May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) participates in organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger...Hall of Famer?

Now that the heat of summer is here, it’s time to heat up a little debate, which you all know I love doing. It’s time to assess Ben Roethlisberger’s chances of making the Hall of Fame. I feel nine years gives us enough stats and records to consider.
I’m going to say right off, I believe he is a Hall of Famer. All this non sense about first ballot, etc is ridiculous, either a guy is a Hall of Famer or not. To me, Big Ben is. I’d feel even more definitive about it if he could add one more Superbowl ring, but neither Jim Kelly, Warren Moon, Dan Marino or Dan Fouts have any, so why be picky?
For those of you who love to chew over stats, think of this…at this point he ranks 10th all time in NFL passer rating at 92.9 so he’s been effective with both the long and short pass. By comparison, the best QB in Steelers’ history, Terry Bradshaw only has a 70.9 rating. He has the fourth highest career winning percentage in regards to quaterbacks with a minimum of 100 starts.
Want more stat buffs? He was rookie of the year in 2004, the youngest QB ever to win a Superbowl and he had 20 comeback wins by the age of 30, most ever in that category. Roethlisberger set records for most game winning drives (25)and comeback wins (19)by a player in the first seven years of his career. He has 29,844 passing yards, which is more than Bradshaw and he is only 21 TD passes short of breaking Bradshaw’s team record which he could do this year. His TD to INT ratio is far better than Bradshaw. He has 2 Superbowl victories, including leading the team to that thrilling win over Arizona in Superbowl XLIII. As I said, 1 more ring would cement things for him, but that’s the same number of victories in the big game as his boyhood idol John Elway has.
I also feel that Ben is one of the few truly ‘franchise’ QBs in the NFL today, along with Brady,Brees, Rodgers, and Peyton Manning. And three of those guys are future Hall of Famers so Ben’s in good company there. And while Bradshaw had the benefit of a host of fellow Hall of Famers around him, Ben has perhaps two (Jerome Bettis and Hines Ward, so he’s done more with less.
So where is the debate you may wonder? Well, he’s never been league MVP nor Superbowl MVP and has only been to the Pro Bowl twice (2007, 2011). And of course, there are the off the field issues that have plagued him in the past. The motorcycle accident was more stupidity than anything else, but the sexual assault allegations in 2008 and 2010 cloud things a bit. While neither allegation resulted in any charges being filed, he did serve a four game suspension for violation the league’s personal conduct policy. That’s enough ammo for his detractors to lay claim that he should not be elected to the Hall.
But hey, if MLB can elect one of the most vile characters (Ty Cobb) to ever play the game, as well as a guy who admitted to doctoring the ball (Gaylord Perry), then we should be able to overlook Ben’s “issues” off the field. I know quite a few female fans of the Steelers who were put off by his actions in 2008 and 2010. Will that come back to haunt him? If it does, than the debate about what makes a Hall of Famer should heat up. Should we judge a player simply by what they do in their respective sport, or do we look at the person as a whole, on and off the field(or court or rink) of play?
As I said, since neither allegation led to charges being filed, I feel better about giving him the nod towards the Hall. I think his record and his stats speak for themselves. However, others out there may disagree.
What do YOU think Steeler fans???

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