What is the Golden Rule? Though it can be worded various ways, it basically states that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. At its simplest form it suggests we respect one another. Easier said than done for some individuals.
Respect is not an option, it's a necessity. It is essential for our daily interaction within society and for our self worth. This simple truth is usually taught to us at a early age by our family. Respect for one another is now viewed as an outdated, old fashioned ideal.
I was taught growing up to always be respectful of others because you would accept nothing less in return. Sadly, today many disrespectful individuals hide behind the law, or sometimes even a keyboard.
Take for instance all the texts and tweets sent to Steelers kicker Chris Boswell suggesting he kill himself for missing a field goal. As much as I love the Pittsburgh Steelers and want them to win, the last time I checked it was still just a game. Anyone who would ever even suggest such a thing has never witnessed the inconsolable agony suffered by the loved ones left behind. Shame on those insignificant, inconsiderate, ignorant few who posted such nonsense. I feel certain no one from the BTSC community was among the guilty.
That being said, there was another example of disrespect perpetrated toward our own Ben Roethlisberger by New Orleans Saints DE Cameron Jordan before last Sunday's game that was, although far less vile than Boswell's situation, quite unnecessary in its own right.
Cameron Jordan insinuated in an interview leading up to the game that Roethlisberger was not one of the top five QBs of his era, and that he thought New York Giants QB Eli Manning should be enshrined in the Hall of Fame before Big Ben.
Whether you love Ben Roethlisberger or you despise him, and there seems to be plenty on both sides of the aisle, most rationale people would agree that he has accomplished more than enough over the course of his lengthy career that he deserves a modicum of respect for those accomplishments. Ben is still building on his HOF resume, and should be a lock for enshrinement.
As far as I know, Ben did nothing to warrant Jordan's comments. He never spoke disparagingly about the Saints, their defense, or Jordan for that matter. So Jordan's comments were not only unnecessary, but of his own fruition. Jordan decided to raise the stakes of a game that was already incredibly important to both teams and place a huge spotlight squarely on himself and Ben. Also, to a lesser degree, on Steelers RT Matt Feiler.
I stated before the game that we the fans would learn a lot about the intestinal fortitude of these three combatants and their abilities, and we did.
Ben went out and let his play do the talking. He played maybe his best game of the season. While he didn't finish the game with another perfect passer rating, he was in complete control of the offense. His decision making was superior throughout the game in a loud and hostile environment. He outplayed another future HOF QB for the second week in a row and his upper echelon arm talent was on full display all afternoon. Many of his passes left a vapor trail as they found their mark, similar to an arrow from an archer. Ben was focused and fired up. As Pouncey had predicted, the monster was unleashed on the Saints defense. Ben accepted the challenge and as per his usual response, rose to the occasion.
So what about Jordan, what did he do during the game? Pretty much next to nothing. The sole person responsible for all the media hoopla was credited with two tackles in the game, although I honestly can't remember either of them. I do recall watching Feiler stymie his efforts throughout the game and make Jordan a nonfactor in the outcome. I do remember Jordan hitting Ben with the crown of his helmet in the chest a half second after Ben threw an incompletion. So I guess there is that.
There was also talk of Jordan taking a cheap shot at Ramon Foster toward the end of the game after the outcome had been decided. I guess he wanted to say he had made some kind of impact during the game.
So what did we learn from all the unnecessary drama? First, Ben continues to prove he is one of the greatest QBs and competitors the league has ever seen. Where he should be ranked on any all time list is subjective and premature as there is still work to be done, but rest assured his place in Canton, Ohio is solidified.
Matt Feiler proved he was more than capable of rising to a challenge and deserves his starting spot in the NFL.
Finally, Cameron Jordan needs to shut up and respect his elders. Jordan was fortunate that the Saints were able to pull out the victory in the end, because if they would have lost a lot of angry Saints fans would have wanted to know why he challenged a monster for no good reason.