Being a franchise quarterback means you can phone it in when doing your own show

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

If there was ever any doubt about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's "elite" status, the fact that he only has to put in 20 minutes during his weekly radio show, while other Steelers do at least an hour for their shows, you need not doubt it any longer. Big Ben is big time.

A lot of Steeler players have their own radio/television shows. A great deal of these shows are on location at various bars/restaurants around the Pittsburgh area.

Inside linebacker Larry Foote has a weekly show on 93.7 The Fan where he appears at an establishment with show host Andrew Filliponi. You might say, "Well, Foote is injured and out for the season. He has nothing special going on this year other than supporting his teammates and rehabbing his injured arm. Why not appear somewhere every week and talk about football?"

True, but what would you say if I told you safety Ryan Clark, who isn't injured in a "season ending" kind of way, also has a weekly show where he appears on location? Same holds true for back-up quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.

All of these shows are at least an hour in length, and some of them even include guest Steeler players who appear and are actually interviewed by the host Steelers, themselves. And on top of that, these players are often forced to field calls from angry fans, who want to know why they suck so much.

Heck, even coach Mike Tomlin has a weekly show, a television production taped in the Root Sports studios and hosted by Stan Savran, where many topics, such as the previous and upcoming Steelers opponents, are broached. Tomlin isn't nearly as charismatic and entertaining as the likes of Foote and Clark, but, like them, he does have to actually appear somewhere other than his house. And even though he's a head coach who probably feels that 24 hours in a day isn't nearly long enough to prepare for an opponent, he actually gives 30 minutes of his time (not including preparation and whatever re-takes are required) in order to do the show.

And that brings me to The Ben Roethlisberger Show, aired every Tuesday morning, also on 93.7 The Fan, and hosted by Vinnie Richichi and Ron Cook.

When I first heard that Roethlisberger was going to have a weekly show this year, I was excited. I'm a huge fan of No. 7's, of course, and couldn't wait to hear what he had to say each and every week, as he sat down with Vinnie and Cook and discussed all things Steelers.

I thought to myself, "Wherever Roethlisberger appears, I'm going to go there and order some breakfast and just watch."

"Breakfast with Big Ben."

Maybe I'd get an autograph. Maybe it would be like the old "Jerome Bettis Show," where he would have audience members come up on stage and bowl or whatever.

"Bowling with Big Ben."

I assumed the show would be similar to the ones hosted by Foote and Clark. I mean, after all, the players are off on Tuesdays, and what better way to spend at least an hour of that day than hosting your own mid-morning show, out on location?

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered Roethlisberger's "show" is only a 20 minute segment, airing from 11 a.m. to 11:20 a.m., and it isn't on location. He doesn't have to interview any guest Steelers or even field phone calls from fans. And get this, if Pittsburgh loses the previous game, Roethlisberger doesn't even have to travel to The Fan's Green Tree studios. He can simply "host" his show via telephone.

You might think I'm extremely disappointed in this, but I'm not. I actually find myself tuning into The Fan every Tuesday at 11 a.m. because I'm just so fascinated with what Roethlisberger has to say.

If there was ever any doubt about his "franchise" status, Roethlisberger's weekly show secures his place among the upper-echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

Did Steve Carell ever have to do commentaries on DVDs of "The Office?" Heck no, at least not after Season 1. He left that up to Toby Flenderson. Did Jeffrey Donovan ever have to appear at Comic Festivals once "Burn Notice" became hot ? Heck no, he left that up to the secondary spies.

Franchise quarterbacks are so valuable, they even get to wear the red shirt when they're hosting their weekly show.

I'm even more star-struck than I was before.

Leave 'em wanting more, Big Ben!

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