PITTSBURGH - The Roethlisberger family released the first photograph of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s new face to the media yesterday, and Steeler officials warned the general public that the all-American visage of Big Ben is gone forever.
Roethlisberger underwent seven hours of reconstructive surgery at Mercy Hospital to repair facial injuries sustained in a violent crash while driving his motorcycle last week. He remains in seclusion. Dr. Jack Napier, the surgeon who led the team that tried to restore Roethlisberger’s boyish good looks, was still upset he couldn’t do more. “Obviously, the shock of the accident did an immense amount of damage to Ben’s features. The green hair, the almost ghost-like pallor of his skin, and the grotesque, twisted shape of his mouth are irreversible. I only wish he hadn’t followed through on that endorsement deal with Revlon, because the lipstick he’s wearing does nothing but accentuate an already fiendish countenance.”
Roethlisberger’s agent, Leigh Steinberg, said his client was suffering no side effects from the crash or the surgery. “He’s still got his impish, maniacal laugh, and his sense of humor. Just last night he tried to squirt me in the eye with a novelty flower, and he’s been entertaining himself by electrocuting his guests with a joy buzzer.” Steinberg also said that Roethlisberger was spending a great deal of time during his convalescence contemplating life after football. When asked if Big Ben was considering a career as an arch criminal, Steinberg was coy. “We’re not ruling anything out,” he said.