Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Roethlisberger regrets, then reiterates, retirement talk


Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had enough ice packs on his body to look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man on Monday, feels bad about freaking out fans with talk from January that he may retire. But not bad enough to stop sending vague messages about whether this year, or any year, will be his last year.

I understand, so it won’t happen again,” Roethlisberger said Monday on 93.7 The Fan, via Sean Gentille of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He then tried to downplay his musings about retirement, claiming that the reaction to his “maybe I’ll just call it a career” comments caught him by surprise.

“It was just thoughts,” he said. “It was just, I think, a prudent thing to do. Maybe I should’ve worded it, like, ‘Hey, I’m probably coming back, but I need to consider all my options.’ It had nothing to do with the [loss to the Patriots in the AFC championship] and this and that. It really was all about football, life, what’s going on at my age.”

But even if he’d worded it like that, people would have freaked out. Anything other than “I’ll be back” would have triggered speculation as to whether he won’t be back.

That’s why it’s important for players who don’t want people to freak out about their football futures to keep private thoughts about their careers private. Play until you’re done, and then leave. And if you’re asked about it, lie.

Football players, coaches, executives, etc. lie all the time for strategic reasons. If a football player strategically chooses not to freak out fans, then lie about whether retirement is being contemplated -- and keep lying until it’s time to retire.

Neither Roethlisberger nor any other player is required to do that, but if Roethlisberger or any other player wants to keep the fans from freaking out about a potential retirement, it’s on Roethlisberger and every other player to say nothing to suggest retirement is on the table.

So where does Roethlisberger currently stand?

“I hate to sit here and say that I’m gonna play for 10 more years, and I’ve said this before: I want to focus on this year,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m gonna give everything I have to this year, and if I’m gonna say ‘I’m definitely gonna be here in three years,’ well then, I’m cheating, I’m giving myself a timeline. I wanna be right here, right now and give everything I have to this. When I’m done, I’ll know I’m done.”

And everyone once again knows that, after every given year, there’s a chance Roethlisberger will be done.