Drama Queen? Big Ben Deserves Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Chris DolbowContributor IFebruary 15, 2009

"He's a freakin' pansy!"

"He makes up injuries to get sympathy from the press!"

These words are often said in reference to Ben Roethlisberger, a Lima, Ohio native and a graduate of the University of Miami (I have to include the OH here).

Oh, have I mentioned yet that Roethlisberger is a great quarterback in the National Football League?

Ben helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers, a franchise whose fans are infamous for their treament of all QBs, to a 15-1 record his rookie season. The loss wasn't even his fault; it was that of backup Tommy Maddox, who was shipped out of Blitzburgh for, well, sucking on the playing field.

Ben not only won 13 consecutive regular-season games that season; he also took his team to the AFC Championship game.

Most can acknowledge these rookie season accomplishments, and were in awe of this small-school prodigy when he arrived and delivered for the Burgh.

But then, some people begin to slack off and view him as "just another quarterback". Well, I'm not one of those people, because this man deserves much more than he receives from the press.

Ben was thrown off of his motorcycle, we all know that. And he had his appendix taken out, we know that too.

But Ben has done more than this. He has overcome the ruthless Steeler fans who often called for his backup to be put in. He overcame the Charlie Batch fan clubs during the 2006 season, and he overcame Alan Faneca's remarks that he did not want a rookie leading his team.

And Ben overcame this past season (a Super Bowl season might I add), when people were yelling for his head and wanted Byron Leftwich to be the quarterback after his heroics in the nation's capital.

How easily we forget what the man has endured and is enduring. Not only was he playing behind arguably the worst offensive line in football, he was also dealing with shoulder problems. He had back pains from late hits that went uncalled. He was suffering from a concussion, from which he came back in just two weeks and beat the second-best defense in the game.

Roethlisbeger is a crazy man, throwing tacklers off of his body left and right, ducking, dodging, pumping his arm, dancing around like it's a Broadway show, and then throwing it for 30 yards. And this guy is a wimp? A guy who had bruised ribs in the biggest game of the year?

Heck, the organization listed him on the injury report the previous week, so it was not like the team was trying to cover up some of the injuries.

The fact of the matter is that Ben Roethlisbeger is one of the best players in the league right now. He has taken some of the most brutal hits by any quarterback in the past five years.

And in those five years, he has had one season with 32 TDs, a Pro Bowl (and don't act like he didn't deserve more), three AFC Championship games, and two Super Bowls victories.

It is time to give the guy some credit. He's earned it.