The Super Bowl is today in Detroit. The Pittsburgh Steelers vs The Seattle Seahawks.
The game is going to be extra special for those of us from Findlay. A hometown boy will be leading the Steelers on the field.
Big Ben Roethlisberger is one of the youngest starting quarterback to start a Super Bowl. The youngest was Dan Marino.
I am a die hard Cleveland Browns fan and have been since the days of the Kardiac Kids, and Cleveland’s rival has always been the Steelers. Being a homer, as long as the Browns weren’t playing the Steelers, I rooted for Ben and his team.
Findlay has jumped on the bandwagon big time but it is good for the town. It is funny because out of town reports label Findlay as a “small town”. Those of us who know, know that McComb is a small town. Findlay, with 40,000 people is a small city. We may have only one high school but we have more than one fire station (we have four).
Finally, Findlay now has a website tribute called Big Ben’s Hometown and the visitors bureau is hoping many Steeler fans take a side trip to see where their QB grew up. The local paper, The Courier, noted that some journalists working the game have driven the 100 miles south from Detroit to visit the town and to interview the significant people in Ben’s life – his high school coach Cliff Hite, the Mayor Tony Iriti, his parents and sister, and local people celebrating the best PR Findlay has had since the runaway train went through town a couple of years ago. I have seen reports across the country mentioning Findlay.
I have always been on the Ben bandwagon. When I heard him play at Findlay High then in college, I knew he was the type of quarterback who has staying power. In fact when I found out he would be starting his first NFL game after Tommy Maddox got hurt in 2004, I selected Ben for my fantasy football squad. He didn’t let me down.
Another conflict I have is that I also like the Seahawks and am happy they made it in, but during the game I’ll be rooting for Big Ben.
Big Ben had some serious off field problems that led to being suspended by the NFL for four games in 2010. His issues which included a sexual assault charge and being known as a party guy drew some strong negative reactions in conservative Findlay. As a result Roethlisberger had his hometown, listed in the Steelers press guide, changed to Cory-Rawson Ohio. That is the name of a merged school district southwest of Findlay but it is not an actual town. People in Findlay weren’t too happy with that either.
Since he has stayed out of trouble and has gotten married people in Findlay aren’t so unhappy with him. However he moved his parents to a house next to his in a Pittsburgh suburb.
Time will tell if he and the town mend their break.