Pittsburgh has always brought out an amazing set of famous personalities from various industries and professions. Out of them, as yinzers, we have always adored our superstars in various sports fields. We have not just enjoyed the game nights, but also celebrated their lives for inspiration and motivation. Many of them such as Roberto Clemente have made impactful contributions to the city of Pittsburgh too!
NFL has a wonderful player from team Pittsburgh Steelers. His life story has been quite a rollercoaster ride. And, it’s none other than Ben Roethlisberger, aka, the Big Ben of Steelers! He’s a young quarterback, having achieved so much for the team including Super Bowl. Meanwhile, there has been a lot going on within his personal life as well. So, let’s look into how Ben transformed his life and became a devout believer as well as a legendary sportsperson!
Photo from USA TODAY Sports
His Early Life As A Player
Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger (short as, Ben Roethlisberger) was born in a family with an active sports background. His father Kenneth was a former quarterback. Before his way into the Steelers team, Ben began his gaming skills from high school. Starting off from the captaincy at Findlay High School, he continued further at Miami University. His debut game happened in 2001 against Michigan.
Now, his extraordinary game skills always found their way in breaking and creating new records every season. Right from his first year, he made a remarkable achievement of 3105 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 241 completions. Consecutive years also marked similar victories for Ben. Those were the shaping years of a young fine man into a classic football legend!
Photo from Wire Image
Right after his college years, in 2004, Ben signed his contract with Pittsburgh Steelers. His performance was incredible, helping set a 14-1 record in his first season itself. Besides, he was rightfully titled Rookie Of The Year. But, more magic awaited in the next season when Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2005. And, Ben was the youngest quarterback to win it!
The Rise Of The Arrogant Big Ben
These meritorious moments were quite special for Steelers as they could finally rise up to the team motto, “One for the thumb”! From then on, back to back, all seasons witnessed the best-ever potential of Big Ben. In the 2007 season, he even achieved a single-season record for Steelers with 32 touchdown passes.
While Steelers moved on celebrating unique victories over victories, Ben almost reached the pinnacle of his career as the only quarterback to win multiple Super Bowl awards. Unfortunately, he met with a motorcycle accident and had a fractured leg and nose in 2006. It was a careless mistake from his end.
Photo from NY Daily News
However, all these achievements did turn on his arrogant attitude. Though Steelers fans worshipped him very much, he wasn’t quite the “Big Ben Godsend” in his life. He was most often coarse in his behavior, especially towards women. Yet, he tried to put out his picture as a believer of God, the usual level of athletic hypocrisy.
He was pressed with the charges of sexual assault in 2009 for the first time. Many blindfolded fans even verbal-abused the victim to show their support for Ben. Yet, there was more to come! Many women and even friends accused him of his pathetic manners in public spaces. Though cases weren't filed many a time, NFL went to the extent of suspending him for 4 games.
Photo from Bleacher Report
Life-Turning Moments That Changed Everything
2010 was quite a year of changes. He had resumed his games; even became the Chief Award winner for that season. Also, he stopped being the aggressive ‘Big Ben’ and apologized openly for his relentless behavior.
The year 2011. So many things had changed for Ben. But, the goodness of his life was awaiting him. It was his marriage ceremony in July with an ardent Christian, Ashely Harlan. She was a physician and the two met in 2005. His marriage opened up a new perspective in his life, especially towards Christianity.
Photo from NY Daily News
From Big Ben To Believer Of God’s Kingdom
Ben celebrated the renewed life with happiness and faith. He got baptized for a second time, with the realization of so many moral aspects in life. His bond with Jesus was re-established while he cared for his family, wife, and children. He regrets how faith wasn’t his priority for some time after his college years. He exclaimed in one of his interviews about how happy he is to be a “good athlete and a good Christian”.
He underwent an injured reserve from the season in 2019, soon after his elbow injury. But, he acknowledges all of it to his plans. In 2020, he had talked about retirement in 2021, and apparently, he did. He will be retiring in 2022, ranking as the top fifth player in his career. He also runs the charitable society ‘Ben Roethlisberger Foundation’, focused to help the needy and improve the quality of people’s lives in Ohio, Findlay, Pittsburgh, and Pennsylvania.
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