ShareThis Page
‘Little Ben’ born to be Steeler fan |

‘Little Ben’ born to be Steeler fan

| Saturday, June 17, 2006 12:00 a.m

Daddy Jeffrey can’t wait to take Little Ben to see Big Ben play football.

Jeffrey Leonard, of Carroll Township, is a long-time Pittsburgh Steelers football fan; Little Ben was born into it.

Jeffrey and his wife, Dawn, were expecting their first child in January as the Super Bowl approached.

Due to medical problems, Dawn entered Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh a little earlier.

In fact, it was Jan. 22 – the same day the Steelers were playing the Denver Broncos for the AFC championship.

“They gave me Room 7 and we were watching the game,” Dawn said. “The medical staff had attempted to induce labor, but it wasn’t working. During the first quarter they took me to the operating room to perform a C-section. We were back in the room before half-time.”

The couple didn’t know the sex of the baby until it was born.

“If God meant it to be, He would have put a window in my belly,” the new mother quipped. “We wanted to enjoy the surprise when the baby arrived.”

The couple had actually chosen a girl’s name in advance, but hadn’t made a final decision on a name if the baby was a boy.

“Jeff had suggested ‘Benjamin’ early on, but I didn’t make the connection,” Dawn said. “When they put us in Room 7, we just looked at each other and a tentative boy’s name was locked in.” (That’s Ben Roethlisberger’s number.)

The baby turned out to be a boy and he quickly became “Little Ben.”

The hospital staff decorated his bassinet with paper footballs and other Steelers symbols.

A television crew came to announce the event, and the new dad put his baby’s arms up to signal “Go Steelers” in anticipation of the Super Bowl.

Steelers gifts started to pour in for the new baby. Dad bought him a Steelers “onesie” (one-piece garment for newborns).

Maternal grandmother Betty Rutan, of Washington, also figures in this scenario.

Little Ben is her seventh grandson; she has no granddaughters.

The parents said they would love to meet the football hero their baby is named after.

And dad has anxious plans for his son.

“I can’t wait until he can hold a football,” he said.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.