Ben Roethlisberger, or “Big Ben” as he’s known to Pittsburgh Steelers fans and NFL fans alike, says that even if his first child is born on a game day Sunday, he will be there for the birth.
For most folks, that might seem like a given, really. But you have to remember, rabid football fans like the ones in Steelers Country aren’t necessarily like most folks.
For tens of thousands of die-hard Pittsburgh people, football is a huge part of life, a defining pillar of who they are and what they stand for, and so Roethlisberger’s recent comments to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette might be scrutinized by these fans a bit differently than the rest of the world.
It’s understandable in a way; they want to win, and “Big Ben” is typically a huge part of doing that.
But still, at the end of the day, he’s also a father-to-be.
So, when one of the best quarterbacks to have ever led a Steelers team told the local paper, “I’m not missing the birth of my child. There’s no chance. I know some fans probably don’t want to hear that, but there’s no chance,” this guy wasn’t just moving away from the troubles he has had off the field in the past.
It was way way more than that, I think.
In so many ways, Roethlisberger was showing what he’s really made of, beyond the stats and wins. With a few simple words, he was demonstrating to blue-collar Pittsburgh, and the rest of the world too, that he is a man committed to his new family first. And I dig that.
He is recently married.
This is his first child.
And even in the the heat of the battle to perform and produce, his personal choice is to be there for that magic moment his child comes into this world.
And that is something that is hard to argue with.
During last night’s baseball game between fierce rivals the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia was informed on national TV that his wife had gone into labor. It’s a fast clip, but if you scroll down below here and watch it closely enough, you can see the sudden shock and excitement and seriousness emerge on Pedroia’s face as his coach tells him the news.
Then, as Yahoo! points out, the ballplayer (who already had two big hits in a game with serious playoff implications for the arch-rival Yankees) bolts to the dugout and is gone.
Off to the races!
Off to one of the greatest nights of his life. Or one of the best mornings, depending on when the little person wants to pop out. So, from one dad to another, a tip of my hat to these two players.
They will never ever regret it, no matter which team wins that day.
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