Seriously, check out DBuzard’s post on Big Ben’s recent shellac’ing by the media with his comments about Big Ben sort of but not really whining about having a new offensive coordinator. Ben’s got a bit of soggy ground to walk around on when he decides to open his mouth and criticize something or someone. He’s either loved or hated by the masses – either due to his annoying ability to constantly make plays when he should be lunchmeat for a defense or due to his off field ‘incidents.’ It’s only fair that those who criticize the man formally disclose their distrust and hatred for him before they tie him to the whipping post. Would Big Ben be better off turning off the ‘I Miss B.A. Switch’ for a while?
Then there is the most recent interview with Ben on the Dan Patrick Show. Every former and current football player is being asked just short of the Spanish Inquisition what their opinions are on Bountygate AND if they have ever been targeted by other players. The questions are leading and I want to throttle just about everyone over there on ESPN – especially you Cris Carter. (Think you had a hard time getting in the HOF now? Just wait.) Bountygate has exploded into a soap operatic adventure with a huge match of ‘He said, She said’ taking place between offensive and defensive players. No names are being named, and things are mainly insinuated, but every media outlet is running with something dealing with bounties.
So what does Ben have to do with this? Well turns out when asked if HE has ever been targeted by defenses, he had this to say:
“Um, wow, that’s tough. I don’t really complain about that stuff, either. But I think when we played San Fran, I felt like there were some things going on, some extra . . . Now, obviously, I did have the ankle and I was playing, so there was kind of a bull’s-eye on there anyway. But for the most part, guys play tough and you go into a game expecting it. I expect to be tougher than them.”
Wow. Nice. Not only did Big Ben decide to let his brain check out for that answer, he picked a very recent moment in history that happened in primetime when millions were watching that ankle. Of course the due diligent and Steeler hater (Seahawks beat writer and ESPN NFC West blogger) Mike Sando decided to make it his job to watch every single Steelers offensive snap for that game and decided that Ben’s ankle was never targeted. Now I personally haven’t gone back and watched every snap. But what I have done and watched stills from that game and seen many low hits on Ben – thigh or lower. Just take a look at the photo at the top of the page – a low wrap that causes the ankle to turn in the turf. In a league where high hitting ran rampant all season long, and when a defensive coordinator couldn’t get his players to hit with proper technique if a gun was pointed to his head the 49’ers defense all of a sudden decided to keep the hits low. Am I now insinuating? Perhaps. But I think it’s complete B.S to completely dismiss Roethlisberger’s thoughts about that game. I’ll find any reason to argue with that jag, Sando anyways.
So, Steeler Nation, Roethlisberger has decided to take it up on himself to suggest that the 49’ers defense was targeting his ankle. Intent to injure or just knock him out of the game? A fine line and one that players walk every game. I actually agree with Bill Romanowski that there’s a big difference with intentions of hurting and intentions of injuring. You play hard and hit even harder. You want the offense to feel pain. Pain equals an advantage. Star players sidelined for a play, series or half equals an advantage. Regardless of the 49’ers intent in that game and some of their lower shots taken at #7, should Ben really be taking the time to answer questions like that?