Even Big Ben fans out a little for @Patriots' #12.
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) October 26, 2016
“Hey, listen, I’ve never done this but I’d love to get a jersey at some point…there’s not many I want…I’ll put it in my office.”
Yeah, Ben Roethlisberger asked Tom Brady for his jersey.
Now you might be thinking, “That’s not that crazy, NFL players swap jerseys after every game Taylor!” And you’re right, they do. But those are the young guys. Those are the guys who came into the league after Instagram was invented. They’re not Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady.
These two guys are two of the most successful quarterbacks of all time, and two of this era’s best quarterbacks. Between them there’s nine Super Bowl appearances, six Super Bowl championships, and with the exception of the 2009-2010 season, the AFC Championship Game has featured at least one of them every year since 2004. Despite it being commonplace for the QBs to speak before games, the fact that two players of this caliber get together and talk like this makes my heart tingle. I love it, and I especially love that Ben asked TB12 for a jersey.
Earlier in the year I blogged about Roethlisberger calling Brady the best in the world.
Ben Roethlisberger on Tom Brady: "Tom's the greatest in the world. And I mean that." https://t.co/QI3HwxfAin
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 7, 2016
I thought it was incredible then, and I still do now. For someone like Roethlisberger, a fierce competitor, to admit that someone else was better than him at his job made the needle move for me. It hit a soft spot.
And that’s why I love this jersey thing so much. I’m from Massachusetts, the place Bill Simmons dubbed “the most provincial place in the world.” It’s us-against-them. Always has been, always will be. But this moment wasn’t. This was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL asking for the greatest quarterback of all time’s jersey because he wants to hang it in his office.
After spending two years watching Brady get destroyed and dragged through the mud with DeflateGate, this is a rare gesture of respect, and everyone knows…
Also, Ben didn’t play this past Sunday, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Pats/Steelers playoff matchup in which he does.