I'm not going to lie to you, I've been a Pittsburgh Steelers fan since I crawled out of my mothers womb twirling a Terrible Towel, and as a lifelong Steelers fan, I can tell you that what I value most about my team isn't the wins and the Championships (though they are nice), it's the consistency and attitude of the team year in and year out. The Steelers represent toughness, dedication and a winning attitude and have had a number of players that have been stark examples of those principles.
The latest, and perhaps the greatest, of all these players, is their current QB, Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger, by far, is the toughest QB in the league today and honestly, I would say he's the toughest of all time. For his career, he has been sacked 309 times, a number that rises every week. He's suffered a slew of injuries that would have sidelined most players, from a broken foot to a sprained ankles and he just keeps coming back for more.
One of my favorite Ben moments was when the Steelers beat the Ravens 13-10 back in December of 2010. Ben started the game with a broken foot and soon added a broken nose to the equation when he was hit by the Ravens Haloti Ngata. He stayed in the game despite the dual pain and led the Steelers to a crucial win.
It's that toughness that epitomizes Steelers football and why he can rally a team around him in a way that is Tebowesque before there was even a Tebow in the NFL. The players around him sees the pain he's playing through and gives their all for the guy. His sheer determination turns average players into top end guys when needed and that's a mark of greatness.
Yes, he's had his share of off the field issues, but those aside, his on the field play is fast becoming legend in the Steel City.
Names like Manning, Brady, Rodgers and even Tebow may be the attention grabbers but the name Roethlisberger is sure to go down as one of the greatest to play the game. He will make the Hall of Fame, taking the great Hines Ward with him (another tough player), because he deserves to. He has the hardware and he has the record but most importantly, he has the toughness required to place him with the greatest to have ever played the game.
I don't know if he will ever win another SuperBowl, though you can never rule him out of the hunt, but one thing is for certain, there's no other QB I want representing the Black and Gold every Sunday. There's nobody even close.
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