Rashard Mendenhall dishes on Big Ben in interview about 'Ballers'

July 2, 2015

Rashard Mendenhall has traded in his NFL jersey for a writing job in Hollywood. And it sounds like he's got plenty of stories to tell.

In discussing his work on the HBO show "Ballers" in an interview with Men's Journal, the former running back let out an interesting anecdote about ex-Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Ben Roethlisberger and a rookie's abused credit card.

Of course, Mendenhall admits, there were parties. The wildest were the ones rookies are expected to throw at the start of each season. Mendenhall recalls a young offensive lineman making the mistake of giving his credit card to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "Ben just did the whole thing," Mendenhall says. "One night — the rookie ended up with a $25,000 bill from the club."

Mendenhall, 28, doesn't reveal too many NFL secrets, but does say that life after football suits him and that the response he gets from a lot of guys still playing is one of envy.

He also reflects on the freedom he enjoys now as compared to the restrictive nature of being employed by an image-conscious NFL team.

Another excerpt from the interview:

Mendenhall also grew frustrated with the off-the-field demands placed on NFL players. The conservative nature of the league, especially in Pittsburgh, felt stifling. Once, the Steelers wanted him to answer several personal questions for a video feature. When they asked for a favorite book, Mendenhall offered The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Eyebrows raised. "They were like, 'Yeah, we can't put that. Do you have another one?''" Mendenhall says. "I could have said Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy, and it would have been acceptable. But I'm like, 'You walked up to me, asked me my favorite book, and it wasn't OK?''"