March 2, 1982 in Findlay Ohio
Best Known For:
Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger was born in Findlay, Ohio on March 2, 1982 to Ida and Ken Roethlisberger. His parent's marriage was already in trouble by this point, and they were divorced 18 months later. Ben lived primarily with his Dad, who soon remarried. Ben grew to love his new step-mom, Brenda, as well as his half-sister Carlee who came along later.
Ben Roethlisberger tragically lost his mother, Ida, from injuries suffered in a terrible car accident in 1990, when he was just 8-years-old. He still points heavenward after every touchdown, in acknowledgement of his mother.
High School Sports:
Ben was good at both school and in sports, inheriting his atletic talent from his dad, Ken. His best sport was basketball, and he was a starter on the varsity hoops team at Findlay High School. He was also the Trojan's varsity shortstop (yes, he excelled at baseball too). He also played wide-receiver on the football team until his senior year, when he took over as quarterback. Ben threw for six touchdowns in his first start for Findlay. Miami of Ohio offered him a full scholarship the next day.
Ben Roethlisberger was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers
in 2004 as the 11th pick. Although Ben was ranked behind Eli Manning and Philip Rivers, the Steelers saw just what they wanted in Ben. In turn, Ben was delighted to be selected by the Steelers, enabling him to remain close to home. Injuries by the two Steelers starting quarterbacks -- Tommy Maddox and Charlie Batch -- thrust Ben into the spotlight by the second game of the season.
As a rookie quarterback in the NFL, Ben Roethlisberger exceeded all expectations, engineering wins over the unbeaten New England Patriots
and Philadelphia Eagles
on his way to a unbelievable 15-1 season for the team. Ben's first loss in his rookie season came in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots. Injuries kept Ben Roethlisberger sidelined for several games in the 2005-2006 season, but he came back to take the Pittsburgh Steelers to an AFC Championship win and the Super Bowl.
In 2006-2007, a very serious off-season motorcycle crash and a emergency appendectomy early in the regular season, kept Ben Roethlisber off his game for most of the season. He came back strong the 2007-2008, however, leading the Steelers to the AFC playoffs and ending with the second best quarterback rating in the NFL (behind Tom Brady). He also finished 3rd in Comeback Player of the Year voting behind the Patriots' Randy Moss and Dallas Cowboys' Greg Ellis. In 2008-2009, Big Ben led the Pittsburgh Steelers to their 6th Super Bowl win.
In addition to football, Ben Roethlisberger is also an accomplished hoops and baseball player. Baseball was actually his first love for a long time and he actually expected to play basketball in college, not football. He also likes to golf and fish. Ben's favorite colors are black and gold (of course), though he used to like purple in his pre-Steelers days. He loves dogs (not cats), and his dream pet would be a monkey, dolphin or white tiger.
"Big Ben" Roethlisberger
Ben Roethlisberger's affectionate nickname -- "Big Ben" -- came from a game-winning 70-yard Hail Mary pass against Akron during his first year as quarterback for Miami Ohio. The play was called "Big Ben" and, from that day on, so was he.