When I first read the E-mail from CBSSport saying they wanted an article about what questions we would ask if we could conduct an interview with our favorite player, I was practically jumping out of my skin.
I had to sit down, and realize, that when it comes time to interview one of these superstars, I would have to put my "homer" hat away, and put my reporter hat on. That means, the tough questions need to be asked, even if it something they don't necessarily want to answer.
So I decided to go with Big Ben.
1 - So, Big Ben, lets go back to 2004. What was it like sitting in the draft room waiting to hear your name called?
You get drafted by the Steelers, and you had to suspect it was going to happen, because you were wearing a black suit and a gold tie.
Everyone expected you to be the back up for a year behind Tommy Maddox, then in Week Two Tommy goes down with an arm injury. You step in and your first pass is intercepted.
2 - After the corner was tackled, what were your thoughts walking to the sideline?
We all know after that game, you went on to have the best rookie season ever for a Quarterback. You took your team all the way to the AFC Championship game. In a heartbreaking loss, we all know that the only reason Rodney Harrison intercepted that ball was because he knew what play you were running.
After the game, you made a promise to Jerome Bettis that if he came back, you would take him "home" for the Super Bowl.
3 - Was that a spur of the moment comment, or was it something you truly believed?
So, Bettis comes back, the Steelers have a mid season slump, and have to win the final 4 games just to qualify for the playoffs. You win them, then you proceed to have the kind of playoffs that have never been seen before. You beat Cincinnati, the number three seed first, Indianapolis, the number one seed, and then Denver, the number two seed.
In the Indianapolis game, you made a tackle that saved the game, and the season.
4 - After the game, what did Jerome Bettis say to you?
After the Denver game, many people said you were the main reason we made it through the playoffs. In my opinion, you did what not too many Quarterbacks could have done.
Your performance in Super Bowl XL was not one of your best. Statistically, it was the worst performance by a winning QB.
5 - What is your response to the people that say you almost lost the Super Bowl, when had it not been for your heroics in Indianapolis, and your performance at the end of the season and playoffs, Pittsburgh wouldn't have been there anyway?
After the Super Bowl, you have one of the worst offseason ever. First a motorcycle crash that almost killed you, then an emergency appendectomy.
6 - Looking back on it, do you think you returned to the lineup too soon?
It was obvious when you were fully healthy in the second half of the season your play improved. We went from 2-6 in the first half to 6-2 in the second to finish 8-8. That is the only year since you have been here we did not finish with a winning record.
7 - What did you do that offseason that you still do today? Are you staying off the motorcycles?
Lets talk about Mike Tomlin. Tomlin is about as opposite as Bill Cowher as I can imagine.
8 - What is the difference in the relationship you have with Mike Tomlin than the one your had with Bill Cowher?
9 - Do you ever still talk to Coach Cowher?
Lets go to this past season. You are on a team with arguably one of the greatest defenses ever. Many people say you hold the ball too long, you aren't decisive enough with your reads and throws, and as my mom says, you look like a chicken running around with his head cut off back there. In my opinion, you play better on the run.
10 - Would you say your scrambling ability is the reason you are successful?
Playoffs come, and in your opening round game you handle the Chargers fairly easy. Then comes the third contest with the Baltimore Ravens. It is a heavyweight fight. In the first quarter you were seen in the tunnel with the medical staff.
11 - What exactly happened?
During the Super Bowl week, there was a lot of speculation about the injury. One source said you had an MRI, another one said you didn't.
12 - How serious was the injury, if there was one?
So, the Super Bowl comes, and everyone is wondering, will we see the Ben of Super Bowl XL, or the field general that is now the leader of this team. You had one of the best performances I have seen since Joe Montana.
13 - Do you think you deserved the MVP?
14 - Where do you think you rank with the "Elite" Quarterbacks in the NFL?
Now that we can put Super Bowl XLIII behind us, approaching this season. The Steelers return almost completely in tact from last year. You have a considerably easier schedule than you did last year.
15 - How will the Steelers do this season, and where do you see yourselves finishing the season?
And one last question.
16 - Would you consider anything short of another Super Bowl victory a failure for the season, and why?
Thank you for your time, Mr. Roethlisberger.
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