Ben Roethlisberger: I’ll miss a game if my wife goes into labor


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s wife is pregnant, and he says that if she goes into labor on a game day, he’s missing the game.

Roethlisberger said in an interview on Wednesday, and reiterated in a post on his personal website on Thursday, that if he is forced to choose, he will choose being there for the birth of his son over being with the Steelers.

“I’m not missing the birth of my child,” Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There’s no chance. I know some fans probably don’t want to hear that, but there’s no chance.”

If Roethlisberger chooses to miss a game for the birth of his child, he won’t be the first NFL player to do so. In 1993, Houston Oilers offensive tackle David Williams skipped a Sunday game because his wife gave birth the night before, and the Oilers were furious: They docked him his game check, and Oilers offensive line coach Bob Young said that he had personally skipped the birth of his own child for a football game and was outraged that Williams wouldn’t do the same, saying of Williams, “He let the guys down, and he let hundreds of thousands of fans down.”

The culture of the NFL and of American society has changed enough in two decades that Roethlisberger probably won’t face such a harsh denunciation if he does miss a game. But Roethlisberger said he and his wife — who have declined to reveal publicly when she’s due — are going to attempt to make it work so that she doesn’t give birth on a day the Steelers are playing.

“We’ll do everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Roethlisberger said.

But if it does happen, either Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch will be starting at quarterback for the Steelers that day. Because Roethlisberger has decided that he’s going to prioritize being a husband and father over being a quarterback.

113 responses to “Ben Roethlisberger: I’ll miss a game if my wife goes into labor

  1. Good for him. I can hear fans and the Steelers griping about it now, but he deserves it.

    Your family is the most important thing in your life. It doesnt matter what you do for a living (unless youre the president)

    He plays a game for a living. If his son is being born, he should be there for it. A game is not more important than your children.

  2. Good for him.

    If more dads cared as much about their kids as they do the NFL, the world would be a better place.

  3. Are births of players’ kids on game days so uncommon – or is it just more common for players to skip such events – that we have to go back to 1993 for an example of when a player (and not a notable one, to my knowledge) skipped a game for to see his kid come into the world? I would think there’d be multiple cases of this happening every season.

  4. How can people root for a known rapist?

    How can a woman marry a rapist?

    Let’s get real, if he couldn’t throw a football, he’d be rotting in jail.

    People got some serious issues.

  5. WAIT A SEC… Roethlisberger is MARRIED? When did this happen, I thought we was still doing “stuff” he was not supposed to… Glad to see he has grown up.

  6. NO! Ben must play every minute of his life so that people can go about their day bragging about the Steelers for their own personal bias.

  7. Good for him! Nice to see him thinking OF little Ben and not WITH little Ben.

    Being a father > any other job/title you may have.

  8. I know some will criticize him no matter what he does. I would suggest it looks like he’s finally getting his priorities in line.

  9. I think that the passing of Garret Reid should be enough to remind any NFL player or coach that family is more important than football, every time.

    Kudos to Ben for being a good husband/father and making the right choice.

  10. Doubt people will get sarcasm.. but if anyone actually gets mad at him, they need to reevaluate life.

  11. “Roethlisberger probably won’t face such a harsh denunciation if he does miss a game.”

    I hope he does miss a game, we will see how utterly wrong that statement is.

  12. Doesn’t the Steeler’s Stadium have a medical facility underneath the stadium? If not better set one up and cover all bases. Ms. Roethlesberger can deliver their child right at the stadium and Ben can check on them at halftime. I’m not a Steeler’s fan but have close friends that are, wouldn’t want to piss them off ……. just sayin’ LOL !!!

  13. He’s done enough for the Steelers during his career that he can do this and nobody should be upset with him.

  14. Not a Ben fan at all, but I’ll back him up on this one. First child is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  15. Hats off to Ben for making the right choice. Being there for the birth of your child (first, second, third…whatever) is something special and bigger than football. Be there for your wife and kid and let your job take care of itself for a day.

  16. I’m not a father but I understand that being there for the birth of your child is an extraordinary experience, one that nothing else compares to. Of course he should be there.

  17. I normally would not have anything nice to say about the Steelers. And I certainly love every chance available to take a shot at Ben ______berger cause I think he is a lowlife.

    But, IF he is telling the truth, I will give him my first ever compliment and say wise decision Ben. It also is the right decision. Wife and child first.

    BTW, you could always act hurt that day to get sympathy. You do it all the time.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  18. Lets think about that last sentence – :

    Roethlisberger has decided that he’s going to prioritize being a husband and father over being a quarterback.
    Yet if you are a soldier defending our country in Afghanistan or Iraq, you will absolutely be missing the birth of your child if you are on active duty.

    SO, is it really correct to talk about this in terms of priorities?? Are soldiers putting being a soldier before being a good father?

    I think not.

    This is matter of luxury and opportunity, not priority. Many wonderful fathers will not be there to WATCH the mother give birth, but you know what, thats what doctors are for.

    So lets not judge here. Everyone has different circumstances, and being a rich over paid athlete who wants a day off to see his child born, does not score any points with me.

    I dont care either way, its a personal decision, but lets not talk about priorities here like hes a saint.

  19. He won’t miss a game. His wife probably will be induced on a Monday or Tuesday and at worse, he misses a couple practices. Quite frankly, a comment which was over blown about something that most likely won’t happen.

  20. As long as he is careful that is fine. The woman gets the easy part….sitting in a comfortable bed watching TV; while the father-to-be has to do a lot of standing and walking around and sitting in the uncomfortable chairs. I definitely ended up with a sore back when my wife gave birth. I wasn’t the same for days.

  21. Does anyone remember if their dad was there when they were born?

    Showing up and watching is empty symbolism. Its not the true test of a good father.

  22. So we are going to praise the guy for making one good decision and 345 terrible ones. Seems reasonable.

  23. Finally something Ben will do that I applaud. Being there for the birth of a child is a special moment. Hopefully for him and Steeler nation his wife gives birth during Browns week.

  24. But on a serious note, I don’t blame him at all, & anyone that does, probably isn’t a father. The irony is killing me though! Ben gets to choose what he wants to do, while he takes away others choice…

  25. football aside. I’m glad that he and his wife aren’t inducing labor for professional reasons. In the majority of instances waiting for the child to decide is usually best for the child. Not convenient but healthier in most cases. That needs to be a larger point of this news, not merely the sentimental father issues.

  26. joetorious says: Sep 6, 2012 12:44 PM

    Are births of players’ kids on game days so uncommon – or is it just more common for players to skip such events – that we have to go back to 1993 for an example of when a player (and not a notable one, to my knowledge) skipped a game for to see his kid come into the world? I would think there’d be multiple cases of this happening every season.
    I would assume that most players probably have their wives induced on days where barring complication, they’ll be able to attend the birth.

  27. It’s nice to see he seems to have priorities straight now.

    I assume this means he will be able to fight through all his injuries to get to the delivery room.

  28. @marvsleezy

    As a former soldier who got out of the Army so that I wouldn’t have to miss life events like seeing my children come into the world; save your sanctimonious comments for another venue. We understand the decisions we made and I for one think it is great that a pro football player has his priorities in order like this.

  29. sixlombardisinyourface says:
    Sep 6, 2012 12:44 PM
    If it happens to be the Ravens game, it’s the only hope the Ravens have of winning that contest, and they know it in the purple armpit of America.

    Perhaps you slept through both of last season’s Steelers losses to the Ravens. Sorry to spoil your beautiful dream, you might want to pretend this season isn’t happening too.

  30. All three of mine were induced, so some level of scheduling is possible. Another way is to try to plan for the birth in the off season, though sometimes easier said than done. Hey Ben let’s try for a Tuesday.

  31. It sounds like there will be plenty of minor little injuries from this Little Ben could embellish.

    Cast for a pinky fingernail scratch? Yeah that sounds about right.

    Don’t be mad…he’s a known drama queen with injuries and Cowher even called him out for it once.

  32. I hope it is a game against the Browns, but Steelers say that it won’t matter because they could beat us with a 4th string QB.

    Good for him. Steelers fans will hope that her labor is enduced before gameday. He’ll catch a lot of flack for this, but coming from a guy who is about to get divorced, hell, anything you can do to keep yourself from going through this is – do it. Hopefully it won’t be a problem.

  33. Good for him. And even better if they don’t induce the birth. Inducing for convenience is a disturbing trend. Better for mother and baby both to let nature decide when it will happen.

  34. He will miss games this season, but not for this. I would bet $1,000.00 on it. This is all drumming up positive PR.

  35. As a Broncos fan, is there any way she is due this Saturday or Sunday?

    Just thought I’d ask…..

  36. Believe me, when the time comes they will just induce her during the week, so he doesn’t miss anything. He knows this and is just trying to look like a good dude, but most can see right through it.

  37. As a Steelers fan, I am happy for him, and he gets a LOT more respect for being a father first, and a football player second.

    There is NOTHING like the birth of your child, and it will mean a lot more in the years to come.

    Congrats Ben!

  38. Not a fan but when did Ben ever rape anyone? All I remember is one bimbo making things up because she wanted to be Mrs. Ben and another that he made out with looking for fame and/or money.

  39. I can respect that decision. My son is now 7 and I can’t imagine not having been there for his entry to the world. That said, can’t they do a scheduled C-section so he can be there and NOT miss a game?

  40. Way to go Ben! As a Steeler fan, I would miss you on game day, but seeing as you played through injuries that would have kept ANY other NFL qb on the bench, we owe you at least one game off.

    Glad to hear something positive instead of more false accusations that don’t hold up in a police station.

  41. perhaps this is why Tomlin decided to keep 2 veteran backup quaterbacks, in addition to the reasoning he stated in the interview.

  42. The joy I felt at the birth of my son exceeded the joy I’ve felt winning any sporting event or achieving any personal goal. I was there if my wife needed me and no man who calls himself a man would miss being there for the woman he loves if she wanted him to be with her. This man, whatever his past, is entitled to a chance at redemption and, to me, this an indication that he has his priorities in order.

  43. Big Ben is a dunce of a person, but I think he has it right this time. He should absolutley be at the birth of his child. You can play another game of football, but that day is one you can never get back.

  44. marvsleezy says: Sep 6, 2012 12:54 PM

    “Showing up and watching is empty symbolism. Its not the true test of a good father.”

    True, but it’s the right answer for the first question on that test.

  45. As a diehard Steeler fan, I applaud the iron-clad certainty of how Ben said the birth of his child takes precedence over a football game. He left no doubt about what he would do. And that is how it should be.

  46. I missed the birth of my third child because I was sick from my cancer treatment. It hurt then worse than the cancer treatment, and although I am healthier now, the emotional pain of missing that lingers on like I cannot explain. He is doing the right thing.

  47. Well if he misses a game for the birth of his kid does he miss a game check? That’s one expensive baby.

  48. You know, his past is his past and I hope he can be a great father and husband. This guy came into Pittsburgh with a very arrogant attitude. (Those who have met him know this) But since his marriage, starts a new beginning, we can only hope this guy has learned and continues to learn.

  49. I wonder what he’d do if Pittsburgh was in a do or die situation. It’s one thing to skip a week 6 game but what if it was a do or die game in December?

    I think the doctors are capable of delivering a baby without Ben there. If it’s a boy he’s going to grow up as a Steeler fan and think to himself “geez dad why’d you have to ruin Pittsburghs season over me? You really screwed us there.”

  50. how do you spell planned C-section or maybe it will be induced? Of course when is she due April? I would bet my house that this baby by a miracle is not born on game day,

  51. People miss games all the time for far less signifigant reasons. Stop worshipping for saying he would miss one lousy regular season game to see the birth of his first born son. What else was he going to say? Now if the Steelers by some miracle make it to the Super Bowl and he gets a call 4pm on February 3rd, telling him that his wife’s in labor…the words of this press conference will haunt him and THEN we’ll see what he’s made of and what all these Steeler fans are made of that are saying “good for him”.

  52. About time Big Ben grew up. He has played Lots of games, experiencing his child’s birth is priceless!

  53. I don’t recall Ben being convicted so how can you label him a rapist?
    Nevertheless, people can and do change. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

  54. 2 things….Ben has never been charged with a rape, nor has he settled out of court. In this day of easy money, they wld hve sued by now, so get over it idiots. And why is this a big deal? It’s what a man shld do!

  55. No question family is more important than a game. But what’s important is that ben’s there to raise his child, not necessarily to be there the second he comes into the world. He’s paid millions and with that comes responsibility. If he misses the game that knocks the steelers out of the playoffs we’ll see how understanding people are.

  56. That’s a tough one. If it’s a crucial game that will have a major impact on their chances of making the playoffs then there’s no way he can miss it. If it’s the beginning of the season then I see no problem with it.

  57. neither was OJ? Really? that is your comeback?

    Gayray was charged with obstruction of justice when a man was KILLED. Ben got some stank on his hanglow or a bathroom nubber and you c-holes want him crucified.

    Double standard mother humping meat sticks,

    the lot of you

  58. Ok first congrats to Ben and his wife on the soon to be ( or later to be ) born child as for all you idiots he was never charged for a rape and if u have issues with that then thank your laws, second comparing him or any athlete star or whomever to a soldier is ridicules a soldier signs a contract like I did and serves his country 24-7 and knowingly sacrifices family events now athletes such as football players or for that matter non athletes can take a personal day to see such events football is just a game family first

  59. Since the Steelers are 4-1 the past two seasons without him, I have no problem with Roethlisberger missing a game or two… as long as he’s willing to forfeit the $800,000 he’s paid per game.

  60. Hope he doesn’t meet a helpless drunk girl in a bar bathroom. He may need extra time off to get everyone to lie for him.

  61. brazzz01 says:Sep 6, 2012 7:45 PM

    “I don’t recall Ben being convicted”

    Neither was OJ.

    Ben wasn’t even charged, even after an investigation.

    Just out of curiousity – what do you actually know about the accusations or the investigations?

  62. I know a lot about all the times he was accused, as well as all the times they couldn’t charge him because they couldn’t get a frightened, violated woman to testify in the face of BBen’s army of lawyers out of fear or shame. Because it came down to ‘he said, she said’, and there was always alchohol involved. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. A repeated behavior should tell you something. It’s like saying Pacman J was falsely accused.

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