Dunlap: Not Buying The 'Big Ben Fumbled On Purpose' Stuff

Sounds too much like a guy trying to jump aboard the Big Ben Hate Train

Colin Dunlap
March 18, 2019 - 1:31 pm

© Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Related: Former Steeler Claims Ben Roethlisberger Fumbled On Purpose During 2014 Bengals Game

Yeah, I don’t believe it. 

Sounds to me like sour grapes from a guy trying to keep his name relevant. Or get his name relevant. Or have people talk about him. Or something like that. 

Yeah, I don’t believe it. 

Sounds like a guy who is perpetually perturbed about the way his football life turned out --- or more to the point, didn’t turn out. 

Yeah, I don’t believe it. 

Sounds too much like a guy trying to jump aboard the Big Ben Hate Train when it feels like the national media is driving that locomotive just about as hard and fast as it ever has. Hear the whistle? Hear people blowing it in the aftermath of Antonio Brown heading to Oakland? I sure do. That’s the Big Ben Hate Train roaring down the track with a bunch of national media members dressed in those striped overalls. 

Yeah, about this Josh Harris. I don’t believe it. Perhaps he believes what he says and that’s all well and good in his heart, but I don’t believe for one millisecond the act he believes to have occurred actually, well, occurred. 

To rehash: Seldom-used, little-known and short-time Pittsburgh Steelers running back Josh Harris (he of the 9 rushes for 16 carries in 2014, the longest that glorious 4-yard scamper) recently decided it would be a good time to go public with his thoughts that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger intentionally fumbled a ball very late in a game against the Bengals in 2014 as the Steelers were holding tight to a 10-point lead with just over a minute left. 

Harris --- in what he thinks furthers his point --- even Tweeted video of the alleged incident he feels came about out of Roethlisberger’s dislike for then-offensive coordinator Todd Haley.  

“2014 week 17 we were playing the Bengals,” Harris tweeted. “Todd Haley called a run play with very little time left in the game. Ben wanted to kneel. He rolled his eyes in the huddle. He then purposely fumbles the ball. I had to recover it. At that moment I knew what kinda person he was.”

Eh, I don’t know man. Actually, I’m calling BS. 

Here’s why: We know a lot of things about Ben Roethlisberger and he’s been called a lot of different things both in this town and towns all over this country. Some have been pleasant, some have been none-too-pleasant, some have been misguided and, in truth, many have been earned because of behaviors in the past. 

All that said, if we have learned one thing about Big Ben off the field, hasn’t it been that as much as he talks about things (sometimes unnecessarily) when it comes time for gameday he is 100 percent locked in and full-bore intent on winning. We have seen the guy try to elongate plays when the common sense move is to go down and not get demolished by a tackler. 

We have seen (and heard, because he tells us all about it) Big Ben have to piece his big old self back together and somehow limp and gimp out there through grit and determination when he has been hampered with an injury. 

Sternoclavicular-this, my-lungs-are-going-to-get-pierced-that and broken-toes-this-and-that … yeah, we know all about it.  

I don’t know about you, but the one thing that rises to the top for me when I think of Big Ben is the way he has taken an absolute beating but the way he has to be pried off the football field and his unmatched drive to want to win football games. 

Roethlisberger might be a lot of things Monday through Saturday; but on Sunday he seems like the kind of teammate you want because the general sense is that the opposition will have to do nothing short of kill him to get him off the field. 

Does that all add up to a man who would put a game in jeopardy by putting the pigskin on the ground on purpose? Yeah, I’m not seeing it. Not seeing how that at all would happen with Ben. 

Remember, the football watching world seems embroiled and enmeshed in this Antonio Brown v. Ben Roethlisberger thing right now since AB got shuttled out of town. Most everyone appears to be picking a side as to who was at fault and why the band broke up --- why the Pittsburgh Steelers fractured in feverish fashion.

This Josh Harris fellow threw himself right in the middle of everything by talking to Sports Illustrated and taking to social media to assail Roethlisberger’s character. 

There’s just a couple enormous problems: I haven’t seen anyone corroborate what he’s alleged to have happened and, moreover, I could never in a million years see someone as competitive as Big Ben risking a loss to prove a point. 

It’s going to take a lot more than some never-was running back who loves to play the race card and appears mad Ben didn’t want to be friends with him to convince me otherwise.   

Yeah, I don’t believe it. ​

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