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Ben Roethlisberger’s threshold for pain continues to grow more legendary

Did Ben Roethlisberger really have a tear in his right elbow for 13 or 14 years before finally having major surgery last year? I mean, the guy has been known to embell...you know what, who cares? Roethlisberger’s elbow has reportedly been pain-free all throughout training camp. That’s really all that matters.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

I was bored and looking for Steelers ideas to write about, so I Googled “Steelers news” to see what I could find.

Actually, that’s not true. It would be more accurate to say that I went on Yahoo to search for “Steelers news.” Perhaps that was a mistake, because the first headline I saw was “Ben Roethlisberger keeps waiting for elbow to hurt, but it doesn’t.

You talk about freaking someone out about Roethlisberger and his surgically repaired elbow that caused him to miss all but six quarters of the 2019 regular season. I mean, all the key words were in there: “Roethlisberger,” “elbow” and “hurt.” If I had just skimmed over that headline like your average person who might have read it on Facebook, I may have gone into the comments section to declare: “THE SEASON IS OVER!!!!!!—#FireTomlin!!!!”

Thankfully, I decided to click on the headline and read the Yahoo article, which included a clarifying quote from Roethlisberger (at least for freaking-out types like me):

“Oh yeah, I’ve been feeling this pain in my elbow for probably 13, 14 years,” Roethlisberger said, via Terez Paylor of YahooSports.com. “I’ve had a small tear in there the whole time . . . and I dealt with the pain and literally dealt with it in pretty much everything I do. You just kind of get used to it; I’ve had that pain for so long that every day, I keep waiting for it to come back like, where is it, where is it? And luckily, by the grace of God, it hasn’t come back yet. Hopefully, it never does.”

Thankfully, the story was about Roethlisberger's elbow remaining pain-free nearly a year after his injury--the season is still on.

But holy cow, how can that possibly be true about an elbow tear that had supposedly been around since the days before Twitter and Big Ben banning boatloads of blokes? Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I’ve had tears in ligaments for many years, probably dating back to my 20s, and I, too, have dealt with the accompanying pain in everything I’ve done. But nothing I’ve done has included fighting off pass-rushers the size and tenacity of a Terrell Suggs, for example.

Thirteen or fourteen years with a tear in your right elbow, an elbow that—if we’re to believe the timeline—was responsible for “Ben to Ten,” back-to-back six-touchdown games, a 5000-yard passing season and, most remarkably, lugging around three young children?

I don’t know about that. That sounds really fishy. I was there for those supposed broken toes at the start of Roethlisberger’s career, the unverified incredibly high fever against the Jaguars after having an appendectomy in 2006 and his inability to call a quarterback sneak because Coach Todd didn’t have it in his playbook in 2017.

Are we to believe Roethlisberger could have accomplished so much over so many years with a tear in his elbow that eventually frayed last year and had to be surgically repaired?

You know what? I don’t even care. The real news this far into Steelers camp, and with less than three weeks to go before the start of the 2020 season, is that Roethlisberger keeps waiting for pain in his elbow that simply refuses to return.

Roethlisberger has endured motorcycle accidents, concussions, knee sprains, high-ankle sprains, SC joint sprains, a broken nose and several sit-down lunches with Todd Haley so far during his career.

He’s worn his toughness right there on his sleeve for 17 seasons.

Whether Roethlisberger was dealing with pain for 14 years or two (what happened to two?), to reiterate, he’s not dealing with it now.

Besides, who am I, Joe Blogger, to question his sincerity?

If Roethlisberger remains pain-free (at least in his elbow) for the entire 2020 season, that will likely mean a whole world of hurt for defenses all around the NFL.

Big Ben will be bringing big pain in 2020—it just won’t be in his right elbow.