"Hard fought. Obviously we're disappointed. For me, it's even more disappointing because I felt like I left a lot of people down."
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was denied his third career world championship losing to the Green Bay Packers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday night.
He said he felt bad not only for himself but for his teammates. "You know me, I hate to lose, especially when you feel like you're letting down guys that really stepped up in a big way, so it's really hard."
Roethlisberger sat at the podium, his eyes red from tears, staring straight ahead with lightbulbs flashing and answering questions.
So many of us thought the Steelers would do it when Roethlisberger got the ball late in the fourth quarter. We've seen this script before and a 32-31 Steelers victory seemed to be in the making. Roethlisberger said he told his guys in the huddle before the final drive, "'I believe in you guys and we can do this.' I think we all really felt like we could."
He took a share of the blame for the loss and the stats may agree with two interceptions to his name. "We're a team of fighters. We don't quit. We believe in each other. We were going to fight all the way to the last second, which I think we did. If I had played a little better, I feel like we would have had a better chance to win the game."
You can tell he was hurting. Even from my perspective, who didn't lose anything, it was hard to watch. He referenced several times letting his teammates down and that his own performance likely cost his team the game.
"It's not fun. I hate to lose."