The soul of the Steelers looks like a good-natured lumberjack with a boyish face. Benjamin Roethlisberger dedicated 18 years of his life to playing for one of the legendary American football teams, Pittsburgh. The Big Ben, as he is called because of his 108 kilos and 1.96 meters tall, he had the challenge of playing in the best franchise of the seventies that achieved four Super Bowl trophies. With Roethlisberger and his prolific arm, the Steleers won two more and made them the top winners. Now he faces the twilight of his career.
Before the euphoria for the New England Patriots, there were the Steelers. Both teams are the top winners in NFL history with six Super Bowl trophies each. The Pittsburghs found a great combo of players like catcher Lynn Swann, the linebacker Jack Ham and, of course, Terry Bradshaw, the quarterback. The team collected the triumphs (1975, 1976, 1979 and 1980). The winning rhythm had to wait until the emergence of Ben Roethlisberger (Lima, Ohio, 39 years old) and younger than Tom Brady, the seven-time champion of 44 years and who avoids retirement.
The young talent from the University of Miami in Ohio was key to the American football division. Then he tried his luck in the selection of players, the draft, in 2004. In that year there was another prodigy like quarterback, Eli Manning, who would end up winning two Super Bowls with the New York Giants and retired in 2016. A Big Ben they selected him through the eleventh round and paid him $ 22 million for six seasons.
The investment was not only reckless, it was also very successful. Roethlisberger accomplished what no other rookie has ever done in the NFL: win all of his games. In total there were 13 games in which he did not fail. The Steelers reached the conference final, but lost to the Patriots. In his second year came revenge when Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks (21-10) in 2006. Three years later he had the opportunity to win another championship ring against the Arizona Cardinals. That game was a major test of his patience and determination: his team lost by three points (20-23) and only one minute remained on the scoreboard. Two precise passes to Santonio Holmes overturned the result (27-23). In 2011 he returned to the great final game of the NFL, but this time Green Bay embittered the Steelers (31-25).
Roethlisberger became an idol for the franchise, he was away from conflicts off the field and controversies that have accompanied other players in the NFL. The spark of his talent, however, was extinguished. The American collected dozens of injuries to his right shoulder, thumb, knees such as cartilage tears, broken feet, ruptured tendons in the elbow and even the skull, according to an ESPN report.
On Monday, January 3, Ben Roethlisberger made his last game official in Pittsburgh, with his people. The Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns (26-14). His farewell was accompanied by his children, but far from being in his best physical condition. “It’s funny, probably not like the [despedida] wanted, other than victory, and that’s all that really matters. That has been the story of my career, it has not always been pretty, but we found a way, “he said after the game.
The Steelers have one last chance to qualify for the playoffs of the NFL this Sunday. They must win against the Baltimore Ravens and hope the Indianapolis Colts lose to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Roethlisberger intends to bring one last joy to his legacy.
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