“Big Ben’s dogs are everywhere, serving police partners & communities”

October 19th, 2018 by

From Kevin Kirkland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

101918_FoundationA Steelers quarterback never expects a friendly reception in Baltimore, even when he’s on vacation.

“He walked up to me and said, ‘I’m a K9 officer and I have one of your dogs. I just wanted to say how much it meant to me,” Ben Roethlisberger recalled.

In the 11 years since the Findlay, Ohio, native bought a police dog for his hometown, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation (https://bigben7.com/the-ben-roethlisberger-foundation) has purchased and paid to train 130 German shepherds and Belgian malinois for police departments in Western Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and many other communities not in the AFC North Division.

Ben’s dogs are everywhere.

People who wouldn’t think of rooting for a Pittsburgh team cheer Mr. Roethlisberger’s charitable mission. And local K9 officers, well, they don’t hide their gratitude for the man who’s given them some of the best partners they’ve ever had.

Pittsburgh Police K9 Officer Philip Lerza gets to thank Big Ben for Beny whenever the handler and his dog work the players’ entrance at Heinz Field before Steelers home games. The foundation paid for the 75-pound-German shepherd-Malinois mix in February 2014 after Rocco, Officer Lerza’s previous partner, was killed on duty.

“Staying busy with Beny helped me get through it. It helped my whole family,” Officer Lerza said.

That’s because police dogs go home with their partners, but never really go off duty.

Jango, Larry & Rico

In May, Sharpsburg Police K9 Officer Jeffrey Hussar watched proudly as his partner, Jango, the borough’s first police dog, was sworn in. A grant from the Roethlisberger foundation plus local donations paid for the 2-year-old German shepherd, his training and a vehicle.

“He’s very good with his nose,” said Officer Hussar, who uses Jango for drug sniffing and patrol work. Last Saturday, they responded to a fight at a Sharpsburg home that escalated into a standoff between police and a man with a knife. Jessie Lee Glover, 39, allegedly threatened to kill police and the dog. Officer Hussar said he removed Jango when the suspect fled into the house.

“I was worried about our safety and the dog’s safety,” he said.

Mr. Glover was later removed from the house by a SWAT team and charged with eight felonies.

In nearby Ohio Township, K9 Officer Eric Wallace has his own little family of police dogs — 11-year-old Rico, who retired in July, and 17-month-old Larry, his partner since early September. Larry, a German shepherd bred in the Czech Republic and funded by the Roethlisberger foundation, runs to the door when he sees his partner putting on his uniform. “He jumps three times like he’s on a springboard,” Officer Wallace said.

On the job, this drug sniffer is “precise and methodical.” But once he gets home, the puppy in him erupts once more. Larry romps with Rico and Bruno, a standard poodle that belongs to Officer Wallace’s girlfriend, Sarah Bergman.

Both police dogs enjoy the occasional “blueberry facial” and nail trim at Ms. Bergman’s Doggie Do’s Hair Salon. One day, when Officer Wallace and Larry dropped in to visit, Ashley Roethlisberger, Ben’s wife, was picking up one of their dogs after grooming. She was delighted to learn Larry is one of Ben’s dogs.

“She said, ‘We don’t get to meet them very often,’” Officer Wallace said.

Dogs run in the family

Mr. Roethlisberger credits his father, Ken, for his lifelong love of dogs. Tucked in a family album is a picture of Baby Ben with Brandy, the family’s golden retriever. Dogs were more than just pets; father and son used them to hunt quail, pheasant and ducks in Western Ohio.

Today, Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger and their three children live with two dogs: Remy the vizsla and Kota, a German shepherd. Ken and Brenda Roethlisberger, who live in Beaver County, have a coonhound named Hank and Sam, a golden retriever. They lost Harley, an 8-year-old Rottweiler, this summer.

“I usually keep his dogs when they’re out of town and he takes ours,” Ken Roethlisberger said.

You can read Mr. Kirkland’s full story on Ben & his foundation here.

If you’d like to donate to Ben’s foundation, you can click right here!

Photo: Ken and Ben with Hank, Sam, Remy & Kota (taken by Brenda Roethlisberger).

A Special Fan Friday

October 19th, 2018 by

…about a very special & very busy 6-year old Steelers fan!


“My daughter, Kaley Bastine, has been raising money for our local police department in Harrison Township so they can purchase a K9. She held a lemonade stand in July and raised $106, and a cookie stand in August for $856. She even had a local jeweler match her donation of $856. And just last week, Kaley received a donation from a local club of a $1,000, so she has now raised almost $3,000! I just wanted to share all the hard work and love my daughter has for her police officers and animals. Kaley loves police officers and wants to donate to them because of all the good they do in the community (she is also talking us into buying her a lab, lol). She is so excited to be on Ben’s website because she’s a HUGE fan of his.” — Jamie Bastine.

Kaley isn’t done yet. Her family has told her that purchasing & keeping a police K9 “costs a lot of money”, but she is determined.

So what’s next? She’s planning a Car Wash.

Donations can be sent to: Harrison Township Police Department, 1 Municipal Drive, Natrona Heights, PA 15065 (In the memo section just write “Kaley’s Fund”).

Kaley, you are one awesome little lady & we’re proud to post all the wonderful things you’re doing in your community, and especially for our law enforcement officers!

Throwback Thursday

October 18th, 2018 by

That time last Fall when Daddy was trying to be helpful for Aunt Carlee’s wedding:


Mommy was busy getting ready…Daddy said he could paint my nails…


…I really think I should have gone to a nail salon!!

What could be more fitting…

October 17th, 2018 by

on #NationalPastaDay than re-posting the photos of these two Messy Marvins?!

Back when the ‘berger boys tried ‘sketti for the first time!

You know, if there was a winner for the “Messiest Spaghetti Eater” then Bodie (this past year) was the clear winner over Benjamin Jr. (in 2014)! Are Congratulations in order? #StandBackAndTakeCover

The Ben Roethlisberger Show

October 16th, 2018 by

Recap provided by 93.7 The Fan:

BenRoethlisbergerShowOn his weekly show on The Fan, Ben Roethlisberger took time to answer the weekly, obligatory Le’Veon Bell not showing up question.

“I had no preconceived notion. I didn’t think or know if he was coming, I just showed up and (other players) were messing with his locker, they put a to-go lunch on his chair like he was there so I don’t think anybody knows . . . if the media or people wouldn’t talk about it, we wouldn’t even be thinking about it truthfully.”

None of the players around the locker room are worried about when Bell will show up and Roethlisberger says that is in part thanks to the way James Conner is playing at running back.

“If we couldn’t run the ball and we weren’t winning and things like that, then I think it would be different but you know James has been playing unbelievable football.”

When Bell comes back, Roethlisberger says he hasn’t played an NFL football game since January and that “there’s no way he’s ready to play against the Browns and we changed somethings in the playbook too.”

“Even when he comes back he’s probably three or four weeks away from being ‘football ready’ if you will and so that’s more time for James to keep working and even when Le’Veon gets back into football shape and is ready to go why not use both of them. There’s a lot of teams in the NFL that use multiple backs and keep guys fresh and I think that would be smart for us.”

One of the options being floated around is keeping Conner in the backfield and using Bell more as a receiver but Roethlisberger says they have plenty of slot receivers for that job.

“When Le’Veon is good at receiver is when he’s that third or fourth guy on the field . . . and the personnel we got receivers, tight ends and him, that’s where he creates some mismatch problems,” said Roethlisberger. “If you were to just put him out there as a third wide receiver that’s not really where he would thrive, he would thrive more as a guy that can much up on linebackers as that extra receiver.”

Roethlisberger and the rest of the Steelers have one more practice Wednesday and then have four days off for the bye week before getting ready for the Browns to come to Heinz Field October 28.

On Burfict:

Ben Roethlisberger says it was the “typical antics” from Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict during Sunday’s game.

“When he hits (Antonio Brown) and knocks AB and his (own)guy out, that very next play . . . he’s standing there, points to Ju Ju (Smith-Schuster) and says ‘You’re next’”, said Roethlisberger. “To me that’s completely uncalled for and that’s where I think I had the biggest issue.”

“To me…When you threaten someone else and take them out of the game by hitting them or whatever…That’s crossing the line and that’s when the league needs to do something for sure.”

Roethlisberger adds he knows he got lucky sneaking under Burfict who was coming at him during a quarterback sneak.

Roethlisberger says after the sneak, “I got up and say I said (to Burfict) ‘hey it’s good to have you back out here, you know because you was suspended and you want to play against guys who are good football players’. . . and he didn’t want to have anything to do with it. He started getting all mouthy and trying to push me and all this stuff and I just kind of laughed and walked away and said whatever.”

Roethlisberger says he knows inadvertent hits happen, but blatant hits are “not a good thing” for the NFL.

He also talked about Sunday’s game and says he knew there was too much time on the clock when the Bengals took the lead late for the Steelers not to come back.

“Especially with those timeouts, you got those in your pocket you just feel like you can work the whole field and that’s kind of what we did.”

You can listen to Ben’s complete show from this afternoon right here.

“Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers did what they do best – beat the Cincinnati Bengals”

October 15th, 2018 by

From Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com:

CINCINNATI, Oct. 14, 2060 – When Ben Roethlisberger III lined up behind center here Sunday with 15 seconds to play and the game on the line, he knew what had to be done. “My family has been in this situation lots of times,” he shrugged afterwards.

Ben III recalled his grandfather Ben talking about how his Steelers teams always won in Cincinnati. As a teenager, Ben III watched his father, Ben Jr., do the same thing to the Bengals.

“It wasn’t that hard,” Ben III admitted afterward. “I just saw the Bengals were in Cover-Zero defense and I called a slant pass to Antonio Brown III.” And just like that, the third generation of Bens-to-Browns stole another football game from the Cincinnati Bengals. The more things change, the more they don’t.

Remember Benjamin Jr.’s pass to AB’s son for the touchdown?

When you’re done smiling, you can read the rest of Mr. Daugherty’s column here.

More on the win over the Bengals…

October 14th, 2018 by

“Walking off the field with him was emotional. Just the fact he was able to walk, to see him walk off that field and be able to walk off with him, it was special.” — Ben. You can watch his post-game interview here.

From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:

2_340It took a full 60 minutes. It took contributions all around. And it took some heroics.

And in the end, it all came together as the Steelers pulled out a 28-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in an AFC North battle. The win sends the Steelers into their bye week with a 3-2-1 record.

Ben Roethlisberger did what he does best, taking the Steelers on a last-minute drive to win the game. Taking over at their own 23-yard line with 1:12 to go, and down, 21-20, Roethlisberger first hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for eight yards. He went back to Smith-Schuster for 10 yards, and then connected with him over the middle for 23 yards. With just 15 seconds to play, Roethlisberger went deep to Brown, who pulled it in and never slowed down, aided by a block by Justin Hunter and taking it in for a 31-yard game-winning touchdown. The Steelers added a two-point conversion, when Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster, for the 28-21 win.

“It’s AFC North football,” said Roethlisberger. “It’s just a lot of fun to win here.”

You can read the rest here.

From Jeremy Fowler, ESPN.com:

3_340Same as it ever was.

Antonio Brown made sure of it with an All-Pro walk-off score.

The Pittsburgh Steelers broke the Cincinnati Bengals’ spirit for the sixth straight time in Paul Brown Stadium with their toughest all-around performance of the season.

Brown broke free over the middle for a catch and run between Bengals defenders and an untouched, 31-yard score with 10 seconds left, giving Pittsburgh a 28-21 win.

The Bengals’ efficient 75-yard touchdown drive to take a 21-20 lead left the Steelers with 1:18 left and all three timeouts.

That was plenty of time for Ben Roethlisberger, who orchestrated his 39th career game-winning drive.

Roethlisberger finished with 369 yards and one touchdown on 32-of-46 passing, avoiding mistakes by taking what Cincinnati gave him. That often meant finding McDonald (seven catches, 68 yards) and Smith Schuster (seven catches, 111 yards). Brown added 105 yards on what was a balanced day for the offense.

You can read the rest here.

And from the other side – Geoff Hobson, Bengals.com:

1_340Two weeks after the Bengals stunned the Falcons on the road with a touchdown in the last 10 seconds left of the game, the Steelers did it to them Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flipped to wide receiver Antonio Brown a 31-yard quick pass on a rub route through an empty defensive middle for a touchdown and Pittsburgh’s 28-21 victory.

Roethlisberger’s 44th game winning drive swiped Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s 21st that had seemingly been secured with 78 seconds left as Dalton finished off another 90 rating day (92.3) on 26 of 42 passing for 229 yards and two TDs.

The fourth-quarter magic that brought them three of their four victories this season vanished as the Bengals only saw defensive injuries pile up.

Cornerback Dre Kirkpartrick was called for holding on Roethlisberger’s third-down incompletion with 22 seconds left and Big Ben wasted no time. On the next snap he hit wide receiver JuJu Schuster down the middle for 23 yards to set up Brown’s stunner with 10 seconds left.

You can read the rest here.

Happy Bye-Week to you Steeler Nation!!

Week 6: Steelers 28, Bengals 21

October 14th, 2018 by

This one deserves a post of it’s own.


Thank you to Steelers Depot for allowing us to share it!

It’s a Fan Friday!

October 12th, 2018 by

And good golly, Miss Polly is back!

Kathleen “Polly” Trump, a life-long resident of Connellsville, PA, will be 104 years young on Sunday – that’s right, Game Day!

Polly gets special treatment here on Ben’s website because, well, she’s Polly. And because we like to celebrate her birthdays every year right along with her!

According to her granddaughter, Karen, she is not only a “very long-time Steelers fan, but a BIG fan of Big Ben’s and everything that Pittsburgh represents!”.

When this busy lady isn’t cheering on her beloved Big Ben and his teammates, she can be found exercising at Silver Sneakers three times a week!

Polly is dedicated to the Irish-Roman Catholic Church, and, “is the most amazing woman that I’ve ever known,” said her granddaughter.

Wishing you an absolutely wonderful birthday, Polly! God bless you and Go Steelers!! Go Polly!!

Castles, Mickey Mouse, pumpkins and….the Steelers!

The Dixon family representin’ – even on vacation! Left to right: Bob, Glenda, Maverick, Bryan, Maddox & Kayla.

And one more time, left to right: Bryan, Maddox, Glenda, Maverick, Kayla & Bob.

A Fan Friday wouldn’t be complete without a picture of an adorable Lil’ Fan:

Meet Caleb!
According to his mom, Jamie Benton, he is already an avid Steelers fan and likes to watch his team on TV. Maybe he’ll bring them some good luck this weekend!

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation grants continue…

October 11th, 2018 by

Today, Ben announced the third grant award of the 2018 season from the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund.

The Foundation will be distributing a grant to the Villa Hills Police Department, just southwest of Paul Brown Stadium where the Steelers will play the Cincinnati Bengals on October 14th.

The Villa Hills Police Department plans to start a new K-9 unit with the grant funds.

“The Villa Hills Police Department is a Kentucky State Accredited Law Enforcement Agency that provides police services for the cities of Villa Hills and Crescent Springs in northern Kentucky. With the established location within mere minutes of the major metropolitan city of Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounded by the cities of Covington, Newport, and Florence, the Villa Hills Police Department determined the necessity to re-establish a K-9 Unit for the dual purpose of narcotic detection and search and rescue tracking. The Villa Hills Police Department has long been a highly professional agency with the highest of standards that facilitate and foster a growing community outreach and policing. With the K-9 Unit, the Villa Hills Police Department can provide the utmost level of law enforcement protection to its citizens and strive to meet its motto of Continuing Excellence.” — Villa Hills Police Sgt. Matthew R.B. Hall.

FallDuring the 2018 NFL season, Ben’s foundation will be distributing grants to K-9 units of police and fire departments in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away game for the Steelers. The Foundation will also distribute several grants to the Pittsburgh area. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation invited police and fire departments across the country to submit proposals detailing their needs.

This marks the 12th season that the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has distributed grants to K-9 units.

The mission of Ben’s foundation is to support K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States, with a particular emphasis on support for working dogs in Pittsburgh, PA.

He has distributed more than $170,000 in grants to K-9 units around the country during the 2017 NFL season, including $82,000 in the Pittsburgh community. The Foundation has distributed in excess of $1.92 million since 2007.

Hey fans!

You can support future K-9 grants by purchasing candy on Sarris Candies’ website, (www.SarrisCandiesFundraising.com)!

Just use a special purchase code of 77-7777 when ordering.

Sarris has teamed up with Ben once again and will donate 25 percent of the purchase price to the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation. That’s a sweet deal!

Thank you to Sarris Candies!


WHAT: Nothing at this time


WHAT: The ProCamps Ben Roethlisberger Youth Fantasy Experience
WHEN: June 17, 2018
WHERE: Steelers Practice Facility, Pittsburgh, PA.
REGISTRATION: Sign up here.






9/09 @ Browns Tie: 21-21
9/16 Chiefs Loss: 42-37
9/24 @ Buccaneers Win: 30-27
9/30 Ravens Loss: 26-14
10/7 Falcons Win: 41-17
10/14 @ Bengals Win: 28-21
10/21 BYE N/A
10/28 Browns 1:00 pm – CBS
11/4 @ Ravens 1:00 pm – CBS
11/8 Panthers 8:20 pm – FOX/NFLN
11/18 Jaguars 8:20 pm – NBC
11/25 @ Broncos 4:25 pm – CBS
12/2 Chargers 1:00 pm – CBS
12/9 @ Raiders 8:20 pm – NBC
12/16 Patriots 4:25 pm – CBS
12/23 @ Saints 4:25 pm – CBS
12/30 Bengals 1:00 pm – CBS