In an interview yesterday, Terry Bradshaw chose Ben Roethlisberger as the best quarterback in the National Football League. Now there’s certainly some bias and homerism there, but seriously? Big Ben over Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Newton, and everyone else?
But today, the Steelers’ current quarterback took a different stance from that of the Steelers’ quarterback of the past.
Ben Roethlisberger on Tom Brady: "Tom's the greatest in the world. And I mean that." https://t.co/QI3HwxfAin
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 7, 2016
There’s always been a level of respect for Tom Brady, but more than enough players have expressed their disdain for Brady. The narrative that he is one of the most hated players by other players is strong. But when guys like Roethlisberger come out with these kinds of statements, that narrative crumbles.
It’s not uncommon for quarterbacks to call Joe Montana or Dan Marino the greatest, but that’s because neither of them are playing. It’s easy to praise someone when there’s no chance you’re ever going to compete against them.
Obviously that’s not the case for Roethlisberger and Brady.
After Ben & co. beat the Pats in Week 7 of 2004, it’s been all TB12. Since that first game, it’s been all Pats. Brady handed him his first huge “L” of his career in the 2004 AFC Championship Game, and since then, has gone 4-1 against Pittsburgh.
Yet, Roethlisberger still chooses Brady as the best. Despite looking up at him for the entirety of his career, there is no animosity. Instead, there’s respect, and public recognition of what Brady has accomplished.
To me, that’s big. This isn’t like someone talking about a legend. This is an active player anointing another active player as the best. Roethlisberger, while not discounting himself, is openly admitting that there is someone better than he at his own craft. That’s rare, but a testimonial to what Tom Brady has accomplished himself, for his team, and for the game of football.
Also, I’ve apologized for continuously finding ways to write about Tom Brady despite him being suspended. But when the mass media makes it this easy for me, I’m going to do it, all day, every day.
And don’t lie, you love it.