A Little Perspective When it comes to “Big” Ben Roethlisberger

Russell S. Baxter

A Little Perspective When it comes to “Big” Ben Roethlisberger

By Joe Lodanosky

Special to Pro Football Guru

Here is a startling revelation to the average NFL fan…

There are real live people under those helmets!

Contrary to popular belief, your favorite player is actually employed by your favorite team. Fans suggest taking a “hometown discount.” As to think the average mill worker, would work for half at their current job, when the competition is willing to pay double?

Who are fan, to judge what the market will bear? Who are fans to tell a player to stick to sports? Sometimes, we, the media forget that those gladiators in the coliseum every Sunday, are brothers, fathers, children and husbands.

A reminder again, your favorite player, has a job, working for your favorite team. Many players kiss wives and children good bye, just like the rest of us. As if, being an NFL player doesn't come with a real life?

Many have questioned Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's desire to play? Recent results may suggest that he's uninterested in playing, or maybe father time is catching up? He is soon to be 36, and with lots of injuries, an old 36 at that.

We've all mailed in a shift, a day, perhaps even a week? Does your outside world affect your performance at work? The NFL landscape has changed exponentially since Roethlisberger was drafted in April of 2004. Perspective the NFL Network was launched in November of 2003. Social media, politics, player safety, the 24-hour news cycle, have all changed during Ben's career.

Going to work, especially in a team-oriented job, when a common goal is the center piece of the team, animosity is a reality. Roethlisberger is obviously on the downside of his career, one can't help but wonder. Does he question the commitment of Le'Veon Bell or Martavis Bryant? Both have missed considerable time due to drug-related suspensions.

Roethlisberger's foundation is a huge financial supporter of police and firemen. It would be incredibly ignorant to suggest that the national anthem demonstrations don't generate some uneasiness in his mind?

But one thing is certain, the rest is speculation, as a boy becomes a man, and a man becomes a husband, and a husband becomes a father, things are quite a bit different.

There are only seven Steelers on the current roster that are 30 or older. And only the freak of nature that is James Harrison is older. Roethlisberger is literally old enough to be rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster's father. Remember that first time you went to the bar and the punch in the gut came that you were by far and away the oldest guy in the room?

Ben is going to be 36, he's got a wife, and three kids. He is literally a father, and may have teammates that view him as a father figure. Growing up and growing old, aren't one in the same. But is easy to see that Ben simply might not be having fun anymore. He's got nothing to prove. He’s got rings. He'll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Roethlisberger still has his health. Perhaps with all of the outside, whether it is suspensions, demonstrations, age, or family, when your job becomes work, perhaps the end of the road is upon you?

Joe Lodanosky is the host of “The Joe Lodanosky Show” on ESPN 1120. He’s also a host and contributor on The Pennsylvania Sports Network. “I don’t care if you think I am smart or you think I am an idiot. I just hope I make you think.” Follow him here on Twitter and check out his Facebook page.


NFL 2018