Ben Roethlisberger: Take a Page from Sidney Crosby's Leadership

Chris MillerCorrespondent IMarch 8, 2010

MIAMI - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks back to the huddle after injuring his shoulder in the fourth quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on January 3, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins 30-24.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Ben Roethlisberger is not a leader.

No, not after this one.

To think one might learn the first time, well, maybe it will take the second time.

Regardless, Roethlisberger's legal troubles and sexual assault dealings have led bloggers and sportswriters from around the football world to a pot of storyline gold.  The story that had everyone talking, completely overwhelmed the headlines during the first day of free agency.

Another sexual assault allegation?

Of course, he has not been proven guilty, but isn't a pattern developing?

Pittsburgh fans, when will you finally admit that Big Ben is not a leader?

Sure, he has two Super Bowls. Agreed, he set career highs as a passer last year. Undoubtedly, without him, the Steelers probably would not be threatening the AFC North every year.

Just because you are a good football player does not make you a leader. Just because you can run the two-minute drill and complete come-from-behind victories does not make you a leader.

What makes an athlete a leader goes far beyond the field of competition.

It translates into the locker room, the community, the media, and the ability to handle the pressure of being a popular and well-sought individual.

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Roethlisberger, 28, unfortunately has found himself in the negative public eye once again.

Ben Roethlisberger, please take a page out of Sidney Crosby's leadership manual, and turn to Chapter One.

And Chapter's Two and Three.

Actually, just go ahead and read the entire thing.

Crosby not only is the superstar of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the face of the entire NHL. His job is to not only be a leader of his team, but for the entire league as well.

And he is only 22 years old. The expectations began before he turned 18.

Not only is Crosby sought after in the United States, but even more in Canada. He is widely considered the most popular hockey player in the world.

Crosby became the youngest captain of a team ever. Last year, he became the youngest captain to ever raise the Stanley Cup.

Sure, Big Ben has his accomplishments, but unlike Crosby, Ben also has his scars.

And they continue to accumulate with the latest news out of Georgia. 

When you compare the two athletes, there just really isn't much to compare.

There is no ego issues with Crosby. The media surrounds him at every opportunity. Young women faint upon hearing his name. Heck, everyone not only wants a piece of Crosby, but a piece of his equipment as well.

The way he handles himself is unparalleled compared to Roethlisberger.

Crosby can go to any club and party all night with proper I.D., but he chooses to remain low-key.

Crosby is able to tell the media off and give him space, but he chooses to handle it with a smile and grace every time.

He is active in the community and is always an approachable figure. Ask anyone who knows the man.

Roethlisberger does not have to become Sidney Crosby, but undoubtedly needs to observe a true leader of a team and league and change his attitude and personality. Humble is a word Ben needs to understand, and add as an attribute.

How personable is Ben towards the media? How many times has he shunned his fans, turning his head to those who help pay his salary? How many times will he face the legal system for being at the wrong place with the wrong people?

It is sad to believe that Crosby acts like a 28-year-old polished and mature athlete, while Ben's reputation is of a 22-year-old college frat boy.

Face the music, Roethlisberger fans. Ben is no leader. He let humbleness out of the door the moment money and fame greeted him. 

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