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Roethlisberger: Good guy or bad?

I’m for Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV.

I think it’s because of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. As much as I admire Big Ben for his two Super Bowl winsThis is the Roethlisberger I don't likeand his ability to come through in the clutch, I’m not convinced he’s a changed person from the guy who gets accused of raping women in bars.

I was thinking this morning about who committed the more egregious act: Roethlisberger or Michael Vick. Yes, I know Vick served time for killing dogs and for his involvement in dog fighting, which is horrific. And Roethlisberger has never been criminally charged, though twice he has been accused of sexual assault and served a four-game suspension to begin the 2010 season. But I don’t think it’s a slam dunk.

Roethlisberger is an admirable player of questionable character. He’s doing and saying all the right things this week – including his night out with his offensive linemen earlier in the week. Come on, you can’t keep the guy shackled to the radiator in his hotel room. Big Ben can’t be expected to not enjoy some of the perks that go with being a Super Bowl quarterback.

But does he know when to cut off the perks? That’s the million-dollar question. Is Roethlisberger really growing up, like he says he is. Or when this Super Bowl is over and he gets back out there free from the season, will he revert to his wild, party-boy ways?

As much as I like Roethlisberger as a player, I like Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers more. Part of it is that he is the successor to Brett Favre and, so far, he’s making Packers fans forget about Favre, the NFL’s all-time leading passer who won only one Super Bowl with Green Bay.This is the Roethlisberger I do likeRodgers has a chance to win more and what he’s done this season, through all of the injuries to key offensive personnel, has been amazing. I thought the Packers were finished when running back Ryan Grant went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 1. A month later, young tight end Jermichael Finley – a rising star, in my opinion – also injured a knee and was lost for the season.

Those are two very good weapons to subtract from a quarterback. But Rodgers has been incredible in finding new ways to make the Packers’ offense dangerous. Because of the threat of Rodgers running or passing, Green Bay’s running game has become a factor with rookie James Starks.

Rodgers spreads the ball around to four good wide receivers and opposing defenses have a hard time knowing what he’s up to.

Roethlisberger, meanwhile, gets it done in a different fashion. As he told reporters in Dallas earlier this week, he’s not a pretty quarterback. He hasn’t been particular effective in either of his Super Bowl wins, except when he’s needed to be.

A lot of people are picking Pittsburgh because of Roethlisberger’s proven track record in big games. And it is difficult to ignore. Plus, the Steelers have a great defense and guys who know what it takes to win on the big stage.

But I’m going with Green Bay. I think it’s the Packers’ year. I think Rodgers is ready to step into the forefront as the game’s best quarterback. And, besides, I like him. I’m not whether I like Roethlisberger or not.

Shock Talk

Camri Zwiesler I Jr. I Volleyball OHCamri ZwieslerZwiesler finished her junior season after transferring from Arizona State. A native of Newton, she was one of the Shockers’ top outside hitters in 2010 and is primed to be a team leader next season. Her bio on goshockers.com indicates Zwiesler is majoring in early childhood development. But that’s not the case. You’ll be surprised to hear the career path Zwiesler is hoping to take and how she found her way there.

Q: You have five younger siblings, so I can see why you’re interested in early childhood development.

A: Well, that’s not what I’m studying anymore. It kind of fell through.

Q: So what are you majoring in now?

A: I want to be in the FBI someday. I want to be a special agent, but my parents aren’t really crazy about that. They think it’s dangerous and that I’ll get hurt. So I’m just in general studies right now, pursuing classes in criminal justice and sociology.

Q: It sounds like you’re serious about this? How did you become interested in being in the FBI?

A: It’s a funny story, actually. Last October, Lambo (WSU volleyball coach Chris Lamb) gave us a day off practice. So I was with my mom and we were driving down Douglas and we witnessed a bank robbery. I was really the only eyewitness. I saw the guy run out of the front door taking off his ski mask and I wondered why he would have a ski mask. Then I saw he had a bag. My mom didn’t believe me at first. They actually caught the guy in the getaway car about 30 minutes later. When I was involved in all that, something just clicked. I was like, ‘I love this, that was the coolest thing in the world.’ I figured I’d give it a month to see how I felt, but I’m still wanting to get into the FBI. I never thought I would like something this much.”

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