Back in October I wrote an article explaining how Ben Roethlisberger couldn't seem to win for losing with the national sports media. Nothing he did or said ever seemed to matter in the eyes of so many, as they would just make up a narrative based on their own personal opinion of every situation. I based my assessment on how certain members of the sports media would twist his words or actions into something negative to create fake news.
Like how some took his compliment about the unselfishness of his current group of receivers as him taking a shot at ex-teammate and diva supreme Antonio Brown during a post game press conference early in the season. I surmised that the comment was sincere and innocent, while others felt differently. Who knows, maybe we are all right and it was a little bit of both. Regardless, it doesn't really matter in the long run, as all any of us can do is tell the truth and let the opinions fall where they may.
Immediately after the shorthanded and outmanned Steelers squad suffered another disappointing loss to the talented young Buffalo Bills on Sunday night, there was Ben Roethlisberger yet again sitting down to answer questions at the post game press conference. Talk about an unenviable position to be in.
You just lost an important conference game in which neither you nor your teammates on offense played very well, failing for the second week in a row to uphold your end of the bargain when the defense definitely played good enough to keep you in the game. Your tired, sore, and extremely frustrated. Honestly probably more than a little pissed off, but now you get to sit and answer more than a few questions that vary by degree of stupidity from a group of individuals that have absolutely no idea what it is like to be in your shoes.
These same individuals would bristle as if insulted if anyone would dare question their job performance, as if they had never asked an ignorant question or had a bad day at the office. These same individuals join in chorus with likeminded know-it-alls in suggesting that you take a home town discount to theoretically assist your franchise in bringing and keeping higher priced talent on the roster. These very same individuals more than likely look out for number one and would be hard pressed to ever leave a dollar on the table. These are the individuals you have to account to for your actions after every game.
Ben Roethlisberger must have the patience and demeanor of Job to attempt to answer some of their asinine inquiries. Some are far worse than others, but one in particular really stood out to me. I will refrain from mentioning names out of respect for the position, a common courtesy seldom given to Ben Roethlisberger after a subpar performance. The individual actually asked Ben why he thought he was throwing the ball inaccurately, that being the best summation I can surmise from a slightly longer rambling question.
After taking a brief moment to most assuredly compose himself before answering such a ridiculous question, Ben simply stated something along the lines of "I am just not very good I guess!" and left it at that. At that very moment, I had never been prouder of Ben Roethlisberger. I doubt I would have the composure at that moment to make that simple statement and just leave it at that. I know what you are thinking, that's just another reason he makes the big bucks. It comes with the territory.
He also made another statement that if he was unable to do any better than he had that game maybe he should just hang it up. Yet again he takes full responsibility for any shortcomings on the field, whether it be after a winning or losing effort, even when he is far from the only one to blame. Everybody wants to get paid top dollar, and some former players and even some fans begrudge Ben's salary as I mentioned earlier. However, how many of those individuals have to sit and answer questions about why they dropped passes or missed blocks during the game?
It really wouldn't matter anyway, because Ben would just take the blame by saying he should have thrown a more catchable ball or got the ball out even quicker to prevent the sack. Any of these starting to sound familiar? If not, they should.
Ben's honest answers created quite a stir on social media. Many so called fans started questioning everything from his arm strength to his worthiness of his current contract. Others tried to compare this season's offense to last years, apparently unable or unwilling to recognize 29 TD passes vs. 9 INT and a 11-2 overall record. Some went so far as to suggest the Steelers replace him with Mason Rudolph, or better yet try to bring in Carson Wentz or Jameis Winston for next season. Everybody has the right to their opinion, but let me sum it up by saying this. If you honestly can’t see any problem with those suggestions, then maybe you are part of the problem.
I want to apologize to every valued reader who has made it to this point in my article. You have been subjected to some of my rather obvious frustrations concerning the treatment of one of my all time favorite Steelers. Thanks for your faithful patronage and letting me rant on occasion.
The Steelers can clinch the AFC North with a victory on Monday Night Football against the Cincinnati Bengals. They have already clinched a spot in the playoffs. There remains a real possibility that the Steelers could get back multiple starters for the playoffs, if all goes well. This season is far from over and there is always hope for improvement.
Let the chips fall where they may. Nobody knows what the future holds. Keep the faith, Steelers Nation!