When Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his left knee during the first half of the team’s Week 6 loss to the Miami Dolphins, former NFL linebacker turned CBS analyst Bart Scott quickly accused him of being a drama king during halftime. A few days later, Roethlisberger took umbrage to Scott insinuating that he embellishes his injuries.
“What did I do to deserve that? All I’ve ever done is keep playing and keep my mouth shut,” Roethlisberger said during his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan. “You just have to shrug that stuff off. But I would tell him to go see John [Norwig] our trainer and check out my medical file. It’s pretty thick. You can’t make that stuff up.”
On Wednesday, former Ravens head coach turned NFL Network analyst Brian Billick took a shot at Roethlisberger as well after first setting it up with a compliment during a radio interview on the aforementioned radio station.
“There is no quarterback I respect more than Ben Roethlisberger,” said Billick. “This guy’s going to the Hall of Fame, he has spectacular numbers, tough, toughest quarterback maybe I’ve seen in the NFL…but he’s a diva. We know that. And he’s going to drag that leg out there and throw for 400 yards against the Ravens.”
A lot of the comments related to Roethlisberger being a “drama king” or a “diva” are more than likely a result of things he said years ago about past injuries that he’s dealt with that were reportedly ultimately disputed by members of the Steelers organization.
After the Steelers 2004 AFC Championship Game loss, Roethlisberger claimed that he played with multiple broken toes and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher later indicated that wasn’t true. Additionally, late in the 2010 season, it was reported that Roethlisberger claimed he was playing with a broken foot only to later have that disputed by the Steelers via a statement on the team’s official website.
So, has Roethlisberger really embellished his injuries in the past? Sure, maybe, but even if he has, I can’t ever recall him fully blaming past poor play on him not being 100 percent healthy.
When Roethlisberger’s career is finally over, it’s hard to imagine that a few still won’t label him as being a “drama king” or a “diva” during his playing days for the remainder of time. However, those same few will likely also note that while he may have embellished past injuries, he toughed his way through them just the same. After all, how many quarterbacks have we ever seen suffer a broken and bloodied nose during a game and keep playing like nothing ever happened? Roethlisberger has done that and has played in several other games that many thought he wouldn’t or shouldn’t.
Roethlisberger is a king, alright. A king of tough SOBs and let’s not ever forget that.