot doggin it, some I love for it. A lot of people hate Chad Ochocinco, however, I find him amicable and outgoing, mostly harmless. On the other hand, I think Jared Allen's annoying, but he deserves to celebrate because he's a top 3 DEF player. The off-the-field stuff is a different story though. Guys go to strip clubs, it happens. Getting into fights at strip clubs probably isn't the best thing Vince Young, even if it isn't your fault, or someone is harrassing you, let your boys take care of it, like Michael Vick did at the B-Day Party. Some guys are scum bags, and it's a continuous trend that leads me to stop rooting for them on the field. Cedric Benson, hi, how are ya?!? Ron Artest, Mike Vick, LT...all entertaining and athletic, but I don't want them to succeed partly because I feel it fuels the thought process to their ego that they CAN do whatever they want off the field.
2. Steelers are and always have been my second favorite team/organization. A lot like the Bears, not very tolerant of misbehavior, laziness, and ask Tank Johnson and Cedric Benson, doing whatever you want even if it is on your own time. I wouldn't go as far as to part ways with Big Ben. If he does it again, by all means. Not only is he extremely talented, but Pittsburgh, even despite this, needs to realize how many kids still look up to him as a role model on and off the field. He is the face of the current Steelers, he's won for them, he's played hard for them, so not that the organization owes him anything, but just realize it's bigger than this one incident, as well as the fact that him staying at QB there is bigger than football.
3. Charles Barkley I think has a very valid answer to this question. Times have changed, but I do think it's unfair sometimes that athletes have to act a certain way. First of all, this is America. Secondly, just because someone's a really good basketball player does not make them a senator, policeman, fireman, or governor. Having said that, OBVIOUSLY you can't just do whatever you want, especially if it's against the law (Hello PacMan), drugs I'm a little more lenient on, because intelligent people like Bill Mahr are advocators of smoking weed, and as long as you're not harming anyone in the process, by all means, continue. But when you are involved in dogfighting, armed robberies, murders, etc, yeah, then as a role model who is on ESPN constantly, I'm gonna go ahead and say you shouldn't put yourself in a situation where you could even have a problem disputing a rape charge or other criminal charge. I think Ben realizes now that he needs to change most things, even if it's just until his career is over. Some things are just natural though, so going out and drinking and having a good time I don't have a problem with, as long as you control yourself and are able to smile for TMZ. As far as people with gambling issues like Barkley, I don't see why that's anyone's business, he talks openly about it, but he doesn't ram it down anyone's throats.