Last Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger passed John Elway on the all-time list of game-winning drives with 41. This week, Roethlisberger returns to the stadium where his childhood idol played.
"That's why I wear 7, because of (Elway)," said Roethlisberger, "A hero of mine growing up. Anytime you get in the record books, it's humbling and means a lot. When your name is as close to his and you get to pass him, it's just an honor."
Growing up in Findlay, Ohio, Roethlisberger admired a legendary foursome of 1980s quarterbacks: Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana and Jim Kelly, who's a close family friend now.
Roethlisberger, who was a big 49ers fan but always loved watching Elway in particular, let Elway know in person why he wears No. 7 during one of many pleasant exchanges over the years. Despite outdistancing Elway in all-time passing yards earlier this year, Roethlisberger knows Elway could do a few things he can't.
"I joked that he could throw a ball through a car wash and it wouldn't get wet," said Roethlisberger, who has 54,267 yards compared to Elway's 51,475. "Just such a big arm. Not really a runner but would run. I think that's kind of been my game. I'm not a running quarterback, but you're not afraid to run and get the yards when you need to. Those kind of things I kind of just mold my game after. I wish my arm was as strong as his, though."