It was 10 years ago today…

April 24th, 2014 by


April 24, 2004: With the 11th pick in the NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select…

“I was in New York. I had my mom and dad with me, my sister was there and my agent. My college coach at the time and his wife were there. Everyone kind of had their speculations of ‘what number’ and what team. The teams we thought were going to take me didn’t, but it ended up working out perfectly for me.” – Ben, from the video, “Recalling Draft Day”.



Ben arrives at Madison Square Garden that Saturday morning with plenty of supporters in his corner – his family, his agents Leigh Steinberg and Ryan Tollner, and his college coach, Terry Hoeppner and his wife Jane.

DraftDay_Eli_BenAt 11:20 a.m.: Ben and four others – Eli Manning, Roy Williams, Robert Gallery, and Kellen Winslow Jr. – are introduced to the crowd.

Green Room waiting -

• 12:25 p.m.: NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announces that the San Diego Chargers have selected Eli Manning with the No. 1 pick. Eli emerges from stage right and is greeted by unwelcoming chants by the Chargers fans in attendance.

• 12:58 p.m.: NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announces that the New York Giants have selected NC State quarterback Philip Rivers with the No. 4 pick. Soon thereafter the trade with the Chargers is announced – Eli Manning is headed to New York, Philip Rivers to San Diego. Both fan bases seem pleased with the outcome….as Ben waits for his turn.

• 1:57 p.m.: Pittsburgh is on the clock. “We see Ben Roethlisberger on the phone,” ESPN announces for the television audience. Sure enough, it’s Steelers coach Bill Cowher calling to tell Ben the Steelers are going to select him with the No. 11 pick.

• 2:00 p.m.: NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announces that Ben is indeed headed for Pittsburgh. Ben arrives on stage and dons a Steelers ballcap and holds up a Steelers jersey.

• 2:01 p.m.: The Steelers fans in the crowd begin to chant, “Ben, Ben, Ben….”

• 2:02 p.m.: Just off stage, Ben does a press conference for television reporters and then disappears from the public room to do a few interviews with the Pittsburgh media.

• 2:43 p.m.: Ben emerges from the players’ party room where a press conference with print media is set up. An ESPN media representative announces, “Call from Steelers owner Mr. Rooney…” Ben takes the phone and his first words, “Yes sir, Mr. Rooney…”.

• 2:48 p.m.: After another media conference and a round of short one-on-one interviews that last until close to 3:30 p.m., Ben heads for the door – Steelers jersey still slung over his left shoulder.


“We felt if Ben would drop to No. 11, we’re not up here every year in the draft, and a quality player like that is hard to pass up. He’s right there with Eli and Philip. The thing that separates him is experience. Ben only played one year in high school and three in college…It’s a good situation we have with the veterans in front of him, and not feel the pressure of having to turn the team around immediately.” – Former Steelers Coach Bill Cowher, on selecting Ben over a running back, April 24, 2004.



From a Draft Day report that appeared on the Sports Illustrated website later that evening:

NFLDraft_BenIf anybody had the right to feel exasperated watching the Eli Manning-Philip Rivers saga unfold Saturday, it was Ben Roethlisberger.

Even after his name finally was called by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 11th overall selection, Roethlisberger had to endure a news conference in which half of the questions were about Manning’s power play to stay out of San Diego.

The other half were thinly veiled insults at the quality of play Roethlisberger faced in the Mid-American Conference, as if he should apologize for having attended Miami of Ohio instead of the other Miami — the one that had six players drafted among the top 21 picks of this draft.

It’s hard to argue with Roethlisberger’s track record at Miami, where he led the school to a MAC championship and its first bowl victory in 28 years, a 49-28 win over Louisville in the 2003 GMAC Bowl. As a three-year starter, he passed for 10,829 yards and 84 touchdowns.

“The attention has been on Eli all week and that’s fine with me,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m gonna let [Manning and Rivers] get all the attention they want right now. When I start playing, that’s when I’m going to be getting the attention.”


You can read the rest of their NFL Draft report here.


“Judging by body language, I think he is really happy, They have great receivers and most important, they have a great program. I think it worked out well.” – Ken Roethlisberger on his son’s Draft Day, from the interview below.



From Kevin Chlum, at The Miami Student:

DraftDay_FamilyThere are few NFL teams hated in Oxford, Ohio, more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. Much to the dismay of many Miamians, former RedHawk quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was selected by the Steelers as the 11th pick in the 2004 NFL draft Saturday.

Roethlisberger became the highest drafted player in Miami history.

“The Steelers are a real good fit [for Ben],” Miami coach Terry Hoeppner said. “They are probably the best team of the three quarterbacks who went early. For your ego, you want to go as high as possible, but the more important thing for the future is the right organization.”

Roethlisberger was one of few draftees invited to Madison Square Garden for the draft and many experts predicted him to be selected within the top five picks. But as the draft unfolded, it became clear Roethlisberger would fall.

Ken Roethlisberger was relieved to have the anticipation over. “You better believe that I was relieved,” Ken said. “We had fun while in New York, we went to a Yankees game and a Knicks game, but [Saturday] morning was kind of tense.”


You can read more here.


“The Steelers also are eagerly pursuing Rivers in the final days before the draft, envisioning him as the eventual replacement for Tommy Maddox and a fallback candidate this year, in the event of an emergency. Rivers, who already has earned his degree in business and holds the NCAA record with 51 career starts, is considered a quick study and a better bet to succeed in his rookie season than Miami (Ohio)’s Ben Roethlisberger, who is leaving school with a year of collegiate eligibility remaining.” – Jerry DiPaola, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the night before the draft – April 23, 2004.




You can take a look back at Ben’s NFL Combine here, and his Pro Day workout here.


(The above timeline was made from a combination of notes, television coverage, and highlights from Draft articles that are no longer available online)


The 2014 Steelers schedule is out!

April 23rd, 2014 by


From Bob Labriola, Steelers.com this evening:

“TV loves the Steelers on primetime”

hpIn 2014, the Steelers will play the maximum number of five games on prime-time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons and they didn’t qualify for the playoffs either time, which marked the first multi-year absence from the postseason for the first time since a year-season span from 1998-2000.

Those facts are undeniable, and upon the release of the league’s 2014 schedule, so is this: the three television networks that broadcast NFL football in prime-time still love the Steelers.

The maximum number of prime-time games that can be included on a team’s initial schedule is five, and the Steelers are maxed out in that department for 2014. The NFL does reserve the right to flex a team into a sixth prime-time appearance, but as of today the Steelers are as popular with the networks as any other franchise in the league when it comes to drawing eyeballs to the television industry’s most important slot.

The prime-time schedule includes two appearances on Monday night – at home against the Houston Texans on Oct. 20 and on the road against the Tennessee Titans on Nov. 17; two appearances on Sunday night – at Carolina against the Panthers on Sept. 21 and at home against the Baltimore Ravens on Nov. 2; and then a Thursday night game against the Ravens in Baltimore on Sept. 11.

The Thursday night game in Baltimore will be the first-ever CBS telecast of a package that’s being introduced for the 2014 season.


You can read more here.

You can check out the full 2014 schedule, including the pre-season games, at the bottom of this page!


From the Roethlisberger Family

April 20th, 2014 by


BenAshley_Easter_1

Hoping everyone had a Happy Easter & a blessed day! – Ben, Ashley, Benjamin Jr. & Baylee



The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at work

April 19th, 2014 by

…in New Jersey!

“My department received a grant from your foundation during the last NFL season to purchase a new K9 for our department. I was chosen to be assigned to the K-9 unit and be the dog’s handler. Let me start off by saying that I am extremely grateful and can not describe in words how thankful I am that our department was chosen for this grant.

K9 ‘Ajax’ and I will be completing our first training school (Narcotics Scent Detection) in approximately two weeks. Then in September we will be starting “Patrol School” together. K9 has always been a goal and a dream of mine and because of your foundation I was able to achieve it. Once again, thank you very much for your generosity and for choosing our department.” – Officer John G. Reuter, Fort Lee (NJ) Police Department, in an email to the website on March 27, 2014.



Today, from Noah Cohen, NJ.com – Bergen edition:

FortLeePD_April192014_WSA police dog funded through the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation hit the streets after graduating from an 11-week program teaching the German Shepherd to sniff out drugs, officials announced this week.

Police Officer John Reuter’s K-9 partner Ajax became the department’s seventh dog since its K-9 squad was formed in 1990, Chief Keith Bendul said.

The borough’s two K-9 teams will work varying shifts, allowing up to 16 hours of service a day, the chief added. The dogs will be available seven days a week.

The dog teams are a boon to public safety, responding to crimes in progress and missing persons calls, according to Bendul.

The department’s newest K-9 team was made possible through a $6,500 grant from Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, the chief said. Seized assets helped pay for the K-9 patrol car and gear, with no cost to taxpayers.


You can read more here.

You can read more about Ben’s foundation here.


Photo: Members of the Fort Lee Police Department and Borough Council don Steelers caps in honor of Ajax’s graduation from his first training school.


*Again, thank you to the Fort Lee Police Department and Officer Reuter for keeping us up-to-date on K9 Ajax!


Easter Memories

April 17th, 2014 by


Carlee Roethlisberger shared one of her favorites with us from 1991:


Easter1991
She and her big brother were all smiles after discovering what the Easter Bunny had left for them that April morning – a little yellow bunny and candy for her, Chicago Bulls shorts and an official Michael Jordan basketball for 9-year old Ben (how did that fit in his basket?)!

And it won’t be long before Baylee and her big brother, Benjamin Jr. are posing with their Easter basket treasures!


*Thank you Carlee!


You can see more family photos here.


The weather is warming up

April 14th, 2014 by

…which means registration for Ben’s Football Camp is heating up!!

Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner! You still have time to sign your child up to join Ben for some football fun and instruction at his annual football camp, sponsored by ProCamps Worldwide! But spots are filling up fast!

“I went to Ben’s camp the past three years and both times it was a phenomenal experience! He was so involved and you could tell that he loved every minute of the camp (he even threw a pass to every camper). I wasn’t too interested in the football learning aspect (because I don’t play football) but that part was greatly detailed as well! I learned a lot! I also was fortunate enough to have some of Ben’s teammates coach my groups as well! Overall it was a great experience that I would do again in a heartbeat. Those four days were some of the best days of my life!” – Maddie Mulinaro, the 2012 Day 1 ‘Camper of the Day’ (see photo below), and now a Camp volunteer.



MaddieThe Camp is open to boys and girls, ages 7-14.

Ben will be joined by a selection of the top prep and college coaches from the area.

Each day, the campers will experience various stations, specializing in fundamental skills of football. Individual groups will be small to assure that each camper gets maximum instruction.

Ben will give daily talks highlighting the finer points of the game of football and beyond. Parents and guests will be able to listen to camp guests in designated areas at each location.

And you never know which of #7′s teammates will show up to help out! Kids that attend Ben’s Camp have had the opportunity to meet and get personal instruction from Brett Keisel, Charlie Batch, as well as the man himself, Coach Tomlin!


You might even get an appearance by Benjamin Jr and his little sister, Baylee this year!


Dates: June 16th & 17th, 2014

Times: 09:00 AM – 12:30 PM

Place: Seneca Valley High School, Harmony, PA

Cost: $199. Use the code BigBen7 for $20 off the registration fee.


*If you use the code BigBen7 when you register, you’ll receive a $20 discount off the registration fee, courtesy of ProCamps!

“I took my two grandsons (Brian and Zack Wingard) to the Ben Roethlisberger camp this week — as a university professor I would give you an A+ –the camp was exceptional – well organized, well run, and something both informative and enjoyable for all the campers. Well worth every penny. Good work!” - Bob Regan



CoachTomlin Each camper will receive -

• Camp T-Shirt
• Autographed Camp team photo with Ben
• 7 Hours of expert instruction
• Opportunity to win contests and prizes

In the event of heavy rain or inclement weather, the camp will be moved to a nearby indoor facility. Camp instruction and other related activities will continue inside the facility.

Parents will be notified of the indoor location in the Camp Bulletin that they receive at check-in on the first day of camp.

The camp is sponsored by Giant Eagle and Heinz!


“Our son Matthew has been playing football for some time and this is his first football camp. My husband and I are really impressed how nicely it was run and organized. For the kids we believe it was an awesome experience they will treasure.”– Diane Reynard



A fun and educational experience is guaranteed!

Spots are limited, so participants are encouraged to register early.


You can sign your youngster up for the camp here.

You can see more photos here.

You can watch videos from the camp here (mid-way down the page).

You can read more testimonials from parents and grandparents here.


Back on the home page by popular demand!

April 11th, 2014 by

This one was such a big hit that not only has it made an unexpected return, but we’ve also made it into our version of the Friday Happy Dance!

From his original post on February 21st, we bring you the “crazy hair” baby dance to start your weekend off on the right foot:



“It was my first time watching the Grammys and IT WAS FUN!!! I LOVED all the music, and I think I’m totally rockin’ the crazy hair look too (it was after bath time)!” – Jr.



Hoping all in Steeler Nation have a great weekend!


Ready to enjoy a great time…

April 9th, 2014 by

to support a great cause?

Then purchase your tickets NOW for the Third Annual Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Fundraiser on June 22nd, at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille in Warrendale, PA.

Proceeds from the event will benefit K-9 Police and Fire Units throughout the country, and Make-A-Wish®.


BRFDrummer
Join your host (and drummer) Big Ben, his family and teammates for an evening that includes a strolling dinner, a live and silent auction, and live music to get you dancing from the group, NightSong!

Date: Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Time: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Place: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, 103 Slade Lane, Warrendale, PA

Ticket price: $200/per person

Attire: Casual and Comfortable

*Must be 21 years of age or older to attend!


Tickets will go fast, so purchase yours now! Don’t miss out!


You can see more great photos from last year’s event here.




How does 18 holes of golf sound for the next day?

You can join Ben on the course at the beautiful Treesdale Golf and Country Club in Gibsonia, PA on June 23rd for the Third Annual Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational!

As with the event at Jergels on Sunday night, Monday’s tournament will benefit both Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.


BRF
The tournament was a huge success last year raising over 100,000 for both of Ben’s Foundation causes: the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia as well as K-9 Police and Fire Units across the country.

118 golfers, including teammate and friend Brett Keisel, Mr. Art Rooney II, Steelers Great Franco Harris, Penguins Great Mario Lemieux, and former Steeler and current ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, joined Ben for a full day of golf, games, food and a raffle.

Did we say food?

Yes! Golfers enjoyed both a lunch buffet served on the patio before heading out on the course, and a delicious dinner in the clubhouse after the tournament featuring several buffet stations. On the course, the golfers were treated to made-to-order Primanti Bros sandwiches from a specially prepared golf dining cart!

Space is limited for the tournament, so make your golfing plans NOW!


You can sign up for the tournament, or learn more about it here.

You can see an album full of photos from last year’s Invitational here.


If you unable to attend either event, but would like to make a donation, click here.


*Thank you to Jessica Duffaut at the Giving Back Fund, Justin Aquilante at ProServ Events, Sheila Weiner & Cortney Stitt at The Event Group, Dan Jergel, and Teresa Varley, Steelers.com!


#WishesInFlight

April 7th, 2014 by


For the Make-A-Wish Foundation:





Steeler Nation Spotlight:

April 6th, 2014 by

On Pittsburgh cityscape photographer David Dicello!


If you’re not following David on Twitter or Facebook, THIS is what you’re missing out on:

DavidDicello_images
“Pittsburgh. The Steel City. The City of Champions. The City of Bridges. It has many names, but I know it by one: home. Pittsburgh is the perfect combination of “big” city living and a small town feel. We have history in our steel mills, our sports teams and our culture that make us unique in terms of great American cities. The other thing that is great about the ‘Burgh from a photography standpoint is that no matter how you look at it, you are sure to have an incredible view. From high up on Mt. Washington or the West End Overlook, or down low on the North Shore or Point State Park, the views of my hometown rival some of the best in the world.

“But probably my favorite thing about Pittsburgh is the pride that the people who live there have. We are proud to say where we are from, proud to be from a city that was the keystone of industry in the United States for so many years. The people who leave here always want to come back, because there really isn’t any place quite like Pittsburgh anywhere else.” – David, BIG Pittsburgh sports fan.


You can see more of his breathtaking images – many of which he shares on social media – of Pittsburgh, Heinz Field, PNC Park, and the Penquins on the ice, on the portfolio page of his website!


*David, thank you for following the website and for sharing your beautiful work with us!


MAGAZINE/BOOK ALERT!

WHAT: Nothing at this time
WHEN:
WHERE:

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Fundraiser
WHEN: Sunday, June 22, 2014
WHERE: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, Warrendale, PA
TICKETS: Get them in advance here.

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation Invitational
WHEN: Monday, June 23, 2014
WHERE: Treesdale Golf and Country Club, Gibsonia, PA
TICKETS: Get them in advance to play in the tournament (foursomes only) here.

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: The Ben Roethlisberger Football Camp
WHEN: June 16th & 17th, 2014 – 09:00 AM to 12:30 PM
WHERE: Seneca Valley High School, Harmony, PA
REGISTRATION: $199. Use the code BigBen7 for $20 off the registration fee.
SIGN-UP: ProCamps.com

EVENTS/APPEARANCES!

WHAT: Guest Speaker – Lou Holtz Hall of Fame Dinner
WHEN: Monday, June 16, 2014
WHERE: St. Florian Hall in Wintersville, OH
TICKETS: $110 per person. To pre-order (prior to the Jan 16, 2014 ticket sale date) call 330-386-5443 and ask for Robin Webster or Rosemary Mackall, Director of Development.

 


2014 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

TBA Pre-Season – NYG TBA
8/16 Pre-Season – Buffalo 7:30PM
8/21 Pre-Season – @ Philadelphia 7:30PM
8/29 Pre-Season – Carolina 7:30PM
9/7 Cleveland 1:00PM
9/11 @ Baltimore 8:25PM
9/21 @ Carolina 8:30PM
9/28 Tampa Bay 1:00PM
10/5 @ Jacksonville 1:00PM
10/12 @ Cleveland 1:00PM
10/20 Houston 8:30PM
10/26 Indianapolis 4:25PM
11/2 Baltimore 8:30PM
11/9 @ New York Jets 1:00PM
11/17 @ Tennessee 8:30PM
11/24 BYE N/A
11/30 New Orleans 1:00PM
12/7 @ Cincinnati 1:00PM
12/14 @ Atlanta 1:00PM
12/21 Kansas City 1:00PM
12/28 Cincinnati 1:00PM