RTL Today – American football: ‘Big Ben’ retires after 18 years in NFL, two Super Bowl wins

Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks, announced his retirement on Thursday after an 18-year career spent entirely with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 39-year-old passer, who entered the league as the 11th pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, embodied the hard-working sensation of Steeltown in the United States by delivering season after season, reaching the playoffs 12 times and winning the Super Bowls in 2006 and 2009. .

“I don’t know how to put into words what football has meant to me and what a blessing it has been,” Roethlisberger said in a post on Twitter.

“Although I know with confidence that I gave the game my all, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for everything it has given me.”

From the small Midwestern town of Findlay, Ohio, and Ohio’s unlikely Miami program, Roethlisberger earned his opportunity in the NFL. He started third on the depth chart but was on the court by game two of his rookie season, then went 13-0 as a regular season starter and the legend of “Big Ben” was born.

Now the clock has struck midnight and the fairy tale is over.

“The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a competitive spirit,” Roethlisberger said.

“Yet now is the time to clean out my locker, hang up my boots and continue to be all that I can be to my wife and children. I am retiring from football a truly grateful man.”

The expected announcement came 11 days after the Steelers lost 42-21 to Kansas City in the NFL playoffs after Roethlisberger hinted he could call him in the final days of a 9-7 season. -1.

– Never a losing season –

Roethlisberger set an NFL record by never suffering a losing season in his 18 NFL campaigns.

He finished with 5,440 completions on 8,443 passes for 64,088 yards — all ranking fifth on the NFL’s all-time list — and finished eighth overall with 418 touchdown throws. He also rushed 515 times for 1,373 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Roethlisberger guided the Steelers to the playoffs as a rookie and, in the 2005 season, led Pittsburgh to the NFL crown, becoming the youngest Super Bowl-winning quarterback a month shy of his 24th birthday.

Three seasons later, “Big Ben” threw the game-winning 6-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes with 35 seconds left to give the Steelers a Super Bowl triumph over Arizona.

Roethlsiberger also led the Steelers to the 2011 Super Bowl, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers.

With 165 wins, Roethlisberger ranks second to Tom Brady with New England for the most wins by an NFL quarterback with a single team.

Roethlisberger, a six-time Pro Bowl player, led the NFL in passing yardage in 2014 and 2018, when he had a career-high 5,129 passing yards.

His tenacity on the court included taking an NFL record 554 sacks.

There was a controversy. Roethlisberger was not wearing a helmet when he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in 2006 and he settled a civil lawsuit in 2009 for sexual assault, a case not prosecuted by a district attorney after an investigation into the case. Roethlisberger returned in 2010 after a four-game suspension for a personal conduct violation to spark a Super Bowl run.

“To all my teammates and the endless friendships I have made, I appreciate you and our shared commitment to wearing black and gold with pride and dignity,” Roethlisberger said. “Putting on this jersey every Sunday with my brothers will always be one of the greatest joys of my life.”

About Betty J. Snyder

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