Ben Roethlisberger suited up in his black Pittsburgh Steelers home uniform one last time on Monday night. It was fitting that his last hurrah at Heinz Field came against the hated Cleveland Browns. Cleveland famously passed on picking the Ohio native in the draft. The Steelers pounced at the opportunity.
Big Ben spent the next decade plus humiliating them. Before the Browns drafted Baker Mayfield, Roethlisberger was the winningest quarterback in Cleveland. That includes all previous Browns quarterbacks dating back to Roethlisberger’s rookie year. That trend continued, as the Steelers won 26-14 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
With a packed house rocking and a playoff-like atmosphere, Ben beat the Browns one last time. The effort wasn’t pretty. Roethlisberger went 24 of 46 for 123 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The final score once again reflected the Findlay, OH native’s dominance over his former hometown team. Roethlisberger spoke after the game about the emotion he felt as he took one last victory lap and greeted Steelers fans on Pittsburgh’s north shore.
“Just wanted to… take it in. Just tried to absorb every minute of this place because it’s so special, the fans are so special.”
Dozens of photographers hounded Ben as he soaked in the scene. He met up with his family last. Then, Ben Roethlisberger entered the tunnel at Heinz Field one last time.
It was a career well spent. In his younger days, Roethlisberger was seen as an immature wild child who made frequent poor decisions. He has grown into a two-time Super Bowl champion and sure-fire Pro Football Hall of Famer. Big Ben now has his sights set on one final push towards the playoffs.
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