In the last two games, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for 862 yards and 12 touchdowns. Also in the last two games, offensive coordinator Todd Haley hasn’t worn a hat on the sideline. Is that just a coincidence? Roethlisberger probably isn’t totally sure, but just in case is isn’t, you can probably expect to see a hatless Haley on the sidelines Sunday when the Steelers play the New York Jets.
“We’ve let him know that,” said a laughing Roethlisberger when asked Wednesday if he’s noticed that Haley hasn’t worn a hat the last two games. “He’s got a little gel in his hair now. He was shaking a little bit in the game (and) I didn’t know if he was cold or what it was. He won’t have one on this week I’m sure.”
Like many athletes, Roethlisberger admitted Wednesday that he’s not above having any superstitions.
“We all have superstitions. I don’t know any athlete that doesn’t have superstitions,” he said.
To paraphrase what the character Crash Davis said in the movie Bull Durham: A player on a streak has to respect the streak, because they don’t happen very often.
I don’t blame Roethlisberger one bit should he want Haley to go hatless against the Jets. If he believes it’s helping play at an unconscious level, so be it.
Just in case it’s bad luck, however, Roethlisberger’s not willing to share whatever superstitions he may or may not have.
“I don’t know maybe that’s a superstition. I won’t tell you,” he said.
Who knows, maybe Haley thinks he’s calling plays better without a hat. Regardless, I bet he packs some extra gel for the upcoming road game just in case.