Ben Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ locker room party pooper?
Ben Roethlisberger apparently is the reason why there is no music blaring within the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room during “business hours,” which lasts from 8 a.m. until sometime between 3 and 4 p.m., when post-practice showers are finished. In other words, when Big Ben is around, the locker room is a jams-free zone.
Roethlisberger, 36, insists he’s not trying to be a party pooper with the no-music mantra, as it already was established locker room policy when he joined the Steelers as a rookie in 2004.
“That’s one of the reasons they invented headphones, so you can listen to your music,” Roethlisberger said with a chuckle, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “If you want to listen to music, that’s no problem, we just don’t want to have to hear it at other people’s lockers. It’s just kind of always been that tradition and we try to keep it going.”
So, how does Roethlisberger maintain the tradition without coming off like an old fuddy-duddy espousing “Turn off that darn music!” outbursts? Big Ben admits to using Antonio Brown as a hipper, younger intermediary, sending the wide receiver a text when any policy violations happen to occur.
In the end, Roethlisberger believes the policy is respectful to every player in the locker room.
“I always tell [teammates], too — when I retire, you guys can change the rules, do whatever you want,” Roethlisberger said. “But I hope that I can pass down some of the same things that were passed down to me. I think that on gameday and even at practice, everyone wants to get prepared differently. How am I supposed to get prepared if this guy is listening to rap and this guy is listening to country and this guy is listening to hard rock? It’s hard to focus. So it’s just a matter of respecting everyone’s area and their process.”
And once Big Ben departs the locker room?
“You’ve got to respect what he wants,” Darrius Heyward-Bey admitted. “He’s not here, it’s party time.”
Now that’s showing proper deference to the wishes of an old-timer.