Former Ravens wide receiver Qadry Ismail’s matchups against the Steelers came before the Ben Roethlisberger era kicked off, but the WJZ-TV analyst has watched the quarterback face off against the Ravens as much as anyone.
The Ravens-Steelers regular-season finale Jan. 9 will likely mark Roethlisberger’s last game in the NFL, with Pittsburgh facing long odds to make the playoffs and the quarterback having strongly hinted that his career is coming to a close. So Ravens fans in attendance will have a choice to make. Do they offer Roethlisberger polite applause at the appropriate time? Or do they treat the future Hall of Famer as they always have?
Ismail, the Super Bowl champ who played for the Ravens from 1999-2001, offered a suggestion for those fans on Glenn Clark Radio Jan. 5.
“I think they should respectfully, standing up, acknowledge him and boo the shit out of him,” Ismail quipped.
And why is that?
“This is Pittsburgh and Baltimore,” Ismail explained. “This ain’t some nicey-nicey, ‘Oh yeah, we love you.'”
What if the Ravens want to put together a video to honor Roethlisberger during a timeout on the field? What would Ismail like to have in the video?
“I think their form of appreciation would be showing Haloti Ngata, would be showing Bart Scott, would be showing [Terrell Suggs] all just making plays on Big Ben,” Ismail said. “That’s the ultimate sign of respect, though, in my opinion.”
Roethlisberger has played 26 regular-season games against the Ravens, winning 16 of those contests. He has thrown for 6,399 yards and 42 touchdowns while completing 61.3 percent of his throws against Baltimore. He’s also played against the Ravens three times in the playoffs, winning twice — including once en route to a Super Bowl title.
Former Ravens edge defender Adalius Thomas, who played in Baltimore from 2000-2006, agreed with Ismail that neither the Ravens nor their fans should treat Roethlisberger with pomp and circumstance — at least not before or during the game. No ovations, no messages on the big board, no honoring him during a timeout.
“No, no, hell no,” Thomas said on GCR Jan. 6. “Listen, we can give him his standing ovation at the end of the game when the game is over, like players shaking hands, ‘Hey man, nice playing against you,’ whatever it is. Before the game, during the game, you mean absolutely nothing to me. I would have sportsmanship after I beat your tail.”
Thomas would be open to the Ravens displaying a message on the big board thanking Roethlisberger for helping make the Ravens-Steelers rivalry what it is, but only once the game is over or well in hand.
“I like the sportsmanship or showing a classy move. I agree with that,” said Thomas, who was the first player to intercept Roethlisberger. “But I am not about to honor you in my stadium when I’m trying to win and have a chance to go to the playoffs. Are you crazy?”
For more from Ismail, listen here:
For more from Thomas, listen here:
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