QB Ben Roethlisberger Retires: Here’s Our Favorite Big Ben vs. Broncos Memory
Ben Roethlisberger Retires From NFL
I've been to a handful of Denver Broncos vs. Pittsburgh Steelers games at Mile High, but on the morning where NFL great, Ben Roethlisberger announces his retirement from football, one game stands out above the rest. Some events in life you never forget, right? I remember this day like it was yesterday. It was a Sunday morning and I had just secured tickets to see the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil show at the (then) Pepsi Center in Denver. My phone rings from my pal "Danger" Dan Kuntz. I figured something was goofed up with the radio station and he needed help, but no, it was an invite to an event I'll never forget.
"Hey, I fell into some tickets to today's Broncos vs. Steelers playoff game, would you like to join me?" Of course, my response was a loud resounding YES. I quickly passed on my Cirque tickets to a pal (still sad I missed that show) and started to get ready for the biggest game, at the time, I'd ever been to up to that point. My first NFL playoff game for sure. I'll be honest, Denver had some miracle wins that season and the odds were definitely not in the Broncos Favor to win this game against a red-hot Big Ben, even with home-field advantage on our side. We somehow though, ended up sending the game into overtime. This was the very first season that the current NFL OT rules were in play, which meant that the first team to possess the ball in OT couldn't end the game on a field goal, which had become quite controversial over the years. You either had to score a touchdown or get a safety on the first drive, or the other team would have an opportunity with the ball as well.
Here's the part I'll never forget. Broncos won the coin toss and started with the ball. They lined up and I said to Dan, "here goes another first and ten run play" which they had been doing all day with little success. NOPE. Tim Tebow hit the late great Demaryius Thomas and DT was off to the races to win the game in OT on the very first play. Big ben and his Steelers could not believe it. Here's that miracle play in case you forgot how amazing it was.
While this obviously wouldn't be Ben's favorite memory in Denver, his likely would be winning the AFC Championship game here in 2005 and going on to win the Superbowl. That though, is certainly not a memory Broncos Country wants to relive. Congrats on an amazing 18 year NFL career, Ben. Enjoy your downtime, you've earned it.