Really?! Ben Roethlisberger Wins Award For Cooperating With Media

  • Brad Cohen

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has always been a winner on the field, but off it, his public life was a wreck. Much of the attention he has gotten from the media has been negative (see: multiple sexual assault accusations), and you can imagine that dealing with them probably isn’t very much fun for Roethlisberger.

Which is why this is so surprising:

Wednesday, the Pro Football Writers local chapter gave Roethlisberger “The Chief Award” presented annually to someone in the organization who follows the spirit of cooperation shown the media by franchise founder Art Rooney.
At this point, you might be wondering something like, “I’ve been a football fan for 23 years. How is it I’ve never heard of this award?” One reason is that the award is only given in Pittsburgh, so unless you live there, there’s zero chance you know what it is. Another reason is that the award is given by local members of the Pro Football Writers to the Steelers player “who best exemplifies the spirit of cooperation with the media,” and, well, it’s not really newsworthy  unless said award winner was recently suspended four games for sexual assault accusations.

While Big Ben has turned it around off the field, at least over the last few months, his game has remained steady. He’s thrown 15 touchdowns with only five interceptions, and hasn’t thrown a single pick in his last 136 passes. Impressive, but trouble on the field was never his problem. To avoid future suspensions, the quarterback will need to continue to stay out of harm’s way with the media. This was one step in the right direction.

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“I said I need to be more cooperative with people, be a better person,” Roethlisberger said. “As much as people like to joke, you [in the media] are people. And we treat you guys that way. It’s just a change I wanted to make in my life and it’s towards you guys as well.”
Whether Superman’s transformation back to Clark Kent is genuine, or if he figured out that playing nice with reporters can only help his cause, is a matter of conjecture. But one thing’s for certain: his Chief Award (is it a trophy? a plaque? a medal?) is going in his showroom right next to his Super Bowl rings and his blue-and-red superhero suit.