By: Lucas Kochevar
The first Super Bowl I ever watched was in 2008 with the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a special game with twists and turns all the way down to the end. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger led the team down the field and made one of the most impressive throws to set-up one of the most impressive catches in Super Bowl history by Santonio Holmes. This was how I was introduced into the NFL. Big Ben has been a constant fixture on NFL Sundays since his debut in 2004 with the iconic black and yellow. He entered the league with Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers, where he managed to outlast the two legends. Sadly, the times are changing and a new generation of QBs are starting to takeover the NFL. The time has come to wave goodbye to a legend.
This is not a new revelation that shocks many, as it is clear that Big Ben is too far over the hill and could be bottom five QB in the league. The traits that have made Ben such a threat his entire career are completely gone. The touch on the deep ball seems to be a tick off, the mobility is reduced severely, and placement of any pass over the middle feels dangerous. Ben has been a gunslinger for his entire career, yet, he can't consistently bring his A or B game. It's clear that he has to go if the Steelers want to have an offense that won't be on-and-off. The reports started to come out that he's been telling people close to him that this is likely his last year. The thing he doesn't realize is that his play is telling people that this is last year, whether he likes it or not.
Parting ways with a legend is one of the hardest things to do, trust me I understand. The Falcons traded away Julio Jones this past offseason and will likely see my favorite player ever, Matt Ryan, leave soon. The emotions will be riding high and the fans want to remember the good times, instead of this time in his career. Steelers fans should look back at the Ben that was dragging defenders around the field to deliver a bomb to Antonio Brown instead of this Ben that labors his way outside of the pocket. It has to be the time to look at internal options, trade options, or the draft. The best thing Steelers fans can do now is give Ben the proper ovations and send him off. Welcome him back to retire the number seven and in five years, welcome him back to celebrate his hall of fame induction. It's the only way to end an era of Steelers football, as well as NFL football.