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The Devil Went Down to Pittsburgh
Rick Reilly
November 06, 2006
PLEASE ALLOW me to introduce myself.
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November 06, 2006

The Devil Went Down To Pittsburgh

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PLEASE ALLOW me to introduce myself.

I am Lou Siffer, agent for a Mr. Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback. And I'm coming to you, the fans, for help. Mr. Roethlisberger is in breach of our contract, even though I've held up my end of our bargain.

He stomped into my office two years ago, after he had dropped to the 11th pick in the draft, behind two other quarterbacks—Mr. Manning (the first pick) and Mr. Rivers (the fourth). "I know I'm better than those guys!" he yelled. "And Pittsburgh? The Steelers are pure hell for quarterbacks! They run the ball, dammit !"

My eyebrows arched.

"This is not how my career was supposed to happen!" he moaned. "I mean, I'd give anything to change this!"

"Anything?" I asked.

He spun and looked me right in the eye, slapped his palms on my solid-bone desk and barked, "Anything!"

I punched the intercom. "Miss Jones? Will you kindly bring in the standard contract? It's just like the one in Mr. Tyson's file."

Immediately, the world was his own personal Eden. His coach, Mr. Cowher, started him in just his third game, even though he'd normally rather start a Mafia target's car than a rookie quarterback. In fact, Mr. Roethlisberger went 13--0 in his first year, unheard of in the NFL.

He became the toast of Pittsburgh. More than that, he was the lunch—somebody invented a Roethlis Burger, and the whole city gobbled it up. He began dating a gorgeous pro golfer, Ms. Gulbis. I'd made him a star.

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