Kurt Warner vs. Ben Roethlisberger: Who Deserves It More?

Kristin HamlinSenior Analyst IJanuary 27, 2009

I love the Super Bowl. The commercials and all of the hype surrounding them are half the fun.

And don’t forget those halftime shows in which one never knows what to expect—will Janet Jackson ever live that one down?

Every year is the same. Every year I can count on knowing who I am going to root for, and who I’d like to see sink faster than the Titanic.

Every year but this.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals” sounds a bit off, doesn’t it? Whomever those lucky souls were that bet on these two teams playing in the Super Bowl are raking in the money from the the odds of that happening right about now. 

We’re talking about the Arizona Cardinals first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history!

The last time I witnessed any kind of success with the Cardinals was when Ron Tidwell was playing for them, and Jerry was screaming, "Show me the money!"

I am torn between two quarterbacks who have my utmost respect.

I want to dislike Ben Roethlisberger, but how do you not like a man that after losing the 2005 AFC Championship game, convinced veteran running back Jerome Bettis to delay retirement, promising him that he would get Bettis his first Super Bowl ring? 

The next season, Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl.

Then there is Kurt Warner. I thought his days as a starting quarterback were over in 2005. I remember watching him play in St. Louis, his passes nearly perfect on every throw. I can still see his face after he won the Super Bowl in 2000.

This is the same Kurt Warner, that six years prior, was released from the Green Bay Packers before he could even play his first game, and to make ends meet ended up working the night shift as a stock boy. 

Surely no one thought he was going to have two NFL comeback stories, alerting the Hall of Fame of his name.

How can you not root for Warner?

Then again, Roethlisberger has gone through his share of letdowns too. After becoming the youngest player ever to win a Super Bowl, he was in a serious motorcycle crash in 2006 that almost took his life. 

Although he seemed to make a full recovery, his performance during the 2006 season was nothing above mediocre.

Many questions arose surrounding Roethlisberger entering the 2007 season. Some critics went as far as saying Roethlisberger was a “has been.” 

Apparently they must have have overlooked the fact that this man was only 25 years old. Regardless, Big Ben fought his way through the criticism and is now standing on top. 

Both players have a Super Bowl under their belt.

Both players have had comeback stories.

Both players stayed out of the limelight when it comes to their personal life, which if you ask me, speaks volumes of their characters.

Both seem rather selfless on and off the field. I mean, it’s not every day you hear of an NFL player giving his only Super Bowl ring to his dad as a gift for Father’s Day.

It’s also not a common theme to be a star quarterback, get traded twice and having to sit on the bench as a backup, never complaining once. 

I think the best athletes are those that live by the motto, “Actions speak louder than words.”

However, there is nothing better than having a true leader on a team.

A leader that knows how to respect his teammates and hold them together when they need it the most.

A leader that answers questions with integrity and speaks to the media not about themselves but about their teammates and the team they play for.

After being asked if he thought it was strange he was going to the Super Bowl with the Cardinals instead of the Rams, Kurt humbly replied, “It’s not strange at all. This is my team now.”

When Ben Roethlisberger was told that his team were not favorites to make it to the Super Bowl, Ben shrugged it off by saying, “We know everybody is against us and all we have is each other. That’s what makes this team so strong.”

True leadership on both sides is evident.

Who deserves it more?

I think I have to go with Kurt.

What can I say?  I am a sucker for comeback stories such as his. If a player of his caliber can go out on top and have a Cinderella story, I will gladly applaud his victory.

Plus, Ben is still still young. 

However the cards fall on Sunday, one thing is certain—it will be the best hand of poker you have seen in awhile.


No pun intended, of course.