It has been a rollercoaster of a season for Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who endured a four game suspension at the start, is now heading to his third Super Bowl.
Asked about it Sunday, Roethlisberger said he was not focused on last March when a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexual assault and said he raped her in a Georgia bar bathroom.
Instead, he is talking about how he and teammates are working together, as they did successfully Sunday when they took down the New York Jets 24-19 to keep history on their side.
“We have a lot of tenacity,” Roethlisberger said. “We have a don’t-quit mentality and we have a belief in each other. We’re a family and we stay close no matter what.”
That attitude about not quitting is what the Steelers and Roethlisberger are all about. In addition, it shows in the way they gave a final push to keep a victory in Sunday’s game.
The Steelers had a 24-0 lead but let it slip to 24-19 by the time the Jets secured a 4-yard touchdown pass with about three minutes left in the game. The Steelers needed to burn down the clock in order to secure the win, and when the team got the ball with 2:56 left, it was Roethlisberger’s job to keep it.
“We weren’t going to play not to lose,” Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said.
Just to make it to the division championship, the Jets had to take down other top-league quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but they could not get past Roethlisberger, who made two essential passes in the final minutes of the game.
Roethlisberger was suspended six weeks for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but the suspension was later reduced to four weeks. Authorities failed to produce enough evidence to press charges. Prior to the 2010 sexual assault incident, Roethlisberger was accused in the rape of a Nevada casino worker in 2008.
The quarterback won his second Super Bowl in 2008 when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-27. His first Super Bowl win was during the 2005 season when the team beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10. Roethlisberger won the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2004.
On February 6, 2011, the Pittsburgh Steelers will look to uphold the winning ways of the football franchise when they take on the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.