Tim Benz: It’s not smart, but Ben Roethlisberger might continue radio show | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

Tim Benz: It’s not smart, but Ben Roethlisberger might continue radio show

Tim Benz
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stands on the sideline during the second half against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

Ben Roethlisberger’s 93.7 FM radio show is widely heard and often quoted.

Plus, it has been the source of consternation for current and former teammates, namely Antonio Brown.

The program has also been the catalyst of speculation when it came to Roethlisberger’s relationship with Todd Haley, his thoughts on retirement and his opinions on the team drafting Mason Rudolph.

Roethlisberger went so far as to apologize for criticisms of Brown he made during the show after the loss to Denver last season.

Except he didn’t do that until Monday. The game was over Thanksgiving weekend.

When he was critical of Brown during that interview back in November, it didn’t sit well with the combustible receiver. That on-air segment seemed to touch off the demise of their relationship.

So will Big Ben ditch the program this year? There’s been much speculation about that potential. I’ve suggested Roethlisberger do so in the past. However, it appears the quarterback is still considering keeping the program alive.

“I haven’t made a final decision yet,” Roethlisberger said in a KDKA-TV interview Monday. “We talk a lot about it with my family and my agents and the Steelers. I think people like it. That we can give some inside access. We’ll make a final decision moving forward.”

Maybe it’s been too “inside” for the Steelers’ liking. I say that from a front-office point of view and that of his teammates in the locker room.

One thing is clear: Roethlisberger prefers giving his own spin, in a controlled environment, on his terms, on Tuesdays, before speaking with the general media once a week on Wednesdays.

It’s also obvious he likes being able to speak before Mike Tomlin does, since the program airs an hour before Tomlin’s weekly news conference. So his narrative is the first word out in the public, as opposed to Roethlisberger having to answer questions about how his coach described events from the previous weekend’s game.

I get the impression Roethlisberger doesn’t want to give up the air time unless he absolutely feels the need to do so from within himself.

Or from within the walls of the Steelers’ front office.

“If we do (the show), it’ll be the best we’ve ever done,” Roethlisberger continued. “If we don’t, there will probably be a reason, too.”

Yeah. And that reason is Roethlisberger can’t help himself.

If Big Ben feels a certain way — particularly “a way” that can make him look better when a controversy flares up — he’s going to say it in his own voice.

And he’ll do so even if a watered-down, politically correct opinion may be the more expeditious way to go.

That hasn’t gone so well in the scope of muting controversy. But it’s gone great for the phenomenal traction the show gets on air and online.

If Roethlisberger keeps doing the show, both patterns will continue. And this column will benefit as well.

Even if it’s not the smart thing for the quarterback to do.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.