Watching Ben Roethlisberger's First Career Start Will Make You Feel Old


There's a very good chance tonight marks the last time Ben Roethlisberger puts on a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform and joins a huddle at Heinz Field. So there will be a heavy stream of retrospect doled out on the broadcast and social media. Just a fair warning there if that is something you as a viewer aren't particularly interested in consuming. The future Hall of Famer will be making his 246th of hopefully 247 regular-season starts for the franchise and has another 22 playoff games to his name.

Things add up quickly over the course of 18 years.

All of this got me thinking about his first start and what the world looked like back then. Or at the very least, what the broadcasts looked like. Thanks to a YouTube clip that's managed to avoid all the pitfalls of the genre and remain up and running, it wasn't so hard. And it was a delightful walk down memory lane.

Here, in all its glory is Big Ben's first foray out at Heinz Field. In 2004 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

A younger Ian Eagle opens up the broadcast alongside Solomon Wilcox. They discuss the two young quarterbacks: Roethlisberger and Carson Palmer. Antwaan Randle-El is the first person to touch the ball. Chad Ochocinco is being called Chad Johnson. Jerome Bettis finds the end zone before we can even conceive of the American version of The Office. CBS' graphics look absolutely incredible — one could argue retaining a charm that make them better than the current offerings on any channel.

The point is, Big Ben has made a ton of memories since making his first at Heinz. He's been a steady presence in the NFL through a tremendous amount of on- and off-field changes. And in Pittsburgh as most franchises fail to whiff such continuity.

Do you have better things than watch most of a 2004 NFL game on YouTube mid-day on a Monday? Probably. Will that stop you? Only time can tell.