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Can America Accept That Big Ben Is One Of The Greats.....

Rock Mamola

Producer/Host on WSCR 670AM The Score.

Thumbnail image for ben-roethlisberger-suspension.jpg

As we approach the end of the NFL regular season, it is time to look back on the bigger stories of the year 2010.   Of course locally the surprising year of the Chicago Bears finishing at 11-5 and making it all the way to the NFC Championship Game only to fall to their division "rival" from Green Bay.  Some might consider the biggest story from the 2010 NFL season the return of a much improved and polished quarterback in Michael Vick.  A man who proved that when given a second chance, anyone can turn around their life for the better.   


Then there is the story of Ben Roethlisberger who is one step away from winning his third Super Bowl title at the age of 28.  Earlier this year "Big Ben" was accused of raping a 20 year old Georgia College and State University student inside a women's restroom at the Capital City Nightclub in Milledgeville, Georgia.  Although never charged with a crime, he was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for six games without pay which was subsequently reduced to four games.   


The buildup to Sunday's Super Bowl will indeed include the conversation about Ben Roethlisberger and what exactly happened on that one night in March.  However if indeed the Pittsburgh Steelers go on to win Super Bowl XLV, is America ready to accept that "Big Ben" and all his baggage is the best quarterback in the game?


As hard as it was for some people this season to begin believing in Michael Vick yet again not only as a quarterback but also as a human being, the same can be said for Ben Roethlisberger.  Dubbed "Rape-lisberger" by some around the country, I found it interesting for as many people that were upset with the fact that Vick killed dogs and served time that not as many were as upset with the actions of "Big Ben" and his performances on the field.   
Now some may bring up that race is the main reason behind that.  It may be easier for people to have more of a problem accepting a black man who killed dogs and served time over a white man who was accused of raping a 20 year old woman yet never charged.  Some also bring up that being a winner on the field allows you (as an athlete) certain liberties and makes people forget much faster than normal.  Vick was the biggest story in the NFL because of his past and how often it was brought up not by the media....but by Vick himself.  "Big Ben" never made comments, was never asked and outright kept what happened this past March silent and let his play do the talking for him. 
Whether you are a fan of "Big Ben" or not, you cannot deny his success as a quarterback in the NFL.  If the Steelers go on to win their seventh Super Bowl championship in franchise history, "Big Ben" would have been the quarterback of almost half of those titles (3).  That means that Roethlisberger would be joining the likes of Tom Brady and Troy Aikman as the only quarterbacks to win three Super Bowl titles in their career.  When you mention the names of Brady and Aikman, you are surely talking about a couple of hall of fame type quarterbacks in the NFL.  By winning his third Super Bowl title, "Big Ben" would put himself only one title away from tying Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana who each have won four titles.


It goes without question that if Ben Roethlisberger leads his team to a win in Super Bowl XLV, he has to be considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.  Even at the age of 28, you have to put "Big Ben" in the conversation of greatest quarterbacks of all time no matter what his off the field matters are.  I understand that we live in a society where celebrity is always guilty until proven innocent, but with "Big Ben" people need to look at the fact he was never charged with his accused crime.  No matter how much people may say that "Big Ben" is guilty in the public eye for what he was accused of, no one besides Ben and the accuser truly knows what happened if anything.   
Clearly the team that wins on Sunday in Dallas will have the better quarterback for those 60 minutes.  If "Big Ben" and the Pittsburgh Steelers indeed are victorious, it will then be up to America to decide if Roethlisberger is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. 
But without a doubt and no matter the off the field issues, "Big Ben" is the best quarterback in the NFL right now without question.   
John "Rock" Mamola is the Associate Producer of The Mully And Hanley Morning Show and Host of The Rock Report on WSCR 670AM The Score 
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(Author's Note: I apologize for the differences in text size and font....working out with a new Apple IMac.  Thanks!)



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