This is getting to be as routine as getting the oil changed or seeing another ridiculous political ad on TV. ‘This’ that I speak is my annual article imploring all of you and myself included to take Steelers’ Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with a grain of salt.
Every season it seems Big Ben announces to us that there is something bothering him physically. An ankle here and a knee there and the next thing you know it’s like playing ‘Operation’ with your buddies. This season Ben has announced that he has a partial tear in the rotator cuff of his throwing shoulder. Normally this would elicit a gigantic scream from the Steeler Nation, but instead it was met with, ‘ho-hum.’
After eight seasons of Roethlisberger being at the helm, the front office, the media and even the fans have come to the realitization that Ben has a flair for the dramatic. Let me unequivcally state that I could care less. I need Roethlisberger to play well and to win games which is primarily what he has done with the Steelers.
Roethlisberger is a rare breed in the sense that he can often complain or whine about how banged up he is, but yet no one and I mean NO ONE can deny that he plays through injuries better than any quarterback in the NFL.
Phil Simms, the former Giants’ QB and now CBS’ analyst was on The Jim Rome Show last week was asked about Roethlisberger’s shoulder. Simms recalled an interview with Roethlisberger just days before the AFC Championship game in Denver in 2005 when Ben told Simms how banged up he was and that it was very, very bad. Simms was certain this was the story of the week and as he sat down and asked then Coach Bill Cowher about the injuries, Cowher laughed and said, “Ben is just fine.”
This is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Roethlisberger and to be honest it reminds me a lot of current ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz back when he coached Notre Dame. Every week, no matter who the opponent, Holtz spoke in glowing and radiant terms about them. How tough they would be for the Fighting Irish and all the problems they presented for them. Of course they’d play the game and Holtz’s Irish would win by four touchdowns, but you get the point. Sometimes hyperbole can serve an important purpose and I think Roethlisberger has learned this over time and uses it to his advantage.
Many Steelers’ fans take it to heart and get offended when people start calling Roethlisberger a ‘drama queen.’ I admit, it used to bug me a little too. No one wants any of their players being called that especially the QB, but I realized that Roethlisberger isn’t affected by it so why should we be?
The main goal any fan has of his franchise quarterback is to play and to win games. Ben plays and he wins games. I will not ever question his toughness and nor should you. The situation could be far worse you know? Tommy Maddox or Kordell Stewart could still be playing QB… That’s what I thought. I’ll take my drama queen any day!