Big Lead Sports Bar

6/12/2007

Happy Anniversary, Ben

As countless emailers have pointed out, today is the one-year anniversary of Ben Roethlisberger's Exciting Motorcycle Adventure. Unfortunately, Mondesi's House was about two weeks away from launching when this happened last year, so I wasn't around to recap the mayhem that happened on that fateful day.
Fortunately, I did have the opportunity to write about it at some point, as I chose my thoughts from that day to lead the Deadspin Preview of the Steelers that I wrote last season:
"If you’ve ever wondered how important the Steelers are to Pittsburgh, let me take you back to Monday, June 12, 2006. Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers’ 24-year-old Super Bowl Champion quarterback and resident King of the City, was thrown from his motorcycle and onto the windshield of a 62-year-old woman.
The media covered the event with the ‘round the clock coverage reserved for international tragedies. The local news on the ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates each devoted the first 20 minutes of their 11 PM newscasts to the accident, as if nothing else happened in the world that day. And then they kicked it to sports, where they covered it again. Fans drove from hours away just to sit outside the hospital, where other fans were holding tailgate parties and vigils simlutaneously. There was a parade of media members descending on the city to cover the tragedy. The event was an absolute circus, by anyone’s account. Thankfully, the big lug survived. But Pittsburghers acted like it was one of their own that was lying on death’s doorstep.
Pittsburgh has always been a city that is very proud. When a national media member dares rank the Steelers too low in an absolutely meaningless Power Ranking poll, Pittsburghers take it as a personal insult. They are proud of their football tradition, from the amateur ranks to the professional. This is a region that has produced Bill Cowher, Curtis Martin, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Lavar Arrington, Marc Bulger, Marty Schottenheimer, Marvin Lewis, Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, and Ty Law, just to name a few. Not to sound clich├ęd, but football is life in Pittsburgh."


The day was surreal on a number of levels. The possibility that our Super Bowl-winning quarterback could be dead just five months after the game. The "I told you so" factor from Terry Bradshaw and countless others. The death threats on the woman in the car. The news coverage. The football perspective. The tailgaters outside the hospital. I've never seen anything like it, and I doubt I ever will again.

Combined with an appendectomy and a concussion, as well as apparent clashing with coaches, 2006 was The Season From Hell for Roethlisberger. As I constantly repeat, this is a guy who led the team to a 15-1 record as a rookie and a Super Bowl victory in his second season. He is not a scrub. I'll take a healthy Roethlisberger as my QB anytime.

6 comments:

HotDog_Zanzabar said...

I'm glad it's the one year anniversary for the reason that we finally have something else to talk about beisdes the Pirates 'erraticness'

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Wow, glowing support from a blogger for Big Ben for the first time since 2005!

I figured the overly-cynical internet had written the guy off.

Laser Rocket Arm said...

I still remember opening my work e-mail after getting back from lunch that day and there being about thirty e-mails all titled with variations of OMG BEN WAS IN AN ACCIDENT ARE YOU OK????? I was like I WAS NOT IN THE ACCIDENT WITH HIM DUMBASSES. I can also remember everyone being more concerned that his knees were screwed up rather than his face. Gosh, the memories ...

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Hey, I just saw some pictures of Jeff Reed partying on Deadspin.

I know this is winding up on Mondesis House eventually so here ya go:

http://deadspin.com/sports/at-least-he.s-wearing-pants-this-time/jeff-reed-is-the-most-fun-kicker-of-all-time-268100.php

Brad said...

I remember it clearly...the US was getting stomped in the soccer World Cup, so I was in a bad mood already. Then I find out Mr. Motorcycle safety was lacking a helmet and that, surprise, in a battle of pavement and unprotected head, the pavement remained undefeated. What a day.

Cecil from Cecil Twp. said...

No one talks about the old woman anymore. She never deserved bodily harm. But she certainly earned the threats.

And maybe a little garbage on the lawn for good measure.