It is a sad day for Steeler Nation! Ben Roethlisberger, 39, announced his retirement from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday (January 27) after 18 years, making his NFL career the longest for any quarterback to play with one team. In an emotional tweet (below), Ben expressed his appreciation for the love and support of his family and fans during his time with the Steelers, adding, “Football is a gift and I thank God for allowing me to play it.”
— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) January 27, 2022
The No. 11 overall pick out of Miami University of Ohio in the 2004 NFL draft, Ben leaves the game ranked fifth in NFL history with 64,088 passing yards and eighth in touchdown passes with 418. Keeping reading to find out more about the legendary quarterback, below.
1. His hero is not a Steeler — but a Bronco.
Ben idolizes the legendary quarterback, John Elway, and Ben is often compared to the Denver Broncos icon. The two have similar playing strategies and styles. Ben even wore the number 7 in honor of John.
2. Big Ben was Ride Or Die for the Yellow and Black.
Though he grew up in Ohio and idolized a Bronco, Ben bleeds yellow and black. The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Ben in 2004, when he was a college Junior. In 2008, Ben signed an eight-year, $102 million contract with the team and stated he wanted to retire as a Steeler! He even accepted a pay cut to return to the Steelers in 2021!
3. Ben was a record-breaking passer.
He’s one of only six quarterbacks in NFL history to have beaten at least 31 other NFL teams. On top of that, he’s the youngest starting quarterback to ever win the Super Bowl, taking home the championship in both 2006 and 2009! He even set the Steelers’ record for most passing yards, smashing Terry Bradshaw’s record in 2011.
4. Ben is involved in charity work.
The Ben Roethlisberger foundation supports police and fire departments that employ service dogs. On top of that, Ben donated $100,000 to fund police dogs in Pittsburgh. Ben also donated a game’s paycheck to the relief efforts of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
5. Big Ben has been accused of sexual assault — twice!
In 2009, Andrea McNulty, filed a civil suit against Ben in 2009, over allegations that he sexually assaulted her in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 2008. Andrea could not obtain criminal charges due to lack of evidence and one of her coworkers testified that Andrea bragged about having consensual sex with Ben.
In 2010, Ben was investigated over an alleged sexual assault of a George College & State University student in a restroom of a Capital City nightclub in Milledgeville, Georgia. The district attorney said that Ben would not be charged because they could not “prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Despite being off the hook with the law, the NFL suspended Ben six games and made him undergo a “professional behavior evaluation.” Ben hasn’t been in trouble since.