Not yet, not either one


With A Victory, Ben Roethlisberger Or Kurt Warner Would Have Two Super Bowl Titles. Does This Make The Winner A Hall Of Famer?

January 30, 2009|By KEVIN VAN VALKENBURG

Come Monday - as Jimmy Buffett once sang - either Kurt Warner or Ben Roethlisberger will be the proud owner of two Super Bowl rings. And because we live in a media culture that demands everything must be instantly analyzed as if the future of civilization depends on it, you're going to hear a lot of talk about how the winner has likely earned himself a bust in the Hall of Fame.

Don't believe the hype.

In Roethlisberger's case, it's simply too early to make any kind of judgment about his career. Maybe he'll continue to add jewelry to his fingers, and maybe he'll eat his way out of football. It seems like anything is possible with him. But what we do know is that in his first Super Bowl, he was downright miserable.

Quarterbacks always get too much of the credit and too much of the blame, but the truth is Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens and his five dropped passes did as much to help the Pittsburgh Steelers that day as Roethlisberger did.

"Big Ben" has done his share to help the Steelers get this far, not turning the ball over in the playoffs, but putting him into the Hall of Fame right now would be like putting Tiger Woods' caddy Steve Williams into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Steelers' defense - like Tiger - is what actually matters here. Besides, Roethlisberger still has plenty of years to make his case. He's not close yet.

Warner has had one of the most bizarre careers in NFL history. He has been a nobody, an improbable superstar, a washed-up bum, and a surprise Pro Bowl player who is probably a little overrated. It's almost like he's the John Travolta of quarterbacks and Ken Whisenhunt is his Quentin Tarantino.

Both quarterbacks have been good, even great at times, but neither is even the best quarterback of his respective generation, much less of all time. Right now, neither of them makes the cut.

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