Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ben Roethlisberger has advice for Sid, and other news on Crosby's broken jaw

By Finesse

In the Post-Gazette this morning, Sean Hamill gives all Penguins fans at least a little reason to exhale.  He interviewed David Dattilo, the director of oral and maxillofacial surgery for West Penn Allegheny Health System, about the healing process for broken jaws held together by titanium plates.  With the obvious caveat that Dattilo is not Crosby's doctor (Sid is being treated at UPMC), the high-level overview is still (relatively) good news: Assuming no setbacks, and assuming that Sid keeps up his diet (which he surely will), he's looking at a return to action in 3-4 weeks, possibly even without special protective head gear.  The Pens' first playoff game should be May 1st, which would be 32 days (4.5 weeks) after the injury.

Crosby released an email that is notable only for the fact that it confirms that Sid's personality is unchanged by this latest injury: he remains one of the most boring quotes in professional sports.

What makes this all so wonderful is that Dattilo's Patient X for being so confident that Crosby will be back in 3-4 weeks is none other than Ben Roethlisberger.

Get ready for some leadership. 
When a Chrysler New Yorker had the unfortunate luck to crash into Roethlisberger's head in June 2006, Ben suffered a broken jaw that was reportedly treated using the same titanium plate procedure that was used on Crosby.  Big Ben, not known for missing an opportunity to be dramatic, showed up at training camp a month after the accident, none the worse for wear.

Ben at training camp in 2006 telling fans he's starting to feel a little tightness in his appendix.
It's not a coincidence that Big Ben's own plight has now been interwoven with the Penguins during the latter's potentially historic run of excellence.  We've been speculating on Twitter for the past week that Ben WILL insert himself into the Penguins' Cup push in some fashion.  That's how Ben is Ben. We assumed it just be Ben yukking it up with Mario in the owner's box, something that everyone who loves Mario simply chooses to pretend never happens.

Our reflex is to believe this is photoshopped. 
But now that his involvement is injury-related, Ben gets to be more Ben-like than even Ben thought Ben would get to be.  We reached out to Ben via email to see if he had any advice to offer Sid on recovering from a broken jaw.  Here's his reply.
I had a jaw in 2006. Having a jaw is not the same as a shoulder or a knee or a rib.  The thing is, when I had my jaw I also had a shoulder, a knee, a few ribs, and a head.  Then I got the appendix so that makes it a little different.  Anyway, the hardest part about having a jaw is that it makes it harder to communicate with my guys. Sometimes you just want to grab your men and say 'Great job, Tone,' but you can't. But one time before training camp I actually reached into my mouth, unscrewed the titanium plates, pulled Jeff Hartings aside and said, 'Great job, JH.'  We're just one big family here in Pittsburgh and I know that Sid's brothers will look out for him and I consider all those guys my brothers so I'll be looking out for them, too.  Family first.


  1. Also in good news: the hideous, cursed blue sweaters are no more. Huzzah! (I would have preferred that decision to be made before another injury, but at the very least, I don't have to look at them any more.)

    1. Yes, thank God. Only about two years too late, but still.

  2. If there is one good thing to come from this tragic incident (outside of the discontinued blue sweaters), its the opportunity to weave Big Ben into the equation. Brothers. LGP.