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OU football: Ben Powers' family trades Steelers fandom for Ravens after NFL Draft

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When then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh went on an in-home visit with Ben Powers, Powers wore a Steelers sweatshirt. A lifelone Steelers fan, Powers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. [PHOTO PROVIDED]
When then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh went on an in-home visit with Ben Powers, Powers wore a Steelers sweatshirt. A lifelone Steelers fan, Powers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

When Ben Powers returned home after his first post-NFL Draft trip to Baltimore, he had a moment of panic.

Powers, the 6-foot-4, 307-pound guard and former Oklahoma standout, needed to connect his Baltimore Ravens-issued iPad to his family’s wireless network.

“Hey dad,” Powers asked his father, Todd. “Do you think they can see what the Wifi network is called?”

The family’s wireless network? “Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Todd quickly called a more tech savvy friend to change the name instead to “Baltimore Ravens” just to be safe.

It was the latest strange moment since Powers was picked by the Ravens in the fourth round after a stellar career with the Sooners, transforming a family full of Steelers fans into a family of Ravens fans in an instant.

The Powers family knows the intensity of the Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

Ben’s great grandfather worked in the steel mills on the Monongahela River, one of Pittsburgh’s three rivers that converge near Heinz Field, the Steelers’ home park. His great uncle lives in Pittsburgh and is a Steelers season-ticket holder. Another great uncle lives just southwest of Pittsburgh.

Todd said his family back in Pittsburgh might not be so quick to switch allegiances.

“They haven’t answered their phones since the draft,” Todd said.

Watching the 2009 AFC Championship Game between the Ravens and Steelers, Todd decided there was no reason he wasn’t at the game, so he signed up to be on the waiting list for season tickets.

“Every single car that I own — and there’s a bunch of them because there’s a bunch of kids — has a Pittsburgh Steelers plate,” Todd said. “So it was not a casual fandom. We had a geographic reason and we were proud of that organization.”

Back in 2015, when then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh made an in-home visit to the Powers’ home, the big lineman stood in between the two coaches for a photo before the visit wrapped up.

Flanked by the coached clad in crimson and cream, Ben wore a black Steelers sweatshirt.

Todd also said his son is a perfect fit for the Ravens.

“He has the exact kind of personality that would fit with them,” Todd said. “He’s a killer, he’s a competitor and he’s going to make that organization better by being in the locker room.

“Any other team other than the Raiders, who else has that mentality? The Baltimore Ravens are a bunch of bullies. We couldn’t be happier. We’re going to box our stuff up, support Ben and get a bunch of Ravens gear. That’s just how it’s going to be.”

Related Photos
<strong>Baltimore Ravens rookie guard Ben Powers works out during rookie camp on May 4 in Owings Mills, Md. [AP Photo/Gail Burton]</strong>

Baltimore Ravens rookie guard Ben Powers works out during rookie camp on May 4 in Owings Mills, Md. [AP Photo/Gail Burton]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-03b5b799bc3678d9918782046c1a9617.jpg" alt="Photo - Baltimore Ravens rookie guard Ben Powers works out during rookie camp on May 4 in Owings Mills, Md. [AP Photo/Gail Burton] " title=" Baltimore Ravens rookie guard Ben Powers works out during rookie camp on May 4 in Owings Mills, Md. [AP Photo/Gail Burton] "><figcaption> Baltimore Ravens rookie guard Ben Powers works out during rookie camp on May 4 in Owings Mills, Md. [AP Photo/Gail Burton] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5767cfcdcf764ca1ca0fd9753b5ebabf.jpg" alt="Photo - When then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh went on an in-home visit with Ben Powers, Powers wore a Steelers sweatshirt. A lifelone Steelers fan, Powers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. [PHOTO PROVIDED] " title=" When then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh went on an in-home visit with Ben Powers, Powers wore a Steelers sweatshirt. A lifelone Steelers fan, Powers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. [PHOTO PROVIDED] "><figcaption> When then-Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh went on an in-home visit with Ben Powers, Powers wore a Steelers sweatshirt. A lifelone Steelers fan, Powers was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. [PHOTO PROVIDED] </figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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