Friday, May 8, 2009
Big Ben HateFest, How I Missed Thee
Maybe its not a Big Ben hatefest, it might just be that journalists and fans legitimately like routing for players that have never won anything or they are so seduced by stats that they can't see the big picture. Or maybe they just love seeing Steeler fans, such as myslef get all hot and bothered anytime someone dares to rip our franchise QB. From the ___________ (insert name of QB who has not won a Superbowl here) is better then Ben Roethlisberger department comes this gem from someone I have never heard of at ESPN. The opening line alone should be enough to make you quit reading the article. "Who is the best quarterback under 30 in the NFL? - Greeny (Mike Greenberg from ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike) asked Justin Tuck and Trent Dilfer this question on Tuesday and it took me all of two seconds to answer: Philip Rivers"
Philip Rivers was his answer. Once again, we have resorted back to comparing the 3 1st round QB's of the 2004 NFL Draft. That year Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Large Benjamin were all taken in the top 11 picks of the draft. Each QB has had success in his own right. With Eli winning a Superbowl, Ben winning two and Rivers some nice stats and one AFC Championship game appearance. Let me ask you this question? Pretend you were a GM picking in the top 11 of the 2004 draft and you needed a QB. Three were available. The night before the draft, you had a vision of the future. The first thing you saw was Ben going 15-1 in his rookie season, followed by a flash to the next season where he won 3 playoff games on the road and then the Supebowl, followed by a flash to his game winning drive for his second ring in 5 years. Next you see a switch to Eli Manning. Not as many highlights for him, but you see the playoffs from 2007, and the miracle play to David Tyree and the Superbowl win over the unefeated Patriots. Flash to Philip Rivers-no highlights but you see his stat lines- 62.3% completions, 78 TDs, 36 Int's and a rating of 92.9. 1 playoff victory and 1 AFC championship game loss. You wake up with this thought: I can take a guy that will win me 2 Superbowls in the next 5 years. I can take a guy that will win me one Superbowl in the next 5 years or I can take a guy who will win me one playoff game in the next 5 years, but has pretty stats. Anyone that is going to pick anyone other than Ben Roethlisberger is lying or is an idiot. I can say fairly confidently that the top statistical QB of all time, Dan Marino, would trade alot of his records for one Superbowl ring. I am certain the Dolphin fans would.
Here is another classic from the article, "Ben Roethlisberger doesn't consistently turn in enough big performances for me to start my team with him. If I've got other pieces in place, maybe I take Big Ben. Sight unseen? I'm going Rivers. Don't get hung up on Super Bowls, either. Just because you've got some jewelry on your finger doesn't automatically mean you're a better player than someone else. Rivers is young and he's got plenty of time to get there."
Ben doesn't turn in enough big performances. What do you mean by big performances sir? Lets take a look at what I can only assume are Philip's "big performances." 300 yards passing and 3 TD's in a loss? Big Ben has done that too. Over 30 TD's in a season and only 11 picks. Ben's done it. One and done in the playoffs? Ben has done that. AFC Championship game loss? Been there done that. But wait, Ben has way more Big performances. Where was Philip? Winning three playoff games on the road and then the Superbowl? Ben has done it. Lead a game winnining drive with under 2 minutes to play to win another Superbowl. Ben has done it. Has Phil ever been in a Superbowl. No. I would much rather have my big performances in the playoffs than the regular season. Since Rivers has only two playoff games to choose from, it's hard to judge.
If you don't want to get hung up on Superbowls, why even have the playoffs and a championship? The goal is to win rings, not put up the best stats. This is a team sport. Also, Rivers came into a team with the pieces in place and he hasn't been able to win. They had the best RB, O-line, and TE on offense and a great defense for most of the time Rivers has been in SD. They have one playoff win to show for it. Ben won last year with a great D, a highly suspect line and one of the worst rushing attacks in the league and getting sacked the most out of anyone. Let Rivers have his time to develop. I will take my two rings. Any SD fan would say the same thing.