Super Bowl XLV offers Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger shots at redemption

While the sports world has squandered the last 72 hours questioning the manhood of Jay Cutler, two more relevant NFL quarterbacks are about to share a chance at personal and professional redemption.  Their names are Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.

In Sunday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was pulled from the game with what turned out to be a strained MCL.  If any quarterback in the league could currently stand some redemption, it’d be Cutler, whose game has been questioned since draft day.  Cutler’s chance will have to wait, however, as both Roethlisberger, who missed the first quarter of the season for conduct detrimental, and Rodgers, who spent the first part of his career as the gunslinger’s understudy, now stand one win away from immortality… and vindication.

It was only a few months ago that Ben Roethlisberger found himself in a sticky situation, a night club restroom where he was accused of sexually molesting a female.  This was Ben’s second such accusation.  Although he was ultimately acquitted of wrongdoing, the NFL still suspended him four games for his lack of judgment.  The Steelers went 3-1 in his absence but could not have made it to the Super Bowl without him.

Rodgers doesn’t have anywhere near Big Ben’s sketchy background, yet a Super Bowl victory for him might be even more cleansing for having lived in the grizzled one’s shadow for so long.  If you thought YOU were tired of hearing about Brett Favre, try wearing Rodgers’ cleats for a day.  Imagine having your entire existence questioned based on your team’s decision to cut Green Bay’s most beloved son.  Through it all, Rodgers never had a negative word to say.  He is now one win away from exorcising those demons and ironically having as many championships as his predecessor: one.

There’s a long list of active quarterbacks who would sell their soul for a chance to be where Rodgers and Roethlisberger are standing, including Jay Cutler.  Michael Vick had an MVP-like season and made many forget he was just doing hard time in Leavenworth.  Donovan McNabb, who ended up benched in Washington, would love nothing more than another shot at a Super Bowl.  Carson Palmer has spent his career mired in dysfunctional Cincinnati and has recently asked to be traded.  These three, among others, would trade places with Roethlisberger and Rogers in an instant.  But it is now Ben’s and Aaron’s time to shine.  One need only watch the AFC and NFC Championship post-game press conferences to see their inextinguishable smiles and their tremendous burdens finally lifted off their shoulders, Rodgers for his discretion, Roethlisberger for his indiscretions.

One of them will go home victorious and cherish that smile for the rest of his life.  The other will have to wait one more season for a chance that doesn’t come all too often.

35 thoughts on “Super Bowl XLV offers Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger shots at redemption

  1. Ben was accused of rape, not molestation. And he wasn’t acquitted, charges were dropped. The superbowl will be a great game to watch and will provide plenty of entertainment. But it won’t be providing any redemption.

  2. Leave it to the lawyer in the family to correct me on the charges.

    First off, I chose not to use the “r” word on purpose. Molestation just has a friendlier ring, don’t you think? And we both know charges were dropped because Ben had a better attorney, so let’s just leave it at that, shall we?

    SD… taking the hard line. I like it.

    Not getting much sleep lately?

  3. Should be a good game. If anyone can beat that defense it’s Rogers, but he’ll need a solid running game to help him.
    Packers in a close one.

  4. Can you imagine the storylines if this were Roethlisberger vs. Michael Vick? I can just see the “Rape, Doggy-Style” jokes writing themselves…

  5. No, I’ll definitely be watching the game. But you can be sure I’ll be rooting for Rodgers..

    And yes, I have been missing some sleep lately and commented pre-coffee. Keep up the great posts!

  6. While that would have great for the twisted creative side of us, that match-up would have been Goodell’s worst nightmare, although with fewer people watching the Bowl than ever before, at least the owners would have a leg to stand on in the upcoming labor agreement.

  7. SD…

    Please don’t misunderstand me. By no means am I suggesting that another Super Bowl victory will absolve Roethlisberger of his sins. Far from it.

    What I am saying, however, is that winning the big one will at least to himself prove how important toeing the line is. How paying your dues (yeah right) will give him and his teammates the last laugh. No matter what happens, this is a reputation he won’t be able to drop.

    If you’re a firm believer in karma, Big Ben doesn’t stand a shot in this game, unless of course, he was actually innocent.

  8. Glad to see you are coming around on the Packers. It’s destiny and Rodgers is going to be the one smiling on Sunday night.

    I’ll be sure to send a Cheesehead down to Tampa on Monday morning…

  9. Chap…

    I think that’s the general consensus but I do feel we’ve brushed Ben’s actions under the table.

    J-Dub brings up a good point. Can imagine if the QB matchup was Ben against Vick?

    Goodness.

  10. You got it! Be sure to send one of those Sports Chump hats to me on Monday morning…I’ll be waiting at the mailbox.

  11. Chris

    Given the problems and injuries the Packers had this season much of the roster decision making has been down to the choices made by McCarthy . How can anyone overlook that ? Hence the reason why I state proven ……… it’s not so much fortuitous but he showed faith in that personnel .

    Simply look at the plethora of players they lost on both sides of the ball ? And he has been able to guide them to a Superbowl berth. Were he some high profiled coach ……. a number of people would now be calling him a genius.

    tophatal ………

  12. True, Al. All I heard all season long was how banged up the Packers were, yet here they are in the Super Bowl.

    So with a Bowl victory, McCarthy and Rodgers will have as many rings as Holgrem and Favre. And on the other sideline, a Bowl victory will give Tomlin one more win than Cowher.

    Funny how things work out, huh?

  13. Chris

    It’s not really fun at all ! These are two of the classiest teams in all of the NFL ! Simply look at the tradition they have behind them and consistency in particular with the Steelers down the years ? Tomlin should he win will become only the second African American to have won a SB as a coach and one of the youngest to have two under their belt before the age of 40.

    No truth to the rumor that Cutler’s ego has been severely bruised as Urlacher is said to be not answering his texts, ‘tweets’ or phone calls. So this is what they call unrequited love ? Urlacher is just as much of an a_s for making that statement about Cutler’s toughness ! I hear Clay Aiken was laughing at the suggestion ?

    Who’s The Jack Ass In This Story ?

    Urlacher wouldn’t know toughness if Jenna Jameson bit him on a certain part of his anatomy !

    tophatal ..,…………..

  14. I heard a good debate the other day on the radio, and they were comparing Vick to Ben. They were saying what if the roles were reversed, would Vick have had a longer suspension than Ben? Would Ben have been in prison for as long as Vick was if he was the dog killer? I think you’d have to agree that Ben would have made it out with an easier punishment than Vick if their situations were reversed.

  15. chappy

    I heard the same thing as well and it’s a crock ! Both of these guys knew what they were doing and punishment meted out fit the crime in both cases.

    tophatal ……

  16. To: Sports Chump, Hail/Rail Division
    From: Tampa Jim
    Re: NFL Labor Peace

    Hail to Gregg Murphy, president of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), and NFL spokesman Marcus Firestone for releasing a joint statement today expressing relief that the last sticking point has been successfully negotiated and NFL play will continue on schedule for the 2011 season.

    Working deep into the night, the key issue of NFL Hall of Fame members’ jackets has been resolved. The owners agreed to provide one-size Golden Blazer upgrades for every twenty pounds a member puts on after retirement, up to a maximum of one hundred pounds.

    The NFLPA wanted the maximum to be set at two- hundred pounds but relented when reminded by owners that the average player salary is now $1.6 million dollars per year.

    “We have been saddened to see our aging members looking like clowns in blazers four-sizes too small on television sports shows and in personal appearances across the country,” said Murphy. “This new labor breakthrough will lend an air of class to some of our more weight-challenged former heroes.”

    “Let the games begin,” chortled a delighted Firestone.

  17. Al…

    You’re right. This is a classic, old school Super Bowl. I’m still not sure who will win but I don’t see a blowout either way, which means we should be in for another great game. It wasn’t so long ago that this final game was routinely a total bore.

    Re: Urlacher, I don’t blame him for having his teammate’s back. What was he supposed to do? Call him out?

    We’ll see if that happens in time.

  18. Chap…

    I think that’s a discussion for another time. Race may or may not come into play, but the court of public opinion has ruled on both of them.

    Neither are revered as they once were.

  19. I think I agree with Al on this one, Chap.

    Both men made conscious decisions.

    How about this? If Big Ben wins MVP, do you think Walt Disney/ABC/ESPN will want an accused rapist on television saying they’re going to Disney World after the game?

    If so, I’d hide the women and children.

  20. Jimmy…

    We can only hope common sense will come into play in the off-season negotiations.

    And congratulations on being the first person on this site to use the word ‘chortled.’

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