Ben Roethlisberger's Media Circus With Pittsburgh Steelers Continues

By Jeff Hartman
Pittsburgh Steelers
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a franchise quarterback that is worth every penny he makes in his salary due to his ability to make plays on the field and flat out win. The Steelers also have a quarterback that is a lightning rod for media scrutiny and attention.

Ben Roethlisberger has never shied away from the limelight. Since his rookie season when he won his first 14 games, he took on his “Big Ben” persona and ran with it. The only issue with that was that he ran in the wrong direction.

Whether it was ignoring his coaches and former players advice about riding a motorcycle or his much maligned antics off the field that has placed him in and out of the favor of Steelers fan worldwide, Ben Roethlisberger is always in the news one way or another.

Just this season it was reported on the NFL Network that Roethlisberger was going to request a trade at season’s end and hope to find greener pastures elsewhere. Even after Roethlisberger, the Steelers organization and his agent all vehemently denied these reports, they ceased to stop.

Once those reports calmed down, Roethlisberger’s response to a simple question regarding the team’s lack of a running game in the second half of their latest loss to the Miami Dolphins had him answer as follows: “You’ll have to ask Coach Haley about that.”

Once that sentence was uttered it was a green light to re open the Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger feud again. After all, it is clear that the national public hasn’t heard enough about how Roethlisberger and Haley don’t really get along, have we?

Roethlisberger is a perfect example of someone who is extremely hot and cold with the media. He loves the media attention but only when they are reporting what he wants. Keep it positive and Ben is okay with the attention. Criticize his comments about injuries or complaints about coaches and he is singing a different tune.

Just recently on his weekly radio show he commented that reporters ask stupid questions and then splice his answers to make them controversial. Well, to that not so intelligent response, the media are simply doing their job. The question wasn’t out of line either. Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell had a tremendous first half running the football, and in the second half Bell and the running game went MIA. The reporter wanted to know why; that’s all.

Typically, professional athletes are used to answering these questions. I completely understand sometimes after a tough loss that essentially ended your season the last thing you want to discuss is a minute detail of the game. However, it is part of the job. Teachers can’t complain about grading homework and nurses can’t complain about filing paperwork because it is an essential part of the job. Roethlisberger needs to realize that and try to keep himself out of the media for the foreseeable future.

As he approaches the latter parts of his career, maybe it’s time we see more Ben Roethlisberger and less “Big Ben”.

Jeff Hartman covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for and also contributes for the Penguins and Pirates. Follow him on Twitter @BnGBlitz and add him on Google+

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