You know that hole, that void that you’re sensing in your football like right now? It’s a lack of ridiculous takes from retired football plays in wild overreaction to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 33- opening-day loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night. But don’t worry, I think I found the jackpot for you.
Deion Sanders is certainly one of the greatest cover cornerbacks to ever play the game, without question; however, the artist also known as Leon Sandcastle doesn’t actually know what he’s talking about, frequently, during his post-playing career as a commentator and analyst.
His reaction to the Steelers’ game? Well, just take a look:
I’m gonna go on record to say, I don’t feel like Big Ben will finish the season. I think mentally, physically, something’s gonna shut down, because what I saw today was a lackluster effort by the offense, by the defense, by the coaching staff, by everyone, and he seemed not engaged. There was no big-play ability, no running game. Nothing ever got going offensively, and he seemed disinterested. And we’ve all heard the murmurs of Big Ben saying ‘I would like to retire’. They way they played today, a couple more of those games, I think that would happen.
This would have been a much more compelling argument a year ago before he signed a new two-year contract extension that will pay him quite handsomely over the course of the next three years. While it’s true that anything can happen, in technicality, the Steelers reportedly took the extra step of getting assurances from Ben Roethlisberger before the deal was done that he would commit to finishing out the three years.
And there’s plenty of evidence to support that claim, because the way he’s spoken about his future has changed. There’s no more talking about taking it year to year, which he was doing even before he had only one year left on his contract. Now it’s ‘I’ve always honored my contracts’ and an insistence that he will continue to do so.
I was amused by one further addendum from Sanders that seemed rife with a lack of self-aware irony. “Every team I played on, there’s been some idiot in the locker room who crunk it up”, he said. I wonder who the common denominator was on those teams. “You didn’t agree with everything he did. But if they could play the dern game like Josh Gordon, put him on the dern field, we’ll deal with the stuff after the game”.
The idea that Roethlisberger would suddenly retire because the Steelers are losing some bad games is absurd. The only way he would retire before he was mentally ready to is if his body was telling him he couldn’t do it anymore. While he didn’t have a particularly good game against the Patriots, it was far from a wake-up call into premature retirement.