I can only imagine what went through Ben’s mind when Ravens Nose Tackle (irony obvious) Haloti Ngata broke his nose in the game in Baltimore on Sunday.
Early in the game he took a punch to the face from Ngata right through his face mask causing a bloody broken nose. The telestrator traced the shape in a screen shot that showed his schnoz in the shape of sideways “v.” There had to be some trauma to his state of mind given his history and it must have hurt like bloody hell. He also had an injured foot and was playing with a specially fitted shoe.
I have been the recipient of an elbow jab to the face delivered completely out of the blue by an impulsive teen in a residential treatment home, which sent me into a state of shock and gave me a taste of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) — I was afraid to go near that teen or in the room where the indicent occurred for weeks.
So my theory on Ben’s lack luster performance in the game is that he was having flashbacks about his motorcycle accident a couple of years ago which required extensive cosmetic surgery to close the cuts and repair the bones in his face.
Ben played every minute of that game and played DOWN the attack afterwards even though his nose started bleeding again during a post game interview. But we barely squeaked out a win and Ben’s poor performance was part of the problem. I can’t blame him for lack of concentration after that hit. I CAN blame coach Tomlin for not sitting him out for the quarter.
Today the NFL fined Ngata (see link above). It was a dirty hit and it was completely ignored by the referees on the field. So it is wise that the NFL took some action lest it appear that there is a contract out on the Steelers by la Famiglia (not to be confused with the fan group Steel City Mafia’s famiglia). But $15,000 compared with the numbers James Harrison has been charged this season for hits that didn’t break anybody’s nose amounts to chump change for Ngata. If I were him, I would find a reason to be off the active roster next time Baltimore plays Pittsburgh. Because, as they say, “paybacks are a bitch.”