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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Big Ben Is An Artist At Heart

Illustration for article titled Big Ben Is An Artist At Heart

Like all of us, it appears Ben Roethlisberger is another failed artist. Reader Deb gives us the scoop.


With all of these negative stories about Ben, I figured it's time to hear one from a different angle. Picture it, northwest Ohio circa 1990. Little Ben Roethlisberger is sitting in grade school when his teacher asks the class to draw pictures of what they think happiness is. The teacher is using the classic Peanuts' Happiness Is a Warm Puppy story as the backdrop for the exercise. Ben, not even 10 years old, knows exactly what happiness is to him. So, he draws a play, a Joe Montana to Jerry Rice touchdown pass. Crayon marks the X's and O's on the piece of paper he turns in. His teacher who, for no other reason than she's sentimental and kind of a pack rat, saves all of these "Happiness is..." drawings from every student year after year.

In 2004, I was in Findlay, Ohio visiting family when my aunt said to me, "I have something I want to show you." It was Ben's drawing. She had been his teacher. We all looked at the drawing, delighting in the cute and adorable little boy handwriting and the cute and adorable coincidence it all was. "Look, this boy drew a picture about football AND grew up to be a football player. How cute!"


I am not from Ohio, but my dad is. Pretty much that whole side of the family was born and raised in or around Findlay. Ben went to Findlay High School, the same school attended by my dad, aunts, uncles and several cousins. He was a Findlay boy and Findlay was proud of him. When dad and I rooted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, we were really just rooting for Ben. I was proud of my "two-degrees of separation" from the quarterback, even though his college (Miami) beat up on my college (Bowling Green) in football.

Then, shit hits the fan. I was SURE the first sexual assault accusation was a lie. Ben wouldn't do that. Couldn't be. No way did my family's home town produce a dirt bag like that. Now, this mess in Milledgeville and the suspension from the NFL. Through it all, I remember the happiness drawing little Ben made in grade school and wonder, what would his happiness drawing look like now? My guess is it would NOT be something my aunt would be saving in a box in her closet.

Thanks for making us all feel like chumps, douche bag.

(Guess that ended up being negative after all.)

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