Happy Birthday America! In 1776 we became a nation and in 1933 we became a Steeler Nation. Only 157 years of life without Steelers football. Not too shabby. This weekend Ben Roethlisberger traveled overseas to Ireland to celebrate the holiday with Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney at the US Embassy. Roethlisberger had previously been in London to promote the Steelers-Vikings game to be held at Wembley Stadium on September 29th. Naturally Big Ben visited the clock Big Ben while in town, sparking what is probably going to be a non-stop of Big Ben at Big Ben-related puns and jokes from now until the end of highlights of the game. Brace yourselves. With all that being said, this morning’s huddle will be primarily all about our Big Ben.
Roethlisberger handles coin-toss duties
While in Ireland, Ben Roethlisberger celebrated the Fourth of July with the American Embassy’s annual flag football game where Roethlisberger performed the coin toss. The Steelers website, steelers.com reports that the game was started at the embassy once Dan Rooney began his appointment to the position of US Ambassador to Ireland, and has continued there since he stepped down. Warms my Steeler heart that once Dan Rooney got to Ireland, the country of his ancestors, he looked around and said, “We need some football up in here”. Or possibly something to that effect. Well done, Mr. Rooney, well done.
Roethlisberger would play in Dublin for Mr. Rooney
While in Ireland celebrating the Fourth of July with Dan Rooney, Roethlisberger was asked about whether he’d be willing to travel to Ireland to play, as the Steelers are already traveling to London for a game this season. Yardbarker reports that Roethlisberger commented that he would be willing to make the journey for Dan Rooney’s stake,
“I would like it for him. That’s how much he means to me and I think everyone on our team would say that. Even if guys said that they would never want to play in London, 100 percent of the guys on our team would say they would play in Dublin for Mr. Rooney. I’d do it for him.”
It’s no secret that US NFL fans aren’t big on the idea of expanding the NFL into Europe, and it’s no surprise that the majority of the players aren’t on board for that either. But clearly Rogeez and his billionaire buddies can’t stop drooling at all the money that is to be made by further globalizing the sport, that it’s probably inevitable that not only more games will be held in London, but the possibility of a team out there isn’t all that far off. Obviously Rogeez finally realized that if any team can draw a huge crowd outside of the US, it’s going to be the Steelers and they’ve been put on the hook this year for one of the season’s London games. Thankfully, it won’t count as a home game for the Steelers. I like the idea of the Steelers honoring the team’s ownership’s Irish heritage by playing a game in Ireland, but not at the cost of losing a home game for fans at Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger and Haley’s relationship tops list as “most explosive”
In yet another ranking of top ten _____’s by nfl.com the Steelers quarterback and offensive coordinator’s relationship is yet again topic of conversation this offseason as well as it topped their list of the most combustible relationships in the league. We are all well aware at how awkwardly and uncharacteristic the OC switch from BA to Haley was carried out last offseason. First Tomlin said that he expected his entire staff back, then Art Rooney II announced that the offense needed “tweaked”, then before you knew it BA “retired” but was then hired by Indianapolis a week later, and finally Haley was brought on and since he and Roethlisberger weren’t seen immediately embracing and going golfing together it was assumed that they weren’t going to get along. I thought the whole thing sounded a bit too soap opera-y for my taste. I got a kick out of sports radio guys pontificating about how well two other guys would get along with each other based upon whether one of them called the other one once they got to town. Needless to say the offense didn’t exactly crumble apart seeing as how Roethlisberger was having an MVP-caliber season before succumbing to injury halfway through the season. However, the offense did end up finishing 8-8, just like the rest of the team. I really could give a crap how well these guys get along as long as it results in seven points at the end of a drive. I know Haley’s reputation is that he’s volatile and high strung, but he’s also known for getting the best performance out of his players. My bigger question over whether or not Big Ben and Todd are headed towards a major blowout is during the offseason is there anything that the NFL Network doesn’t do rankings on? When will we find out the top 10 best stadium bathrooms?
Ray Lewis ends Kilimanjaro climb early
If anyone else thought that now during all this Aaron Hernandez murder charge stuff, it would probably be smart if Ray Lewis went up a mountain to deflect any attention away from him you’d be right. Fox Sports reported that Lewis was in Tanzinia this week with Chicago Bear DL Tommie Harris and apparently Brad Pitt’s brother, Doug (Brad Pitt would have a brother named Doug, wouldn’t he?) to provide hearing aids to children. Lewis was expected to start climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity on Thursday but had to back out due to foot pain and a fever. I’m just going to assume that once his group gets to the top of the mountain without him, Lewis will still get credit for the climb just like his sacks and tackles he got during playing days.