"From 10 to Ben" Looks at the Ups and Downs of Players' Lives from the Steelers Super Bowl X and XL Teams
For me, a guy who is 26, it's hard to believe that the Steelers Super Bowl XL championship was ten years ago. For people of my parents generation, for the 40th anniversary of the team's Super Bowl X victory to be this year must make them feel old. I will also feel this way when the Super Bowl XLIII team marks its tenth anniversary in 2019.
Brady McCollough of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did an extended feature story on some of the players from both the Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XL teams tiled "From 10 to Ben".
After reading the features of every player profiled, you can take away a few things from them:
It is a mixed bag of those who found further success after their playing days and the other half being those who have battled demons of the past, found peace or continue to deal with the personal and physical effects from playing the game.
The most polarizing story comes from former wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to fellow receiver Hines Ward in Super Bowl XL. Randle El was 26 when the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks and won that "one for the thumb". Ten years later, he says that he feels the physical and mental effects from playing football.
An excerpt from McCollough's interview with Randle El.
That his body has begun to betray him before his 40th birthday is hard to fathom. The crazy thing is that Randle El can feel his mind slipping, too.
Randel El also told McCollough that if given the choice to play football again, he would not.
“If I could go back, I wouldn’t,” he said. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But right now, I could still be playing baseball.”
To coincide with Randle El's story, his former teammate Alan Faneca, who is one of the greatest guards of his era, is one of seven players to take on the NFL with the concussion lawsuit. Faneca is three years older than Randle El, and he told McCollough that he has experienced some memory problems.
“I do have some memory lapses where I can’t remember what I was doing just seconds afterwards,” said Faneca, 39. “Like, wait, why am I over here?
Randle El and Faneca are just two of the 18 players (nine from each team) that McCollough caught up with. Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, J.T. Thomas, Andy Russell, Gordon Gravelle, Reggie Harrelson and Frank Lewis make up the guys from the 1975 team, while Ben Roethlisberger, Willie Parker, Hines Ward, James Farrior, Bryant McFadden, Mike Logan and Aaron Smith join Randle El and Faneca from the 2005 squad. Each player shares a unique story. They vary from moments of adversity and triumph to dealing with personal struggles and finding peace after their playing days.
If you are a Steelers fan, you will find this feature very interesting.