Ben Roethlisberger Makes Final Call on NFL Future

Ben Roethlisberger

Getty Ben Roethlisberger waves to the crowd after final home game.

Ben Roethlisberger made official on January 27 what we’ve all known has been coming for a few months now — he’s retiring from the NFL after 18 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Roethlisberger’s Hall of Fame-worthy career culminated with three Super Bowl appearances (XL, XLIII and XLV) and two Super Bowl titles (XL, XLIII). He holds/shares a minimum of 52 franchise regular-season records and 18 franchise postseason records. Roethlisberger also set/tied at least nine NFL records.

Roethlisberger posted the message below on his social media accounts. Get your tissues out.

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“I don’t know how to put into words what the game of football has meant to me and what a blessing it has been. While I know with confidence I have given my all to the game, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all that it has given me.

A boy from Findlay, Ohio, with NFL dreams developed in Oxford at Miami University, blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a place to call home. The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships, and fueled by a spirit of competition. Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man.

First and foremost, I need to thank the Lord for all the many blessings he has bestowed on me. To my wife, Ashley, our children Benjamin, Bailey, Bodie: You lift and inspire me and give my life purpose. I am so thankful for your love and support. I love you so much.

To my parents and sister: Every step of the way, your support and love has driven me to be the best and never give up.

To the Rooney family, the Tull family, Coach Tomlin, Coach Cowher, and all the coaches who have poured into me, the incredible people on every level that make the Pittsburgh Steelers a special organization: Thank you for believing in me and allowing me to battle with you in pursuit of excellence.

To all of my teammates and the endless friendships that I have gained: I appreciate you and the endless commitment to wearing the Black & Gold with pride and dignity. Putting that jersey on every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life.

To Steeler Nation, the best fan base in all of sport: Thank you for accepting me and supporting me as your quarterback over the years.

Football has been a gift, and I thank God for allowing me to play it. Surrounding me with great people and protecting me through to the end with love and honor.”

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Greatness From the Start

From the moment 22-year-old rookie Ben Roethlisberger stepped onto the field at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, the Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans knew they had something special.

It was Sept. 19, 2004, in the third quarter of a critical rumble with the rival Ravens. Starting quarterback Tommy Maddox was knocked out of the game with a sack-fumble by cornerback Gary Baxter.

The Steelers hadn’t put a point on the board and were down by 20. With the game nearly out of reach and four minutes left in the third, Roethlisberger threw his first complete NFL pass to wide receiver Plaxico Burress. The rest is history.

Despite Roethlisberger’s best effort (12-for-20, 176 yards and two scores), the Ravens won the day, 20-13.

But Roethlisberger was not fazed.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would go undefeated the remainder of the season, and Roethlisberger didn’t lose his first game until Week 3 of 2005.

Never did the Steelers have a losing record under Ben Roethlisberger’s direction. On his way to 165 career wins, Roethlisberger’s only losing season was by default. In 2019, his quarterback record was 0-2 when he missed the remainder of the year with an elbow injury that would ultimately end his career.