It doesn’t seem possible that Ben Roethlisberger played for 18 years.
Wasn’t it just last year that the kid from Miami of Ohio promised his teammate Jerome Bettis that if he came back for one more season that he’d be able to retire with a Super Bowl ring, then delivered on that promise?
That’s a gutsy promise to make, especially for a rookie and I’m sure the young quarterback regretted making the promise as soon as the words came out of his mouth, even if he was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. However, I’m even more sure that after seeing Bettis hoist the Lombardi Trophy and then hoisting it himself, it was one promise he was glad he made.
That was the first of two Super Bowls he won, and generally speaking, quarterbacks who win two or more are destined for the Hall of Fame (Roethlisberger’s draft classmate Eli Manning likely will be enshrined and Jim Plunkett is the only other quarterback to win two Super Bowls to not be inducted in Canton, Ohio).
Roethlisberger was often overshadowed by other quarterbacks, such as other quarterbacks such as the Manning brothers, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and others. It kind of feels like we know the other quarterbacks way more than we got to know Roethlisberger over the course of his career. The Steelers quarterback wasn’t in every other commercial and he didn’t put himself out there the way others have. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but that might play a factor as to why it seems like his career didn’t last as long as it actually did.
Numbers don’t lie and his numbers definitely call for him having a bust in the hall.
Assuming he doesn’t change his mind and decide to give it another year, Roethlisberger will have finished his career with 64,088 yards, 418 touchdowns and just 211 interceptions. He holds a record of four games of 500-yards passing and last year he set an NFL record of 47 completions in a single game.
Even though I feel like we didn’t really know him as well as we do other NFL stars, I think we still might miss him. One thing is pretty certain though – Big Ben will have a gold jacket as soon as he’s eligible.