February 6, 2011 10 Comments
2 rings. Coulda been 3 Big Ben.
1 touchdown away from Super Bowl immortality. A perfect execution of the 2 minute drill the only obstacle in his way. Alas, it was not meant to be.
As good a quarterback as Ben Roethlisberger is, his performance in the Super Bowl showed us why we shouldn’t base so much of a player’s value on championship victories.
Prior to the Super Bowl, there was a lot talk of whether or not Ben Roethlisberger is deserving of a Hall of Fame spot. Tough question considering the man is only 28 years old and at this point there is probably not too much point in dissecting this issue.
Ben Roethlisberger’s overall numbers are not Hall of Fame worthy by any means. However, the fact that he has 2 championship rings and was very close to 3 puts him into that discussion. A couple bounces here and there for the Steelers and the difference in our view of Ben Roethlisberger is vastly changed.
The issue at hand here though are the championships that allow Ben Roethlisberger to be considered in Hall of Fame discussion so early in his career and the lack of championships that see us questioning the greatness of athletes such as Dan Marino.
Clutch play under the most pressure packed situations is part of what defines great players. It should go without saying that part of winning championships is the ability to overcome the difficult conditions.
With that being said, it’s hard to understand why the brilliance of an individual player is centered so much around championships in such team oriented sports.
It is only on rare occasions where you will see me defending Lebron James but the fact that he still hasn’t won a championship at this point in his career should not diminish his greatness in any sense. Don’t get me wrong, I was as happy as anyone to see Lebron quit, yes quit, on his Cavaliers against the Boston Celtics. Nevertheless, now that we have been able to see what the Chosen One’s supporting cast is really like it is astounding that he ever got as close as he did to winning the NBA finals.
Imagine if Lebron had decided to stay in Cleveland and continually was surrounded by a sorry excuse for championship contending cast. If those were the circumstances, maybe in 10 years we would be talking about how Lebron just can’t win the big game and all the reasons why he is no Michael Jordan. True, Lebron James is no Michael Jordan, but the importance of championships is constantly overshadowing his undeniable dominance.
If he doesn’t win a championship with his Miami Heat, well that’s a story for another day.
Ben Roethlisberger has played on some outstanding teams and, especially in his first Super Bowl, played more of a game manger’s role. Is there any way in which the Steelers’ could have won if Roethlisberger had to carry an increased load on offence? Probably not. It isn’t mentioned enough either that the Steelers won Roethlisberger’s first Super Bowl largely because of a couple of blown calls that still give official Bill Leavy nightmares
I may be too young to break down the intricacies of Dan Marino’s Miami Dolphin teams. However, it is well-known that he wasn’t surrounded by talent that for the most part was championship worthy. You can’t blame Dan Marino for being unable to bear the burden of less than adequate teams.
It’s this same injustice that results in more worthy players being left off all-star team’s because their general manager has yet to surround them with talent worthy enough of competing with the best in the game. *Cough* Kevin Love *Cough*
Sure, some of the failure to win comes from the individual player himself, but in team sports like basketball, football and hockey, you can hardly put the sole cause of that inability to win on the most prominent player like many people do.
Peyton Manning has proven to us throughout his career that he often doesn’t have the capability to duplicate his regular season type of performances in the playoffs. Even in his lone Super Bowl victory his stats were less than impressive. Then again, what if Peyton Manning had an offensive line similar to the one Tom Brady has been blessed with throughout his career.
Again, a completely different story to tell your grandchildren.
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