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Old 06-25-2005, 11:32 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben = Big Draw

06/24/2005

COLLIER TWP. - Move over Michael Jordan. You're no longer the No. 1 draw at the Mellon Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational. The main man now is Ben Roethlisberger.

The Pittsburgh Steelers' hot-shot quarterback made his Lemieux tournament debut Thursday in a pro-am round at The Club at Nevillewood, and it's hard to imagine any of the 50-some celebrities who played having more fun.

Roethlisberger, a member at Nevillewood, engaged in conversation all day with his playing partners and fans. Unlike so many of the celebrities who routinely ignore spectators, Roethlisberger graciously signed autographs for virtually every boy or girl who asked.

"I only sign for kids," said Roethlisberger, who, at one point during his round, walked right by a man who asked, "Ben, can you sign your rookie card for me?"

With a 12:40 p.m. tee time, Roethlisberger played in a foursome that included three men who work at the Bayer complex in Robinson Township. One of them was Rainer Schorr, a German native who's been living in the Pittsburgh area for six years.

"Playing with Ben was a treat," Schorr said. "He is one of the nicest persons on the planet.

"I have played here three years in a row now," added Schorr, whose celebrity the past two years were former major-leaguers Gary Carter and Rick Rhoden. "I've been lucky to play with some nice people, but Ben was the nicest of them all. He talked all day long. He talked to us. He talked to the crowd. He's a very animated fellow. You can tell he had so much fun."

An 8 handicap, Roethlisberger is obviously quite a solid player.

"He's long off the tee, real long," said Raccoon Township's Dirk Hartman, an assistant pro at Nevillewood who often plays with Roethlisberger. "He absolutely crushes the ball. He's not the greatest putter in the world and he needs to work more on his irons. But he's like a surgeon around the green.

"He may miss some greens, but he'll get up and down because he chips it so close."

Even though the format for Thursday's pro-am was a best-ball-of-four handicap event, Roethsliberger still kept his own score. He shot a 4-over 40 on the front and a 1-under 35 on the back.

"I'm scrambling for pars," he said with a smile after parring the first two holes.

On the day, Roethlisberger recorded three birdies, nine pars and six bogeys. Two of his birdies came on par 5s.

"It was awesome being able to be out there with him today," said Mark Flisek, a 20-year-old junior at Penn State University who served as Roethlisberger's caddie. "We had a good time. He's a very friendly guy and an excellent player."

In today's pro-am, Roethlisberger will tee off at 9:50 a.m.

On Saturday and/or Sunday when celebrities play in threesomes, Roethlisberger will be paired with some of the tournament's biggest names. There's a chance he'll play with Lemieux and Jordan on Saturday. On Sunday, he may be paired with Dan Marino and John Elway.
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Old 06-25-2005, 02:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

" I only sign for kids" I`ll keep that in mind at training camp. My daughters birthday is March 2, same as Bens. Its an angle that might work, and its the truth.
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Old 06-25-2005, 08:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

Quote:
"I only sign for kids," said Roethlisberger, who, at one point during his round, walked right by a man who asked, "Ben, can you sign your rookie card for me?"
I think that's a little harsh, dont you? I mean, Im glad he's so involved and concerned w/ the children, that's very commendable and very respectable for an athelete of his nature..but man, if someone asks u to sign something and u walk right by him without even a second glance.. that's alittle painful to swallow..

but atleast it was for the kids..so eh, I dont know
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Old 06-25-2005, 10:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

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Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity
I think that's a little harsh, dont you? I mean, Im glad he's so involved and concerned w/ the children, that's very commendable and very respectable for an athelete of his nature..but man, if someone asks u to sign something and u walk right by him without even a second glance.. that's alittle painful to swallow..

but atleast it was for the kids..so eh, I dont know
I can understand where Ben is coming from.....When a grown man is asking you to sign your rookie card, it is hard to say if he is a fan, or if he is in it to profit. Then again maybe Ben would rather not sign autographs at all, but he can't say no to the kids.
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Old 06-26-2005, 01:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

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Originally Posted by BigBen2Ward
I can understand where Ben is coming from.....When a grown man is asking you to sign your rookie card, it is hard to say if he is a fan, or if he is in it to profit. Then again maybe Ben would rather not sign autographs at all, but he can't say no to the kids.
I agree....I don't think I would sign for any one other then the kids...But i'm not a pro(stupid knee kept me from playing in college) and he is...Plus I just skimmed through the article was the golf game for the kids if so thats a valid reason.
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Old 06-26-2005, 06:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

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Originally Posted by BigBen2Ward
I can understand where Ben is coming from.....When a grown man is asking you to sign your rookie card, it is hard to say if he is a fan, or if he is in it to profit. Then again maybe Ben would rather not sign autographs at all, but he can't say no to the kids.
Good point, I was in Atlanta 4 years ago, and the Steelers came out of thier hotel room downtown, to get on the teams bus. People were lined up with things to get auto`d some guys would have card books with rookie cards, dozens for each player. And would hound each player to sign multiple cards not just one. I understand its a living for some card shop owners, but as a player i would personalize each auto. Just ask thier name, and write " To *****, Big Ben." You arent gonna make much off a personalized auto/
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Old 06-26-2005, 08:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

I think he is going to piss off some fans with that attitude... I know I would be a little irritated if I was right there next to Rudi Johnson and without even thinking twice just turned away from me and said no.. I only sign for kids.. I would not sell something like that.. I would treasure it.. And I know there are plenty of you who would love to display something like that on your Steeler wall or whatnot (We all have some sorta shrine, dont we?) :)

???

Sounds to me he is trying to make himself look so great but he's going to piss some people off..
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Old 06-26-2005, 08:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

Try and imagine every way you turn someone is in your face wanting something.....Kids are as innocent as you can get. No alterior motives, just love for the game and the athlete. I agree with Ben, even though I'd love to get his auto.
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Old 06-26-2005, 09:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

That's a good point Cleve (and to me, I would rather have a personalized autograph) but at the same time, every where he goes, he is probably asked for his signature. I do happen to know when he went back to Miami, on our bye week, he signed no autographs at all...he just wanted to hang out with his friends and live a normal life. I can't say I blame him that much. At least he signs for kids! Who knows...he was probably overwhelmed that day with people asking so he decided he was only going to for the children that day...so he could play some golf!
Oh by the way, my cousin used to caddy for that tournament every year and met some awesome people!!! I'm jealous :o
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben = Big Draw

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbensgirl7
Oh by the way, my cousin used to caddy for that tournament every year and met some awesome people!!! I'm jealous :o
Did your cousin get an auto? LOL.
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