Thank You, Ben

The legacy of Ben Roethlisberger reflects the gritty attitude of the 412 to perfection.


Getty Images

Ben Roethlisberger salutes the crowd for the final time at Heinz two weekends ago after a victory over the Browns.

Connor Smith, Staff Writer

It may seem too soon to bid farewell, given the Steelers unlikely last-minute playoff berth over the weekend, but we can be fairly certain that longtime quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played his last game at Heinz Field.

Two weekends ago, Roethlisberger won the Steelers final home game the game in fitting fashion, besting the inferior Browns like he did throughout his career, boasting an astonishing 25-3-1 record against Cleveland during his Steelers tenure.

While his quarterback play has been nothing short of disappointing this season, the 39 year old dealt with numerous injuries through the past few seasons. The combination of a bum shoulder, limited mobility, and Father Time guided Ben to his inevitable retirement.

While Big Ben has accumulated copious amounts of accolades throughout his career — six Pro Bowl selections, 2004 Offensive Rookie of the Year, two league passing titles, and two hard fought super bowls — his legacy lies deep in the roots of team success, personality, and longevity.

The Steelers success through Ben’s career is what most impresses fans. Never having a losing season, he captained the Steel battleship for nearly two decades.

Ben’s clutch gene goes unnoticed often, but it is among the best of all time. Ben has 52 game-winning drives in his career, which is only two drives behind Peyton Manning. He is on pace to break Manning’s record if he continues to play, but with potentially only one game left, the record just isn’t in the cards for him.

Ben Roethlisberger currently sits fifth on the all-time passing yards leaderboard, eighth in career touchdowns, and fifth in pass completions. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that we will see the captain of the Steeler faithful in Canton very shortly.

The legacy of Ben Roethlisberger lies in the impact he imprinted on every Steelers fan in the world. His aura accurately reflects what it truly means to be a Yinzer, and the respect he garnered from the city of Pittsburgh via his mentality made his career so special, considering most NASH students have known nothing other than Big Ben lining up behind center for their favorite football team.

NASH senior and Steelers fan Drew Lopuszynski spared no praise.

“I love Ben. He represents the city of Pittsburgh. He’s under-appreciated, and he’s the most loyal quarterback of all time,” Lopuszynski said. “He’s been the QB in the Burgh for my whole life, and I don’t know how I’m going to have it any other way.”

Another NASH senior and lifetime Steelers fan, Marko Kosanovich, had similar insight on what almost seemed like an emotional question.

“Ben Roethlisberger is the quarterback I grew up with,” Kosanovich said. “He’s the man I have multiple fatheads of in my room and even an ornament on my Christmas Tree. Ben is a tough and gritty quarterback which embodies the city of Pittsburgh perfectly. #7 forever.”

The impact Ben had on the youth community is immeasurable. When young football fans think of the Pittsburgh Steelers, they think Ben Roethlisberger. 

In a sport like modern football, when players on teams are more and more like interchangeable parts in a car, an 18-year career with a single team is without a doubt something to celebrate.