Big Ben Played Super Bowl With Two Broken Ribs

Before helping cap off one of the most exciting Super Bowl finishes in NFL history with the touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had spent most of the two weeks leading up to the game just hoping he wouldn’t mess things up. After all, his first trip to the big game didn’t go so well in Super Bowl XL. Yeah, the Steelers won, but it wasn’t thanks to Ben’s 9 completions in 21 attempts, 123 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Ben had been hoping that he’d be able to actually help his team win the second time around instead of slowing them down, and he followed through on it. Though Holmes made the big catch and won the game’s MVP award, it could easily be argued that Roethlisberger deserved the award more than Holmes after he completed 70% of his passes for 256 yards and orchestrating that final drive. What makes it more impressive? He did it all with a couple of broken ribs.


Roethlisberger was speared in the kidney area in the AFC Championship Game. His midsection hurt so much that he had X-rays before the Super Bowl. They were negative. But a subsequent MRI told a different story. He found out last Thursday.

“Fractured ribs,” Roethlisberger said. “Luckily, in the game, I didn’t take any big hits to make ‘em hurt. But I knew all along there was something wrong. There wouldn’t have been anything they could have done about fractured ribs anyway. It was just suck it up and play.”

Now at first this may not seem like that big of a deal. After all, football players play with injuries all the time - but broken ribs hurt like hell. It’s not like a sprained ankle that only hurts when you cut left or make a quick stop. Broken ribs hurt every time you take a breath.

I could only imagine what they feel like as your being hit by a 275-pound lineman or lunging for the end zone, or unleashing a bullet on a 15-yard out.