From ESPN’s Darren Rovell back in 2004:
Jeff Trebac is sometimes sorry he even invented the “Roethlisburger.”
Last month, as the owner of Peppi’s, Trebec dreamed up the sandwich of ground beef, sausage, scrambled eggs, grilled onions and American cheese. But ever since the sandwich’s namesake — Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — has been torching NFL defenses, the demand for the local hero’s hero has made lines longer and the space on the grills in his four shops limited.
“It’s out of freaking control,” said Trebec, who this week has been selling more than 150 Roethlisburgers a day for $7 apiece, not including tax. Roethlisberger wears number 7. “People are coming all the way from Ohio (his home state) to get them. The problem is, it’s a logistical nightmare. It takes more than 10 minutes to make it and we need more grills if this keeps up.”
Those who finish the sandwich, which weighs about a pound, can even buy a t-shirt that reads, “I tackled the ‘Roethlisburger.'”
Roethlisberger, who was the No. 11 overall pick in this year’s draft, is quickly emerging on the radar of the league’s most marketable players. Not only has Roethlisberger become the first rookie in the NFL to win his first five starts since Phil Simms accomplished the feat in 1979, but he also won his fifth straight game last Sunday by stopping the New England Patriots’ 21-game winning streak. That game was the most watched game on CBS this season, drawing 21.3 million viewers.
“We’ve been flooded with calls,” said his agent Leigh Steinberg. “But it’s too quick for us to respond because we want him to concentrate on the field. With Troy Aikman and Steve Young, we waited to do anything major until a few years into their career and it worked out.”
Steinberg says he has no intention of calling Trebac any time soon to insist that his client get a cut of sales from the “Roethlisburger.”
“We’ll let it run for a little while, since it’s funny more than anything,” Steinberg said. “You can get into policing it, but we probably wouldn’t do that unless a major chain started doing something.”
Steinberg should pay attention. The way Roethlisberger is playing, Peppi’s may turn into a major chain sometime in the very near future.
You can read the rest here, but don’t blame us if you leave the site hungry!
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