Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette earlier today that he will not perform in the middle of the season if his wife, Ashley Harlan, gives birth to their baby on a Sunday this autumn.
“I’m not missing the birth of my child,” said Roethlisberger, 30, who the Steelers took 11th overall out of Miami University in the 2004 NFL Draft. “There’s no chance. I know some fans probably don’t want to hear that, but there’s no chance.”
The 6-foot-5, 241 pound Roethlisberger, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, won’t specify an expected due date.
Nevertheless, it has been reported his son will be born sometime between October 11 and November 4.
Roethlisberger, who has helped guide the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships since earning the 2004 AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, has long been criticized, ridiculed and punished for his boorish behavior and actions away from the gridiron.
Still, it has always been clear that the fourth winningest signal-caller in league history, who has thrown 165 touchdowns, in comparison to 100 interceptions, for 26,579 yards in 113 career starts, loves the sport and is committed to the Pittsburgh organization.
Inevitably, should “Big Ben” be forced to choose his family over football, some asinine onlookers, fans and pundits will feel compelled to harshly scrutinize and question Roethlisberger’s dedication to the Steelers.
Hence, the man with the “little torn rotator cuff” in his right arm is undoubtedly facing a losing predicament.
The Steelers, who went 12-4 in 2011 before suffering a brutal 29–23 overtime loss to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, have a spectacular defense and will remain a power with, or without, Roethlisberger for one single contest.
Even with millions of dollars at stake, football is ultimately a bunch of grown men tossing around a ball.
Family should always take precedent over all else and it’s comforting to hear Ben Roethlisberger say “there’s no chance” that he’ll miss seeing his boy enter this world.by