Close call opens door for a little slapstickWritten by Matt Sussman | | email@example.com
It wasn’t exactly like remembering where you were when JFK was shot (or in my generation, when Kerri Strug hurt her ankle), but the instant Ben Roethlisberger’s headshot appeared on TV, we knew something was afoul.
Last week’s accident left his body and motorcycle as mangled as the spelling of his surname. For a few hours, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the entire Roethlisberger family endured suspended emotions and unanswered questions.
Four days later, he left the hospital and is expected to play a full NFL season.
Had Lady Luck been through mood swings that day, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback could be dealing with slightly less fortune: torn ligaments, brain damage, paralysis or worse — a 6-foot hole in the ground with his name above it.
But the Findlay native was bedridden for just four days after smashing headfirst into a moving car. Four days. It takes me four days to get over a paper cut.
Had his football career been cut short from that crash, this column would be about the time I saw him play BGSU for the 2003 MAC Championship and his masterful debeaking of the Falcons.
But he’ll be fine, so we’ll save the memories for the end of his career and move right onto the jokes.
It may be too soon to make fun of the incident, but he’ll make a full recovery and he learned his lesson about wearing helmets. Besides, I watched “Patch Adams” and learned that comedy is nature’s painkiller. So I see no problem in suggesting police should look into whether the car that hit Roethlisberger was driven by Omar Jacobs.
And it shouldn’t be crass to suggest that he chipped and lost enough teeth to be eligible for the NHL Hall of Fame.
And I’m sure there’s a great joke involving usage of the nickname The Bus, but I’ve yet to find the proper phrasing.
Jokes or no jokes, I’m a Ben Roethlisberger fan. He’s a local boy who grew up to be the posterchild of the MAC, reinforcing that not all great football players come from large conferences. Plus, he quarterbacked a winning Super Bowl team at age 23. So the kid’s good.
But even though his knees and face should heal in time for the season, the talented Roethlisberger is going to have one painful year. He endured a season’s worth of injuries in a few seconds last Monday. Last year his injuries resulted in four missed games.
Unlike during the accident, he’ll be wearing a helmet all season and have additional protection in five 300-pound large men to push away other large men. But we all know that won’t prevent additional bumps and bruises to compound the boo-boos he inflicted when the unforgiving asphalt broke his fall.
But while football is fun for me and you to watch and analyze, what’s important is Roethlisberger’s well being. A new lease on life is always in store for someone who cheats death after ricocheting off a moving Chrysler. And while I personally don’t know Roethlisberger — and therefore defer any personal judgments on him — the last notable man to be struck by a car and subsequently change his life was Jason Lee’s character on NBC’s “My Name is Earl.”
So, Ben, I urge you to use your recovery time to right the wrongs you committed in your life. First order of business: return the 2003 MAC Championship to Bowling Green.