Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Friends, Yinzers, Steelers fans, lend me your ears; I come to bury Roethlisberger, not to praise him. The noble men at ESPN have told you that Roethlisberger is inferior, that Eli Manning is better than he. If it were so, then it is his own fault and he must simply bear that fault. Here, then, I come to speak at what must obviously be his funeral, for at ESPN they are all, all of them, honorable men.

    Roethlisberger was, I thought a great quarterback, but ESPN says he is inferior, and they at ESPN are honorable men. He, Roethlisberger, has brought multiple Super Bowls to Pittsburgh, including two Rings. In this did Roethlisberger seem inferior? When the Cardinals gained the lead in Super Bowl XLIII, Roethlisberger led the greatest game-winning drive in Super Bowl history. Inferiority should be made of weaker stuff! Yet ESPN says he is inferior, and ESPN is full of honorable men.

    You all did see that Eli Manning was rated ahead of Roethlisberger on ESPN's version of the QB Rating. I speak not to disprove what ESPN said, but simply to speak what I do know. You all do love him and not without cause. I do as well... Bear with me, please, my heart is in the coffin that ESPN must surely have prepared for Roethlisberger and I must pause until it comes back to me.

    If I were disposed to stir your hearts and minds to anger, I should do ESPN wrong. I rather choose to wrong the inferior, to wrong you or myself than wrong such honorable men. But I found, through research, his stats. Will you be patient and stay awhile? For I feel I have overstayed my welcome and am wronging these honorable men whose daggers have stabbed Roethlisberger. If, then, I have your ears, let me recount to you the comparisons between the two men in question.

    In regular season wins Roethlisberger leads Eli Manning 69-29 to 60-43, and in playoff wins 10-3 to 4-3. And in the ultimate game, this may be the most unkindest cut of all, Roethlisberger leads Manning two to one in wins and three to one in appearances. Inferiority? But what of the mundane numbers that eventually define a great leader? Is he inferior in third down percentage, completion percentage and yards per completion? I am no researcher, as ESPN is, but a plain, blunt man who loves his quarterback. But I simply need let his numbers speak for him in this comedy of errors that they at ESPN have devised. For in each of the aforementioned categories Roethlisberger leads (41% to 34% in 2010, 63.1% to 58% and 12.7 yds to 11.7 yds for their career), as he does in 2nd half completion percentage (63.7% to 57.2%) and in TD-INT percentage (3.1% to 3.4%)
    Surely in the most important areas, though, he must be inferior. In the times when he is needed the most he must fold and show himself the lesser to Manning. Surely! In the stretch runs and in the playoffs and in the fourth quarters and the game-winning drives, he must be inferior. Alas, he isn't. In the stretch runs of the season Roethlisberger wins 75% of his games (24-8) to Mannings' 47% (16-18), with it increasing to 76.9% to Mannings' 57% in the playoffs. When the game is on the line his mettle is proven just as soundly. His 19 fourth quarter comebacks and 25 game-winning drives are greater than those of Manning (14 and 17) and are among the highest in NFL history through the seven years he's been in the league. Yet, this is the quarterback that ESPN has deemed inferior and would choose to bury behind lesser ones! "Here was a Caesar! When comes such another?!?"

    (In case you don't recognize what was done here, I used the Marc Antony speech from "Julius Caesar", act 3, scene 2 to make my points, and quite heavily actually. Read, chil'ren!)