Pittsburgh School District Leads Nation In Ability To Spell 'Roethlisberger'

Top Headlines

Sports

‘SportsCenter’ Co-Anchors Clearly Dating

BRISTOL, CT—Saying that the pair could barely take their eyes off one another throughout the hour-long sports news program, ESPN viewers told reporters Friday that it is increasingly clear SportsCenter anchors John Anderson and Matt Barrie are currently dating.

Strongside/Weakside: Alex Morgan

Despite her recent injuries, U.S. striker Alex Morgan is still arguably the most potent goal-scoring threat in women’s soccer. Is she any good?

Despite her recent injuries, U.S. striker Alex Morgan is still arguably the most potent goal-scoring threat in women’s soccer. Is she any good?

Sexist Pig Has No Idea When Team USA Playing Nigeria

‘What Round Is This Again?’ Misogynist Asshole Asks

NORTHFORD, CT—Revealing just how old-fashioned and small-minded he truly is, local sexist pig Jonathan Scott admitted Monday he has no idea what time the U.S. women’s soccer team plays Nigeria tomorrow night, sources reported.

Owner Tearfully Releases American Pharoah After Triple Crown Win

‘You’ve Earned Your Freedom,’ Emotional Horse Owner Says

ELMONT, NY—Overcome with emotion as he described how much he’d miss his “old friend,” the owner of Triple Crown–winner American Pharoah bid a tearful farewell to the colt Monday before granting the horse its freedom, sources confirmed.

Keys To The Matchup: Barcelona vs. Juventus

Barcelona and Juventus go head-to-head in a Champions League final that will be watched by millions of incarcerated soccer executives around the world. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Keys To The Matchup: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in what is likely their last-ever chance to win a championship for Kevin Love. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Cleveland Cavaliers face the Golden State Warriors in what is likely their last-ever chance to win a championship for Kevin Love. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Keys To The Matchup: Blackhawks vs. Lightning

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Stanley Cup Finals matchup that has hockey fans wondering how late they’ll have to fucking stay up to watch overtime. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

The Chicago Blackhawks face the Tampa Bay Lightning in a Stanley Cup Finals matchup that has hockey fans wondering how late they’ll have to fucking stay up to watch overtime. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

FIFA Assures Fans Investigation Won’t Affect 2022 Qatar Slush Fund

ZURICH—Stressing that soccer’s international governing body will continue to conduct business as usual in the face of high-profile fraud charges, FIFA officials assured the public Friday that the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation will in no way affect the 2022 Qatar slush fund.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Hockey Fans Treated To Rare Sighting Of Zamboni Giving Birth

ANAHEIM, CA—With thousands of spectators visibly emotional after witnessing the heartwarming moment, fans at Monday night’s playoff game between the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks were reportedly treated to the rare sight of a pregnant Zamboni giving birth.

James Harden Pretty Sure He Felt Something Pop In Lower Beard

HOUSTON—Expressing concern that the injury could sideline him for the remainder of the postseason, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden confirmed Friday that he felt something pop in his lower beard during last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Strongside/Weakside: James Harden

James Harden has become one of the most potent offensive threats in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 18 years. Is he any good?

James Harden has become one of the most potent offensive threats in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 18 years. Is he any good?

Bored David Blatt Just Drawing Up Plays For Fun During Cavs Game

ATLANTA—Explaining it was merely something to occupy his attention throughout the evening, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt revealed to reporters that he was spending the majority of Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference Finals game against the Atlanta Hawks drawing up plays for fun on the sideline.

Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn Blame Breakup On Hectic Sex Lives

JUPITER ISLAND, FL—Explaining that the pressures of their day-to-day commitments had given them no other choice but to end their three-year relationship, golf star Tiger Woods and Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn released a joint statement Wednesday blaming their breakup on their hectic sex lives.

Draft Pick Hugs Family That Will Bleed Him Dry Over Next 5 Years

CHICAGO—Upon hearing his name announced by commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL draft Thursday, wide receiver Anthony Parker immediately began embracing the family members who will slowly bleed him dry over the next five years, sources confirmed.

Greatest Boxing Matches Of All Time

With Floyd Mayweather Jr. facing Manny Pacquiao this Saturday in what many have dubbed the “Fight of the Century,” Onion Sports looks back at the greatest bouts in boxing history

Little League Pitcher Just Getting Fucking Shelled

RED BANK, NJ—After watching the 11-year-old give up the fourth straight double that inning, sources confirmed Sunday afternoon that local Little League pitcher Dustin Bauer is getting absolutely fucking shelled out there.

Best Playoff Performances In NBA History

With the basketball postseason heating up, Onion Sports looks back at the greatest individual performances in NBA playoff history. Shaquille O’Neal: During the 2001 NBA Finals, O’Neal was absolutely dominant while tearing apart ...

Derrick Rose Pulls Off Perfect 720 At Local Skate Park

CHICAGO—Following his numerous failed attempts at the challenging skateboard trick, sources confirmed Wednesday that Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose successfully landed a perfect 720-degree aerial at a local skate park. Rose reportedly manage...

Keys To The Matchup: Duke vs. Wisconsin

With the NCAA title on the line, Wisconsin faces Duke in a rare national championship game that gives neutral fans only one team to root against. Onion Sports breaks down what each team must do to win.

Kentucky Cancels Practice For NBA Draft Suit Fitting

CLEVELAND, OH—Following the Wildcats’ 78-39 victory over West Virginia in the Sweet 16, Kentucky sources confirmed that coach John Calipari had canceled Friday’s practice so the players could get fitted for NBA draft suits.

The Pros And Cons Of Paying College Athletes

As college athletic programs continue to generate millions of dollars in revenue for their schools, advocates for student-athletes have begun pushing for schools to pay their players, while opponents say that compensating athletes has the potential to ...

Greatest Undefeated Seasons In Sports History

With the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team just four games away from completing a perfect 40-0 season, Onion Sports takes a look back at the greatest undefeated runs in sports history. 1971 Nebraska Cornhuskers: The Univers...

Notable Moves In NFL Free Agency

The first 72 hours of NFL free agency have ranked among the most frenzied and chaotic in league history, with a slew of high-profile players changing teams and signing record deals.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Fantasy Sports

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Preparedness

  • Doctors Recommend Getting 8 Centuries Of Cryosleep

    STANFORD, CA—Claiming that the practice is essential for effectively recharging the body and waking fully rested and alert, doctors at Stanford University issued a report Monday emphasizing the importance of getting at least eight centuries of atomi...

Pittsburgh School District Leads Nation In Ability To Spell 'Roethlisberger'

PITTSBURGH—Just four years ago, then-eighth-grader Heather Lawler had no idea how to spell Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's last name. She would often eliminate the "e" after the "o," or place an extra vowel before the "l."

Sometimes, she even wrote out the last six letters as "burger."

Now a high school senior, Lawler is just one of thousands of Pittsburgh students who will graduate with the ability to spell Roethlisberger in the 97th percentile, a statistic that puts her head and shoulders above millions of students across the United States.

"If you look at the data, our students were correctly spelling Roethlisberger only 43 percent of the time during the quarterback's rookie season," said Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who called the 2004 statistic an embarrassment. "In just five years, we have increased that number to 92 percent. That's 54 percent better than students in California, 35 percent better than those in Oklahoma, and 96 percent better than those in the Cleveland area, who tend to spell Roethlisberger by adding the letters 'u,' 'c,' and 'k' after the letter 's.'"

"The bottom line is the Pittsburgh school system is giving its students a leg up on the competition, not only in America, but throughout the world," Ravenstahl added. "Our kids correctly spelled Roethlisberger 12 times more often than all the students in Europe and Asia combined."

Pittsburgh teachers said that in 2005 they noticed an alarming trend: Students stopped using Roethilsberger's last name in essays and papers, instead referring to the quarterback by his easy-to-spell nickname, "Big Ben." That summer, the Pittsburgh school board took action, eliminating various art courses, American history, and Advanced Placement calculus in favor of a rigorous new curriculum focused squarely on getting its students back on track.

Instead of taking world history, seventh-graders were enrolled in Spelling Roethlisberger I. Geometry and trigonometry were replaced by Advanced Roethlisberger-Memorizing. And rather than "waste time," as Ravenstahl said, in AP chemistry and English, juniors and seniors were required to take an intensive Roethlisberger colloquia, in which they would spend a three-hour class period not only discussing the spelling of Roethlisberger, but the spelling of the names of other Steelers players, such as strong safety Troy Polamalu and left guard Chris Kemoeatu.

According to biology teacher Mark Irwin, who also serves as an interdisciplinary Interpretations of the Spelling of Roethlisberger IV instructor, the current curriculum gives graduating students the skills essential to becoming contributing members of the Pittsburgh community.

"When I was in school, every single one of us knew how to spell Bradshaw," Irwin told reporters. "Granted, Roethlisberger is more difficult, but the world in general is becoming an increasingly demanding place, and we have to prepare our students to meet that demand."

"I'm just happy with how the parents have taken initiative on the home front," Irwin added. "Some of these kids come into eighth grade already knowing how to spell Roethlisberger, which makes things a lot easier on us, and allows teachers to develop their skills even further."

High school principal Dr. Allen Pembrook said that seniors in his school spend the entire second half of the year gearing up to take their RSATs, or Roethlisberger Standardized Assessment Test. During this time, all other courses—even Steelers Defenses 1970 to Present—take a backseat as students prepare for the 17-question exam.

"The first three questions are pretty easy," said high school senior Brent Gerson, referring to the portion of the test in which students are asked to give the first letter of the quarterback's first name, then the second, and finally the third. "The last 14 questions about the last name are pretty hard. There is no letter bank or anything, and it's graded on full completion. But if you remember what you worked on for the last six years, and the student sitting in front of you remembers to wear his Roethlisberger jersey, you should be fine."

Thus far the new curriculum has paid off for students entering the job market, especially those who wish to remain in the city after graduation.

"If you ask me if I would rather hire a kid from Boston with a 4.0 GPA who puts a 'u' after the 'b' in Roethlisberger, or a kid who can spell the name correctly, I'm going to hire the kid who can spell Roethlisberger," said Pittsburgh attorney Martin Snyder, adding that clients in Southwestern Pennsylvania appreciate, above all, a lawyer with a working knowledge of how to spell the names of the entire 2005 Super Bowl team. "Anyone can go to law school and pass a bar exam, but knowing that there is a silent 'h' after the 'w' in Cowher? Well, that takes somebody special."

Next Story