In what should be a hot Sunday in Tampa, a nice guy will get the chance to finish first for once, or at least a chance to start. On Wednesday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced to the football consuming world, that Charlie Batch would line up under center, when the Black and Gold meet up with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This isn’t about Ben Roethlisberger, or the 2010 expectations for the season, simply its about a guy getting his due.
Since Big Ben has been on hiatus, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have watched Byron Leftwich lose a chance to man the helm with an injury, and most recently – – the more athletic Dennis Dixon succumbed to the injury bug against Tennessee. The fourth quarterback in the pecking order gets the nod. What an odd season for Pittsburgh.
But lets not shed tears Steeler Nation, this is a good thing. Charlie Batch the longtime caddie for Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox and Kordell Stewart gets his chance. The guy who wasn’t supposed to be here is going to play in a professional football game in Tampa.
Surely, the Nation knows that Charlie Batch has started before for Pittsburgh, and won some important games. Those efforts are not forgotten, no, not at all. But this is something different, this is about a guy who has quietly gone about his business in a low-key fashion, and has been supportive of all the quarterbacks who started in Pittsburgh during his tenure. Even when he might have been the better solution during the Cowher and Tomlin era’s, respectively.
In an age where Brett Farve needs to be begged off the couch to play a kids game for a bucket of cash, and Darrell Revis won’t play even though he has a contract and several buckets of cash; Charlie Batch hangs in there like a comfortable pair of jeans. It is well noted, every time a Steeler quarterback comes off the field, whether it be a touchdown or a costly pick, Batch is there to review the pictures, causing a stir he is not.
In an era where every player has something to sell, a charity to promote, but not actively support; Batch humbly dedicates himself to his own foundations in the Pittsburgh area; keeping at risk youth out of sticky situations, while promoting their educational prowess. If not mentioned in recent broadcasts, many would not know the good deeds Batch is fulfilling. After all, he is the quiet one. Accountable and stable. After all again, in his prior life for better or for worse, Charlie Batch was the best quarterback the Detroit Lions had witnessed up close since, well, who knows…
But that is Batch, he was the best quarterback in Detroit during his time, until he was cast off and quietly signed in his native Pittsburgh.
So here is Charlie Batch, the quiet professional, starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If this is his last shot at significant playing time, he will be remembered for doing so much, while having little opportunities, but so much success. It may get hot in Tampa on Sunday, but Charlie Batch will remain as he is, collected and calm in the conditions that are presented.