Many of us have been critical of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and for good reason.

Roethlisberger’s conduct off the field the last couple of years, particularly, the alleged assaults of two women, has been absolutely deplorable and worthy of rebuke and scorn.   He was suspended four games at the start of this season for what he “admitted” to doing with a young lady in a bar restroom last year.   He was not charged with a “crime” in the case, but should have been.

That said, like Michael Vick, Roethlisberger insists he has learned from his “mistakes” and will not repeat them.   Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah but what is he supposed to say?

Has he really reformed?  Is he still a threat to women?  None of us knows for sure.  Only Ben can look in the mirror and answer those questions.

Now that I have posted my disclaimer, I’d only like to  judge “Big Ben’s” play on the field and his status as a quarterback.  And the facts are that Roethlisberger has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl championships in his seven year career.  (quarterback’s always get disproportionate credit for football victories – but that’s how it goes)

And this week he is on the verge of taking the Steelers to a third Super Bowl.   The Steelers play at home this Sunday against the New York Jets for the AFC Championship and the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

If Roethlisberger makes it to the Super Bowl again, that will mean his playoff record balloons to a remarkable 10 – 2, one of the all-time best playoff records for a quarterback in NFL history.   By comparison, Peyton Manning has a playoff record of 9 – 10 and only one Super Bowl victory.

If Pittsburgh wins the next two games, Roethlisberger will then match Tom Brady for Super Bowl wins with three.   Big Ben will only be 29 years old this March, leaving lots of years left to win more Super Bowls and perhaps surpass Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.   What will we think if Roethlisberger wins five or six Super Bowls by the time he retires?  Where will he rank then in the hierarchy of great quarterbacks?

I think it means that this hulk of a passer, with a face that perhaps only his mother can love, will have to be considered one of the greatest “winners” to ever play the game, whether any of us like it or not.

No, Roethlisberger does not always throw a picture perfect pass.  Yes, he often holds onto the ball way too long, sometimes taking unnecessary and vicious hits in the process.  And  his statistics are only good but not eye-catching.

But the fact is he is rugged and tough and will run over defenders if he has to.  The bottom line is that when Roethlisberger is playing, the Steelers always have a chance to win.  It’s really as simple as that.

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  1. David B. says:

    I agree. His off field antics aside, and this DOES NOT mean they should be swept under the carpet; love him or hate him with Ben on the field Pittsburgh is a different team.