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An Open Letter To Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger

(Steven Senne/Associated Press)

Ben Roethlisberger
(Steven Senne/Associated Press)

A Few Words For Ben Roethlisberger

Where do I begin with Ben Roethlisberger?

I was a 12-year-old kid in Albuquerque, New Mexico, just finding my love for all sports really, but football really did it for me at first. I was a bit of a Bengals fan, actually mostly because of Chad Johnson (my parents got me his jersey plus a Fathead for my wall) and I thought he was the best. My Father, bless him for this, is a faithful Jets fan, and when he tried to convince me to be a Jets fan I practically laughed at the idea. I kind of floated around back and forth with my teams before Super Bowl 40..and things started to change.

A great win against a game Seattle Seahawks team in Jerome Bettis’ last game and my feelings started to change. I kept a more close eye on this team in the division I was already watching. Fast forward a few years and I get to see them in a preseason game and I was hooked. They had the sick jerseys, a great coach but one thing really stood out: Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. After this game, I spent hours on end watching tape from college and his seasons prior in Pittsburgh and that was that.

I have a number of great memories I would like to relieve if you will bear with me. One of my earliest memories from my Steelers fandom is the Super Bowl pass to Santonio Holmes in the back corner to win the game. To this day, I firmly believe that is one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, and at the time who else would you expect to make that throw? Big Ben. The pump fake before throwing a LASER to Holmes, him sitting on the ground after just grasping the ball as tight as he could.

Speaking of incredible throws to receivers, I think of the 2011 AFC Championship game and that dart down the sideline to Antonio Brown for 58 yards, leading to a massive TD and securing a 31-24 victory and taking the Steelers to their third Super Bowl in 6 years. While that Super Bowl might not have gone our way, the way Ben Roethlisberger lead that drives to get his team another AFC crown is something Steeler fans won’t soon forget.

Who can forget 12 TDs in 2 games? Before this two-game stretch, Ben Roethlisberger had never thrown more than 5 Touchdowns in a game, so what does he do? He decides to torch the Colts for 500+ yards and 6 TDs, then the following week beat bitter rival Baltimore Ravens for almost 350 yards another 6 TDs. This stretch will go down in Steeler history as arguably the best two-game stretch of his career.

There is so many more incredible memories that we could discuss, but Steelers fans can picture their own separate great memories they have, so I won’t bore you too much with my little trip down memory lane.

Let’s take a look at his career stats:

  • 163-81-1 (66% win percentage)
  • 65% pass completion
  • 63,721 career passing yards (5th all time)
  • 416 passing touchdowns (8th all time)
  • 18 straight winning seasons

When you discuss the best Quarterbacks of all time, you have to include Ben Roethlisberger in that conversation. Call it bias, I do not care. If you disagree, you are simply wrong. Look at the stats listed above? Can I point you to the last bullet point: 18 straight winning seasons? Or how about 5th all-time in passing yards? It is time to give this man his flowers and put him in the upper echelon of Quarterbacks that have played in the NFL.

There have been some rumors that Ben Roethlisberger will be retiring after this season. This game tomorrow night against the Cleveland Browns could possibly be his last home game at Heinz Field. The writing has been on the wall for a while that our time together has been coming to an end, but I think fans simply did not want to believe it. Quietly, there have been rumblings behind the scenes that this truly will be it. If that is the case…

On behalf of all Steeler fans all over the globe, we owe you a thank you. Thank you for an amazing career in Pittsburgh. Watching you play and lead this team has truly been a pleasure. You gave blood, sweat, and tears to this organization and to the incredible fans, and we have been spoiled. You have gutted through injuries that would cause others to miss time just to go out and perform and give your all for a Steelers win, and that will never be replicated.

Through all the ups and downs, the off-field stuff, the highs of two Super Bowl wins and the lowest of lows, from all Steelers fans:

Thank you, Ben.

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