by Kim Garafola
After making it to the Super Bowl in the 2010 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers. The 2011 season started with high expectations on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, the team’s rival, on September 11th. With a disappointing loss, the Steelers knew they would have to step it up if they want to go to the Super Bowl this season. The team currently holds a record of eight wins and three losses, which keeps them in second place in the AFC North standings (American Football Conference). The Ravens lead the division with a record of eight wins and three losses, but have defeated the Steelers twice.
Ben Roethlisberger, also known as “Big Ben,” is the quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Roethlisberger, number 7, was drafted eleventh overall in the 2004 NFL Draft after playing for Miami University. He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 and soon after became the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl (2005). Roethlisberger went on to win another Super Bowl in 2009.
Roethlisberger was not selected as the starting quarterback his first year, but instead the third string. After the first string quarterback got injured, Ben moved up in the lineup. Again he was intended to sit the bench and learn the team’s system, but ended up starting in the third game of the season. Ben’s record that year, in regular season play, was 13-0.
Roethlisberger is known for his style of play, that is, playing outside the pocket. The pocket is an area on the field where the offensive line forms a wall of protection for the quarterback to find an open receiver. Roethlisberger, instead, tends to move outside the pocket in order to throw the ball. This can make it hard to tackle the quarterback, making Roethlisberger unique as well as good.
Troy Polamalu, number 43, was drafted sixteenth overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers after playing for the University of Southern California.
Polamalu plays safety for the Steelers as well as a variety of other defensive positions. In his third season, 2005, he tied the record of most sacks (3, when a quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before being able to throw a pass) in a single game by a safety. In 2007, Troy made his third consecutive appearance in the annual Pro Bowl. It was also reported that in the spring of 2010 that Polamalu’s jersey was the highest selling NFL jersey among men and women. Polamalu would go on to be named Defensive Player of the Year in January 2011 as well as win the NFL Alumni Player of the Year award.
Besides being one of the best, Polamalu is well known for his hair. Not only does his hair make him easy to spot on the field, but is used in Head & Shoulders commercials. Earlier this season, Polamalu visited Hollywood’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum to shoot a Head & Shoulders commercial. While there, he decided to pose as a wax figure. As people would approach to take pictures, the wax Polamalu would “come to life,” for a good scare and some funny moments. Polamalu currently has a contract with Procter & Gamble, which paid for a million-dollar insurance policy on his hair.
Polamalu has expressed for years his desire to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading to a contract extension, making him one of the highest paid defensive backs in the league.