Times sure have changed for Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, If you didn’t know any better you’d swear this isn’t the same guy that had so many problems not too long ago. Definitely not the same guy who had the me first attitude in the locker room, and someone who didn’t exactly have a great reputation among his teammates. Honestly, you’d be right, he’s not anywhere near the same guy…he’s a much better one. I don’t profess to know Ben personally, but based on what I’ve read, the contacts I’ve talked too, and just listening to him during interviews, it’s a whole new Ben and his family, and the Steelers are better for it.
It seems like a distant memory now, to me at least, that on June 13th, 2006, Ben nearly loses his life in a serious motorcycle accident. Man did the media and fans let him have it for that one, not just for the accident but also for not wearing his lid while riding. Lid = cool motorcycle term for helmet. Also skid lid and brain bucket but let’s move on.
In 2009 Roethlisberger was involved in the Lake Tahoe incident with Andrea McNulty where she accused the Steelers QB of forcing her to have sex in his hotel room. Then in March 2010, the infamous Milledgeville, GA scandal where Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault against a college girl in the bathroom of a night club. No need to dive into those anymore, it’s water under the bridge.
All that bad press and more not only caused a world of issues for Ben in the courtroom but he and Commissioner Roger Goodell had more than there share of talks, ultimately ending up in a 6 game suspension that was later reduced to 4 games. Rumors were rampant that the Rooney’s were considering trading or releasing Big Ben but regardless of how serious they were at the time, nobody would have ever thought those inclinations would even enter the minds of the Steelers front office in the first place, but they did.
Fast forward to 2012 and Roethlisberger has been a model citizen, teammate, and husband. Having already wed his sweetheart, Ashley Harlan at a private ceremony on July 23, 2011, he’s going to be a daddy now too. The news was recently announced via his website, that they are expecting their first child together later this year.
“Ashley and I are proud to let you all know that we are expecting a baby boy later this year!” Mr. Roethlisberger posted on his official website, bigben7.com. “It is truly a blessing and we are so excited!”
The outpouring of fan support on Twitter, Facebook, and his website are proof positive that people can change and that fans are more than willing to give anybody a chance to redeem themselves if they put their mind to it and are sincere. Oh sure there are still people out there, Steelers fans included, that want nothing to do with Big Ben or his apologies but those people are becoming more few and far between all the time. There will always be some out there but by in large we are all more than over the old Ben Roethlisberger and more than content with the new one.
It’s easy to say that the Roethlisberger’s child will be more than well off, but money isn’t everything and Ben certainly has realized that over the course of his NFL career. His dedication to his family, his image, his faith, and to those that support him is apparent to anyone who follows the news, football fan or not. Don’t take lightly the fact that Ben references his faith and support of his family in so many of his interviews, it’s a big part of his life now. Clearly this is a new Ben both inside and out.
Time really can heal all wounds. It’s more than time though, it’s a mindset of fixing what’s wrong with your life, changing what needs to be changed and moving ahead with a positive attitude. The sky is the limit for Ben Roethlisberger on the field and now off the field too.
While life is never absolutely perfect, for anyone, Ben has been through the fire and has come through as an example that young men can look up too.
We say a huge congrats to Ben, Ashley and wish nothing but the best!