Gratitude and Joy

Day 42 – A Year of Gratitude and Joy – Big Ben

OK, today’s post may be a teeny bit controversial for some of you, but I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so here goes:

I am grateful for 18 years of winning season football with one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, Ben Roethlisburger. 

Ben Roethlisburger shares a laugh with his family following his final home game. Photo courtesy Steelers.com

Being a Steeler is in my DNA. My dad was from western PA and taught me about football and the Black and Gold from my earliest days. I remember pouring over the newspaper stats with him and predicting the outcome of games. I learned about plays through the Steel Curtain days when Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Terry Bradshaw led the team through spectacular seasons.

The Steelers Hall of Fame at Heinz Field is filled with stars of the game.

As the 2021 season came to an end, we all heard the rumors that “Big Ben” would retire. As he took the field in Baltimore on the final game of the regular season, he had not yet made the announcement official, but everyone knew. The TV pundits were compiling stats, fans were waving “thanks for the memories” signs, even #7 himself had made a teary farewell walk along the sidelines the previous week at Heinz Field during what would be his last home game.

Ben Roethlisburger high fives his fans after his final home game. Photo courtesy Steelers.com

The day before the Baltimore game, my daughter called me. Somehow, she became of fan of the arch-rival Ravens and we had long shared a spirited in-house rivalry. We bantered a bit about the next day’s game, then she reminded me that when she was in college, I had managed to get tickets to a Steelers-Ravens game. As it turned out, that game in Baltimore was Ben’s first game as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers! I was there!

I don’t have a picture of Ben’s first game, but I have a few others over the years.

Before we moved to Arizona, I shared that I had never been to a game at Heinz Field. Greg and I got tickets to a game and made a weekend of it. It was the fulfillment of a lifelong bucket list item.

Bucket list day proudly wearing Big Ben’s number 7.

So, as we approach this year’s Superbowl then head into what we call “the dry season,” I am grateful for nearly two decades of incredible football memories with a superstar of the game. I know my Steelers will find a new quarterback. I also know this game frustrates me and brings me incredible joy.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Get tickets to a game and root for your favorite team.

© The World A to Z, LLC 2022 — Unless otherwise indicated, no compensation was received for this blog.

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