Ben Roethlisberger had the game from hell last week. He had the worst game of his illustrious, all-pro career. He had a career-high five – count ‘em – FIVE INTs. That’s five interceptions in one game. And that’s not good.
But Ben Ben’s not done yet. Today Ben bounced back and beat the previously undefeated Kansas Chiefs on the road at Arrowhead Stadium in KC.
Last week, Ben threw too many interceptions and was ready to throw in the towel. Two of those INTs Jacksonville returned for touchdowns in a 30-9 loss to the Jaguars. The bitter, biting, baneful loss left the Steelers frustrated and the most prolific passer in franchise history struggling to put a finger on how things went so wrong, so quickly for a group that was expected to be among the league’s best.
Last week, just five weeks in, Big Ben and the Pittsburgh Steelers were (3-2) and decidedly average. And then there came this from Big Ben himself:
“Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger said.
The 35-year-old was kidding. Mostly. While he tried to chalk it up as simply a bad day at the office, in reality this one was different than most. No Steelers quarterback had thrown it to the other team five times in a game since Mark Malone did it against Cleveland 30 years ago.
That was last week. And as they say, that was then, and this is now.
Now is a 19-13 win over previously undefeated Kansas City. And this week Ben had help; big help. Pittsburg’s Steel Curtain defense regained its former, famed glory and held Alex Smith and the high powered, league leading offense to six first half yards. That would be six, as in comes after five and right before seven. And KC had one first down in the first half. Just one. It was total domination by the Pittsburg “D” for 3 ½ quarters.
Now the Steelers are 4-2 and looking one hundred and eighty degrees better than they did in last week’s loss. That’s quite the bounce back. That’s quite the turnaround. That’s quite the statement game. And this is why we love sports. And this is why sports and faith are not foreign; nay, sports and faith are famously familiar BFFs and bosom buddies.
Everything we do is spiritual. Everything. Including what happens on the field, on the court, on the ice, on the track, in the pool and in the gym. And once again, Big Ben gives us a reason to believe, a reason to hope, and another reason to get back up and get back going, again.
So take it from Big Ben. Don’t count yourself out. Say it over and over and over again. You can make it. And tell your enemies and your foes the same thing. Tell the naysayers and the bogus soothsayers to take a hike too. Tell them emphatically, “Don’t count me out!”