If Pittsburgh Steelers fans were hoping that the second half of Ben Roethlisberger’s interview with Bob Pompeani of KDKA-TV was going to be more revealing than the first, they were sure to have been disappointed late on Monday night.
The remaining portion of the interview the local TV station had held back only contained a handful of questions, with the topics including his reaction to his new contract and his thoughts about playing beyond his existing deal. Providing measured responses each time, Roethlisberger avoided saying anything that could be twisted by the national media when talking about JuJu Smith-Schuster assuming the No.1 role at receiver, his only surprising response perhaps coming in reply to a question about his radio show.
Asked about his plans for the show that Big Ben had acknowledged earlier in the interview was a contributing factor to the deteriorating relationship with Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger seemed reluctant to confirm the news many had expected to hear. Telling Pompeani that he had yet to make a decision about the fate of his radio show, Big Ben sounded more in favor of continuing with it than is perhaps wise.
“Honestly, I haven’t made a final decision yet. You know, we talk a lot about it with my family, with my agents and the Steelers. I think people like it. People like that I can give them some inside access and things like that, and so we’ll make a final decision some point moving forward. And I think if we do it, it will be the best that we have ever done, and if we don’t, there will be reason for that too.”
The question of how much fans like the show is a debatable one, even if there can be little doubt that the media love it. As someone who earns their living in part from writing about the Steelers on a daily basis, it is impossible to deny that his show provides easy content that is often very well read on the site. But the fan inside of me would be just as happy finding something else to write about each Tuesday during the regular season.
Given the size of his contract with Pittsburgh, it is obvious that any money he earns from 93.7 The Fan is hardly a reason to continue doing it. And for a player who appears to want to avoid being in the public eye as much as possible, the negative publicity it often brings him can hardly be worth it.
If Roethlisberger had plans to move into the media once his playing days were over, his interest in retaining the show might make more sense, but that has never been something the quarterback has hinted at in the past either. And while hoping that common sense will prevail in the end and we will hear no more from his radio show in 2019, it seems more likely than not that it will return this year.