On the Steelers: Roethlisberger has daily reminder
Sunday, April 17, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ben Roethlisberger has your typical game room for a pro athlete, complete with memorabilia that includes the two nameplates over his locker from each Super Bowl victory.
The nameplate from his most recent Super Bowl appearance also has a place of honor -- in his bathroom.
"The day I got back, I took my nameplate from my locker -- 'Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl XLV' -- and it's sitting underneath my mirror in my bathroom. I want to see that every day. It hurts a lot.
"To see that every day is just motivation for me to work out, to bust my butt to not let it happen again because I want to be a champion. And, right now, I'm not a champion."
For more than two months, he has had to look at the loser nameplate, to think about how close he and his teammates came to winning a third. He does not want the pain from that loss to subside.
"The first loser, and that kills me. Until I can get back to that point, I want to remember the pain, and it's going to burn in me until we can get back and win one. If it never happens, I'll be killed, but I'm going to do my best to get back there."
The two Super Bowl rings Roethlisberger already owns did not salve the pain of losing his shot at a third. He wants to go down as the quarterback with the most championship rings, and there are only so many chances to add to it.
"I want to get one more than anybody else,'' he said. "This would have been a great step, but now I feel I took a step back. This will haunt me until I can win another one. And it'll still probably haunt me a little bit. But until I win another one, it'll haunt me a lot."
Terry Bradshaw wrote in one of his many books that fear of losing a Super Bowl drove him more than the desire to win one. He and Joe Montana are the leaders in the quarterbacks' clubhouse with four Super Bowl victories apiece.
Roethlisberger figures he is in the middle of his career -- that's seven seasons down, seven or eight or maybe even nine to go. He turned 29 last month. If he's lucky, he could squeeze out a career until he's 38, especially the way he takes a pounding.
"Lord willing, I hope so. This will be my eighth. I mean 16 years is a long, good career. Eight years is long considering the normal life expectancy in this game. If I'm lucky enough and my body's still intact and that's what I'm supposed to do, I'll play as long as I can. I'd like to call it halfway."
If it is, and if he continues the phenomenal success he has had in his first seven seasons, he would wipe out all the Steelers passing records -- and add to those he already owns. The passing records are not the ones he wants.
"I couldn't tell you right now how many yards I had last year, how many touchdowns. I can't tell you. I don't know those things. I don't know what my career touchdowns or yards or anything are. I'd have to look them up.
"The records I want to have are Super Bowl wins and wins in general. If I can have more wins than any other Steelers quarterback -- I should say Terry because he's so high -- but those wins are huge to me."
After his four-game suspension to start last season, he guided the Steelers to a 9-3 record. That brought his regular-season record to 69-29, a .704 percentage that ranks second among active quarterbacks behind Tom Brady's .776. The youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl is 10-3 in the post-season.
Bradshaw's record as a starter was 107-51 from 1970 through 1983, ninth best in NFL history. Brett Favre has the most victories with a record of 186-112 in 20 seasons. Roethlisberger is tied for 46th.
If this is the halfway point in Roethlisberger's career, getting to another three Super Bowls and winning two of them would go down as quite an accomplishment.
"That's what I want to be known for," Roethlisberger said, "winning games, winning Super Bowls."
Just pawn-dering ...
On the History Channel's hit television series "Pawn Stars" two weeks ago Monday night, a guy entered the Las Vegas pawn shop to sell two of those small gold Buckeye pendants that Ohio State has issued its football players since 1934 when they beat Michigan.
One of them was identified on the show as having belonged to defensive lineman Doug Worthington, the Steelers' seventh-round draft choice in 2010 (now with Tampa Bay), and it contained his initials.
It was given after Ohio State thrashed Michigan in 2008.
After a brief negotiation, the seller settled on receiving $2,000 from the pawn shop for both pendants. He said he had purchased them from a collector "a couple of years ago" and that the collector had more.
Hmmmm, seems that Worthington was an undergrad still playing for Ohio State "a couple of years ago."
Either he lost his pendant, gave it away or violated an NCAA rule by selling it, which seems to be an ongoing tradition for athletes at Ohio State.
Isn't selling stuff what got current Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and four other Buckeyes suspended this year?
Ed Bouchette: firstname.lastname@example.org
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