Steelers “Community Spotlight” on Ben

October 22nd, 2014 by

“Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shows his caring side when it comes to kids and animals”


From Teresa Varley at Steelers.com today:

2013LawEnforcementAward_HPSteelers’ fans see Ben Roethlisberger the football player, the guy on Sunday afternoons throwing touchdown passes, eluding defenders and making incredible plays on the football field.

But what they don’t often get to see are those tender moments when Roethlisberger is at his best, making kids smile, bringing happiness to a sick child who through the Make-A-Wish Foundation wants to meet the Steelers and Roethlisberger in particular.

“When a person has a last wish, or one wish to be granted, and they want to hang out with me, or hang out with the Steelers,” started Roethlisberger, pausing for a minute as he realizes the enormity of what it means. “For all of the things they could do and they want to do that …it’s pretty amazing.”

He also has a soft spot in his heart for those that protect and serve the community, in particular the K9 units as his love for animals has grown into a passion for helping law enforcement through the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation.

Each year Roethlisberger provides a grant to a law enforcement agency or fire department in the Pittsburgh area, as well as to one in the cities where the Steelers play. The grant is to be used for the K9 units, bomb sniffing dogs or rescue dogs.

“I don’t think the service people get enough recognition and credit for the things that they do and the tireless efforts that they put in,” said Roethlisberger. “If I can do just a little bit to help them, then I am happy about that.”

The foundation, which started awarding the grants in 2007, has donated in excess of $1.2 million. He was honored by the Amen Corner last year at Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon, becoming the first non-law enforcement individual to be honored by the organization, receiving an award for his contribution to K9 units of police and fire departments in the Pittsburgh area and throughout the country (photo above).

Last year the loss of K9 Rocco, who died from injuries in a stabbing attack, struck the Pittsburgh community hard. Roethlisberger knew he had to do something to give back, and the foundation purchased a new dog, Beny, for Officer Phil Lerza, Rocco’s handler.

tempBen_Community_001_4--nfl_mezz_1280_1024Roethlisberger’s other passion is the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He never hesitates when it comes to spending time with wish recipients, enjoying quiet moments with the kids after practice and always bringing laughter to even some shy, timid kids.

“He understands it, he gets it,” said Leigh Ann Lubarsky, Senior Manager of Program Services at Make-A-Wish in Pittsburgh. “He knows of all things this kid could have wished for, he wished to come there and meet him. He takes that time out of his day and that’s everything to a wish kid. He gets that. He is able to put everything aside and comes out to see the kids and is so approachable and jovial. Sometimes he will pretend he is not Ben, and the kids are so in awe.

“There is that moment you can see he connects with that kid. It’s so profound. When he is standing there he almost can’t believe the kid is that awestruck because it’s just him. It’s so special. For a kid to stand there and be like, ‘Ben is coming,’ that is so exciting. That moment is going to live forever with that family and it’s great.”

Lubarsky said some of the best moments are after the visit has ended and they are headed back to their hotel, that the child realized what just happened.

“That’s when it really hits them it happened,” said Lubarsky. “They are so excited. It’s so in the moment. When we sit down and on the way back there is that exhale moment and it really sinks in. It’s always he is so much taller than we ever thought, and they can’t believe how nice he is, how down to earth. People build the team up and in their mind they are a football player. They have no idea what their personality is going to be like. They are so surprised he is as funny and approachable as he is. They are like I can’t believe I just met Ben, and did you hear what he said.

“Every moment he spends with them they talk about and relive it. It’s a precious memory for them. Then they call family and relive it again. He then becomes more of a personal connection, and not just the football player they wanted to meet.”

Roethlisberger’s connection to Make-A-Wish doesn’t stop there. He has a rare relationship where not only is he someone who is able to grant a wish, but he helps wishes come true with donations from his foundation. The foundation began a yearly grant two years ago and so far has provided $55,000 to help make wishes come true.

“He has the unique perspective of granting wishes that have nothing to do with him,” said Lubarsky. “I don’t know how else to say it other than he is a double threat. He has impacted kids by meeting them and providing the funding. We don’t always see that.

“I am so thankful that we are a recipient of a grant from his foundation, but I am most excited that he is growing the relationship with us and it’s mostly about the wish recipients for him.”


You can read more & see photos here.



Did you miss The Ben Roethlisberger Show yesterday?


You can read the recap & listen to the audio of his entire show here.



And since it’s Wednesday -

That means Ben was surrounded by the media in the locker room after practice!


You can watch Ben’s interview here!


Just in case

October 21st, 2014 by

…you missed Ben’s One-on-One sit-down interview with Sally Wiggin last night prior to the game, you missed her look back at Ben’s first One-on-One interview with the rookie quarterback in 2004!

“To be like somebody, somebody like a Joe Montana that won a ton of Super Bowls. That’s obviously the ultimate goal.” – Ben, from that first One-on-One.


From Ms. Wiggin:

SallyWiggin10 years ago when the Steelers drafted a young Miami of Ohio quarterback, it had been 24 years since they had taken a quarterback in the first round. Quite frankly, that Ben Roethlisberger was none to happy he was the third quarterback taken in the Draft after Eli Manning and Philip Rivers.

Then, during the season, the starter, Tommy Maddox, went down and was injured, and [Ben] became the first rookie quarterback to go 13-0 in a season. That quarterback said he was motivated by a chip on his shoulder.

Now that it’s a decade later, what advice would the 32-year old Roethlisberger have for the 22-year old rookie?

Ben: Enjoy it. It goes fast. I remember when I got here, I tell the story all the time – Jerome pulled me aside at one point, and said, ‘Enjoy this because it goes really fast’. I remember thinking to myself, ‘right, okay whatever.’ Now, It’s amazing it’s been ten years. I tell the young guys the same thing Jerome told me.


SallyWiggin_2014Sally: In that time, there was the glory of winning two Super Bowls, the pain of injury, the humiliation of scandal, and the start of a family. How would you analyze your evolvement?

Ben: I would answer your question with, ‘Yes, people can change, and people can grow up.’ I think it’s to each individual what they want to do. I’m thankful for the freedoms we have in this country, that I’ve got a loving family. You can make smart choices and decisions when it comes to your life.


Sally: That loving family, with wife Ashley, grew in the off-season. Daughter Baylee was born in March, joining her big brother Ben Jr…

Ben: Life is fun, especially when you go home! I tell my son, come here and give me a hug! Can I get a hug? ‘Yep’, he will run over and give you a hug. That’s the big thing – the patience, kindness, love. It makes you appreciate your life so much more because these children are – they are totally dependent on you.


You can watch it here.


Steelers 30, Texans 23

October 21st, 2014 by

Watt a game!!

“I feel like offensively we still left a little bit out there. But we scored enough.” – Ben.



Ben was 23 of 33 for 265 yards, two TDs and no interceptions as the Steelers rallied to beat Houston 30-23 and improve to 4-3. Ben threw his two TD’s while the Steelers were taking advantage of two Texans turnovers to score 21 points over the final 87 seconds of the first half.

Antonio Brown threw for a touchdown during the scoring flurry and had nine catches for 90 yards.


From Will Graves, AP:

14One dizzying sequence, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were in complete control against J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for two touchdowns and wide receiver Antonio Brown added another on a gadget play during a decisive surge late in the first half, helping the Steelers rally for a 30-23 win over the mistake-prone Texans on Monday night.

Pittsburgh (4-3) needed just over a minute to turn a 10-point deficit into an 11-point lead as the Texans self-destructed while losing their third straight.

Roethlisberger finished with 265 yards passing. Le’Veon Bell racked up 145 yards of total offense and rookie wide receiver Martavis Bryant caught a momentum-swinging touchdown pass in his first NFL start.

Arian Foster ran for 102 yards for Houston (3-4), but just 29 over the final three quarters.

Ryan Fitzpatrick was 21 of 32 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and an interception but the Texans were undone by three turnovers.

Watt recovered a fumble and picked up his third sack of the season but was neutralized for most of the second half.

By then, the Steelers were on their way to the win.

One frantic stretch turned the tide.

Pittsburgh was listless for the first 25 minutes, letting Foster and Fitzpatrick do whatever they wanted as the Texans raced to a 13-0 lead that seemed larger.

A 44-yard Shaun Suisham field goal with 3:08 left in the half gave the Steelers a minor boost.

A strike from Roethlisberger to Bell provided a much larger one shortly after the 2-minute warning. Roethlisberger hit the versatile back for a 43-yard gain — Pittsburgh’s longest pass play of the season — to move the ball to the Houston 35.

Roethlisberger then hit Bryant, who struggled staying healthy in the preseason and spent the first six weeks on the inactive list, with a beautiful rainbow Bryant caught at the back of the end zone to make it 13-10 with 1:27 left.

The Steelers were just getting started.


You can read more here.



And from Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

16The Steelers trailed, 13-0, midway through the second quarter. It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say the offense was doing nothing because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had lost a fumble, leading to a Houston field goal. The crowd, such as it was minus about 9,000 no-shows, was booing lustily. There was an overwhelming feeling the home team was headed toward another crushing loss at Heinz Field that surely would put their season in jeopardy.

Bell didn’t allow it to happen. He took a little dump pass over the middle from Roethlisberger on a third-and-10 play and, after shrugging off Houston linebacker Brian Cushing, turned it into a 43-yard gain. It was the play of the game. It gave the Steelers life. They had to settle for a field goal, but, as it turned out, it was just the start of their best offensive quarter of the season. They scored three touchdowns in the final 1:27.

“I saw it was man-to-man coverage,” Bell said. “I knew I had a chance to get the rock. I made sure I won the match-up [against Cushing].”

Roethlisberger loved it.

“That play was huge. It flipped the field. I think it was our first third-down conversion. It got us started.”

Tomlin agreed.

Roethlisberger called Bell “phenomenal.”

“It’s not that he can do anything. He can do everything. He’s such a difference-maker.”

Bell caught a 28-yard screen pass to set up the Steelers’ first touchdown, cutting the Houston lead to 13-10. Later, he had a 2-yard touchdown catch to give the Steelers a 24-13 lead. He finished with eight catches for 88 yards.

“His awareness is unbelievable,” Roethlisberger said. “On that touchdown play, he went in motion and he was supposed to run a fade pattern. He saw the coverage and broke it off [outside safety D.J. Swearinger]. He made that play.”

Roethlisberger said he never doubted the Steelers offense would get rolling. “We always believe and have faith regardless of how things are going.” But Roethlisberger was mighty glad Bell stepped up and led the way. “I say it all the time. I think he’s one of the best all-around backs in the game. He proved it again.”


You can read more here.

You can watch video of Ben’s post-game interview here.

You can check out a few game photos here.


Tune in!

October 18th, 2014 by

Ben sat down for an interview today at Steelers HQ with ESPN’s Monday Night Football crew.

ESPN_MNF

The interview will air during the Monday Night Countdown Show, which starts at 6:00 PM (ET).


Daddy’s ON DUTY!!

October 16th, 2014 by

DadsNight_October162014_1

“Dad’s got the kids tonight and it’s dinner time! Man, this isn’t easy! Moms, you guys are the best!!!” – Ben



“Markus Wheaton puts in extra time with Ben Roethlisberger”

October 15th, 2014 by

From Scott Brown, ESPN.com’s AFC North Blog:

Ben_WheatonPittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been patient with Markus Wheaton but that might be running a little thin after the second-year wide receiver caught just four passes last Sunday in Cleveland despite getting targeted 11 times.

He and Ben Roethlisberger seemed to be operating off different scripts, something that became painfully obvious to the Steelers on a critical third down early in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger said before the Steelers’ first practice of the week that Wheaton is still adjusting to the speed of the NFL game after playing just 152 snaps as a rookie and missing four games because of a broken finger.

“In college you can kind of wait for a receiver to come out of a break before you throw it,” Roethlisberger said. “Here you have to throw it before they come out of their break. He’s working hard to make sure he gets the proper depth, to get his hands around with his head and make the play. I know he will.”

Wheaton followed through on a promise he made after the Steelers’ 31-10 loss to the Browns. The 5-foot-11, 182-pounder showed up at the Steelers’ practice facility early Wednesday morning so he could watch film of the game with his quarterback.

“I think that speaks volumes about him wanting to get in there, wanting to learn, to be corrected,” Roethlisberger said. “I broke down every single pass play that he did and told him what I thought he did right and what he did wrong. He’s the type of guy that’s going to take that and make him better. I have all the confidence in the world that Markus will come out and be better than ever.”


You can read more here.

You can watch Ben’s regular Wednesday interview with the media here (video).


“Thank you Ben!”

October 14th, 2014 by

From a recent email received to the website:

101414_OfficerSmithMy name is Jay Rusch and I am the General Manager at Woodside Plantation Country Club in Aiken, SC.

Earlier this evening, I was reading an article about Ben Roethlisberger and it pertained to Aiken, SC.

I was a little surprised and excited especially after I finished the article. I am a HUGE Steeler fan (born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA) and I currently live in Aiken, SC, I thought to myself, this is awesome!

A close friend of mine, Clark Smith is a K-9 Narcotics Officer for Aiken Department of Public Safety and his K-9 partner, Fox (Belgium Malinois – photo attached) are an amazing team and asset to our community.

I just wanted to say THANK YOU to Ben Roethlisberger for the grant to ADPS. – Best regards, Jay Rusch, PGA.


Thank you to Jay for taking the time to send us the email and the photo of your friend and his partner!


You can learn more about Ben’s foundation here.


93.7 The Fan: The Ben Roethlisberger Show

October 14th, 2014 by

Ben joined The Cook and Poni Show for his weekly radio spot today. Below is a recap in case you missed it:

The Steelers are licking their wounds after a 31-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday. It was only the second time Roethlisberger has lost to the Browns in his career.

“It was frustrating. I felt like I could and should have played better and do more to give our team a chance to win,” Roethlisberger said. “I take it upon myself and it was a long bus ride home. You got to let it fester inside you a little bit because I think that’s what motivates you, but you also have to find a way to move on and that is why today we have moved on and were getting ready for this week.”

Roethlisberger said it wasn’t as bad as it may have looked when they watched the game back yesterday.

“It really came down to not making plays when we had to make plays. They made them and we didn’t,” Roethlisberger said. “We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, we just didn’t make the plays that were there to be made.”

He said that was the most frustrating part is knowing what to do in making those plays, but just not being able to execute.

Roethlisberger said the game plan was to run the ball against the Browns, and he thought they were having success with it, but it came down to not being able to score inside the red zone. He says they have to start scoring touchdowns instead of settling for field goals.

“We ran the ball and I know that should make the fans happy, because them and the media were asking for us to run it,” Roethlisberger added. “But we still have to find a way to get it in the end zone.”

The offensive troubles have prompted some to call for the firing of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Roethlisberger told the guys that all coaches are going to feel the heat when things are not going right, and it’s part of the job. He says they have to just let all of the negative comments roll right off their backs, and the simple way to resolve it is to starting playing better and win some games.

“We as players need to play better,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s our responsibility to play the best we can and right now. I will take the blame that I’m not playing my best football and I need to. So if I play better football, then maybe people will get off the coaches’ back.”

He told the guys that he will work harder with the receivers moving forward to make sure they are all on the same page and that he gives them the best opportunity to make plays.

Roethlisberger didn’t really take kindly to the comments made by his former coach Bill Cowher and former teammate Hines Ward, who both called the Steelers finesse on offense and soft on defense.

“They are in the media now so they are media guys, you know, so they are entitled to their media opinions and that’s fine, “ Roethlisberger said. “We’re not going to change or do anything different because of what people say. We’re just gonna bust our butt and play for each other and do what we can to win football games.”

That starts Monday night at Heinz Field against the Houston Texans, which will be the first of three straight games at Heinz Field.

Roethlisberger says he hopes to see the Steelers fans show up at all the games, and be the loud fans they have come to love, and show these teams what Heinz Field is all about and that it will present a true home field advantage.

“This will be a huge test for us,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s one game at a time and we will see if we can step up our play and play our best football.”


You can listen to the full interview here.


Browns 31, Steelers 10

October 12th, 2014 by

“We came in with the right attitude and mindset. I didn’t play well enough. It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated but we’ll stay together…I hold myself to a higher standard and I’ve got to be better.” – Ben.


You can listen to Ben’s post-game interview here.

Make it a Black & Ghoul…er…Black & Gold Halloween!

October 10th, 2014 by

And share it with us!!


If you have a Big Ben (or one of his teammates like Troy or DaBeard) going out for Halloween, or attending a costume party this year, and you’d like to send us their photo, we’d love to post it in Ben’s Steelers Halloween Album.

7s
Left: Justin Husar told his mom, Amber, that he wanted to dress up as his favorite Super Hero, Big Ben! Top right: Jovan Ortiz headed out for some Halloween fun in his Virginia neighborhood. Not only does he wear his Big Ben uniform to Trick or Treat, but dad Jonathan says he wears it while watching Steelers games too! Middle right: Waylon Flowers is a Big Ben fan from the Washington State who practices every day and really loves to watch the Steelers every Sunday on NFL Sunday Ticket. Bottom right: Brandon Crusan’s son made it simple for his dad Brian when he was asked to choose a Halloween costume: Big Ben!


Did we mention grown-ups are welcome?

Couples
Left: Cynthia Filmore as Coach Tomlin and her boyfriend, Michael, as the best TE in the business! Right: Michelle Stiehler as Troy, and her husband, Al, as the EXTRA-LARGE bottle of Head & Shoulders shampoo!


Have a furry Trick-or-Treater headin’ out to scare up some ghosts and goblins?

dogs
Left: Duce, named after the Steelers’ Duce Staley, wants to know if any of the humans in his neighborhood are handing out cats on Halloween? If so, he’s going to need a bigger Trick or Treat bag! Middle: Emma waits at the door in her #43 jersey for the night’s Trick or Treaters. Right: Kismet is going the “formal costume route” – wearing a gold tie with the uniform in hopes of getting a big haul to hide in the backyard!


Or just some really cool Steelers-themed Halloween decorations?

decorations
Top: Steelers UK fan Gordon Dedman (yes, that’s actually his last name)turns his Steelers Man Cave into a ghoulish place to watch a game! Bottom left: We respectfully disagreed with Amanda Marie Doerr when she said she wasn’t an artist when she painted her pumpkin free-hand with her favorite Steelers! Bottom middle: Jennifer Hixon thinks her Big Ben Pumpkin Scarecrow is the perfect way to keep those pesky ravens out of her yard! Bottom right: Big Ben lights up the night on Halloween in front of Carly Krysak’s house!



Send your photo(s) via email to: bigben7website@gmail.com and we’ll post ‘em in Ben’s Halloween Album!



The Roethlisbergers get into the Halloween spirit too:

MonkeyBusiness
In fact, they captured a crazy little monkey in their house that escaped from the Pittsburgh Zoo last Halloween, and sent in his photos before zoo authorities came to get him!


You can see more family photos here.


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.

 


2014 STEELERS SCHEDULE

 

8/9 Pre-Season – NYG Loss: 20-16
8/16 Pre-Season – Buffalo Win: 19-16
8/21 Pre-Season – @ Philadelphia Loss: 31-21
8/29 Pre-Season – Carolina Loss: 10-0
9/7 Cleveland Win: 30-27
9/11 @ Baltimore Loss: 26-6
9/21 @ Carolina Win: 37-19
9/28 Tampa Bay Loss: 27-24
10/5 @ Jacksonville Win: 17-9
10/12 @ Cleveland Loss: 31-10
10/20 Houston Win: 30-23
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