In a Friday appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger addressed the folks who wrote off the team.
All the way back in early September.
“People make a big deal after Week One,” Roethlisberger said, via NFL.com. “You lose a game and everyone wants to jump on the hater bandwagon of the Steelers even more than they already are. We just kind of laughed it off and said, ‘You know what, we’ll just do what we do’ and I think we’ve done that.”
Though he has a point, Week One was a long time ago. The Steelers are now 7-3, including a run of 5-1 since losing to the Texans in October.
Besides, it wasn’t an issue of “hate”; the Steelers had lost two of four games and looked slow and old in so doing, especially on defense.
So since when does pointing out facts constitute hate?
While I’m on the topic of pointing out facts, am I the only one who wonders whether Roethlisberger truly has a broken thumb? The situation conjures memories of Roethlisberger’s claim from early 2005, when he said he played the AFC title game with broken toes. And former Steelers coach Bill Cowher said Ben had no broken bones.
The next year, Roethlisberger claimed that he played in 2005 with a broken thumb. The team had never disclosed any such injury, and Roethlisberger never missed any playing time.
After Super Bowl XLIII, Roethlisberger claimed that he played with broken ribs, even though the Steelers said that an X-ray revealed no fracture.
If the goal is to get people talking about the Steelers while they’re on their bye, it worked. Whether it’s a non-existent “hater bandwagon” or a possibly non-existent broken thumb, we’re talking about the Steelers while they’re on their bye.