Last season, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger put up the most prolific passing numbers in the history of the team. He had two consecutive games in which he threw six touchdown passes and helped lead the team to an AFC North Division Title which after two 8-8 seasons was a welcome sight.
After signing a new deal this spring, Roethlisberger is now set up to retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler. It’s something he has repeatedly stated was a goal of his and now that is just one more goal that has come to fruition.
We can debate ad nauseam as to why Roethlisberger isn’t mentioned as one of the “elite” quarterbacks in the NFL despite the two rings and plethora of Steelers’ team records but the truth is… He doesn’t care.
Big Ben has always had one goal in mind and that’s to win Super Bowls. With that said, what has largely gone unnoticed about number 7 is the work he has done off the field to benefit those less fortunate than himself and to help those in need.
Last week for example he held his annual football camps for kids. As a superstar quarterback he doesn’t have to do this. He could easily put his name on the camp, show up for five minutes and leave but he doesn’t. He gets involved in the camp. He messes around with the kids and he instructs regardless of what position they are there to work on.
Trust me, I’ve seen camps with other NFL players’ names attached to them and at best, the player will wander the field chatting up some of the volunteers and coaches more than he does with the kids. That’s what makes Roethlisberger unique.
He takes photos with just about everyone there and makes sure everyone feels welcome. Go over to his website and read through the tweets and emails and Facebook messages left from parents and campers. Check out the photos as well to see just how involved he really gets.
The camp is just one part of what Roethlisberger has done off the field to provide for others. His Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has helped to provide service dogs to police K-9 units throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. Since 2007, the BRF has given over 155 grants to 148 police and fire departments nationwide. That’s over $1.3 million total.
If you know much about number seven then you know he loves dogs and he’s passionate about helping authorities. There are already a large number of cities on the waiting list to receive dogs and/or grants through the foundation in the coming year.
Big Ben is also extremely active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as well. Next week, he will host his annual fundraiser weekend which is filled with opportunities to play table games and play some golf as well.
I think there are often fans who wonder why they don’t see more of Roethlisberger in national television commercials the way they do with Peyton Manning, Cam Newton or Drew Brees. It’s a fair thing to ponder but the more I’ve learned about Roethlisberger throughout his career the more I’ve understood that this type of thing just really isn’t him.
I for one am more than happy with the way Big Ben has decided to live his life off the field and there are many who’ve benefited from his Foundation who feel the same way.
stats courtesy br-7.com.