PITTSBURGH - The doctors and nurses at Mercy Hospital and Steeler team officials expressed concern today over reports that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, injured when his motorcycle collided with a vehicle on Monday, thinks he is game show host Gene Rayburn.
Among other things, Mr. Roethlisburger has requested his tailor to add super-wide lapels to the standard issue blue hospital gown he is currently wearing.
Mr. Rayburn, who hosted the popular nineteen-seventies game show “Match Game,” is said to be en route to Mercy Hospital in an attempt to convince Mr. Roethlisberger of his true identity. Late yesterday, the head nurse on duty became alarmed when Mr. Roethlisberger awakened after seven hours in surgery and began shouting for “Brett” and “Charles.”
Authorities now suspect that Mr. Roethlisberger/Rayburn was looking for Brett Sommers, the former Mrs. Jack Klugman, and Charles Nelson Reilly, the ascot wearing, snickering fop who was the Ms. Sommers' comic foil during the show's long run. The staff became increasingly worried when Mr. Roethlisberger began ending each one of his sentences with the word “blank.” One official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Roethlisberger was muttering things like “she put it in her blank” and “so I stuffed it down my blank.” When the physician on rounds came to read his chart this morning, Roethlisberger allegedly told him “THIS IS JOHNNY OLSON SPEAKING. MATCH GAME IS A MARK GOODSON BILL TODDMAN PRODUCTION!”
Doctors say it is not uncommon for individuals who suffer traumatic head injuries to experience a variety of side effects, including amnesia. It is not known whether Mr. Roethlisberger will regain his identity before the regular season opener. If he is unable to remember who he is, it is likely Homestead native Charlie Batch would be pressed into duty, with former Match Game host Gene Rayburn as his back-up.