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Thanks For Nothing, Ben

One of the longest running stories in football is Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement plans.

May 03, 2018 - 12:03 pm

One of the longest running stories in football is Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement plans. Because it feels like for years now, we’ve been really close to hearing him officially hang it up. This time last year, according to teammates, he was very, very close. And didn’t actually announce that he was coming back until April.

And then in July he said he wouldn’t commit to playing beyond 2017. I get it. It’s a brutal game. And few guys have taken more hits and more punishment than Ben Roethlisberger. I know he’s a huge dude, but when your job is for other huge dudes to slam into you and then slam you to the frozen ground, it can get old. The injuries mount up. And my man has had a ton of those, but he keeps on trucking. BUT also keeps on hinting that he might be retiring.  

So the Steelers heard him. They’ve heard the story every year for a while now that he’s thinking about retiring, so they did the smart thing – they drafted Mason Rudolph in the third round of this year’s draft. The thinking being, they now have a potential future starter in waiting for when Ben retires. And Ben’s reaction to that? 

Retirement? Ehhhh, let’s not get into that just yet.

Actually, Big Ben was a little more explicit than that. Rudolph as the future starter? Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “Well, that’s fine. He can do that. But I plan on playing for three to five more years, depending on how the line goes and staying healthy, if I can stay healthy. If he’s going to be their guy, that’s great, but in my perfect world it’s not going to be for a while.”

Wait, what? I thought we were on a year-to-year, if not a week to week basis?  HALF TO HALF. QUARTER TO QURATER. SERIES TO SERIES. HELL PLAY TO PAY.   And now that they draft a backup, you’re in for possibly five years? Suddenly, he’s not just interested in playing football, he's really, really interested in playing football. Not just some football, a ton of football. Why stop there? Why not just lock it in until you’re 50?

Who knew that all the Steelers had to do to get a commitment from Roethlisberger was draft his replacement? Fantastic. Oh, wait, somebody else might get this job, hell no. I’m here for good. Cool that you spent a third round pick on that guy, but I’ve suddenly decided I’m not going anywhere.  

That’s like when you’ve got some friends over and you’re going to order a pizza, and everyone’s going around making their order, and throwing in a few bucks. Then it gets to Ben and he’s like, nah, I’m not hungry. Not really feeling pizza right now. 

You try to convince him to join in - we’ll even get breadsticks. We know you like breadsticks, right? And he’s still not in. So you go ahead and make the order without him. 

Then, when the pizza arrives, suddenly, the dude who wasn’t hungry and didn’t chip in, is shoving dudes out of the way, folding up slices and shoving them into his face faster than anyone else. 

I’m not saying that the Steelers are going to be bent about Ben making that commitment. If you’ve got a Hall of Fame quarterback and he can keep on putting up numbers, you want to keep him around. And it’s not like they’re going to give up on Rudolph just because Ben is suddenly interested in playing for another half decade. But there’s got to be a little bit of a reaction like, hey man, where was this passion to play for years and years for the last few years? It might have been a little helpful to know that, you know, before we burned a third round pick on a quarterback. The last few years you’ve had one foot at the door, and now you’re Tom Brady, looking to play five more years?? Thanks Ben, thanks for nothing.