Ben Roethlisberger Dating Natalie Gulbis, ‘The Anna Kournikova of Golf’

Big Ben Makin’ Time with LPGA Star

He’s already locked up the Rookie of the Year award, helped stake the Pittsburgh Steelers to the best record in the NFL, and hasn’t lost a football game he’s started since September of 2003. As if Ben Roethlisberger didn’t have enough going for him. And now, Ben Roethlisberger may have accomplished his greatest feat: He’s dating the women they’re calling “The Anna Kournikova of Golf,” Natalie Gulbis. A Las Vegas newspaper report Tuesday broke the news that for five weeks, the 6-foot-5 Ohio native has been romancing the soon-to-be 22-year-old Gulbis (Jan. 7).

After first reading the news, I didn’t totally buy it — she lives in Las Vegas, and he’s in Pittsburgh. Where’d they meet, on the internet? So, I decided to put in a call to Natalie’s friendly publicist. He didn’t try to spin or deny, he came clean: She has indeed been talking to Big Ben for about five weeks (just like the story said) and likely will be going to Pittsburgh this weekend to visit the 22-year-old Steel City Savior. And, in the event she doesn’t go this week, he said Natalie will definitely be there next weekend.

Here’s a great playoff scenario: Imagine if the Chargers get past the Jets and play the Steelers in round two. The game would pit two of the NFL’s coolest bachelors — Chargers long-snapper David Binn (true story: He briefly dated Pam Anderson this season!) and Roethlisberger. It’s way too early to begin with snarky comments about their “relationship,” but it seemed wise to conduct a very informal, unscientific poll among friends: Who’s the hotter NFL couple, Big Ben and Natalie, or Heather Mitts and A.J. Feeley? Mitts, who is Page 2’s reigning Hottest Athlete, got the nod, mostly because of her website. I’d love to see a decathlon between the two couples. At 5-foot-9, Natalie would have a distinct advantage on Mitts (5-foot-5) in hoops or hurdles — but soccer players can be pretty feisty. Feeley and Big Ben? No contest. Surely you remember Feeley as the quarterback who was slapped on the butt by a teammate this season, and in response, he nearly fell to the ground in pain as if he had sat on hot coals or been bitten by a dog.

In the event you’re only now learning about Gulbis, be sure to check out Page 3’s October interview. She went to the University of Arizona. Guess what other easy-on-the-eyes athlete was recently a Wildcat? No, Luke Walton is not correct. The answer would be softball princess Jennie Finch. If that’s what the athletes look like, can you imagine the coeds?

I’ll leave you with this: In an earlier interview, Natalie was asked if she had any idols in golf or other sports that she looked up to from an early age. Her answer: Mia Hamm. And we all know she married an athlete.

Intriguing.

FILED UNDER: Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.