View Full Version : Roethlisberger, fiancee find acceptance at Christ Church

07-18-2011, 02:52 AM
Roethlisberger, fiancee find acceptance at Christ Church

Monday, July 18, 2011


It is not uncommon to see Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and fiancee Ashley Harlan stay after Sunday service at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township, mingling with parishioners where the couple will marry this weekend, a pastor at the church said.

"Ben and Ashley have been very consistent and genuine in their worship," the Rev. Bruce Cote, senior associate pastor and interim lead pastor, said Sunday. "I often see them talking with other people before and after services."

The couple joined the church about a year ago. After they did, a letter was sent to parishioners asking them to treat Roethlisberger like any other member. Cote said it is hard to know what Roethlisberger goes through, being such a popular sports figure, but added he and Harlan have embraced the church community.

"That is refreshing," Cote said. " 'Good job' I say to how they handle themselves."

Christ Church at Grove Farm offers two choices of worship. Roethlisberger and Harlan enjoy what is called the "Third Service," held in Wilson Hall. It provides high-energy music and a media-driven experience.


Their wedding most likely will be in the Sanctuary, which holds 1,300 people. Sanctuary services are a blend of traditional and contemporary styles in which music is presented by an instrumental ensemble, a robed choir and clergy, and a liturgical style of worship.

The Lakeside Cafe also is an important part of the Sunday experience for Roethlisberger and Harlan. It is centrally located and serves as a bridge between the Sanctuary and Third Service. It is where members mingle before and after services and have a cup of coffee, sandwich or pastry.

Cote is unsure how Roethlisberger and Harlan came to worship at the church but said other Steelers players are members.

Founded in 1995, the nondenominational church was formed from the Episcopal/Anglican tradition of worship and theology, which is reflected in the worship style of the church's Sanctuary services. Christ Church at Grove Farm is more than 2,000 members strong. Most attend one of two Sunday services every week.

The first Christ Church service was held in the ballroom of the Sewickley Country Inn on, coincidentally, July 23, the same day as Roethlisberger and Harlan's planned nuptials.

One of the greeters said yesterday that Roethlisberger and Harlan are a wonderful couple who attend service weekly when they are in town and that both come from Christian households from which their foundation of faith was formed.


"I know Ben's parents, and they are pillars of faith," Cote said. "And as you know, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1SQflEy8B (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_747216.html#ixzz1SQflEy8B)

07-18-2011, 06:17 AM
:tt2 :Bow

Great Article. :Clap :Clap :Clap Go Ben!

07-18-2011, 09:15 AM
I wish them health, happiness and joy for many years to come. I hope that she is a stabilizing influence and Ben thrives both on and off the field.

07-18-2011, 08:29 PM
Cool. Hopefully they have a community of believers there that will allow them to build healthy relationships as a couple and outside the game.

07-20-2011, 02:31 AM
Matchup between Roethlisberger and Ashley Harlan declared 'destiny'

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Ashley Harlan

So, where's the party?

Nobody will say, but wedding planner Sheila Weiner last week visited the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and vendors are setting up for a banquet Saturday in the Spirit of Pittsburgh ballroom.

"Who it is and what it's for and who the VIPs are, I don't know," said general manager Mark Leahy.

The 31,000-square-foot space offers views of Downtown from the center's third floor and rents for $8,500 a day. Vendors include Premier Foliage & Flowering Inc. and Vanilla Pastry Studio, both of East Liberty, and Hepatica, a florist in Regent Square.

The couple bought their wedding rings at Henne Jewelers in Shadyside.

Sally Hiers remembers Ashley Harlan's 6-year-old face beaming when they met long ago at First Alliance Church in New Castle, Harlan's hometown.

"She was such a happy little girl who loved sports and loved going to church," Hiers said of Harlan, 26, who on Saturday will become the wife of Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers' two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback. "She has grown into a beautiful young woman."

Pittsburgh's royal wedding is set for Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township, the couple's place of worship for the past year. Although most people are familiar with the groom, many don't know much about the bride-to-be, who met Roethlisberger at training camp in 2005. The couple has dated on and off since. News of their engagement broke about seven months ago.

In June, Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review that he and Harlan share at least one trait: "Pretty competitive, but I don't know anybody as competitive as me."

Harlan and Roethlisberger declined to be interviewed for this story.

Friends, coaches and others who know Harlan, who celebrated her birthday Sunday, describe the physician's assistant at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland as smart, athletic and down to earth.

"Ashley is a fine young woman -- young lady, I should say," said the Rev. Jerry McCauley, who was pastor at First Alliance Church for 11 years, including when Harlan was born.

McCauley and his wife have a photograph of Harlan at age 10 that hangs on their refrigerator in the Lake Placid, Fla., home where they moved when he retired. McCauley said he was close with Harlan's family -- parents David and Jeannie, and brothers Brandon, a teacher near Grove City, and Brent, an accountant in New Castle.

"That is one of the finest Christian families I've ever met in my life," McCauley said.

Hiers of New Wilmington isn't surprised that Harlan is marrying an athlete. Harlan played for hours in the church gym before becoming a three-sport star at Laurel High School, where she graduated in 2004, and playing softball at St. Francis University in Loretto.

Harlan played volleyball, basketball and softball in high school. She was a member of the homecoming court -- and a tremendous student, said Terry Watters, who coached her in volleyball and basketball.

"At Laurel, she was one of the socialites, one of the most popular girls in school," Watters said.

Harlan was part of a volleyball team in 2000 that holds a special place in Watters' heart. The Lady Spartans won the WPIAL Class AA championship that season, the year Watters' brother, Donald, was killed by his estranged wife.

"Going through the season, everything just fell in place," Watters said. "I can't thank those kids enough."

The two saw each other last month at a wedding in New Castle.

"We hugged, and I said, 'I just wish you the best,' " Watters said.

Hiers said she was one of the first people Harlan called after getting engaged over the Christmas holiday.

"I think she and Ben ... it is destiny," Hiers said. "You can just see the chemistry between them."

Roethlisberger twice in recent years was accused of sexually assaulting women, once in Nevada and then in Georgia. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger four games last season for the incident in Milledgeville, Ga., though authorities did not charge him with a crime. Roethlisberger still faces a civil lawsuit over the Lake Tahoe allegations.

He asked permission from Harlan's father to marry his daughter, and spoke with her brothers before asking her to marry him, McCauley said.

"If Ben's life was still in disarray, Dave and Jeannie Harlan would not have given permission," McCauley said. "He has made quite a turnaround."

Sabrina Lane Graham, Harlan's former softball coach at St. Francis, said Harlan is not interested in marrying Roethlisberger just because he is a star.

"For me, Ashley is Ashley," Lane Graham said. "She would not be doing this if this isn't who she was meant to be with. ... She is not looking for attention."

Roethlisberger and Harlan are expected to live in the six-bedroom, nearly 11,000-square-foot house in Hampton he bought in 2006 for more than $2 million, county real estate records show. He moved his parents from northwest Ohio to a ranch he bought for them outside Pittsburgh. Harlan's family lives in a brown, ranch-style home in rural Hickory near New Castle.

The families blended well, and the parents have spent time together, those familiar with the couple said.

Harlan has a lot in common with Roethlisberger's sister, Carlee, who played basketball at Oklahoma. Her brothers share Roethlisberger's love of the outdoors.

"Ashley has a tomboy side when it comes to sports, and then she can dress up and she is gorgeous," Hiers said. "Ashley can light up a room when she walks into one."

She predicts Harlan can handle being married to a high-profile athlete.

"Ashley is resilient. She is confident and knows who she is," Hiers said. "I think she will have fun dealing with (the limelight)."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ScHqHc00 (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_747514.html#ixzz1ScHqHc00)

07-20-2011, 01:40 PM
Glad you found your better half. Now win another super bowl!

07-22-2011, 03:43 AM
Steelers' Roethlisberger stands by promise

Friday, July 22, 2011


Among testimonials to Ben Roethlisberger's vowed change in behavior and image, the Rev. Bruce Cote's stands above the rest.

"In a day and age when it is so much easier to go down a different road, Ben has chosen to go God's way," said Cote, senior associate pastor and interim lead pastor at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township. "He sets a wonderful example for children. He is a good role model, and he is doing it God's way. He has proven he has changed."

Roethlisberger plans to marry New Castle native Ashley Harlan, 26, on Saturday at Christ Church, almost seven years after he burst onto the Pittsburgh scene as the Steelers' rookie quarterback — and set the stage for his rise and fall from grace.

Had people been polled a year ago about the least likely things to happen in 2011, Roethlisberger getting married probably would have fallen somewhere between the Pirates becoming baseball's hottest story and Facebook driving a revolution in Egypt.

His image had been tarnished and his career put in jeopardy after a second sexual assault allegation in two years. He vowed to change.

Based on interviews with friends and critics, it seems as though Roethlisberger has made good on his promise.

The Steelers have generated troubling headlines this offseason. None have come because of Roethlisberger.

"I wasn't making changes for other people," Roethlisberger said. "I was doing it for myself. Just wanted to do the right things and be the person that I know who I am and can be."

Roethlisberger and Harlan became engaged at the end of 2010 after an on-and-off, five-year courtship.

The man who once dated celebrities such as LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis and actress Missy Peregrym chuckled when asked recently what constitutes a night of fun now.

"Watching TV, watching movies," he said. "I hang out with the guys and stuff, but I spend a lot of time either here or at my parents' (house outside of Pittsburgh) and hunting and just doing little odds and ends, things around the house."


It beats what people called him 16 months ago after he was accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Milledgeville, Ga. That followed allegations — and a still-pending civil lawsuit — that he sexually assaulted a casino worker in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

Authorities did not charge Roethlisberger in either incident, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for six games — it was later reduced to four — at the start of last season.

That's a world ago, said Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel, one of Roethlisberger's closest friends on the team.

"He's in a great place right now," Keisel said. "He is more upbeat, and I think he has life figured out and where he wants to go and who he wants to be. It's good to see that as a friend. He's been to hell and back."


Local restaurateur Mark Baranowski serves as a barometer in gauging progress Roethlisberger has made in rehabilitating his image.

Baranowski ripped Roethlisberger in a May 2010 Sports Illustrated cover story titled "The Hangover" for the do-you-know-who-I-am behavior he said Roethlisberger routinely exhibited at his Wexford tavern, The Cabana Bar.

Rather than experience fan backlash, Baranowski said people approached him with their own stories about Roethlisberger behaving badly.

Baranowski said he still hears stories about Roethlisberger. But they are different now.

"I've been hearing all good," said Baranowski, who also owns the North Park Lounge restaurants in Cranberry and McCandless.

Baranowski said Roethlisberger ate dinner at his McCandless restaurant late last summer. The two-time Super Bowl winner signed autographs and was a "perfect gentleman."

"I don't have anything bad to say," Baranowski said. "It really seems like he's turned it around."

Image experts generally agree.

"It seems like Ben made really good strides in one year to improve the way people perceive him," said Darin David, an account director for The Marketing Arm, a Dallas-based sports consulting firm. "Whether that was calculated or came as a result of soul-searching, it's hard to know."

The strides Roethlisberger has made aren't reflected in his popularity, according to David's firm.

Roethlisberger's awareness among consumers jumped from 55.6 percent in August 2009 to 76.2 percent in March, but his appeal declined dramatically during that period, according to The Marketing Arm.

Eighty-two percent of consumers who knew of Roethlisberger in August 2009 liked him to some degree. That had dipped to 54 percent in March.

There is an element of cynicism that has come with Roethlisberger's changes. That, in part, is because they have been so drastic but also because Roethlisberger has followed "the P.R. handbook as far as what you need to do when you get in that difficult situation," said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco.

Rick Kaiser, 62, of Neville Island, said he would "give it another year" before believing the changes Roethlisberger has made are genuine.

"He didn't have a choice but to change," Kaiser said.

"For his sake, I hope he did (change)," said Jennifer Matejka, 40, of Independence Township. "He represents Pittsburgh. He needs to walk on eggshells."

Roethlisberger has acknowledged that rebuilding his image — and regaining fans' trust — is an extensive process that comes with time and actions beyond beating the Baltimore Ravens in January.

"People say, 'Oh, you've made these changes,' " Roethlisberger said. "I'm just living my life and being me."

Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review in September — three days before Goodell reduced his suspension for violating the league's personal conduct policy — that he had returned to his roots and his faith.

Ten months later, Roethlisberger said religion is as important to him as ever.

"I feel like my faith has gotten even strong than where it was before," he said. "I love my church and the church family."


Roethlisberger and Harlan became members of Christ Church of Grove Farm about a year ago and regularly attend when in town, Cote said.

Roethlisberger credits the parish with helping him get back on track after an oversized sense of entitlement turned him into the stereotypical self-indulged professional athlete.

"He took on a change with a humble approach, as far as learning that maybe I wasn't the best guy, I wasn't the best teammate, I wasn't the best person at times," Steelers right tackle Willie Colon said. "I think he's made an extremely conscious effort of being more up and up to guys on the team, being more vocal, off the field being more humble to people that are around him."

Roethlisberger still is fiercely competitive, even when shooting balls of tape into a garbage can with teammates before and after practices.

But he also is thinking about more than just games these days. He wants to become a father.

"It's supposedly one of the greatest things that could ever happen," Roethlisberger said.

First things first: the wedding. A new chapter in Roethlisberger's life — and a symbol, according to those closest to him, of how different a place he is in compared to a year ago.

"I'm very comfortable, and I'm at peace," Roethlisberger said. "I'm happy with who I am."


Here is a look at Ben Roethlisberger's highs and lows since the Steelers took him 11th overall in the 2004 NFL draft:

Sept. 26, 2004: Making his first NFL start, Roethlisberger throws for 163 yards and a TD, as the Steelers beat the Dolphins, 13-3, in Miami.

Dec. 26, 2004: Roethlisberger throws for 221 yards and TD in beating the Ravens and becoming first QB in NFL history to go 13-0 in the regular season.

Feb. 5, 2006: Doesn't have his best game, but Steelers beat Seattle Seahawks in Detroit, making Roethlisberger, at age 23, the youngest QB to win a Super Bowl.

June 12, 2006: Roethlisberger is seriously injured after he collides with a car on Second Avenue while riding his motorcycle. He undergoes successful surgery to repair multiple facial fractures, as fans hold vigil outside of hospital.

Oct. 29, 2006: A week after suffering a concussion, Roethlisberger throws four INTs for the first time in his career, as the Steelers lose to the lowly Raiders in Oakland.

Sept 9, 2007: Roethlisberger throws four TDs, as Steelers rout Browns in coach Mike Tomlin's debut; he goes on to set Steelers' single-season record with 32 TD passes.

Feb 1, 2009: Roethlisberger caps an eight-play, 78-yard drive near the end of Super Bowl XLIII with a for-the-ages TD pass to Santonio Holmes in corner of the end zone. The 27-23 victory makes him only the 10th QB to win multiple Super Bowls.

July 23, 2009: Roethlisberger, reading a statement at the Steelers' South Side practice facility, denies an accusation that he sexually assaulted a casino worker the previous year in Lake Tahoe, Nev.; the women named Roethlisberger in a civil lawsuit less than a week earlier.

Dec. 20, 2009: Roethlisberger throws for a franchise-record 503 yards, and his 19-yard TD pass on final play of the game gives the Steelers a pulsating 37-36 win over the Green Bay Packers at Heinz Field.

March 5, 2010: Roethlisberger is accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in the bathroom of a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub.

April 13, 2010: Ocmulgee District Attorney Fred Bright announces that criminal charges won't be filed against Roethlisberger but chides the QB, saying he needed to "grow up."

April 21, 2010: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Roethlisberger for first six games of the 2010 season and orders him to undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation.

Sept. 3, 2010: Goodell reduces suspension four games because of good behavior.

Oct. 17, 2010: Returning to largely cheers at Heinz Field, Roethlisberger throws for 257 yards and three TDs in 28-10 win over the Browns.

Dec. 5, 2010: Playing through a broken nose suffered early in the game, Roethlisberger throws a 9-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter as the Steelers beat the Ravens in Baltimore.

Jan 4, 2011: Roethlisberger sidesteps a question of whether he is engaged, telling reporters he doesn't talk about his personal life; it later comes out Roethlisberger is engaged to New Castle native Ashley Harlan.

Feb. 1, 2011: With a chance to lead the Steelers to victory in Super Bowl XLV, Roethlisberger and the offense manage one first down before turning the ball over on downs in a 31-25 loss to the Packers.

July 13, 2011: In excerpts released from Men's Journal story on James Harrison, the Steelers outside linebacker is critical of Roethlisberger's performance in the Super Bowl loss.

July 23, 2011: Roethlisberger and Harlan are scheduled to marry.

— Tribune-Review reporter JoAnne Klimovich Harrop contributed to this report.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1SoHYBgVC (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_747910.html#ixzz1SoHYBgVC)

07-22-2011, 10:42 PM
Roethlisberger, Fiancée Release Rehearsal Dinner Photos


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ben Roethlisberger and Ashley Harlan tie the knot tomorrow, but tonight, the couple released pictures from their rehearsal dinner.

The couple will marry on Saturday at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township.

The two have been attending services at the nondenominational church for the past 18 months.

More than 500 guests are expected to attend the nuptials.

Details of the service are under wraps, but it will sound traditional. Attendees can expect music, Bible readings, no communion, and words similar to the Anglican or Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer.

http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/07/ ... er-photos/ (http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2011/07/22/roethlisberger-fiancee-release-rehearsal-dinner-photos/)

07-23-2011, 01:42 AM
Ben and Ashley ask for charitable gifts

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ben Roethlisberger and his bride-to-be made it known to guests they don't need a Cuisinart food processor, a set of 700-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets or Mikasa place settings.

They'll forgo the typical wedding gifts in favor of charitable contributions. Executives with charities say the practice, made widely known when Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton married in April, appears to be catching on with, well, common folk.

"A lot of people think it's a one-off that Hollywood people do, but it's something that most people can incorporate into their own wedding," said Kendall Webb, executive director of San Francisco-based JustGive.org, a website for charitable giving. "Now, the majority of people doing it are everyday people."

Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger, who has an eight-year, $102 million contract, today weds Ashley Harlan, a New Castle native who works as a physician's assistant at UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland. The couple plans to distribute guests' contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Pittsburgh and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

"I have quite a few things here at my house," Roethlisberger recently told the Tribune-Review. "Rather than get a bunch of wedding gifts, I figured why not do something that's kind of fun and unique, and she was absolutely all for it."

"We are thrilled," said Eleanor Reigel, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing and support for families of children undergoing medical treatment.

This is the first time the local organization has received donations from a charitable wedding, Reigel said. Roethlisberger helped the charity financially with a move from Shadyside to Lawrenceville and sometimes visits families or serves meals, she said.

The wedding money will help cover expenses for families, Reigel said. "We would never, ever turn away a family who needed to stay here. Ben and Ashley's generosity will help us with that. ... I hope it's a trend."

Children's Hospital did not say how it would use money it receives. Spokesman Marc Lukasiak said the hospital is "grateful for the support we've received from the Steelers organization and its players over the decades, and we truly appreciate the fact that Mr. Roethlisberger and his fiancee would think of Children's and our friends the Ronald McDonald House as they prepare for their wedding."

When William and Kate wed, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they asked guests to contribute to a fund for distribution among 26 charities, many supporting disadvantaged children. The amount raised wasn't made public.

"I think this is the tipping point for people realizing they can do this, too," Webb said.

The I Do Foundation, founded in 2002 to help facilitate charitable weddings and acquired in 2009 by JustGive.org, has helped more than 40,000 couples raise about $6 million for charities.

"I think it's going to become one of the main categories of registries," Webb said. "It's still sort of new but I think in another 10 years, it will be normal."

The phenomenon makes sense to Jeff Galak, an assistant professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

"I don't necessarily think people are more altruistic, but now people are older and wealthier when they get married," Galak said. "But it's a good trend for a lot of people -- charities, of course, couples not encumbered with stuff they don't want or need, and the groups who charge for these services."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1Ste93rxf (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_748080.html#ixzz1Ste93rxf)

07-23-2011, 09:04 PM
Guests take to convention center for Roethlisberger reception

Saturday, July 23, 2011
By Dan Majors, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Dan Rooney exits a vehicle at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown.

Guests arrived at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for a reception following the wedding ceremony for Ben Roethlisberger and Ashley Harlan at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Ohio Township.

The gala theme is anything but black and gold. Think: cream drapes with gray and pink accents.

Guests are filing upstairs to a cocktail reception in the convention center's Concourse B, overlooking the Allegheny River. There are refreshment stations and sofas with the pillows embroidered with the letters A and B with a big R.

Tri State Valet on Greentree Road and Regency Transportation on Beaver Avenue are providing the limousines.

Security for the event has been tight. The people working there have been doing so under the direction that they are setting up a movie production.

Workers were not permitted to have cell phones in the ballroom.

Wedding planner Sheila Weiner of The Event Group, on Washington Boulevard in the East End, orchestrated the behind-the-scenes work, making sure that all the pieces came together as seamlessly as possible.

Pink and white roses fill the ballroom, which is set up for dinner and dancing. Guests will be seated 10 to a table, and each table has a crystal centerpiece vase, more than 2 feet tall, with pink and white roses.

Guests' plates are inscribed with the names of the bride and groom and the date. Beneath each plate there are tea towels embroidered with the letter R.

There are four bars, one in each corner. But there doesn't appear to be a head table. The couple seems to have chosen to be seated in the center of the room.

The bride and groom will be entering through the West Lobby and proceed to the third floor and The Spirit of Pittsburgh Ballroom, a massive space that is usually divided into three smaller rooms, but is opened as a single room to accommodate the more-than-500 invited friends and family members.

The flowers, from Hepatica Florist on South Braddock Avenue, are in place. The Prop Shop on Washington Boulevard is setting up the lights and tables, and Three Rivers Entertainment on Swallow Hill Road is getting the musicians in place.

The food is being supplied by Common Plea Restaurant and Catering on Ross Street, Downtown, and the wedding cake and specialty desserts are from Vanilla Pastry Studio, a boutique bakery on Penn Circle South.

Every special moment will be recorded by Goldstein Photography on Bennington Avenue in Pittsburgh.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11204/11 ... z1SyMJrf9B (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11204/1162556-100.stm#ixzz1SyMJrf9B)

07-24-2011, 09:08 PM
some more pics:


07-25-2011, 02:08 AM
Roethlisberger wedding draws big names, special treatment

Posted by Mike Florio on July 24, 2011


A year after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was nearly run out of Pittsburgh, he got married there.

The wedding included plenty of big names, along with more than a little help from the police. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, guests included Steelers President Emeritus and U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney (pictured), Penguins owner Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, and of course pro wrestler Triple H.

Somewhat more interesting was the wedding party. In addition to the presence of several teammates (including Willie “Sausage Party” Colon, Brett Keisel, Trai Essex, Ramon Foster, Chris Kemoeatu, Doug Legursky, Maurkice Pouncey, and Max Starks), ESPN analyst Merril Hoge and one of Roethlisberger’s notorious Milledgeville bodyguards, Ed Joyner, served as ushers.

Hoge’s role in the wedding comes barely two years after ESPN sustained significant criticism for ignoring a sexual assault lawsuit filed against Roethlisberger in Nevada, based possibly on a too-close-for-comfort relationship with the quarterback. And Hoge took a break from the bash to sound off on reports of looming labor peace, committing along the way a mild case of ESPN-on-ESPN crime.

“NFL is on!” Hoge tweeted. “However I’m at Ben Rothlisberger wedding right now and players that should have voted just heard the news!!”

But Hoge didn’t have his facts straight. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen didn’t report that a vote had been taken by the NFLPA* Executive Committee of board of player representatives; instead, Mort said only that a vote is expected Monday.

In Ohio Township, Pennsylvania, police reportedly blocked access to the church at which the wedding was held “for hours before the ceremony.” Also, Pittsburgh police joined a private security firm to control access to the downtown location of the reception, shutting down 10th Street between Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Penn Avenue. That came after the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department swept the site of the reception with bomb-sniffing dogs.

It’d be interesting to know, at a time when local budgets are increasingly strapped, whether Roethlisberger reimbursed the police departments for the expenses incurred. (The chances of the Pittsburgh media sending FOIA requests to get to the bottom of this are roughly equivalent to the chances of PFT doing it, but for entirely different reasons. The local media has, by all appearances, reattached its lips to the rear end of Roethlisberger after last year’s ugliness. We’re just lazy.)

And, yes, linebacker James Harrison reportedly attended the service. Man, we hope he gave a toast.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... t/related/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/24/roethlisberger-wedding-draws-big-names-special-treatment/related/)

07-25-2011, 06:06 PM
And, yes, linebacker James Harrison reportedly attended the service. Man, we hope he gave a toast.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... t/related/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/24/roethlisberger-wedding-draws-big-names-special-treatment/related/)

THAT I would almost die to hear!! :tt2 :tt1

07-25-2011, 06:17 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/2 ... g_Football (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/24/ben-roethlisberger-ashley-harlan-wedding-photos_n_908013.html#s314722&title=Roethlisberger_Wedding_Football)

Here's some nice pics!

I'm glad to see Ben doesn't look like he's got those 10-15 lbs. extra he had started showing up at camp with until last season. He looks ready to rock!!

07-26-2011, 07:41 AM

Here's some nice pics!

I'm glad to see Ben doesn't look like he's got those 10-15 lbs. extra he had started showing up at camp with until last season. He looks ready to rock!!

I'm more worried about the shape of Big Snack. Hope he's not as overweight as he was a few years back.

07-26-2011, 08:38 AM
Wow! There are some mean spirited comments following the article.

Glad we are gearing up for Steeler football! It seems like a long time already--even though it isn't.