Ben Roethlisberger has taken some pretty serious hits over his career. Aside from the ones that have caused sprained ankles or broken thumbs, Big Ben is one tough cookie and usually plays through the bumps and bruises. Don’t forget, this guy played through a broken nose that he sustained against the Ratbirds. So how is it that a fairly ‘routine’ take down by a pair of KC Chiefs on Monday night might keep Ben out against the Ravens this week and for a couple weeks after?
Here’s an interesting theory for you: He wasn’t injured. Big Ben took a sack on Monday night to set the stage for an ‘injury’ that just so happens to take the same amount of recovery time as is the window of time left for his first child’s due date. By having the ‘injury’ and staying on the sidelines, he can freely step away from the stadium and head to the delivery room if the baby comes on a Sunday.
Woah woah woah. Sounds like I’ve taken too many hits in the head from James Harrison, right? But is it really that inconceivable (and yes this word means what I think this word means)? Our own Kimmy pointed out in a previous post that pundits and reporters, like Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk, will take players to task for missing football games for ‘family things.’ According to Mike, players should be smart enough to plan things like a child being born around the season – all because they have an obligation to their organization for all the ridiculous amounts of money they make. Poor form on Florio’s part and way off base – but it is a realistic critique from not only him but many around the nation. So why should Ben submit himself to the same kind of critique when he might miss a game for his own child’s birth?
By being injured and sidelined, Roethlisberger is released from the pressure of his obligation to his team and fans. He can freely head to that delivery room. No need to worry about hearing it from fans on either side of the field that he abandoned his team in their desperate hour in need. No need for anyone to look back and point at that particular missed game (Ravens, Browns, or Ravens) as ‘The Excuse’ for the Steelers missing the playoffs, or home field advantage, etc. etc. etc. I for one would never be critical if he were to leave either just before game time or during halftime or something of that fashion if Ashley were to go into labor on gameday. I’m a dad. I know how important that day is. Period.
So, perhaps he was afraid to take the potential brutal hit from fans if he were to miss a game due to the birth of his first child. He needed an out. The Steelers provided the opportunity. So – is the injury legit? Or might it be a bit embellished to act as a cover?
Disclaimer: There’s no way in hell would I actually ever think that Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers would work together conspiratorially to keep Ben out of a football game. So back off and leave the comments section alone on that one.
Update: This post was also written prior to learning about the dislocated rib into the Aorta. It just got real, folks.