In the midst of the NFL offseason, cover32 will debut a series of new segments to hype up NFL fans for the start of the 2017 season.
The NFL Doppelgänger series is where each cover32 writer breaks down an NFL player’s closest comparison outside the world of football. So far, we have discussed who is the doppelgänger of Tom Brady, Tyreek Hill, and Bill Belichick
Ben Roethlisberger: 2x Super Bowl Champion, 5x Pro Bowler, NFL passing yards co-leader (2014), NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and MAC Offensive Player of the Year (2003).
Kris Bryant: 2x All-Star, World Series Champion, NL MVP, NL Rookie of the Year, NL Hank Aaron Award, Golden Spikes Award, and the Dick Howser Trophy winner.
You might be asking yourself, how do two elite players in different sports compare to each other. Despite being in two completely different sports, Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger and Kristopher Lee Bryant actually have a lot in common.
In 2004, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Ben Roethlisberger, a quarterback from Miami of Ohio University as their first overall pick.
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At first, Ben was originally intended to sit the entire season behind veteran Tommy Maddox but plans abruptly changed when Maddox was hurt in the team’s Week 2 loss to Baltimore.
Surrounded by talent, “Big Ben” had an NFL record 13-0 as a starting rookie quarterback. After defeating the New York Jets in the Divisional round, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots destroyed the Steelers in a 41-27 win.
Despite losing big time in the AFC Championship Game that year, Ben was named the AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The following year, Ben led the Steelers to the team’s first Super Bowl in 26 years. After defeating the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Denver Broncos, the Steelers found themselves in the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks were no match for Ben and the Steelers as they won 21-10.
In that 2005 playoff year, Ben threw for 803 yards, 7 touchdowns, 3 interceptions, and even rushed for 2 touchdowns.
Those numbers are incredible for a team making a championship run. After that Super Bowl, Ben made it to the playoffs seven times and has made it to the Super Bowl two times (winning one of those games).
Everything after 2005 is irrelevant for the time being because Kris Bryant has only played in the majors for two years.
In 2013, the Chicago Cubs selected Kris Bryant, a third-basemen from University of San Diego as their first overall pick.
For the first two years, Kris Bryant worked his way up through the minor league. On April 17, 2015, Bryant was called up to the majors by the Cubs.
Now on the Cubs as a rookie, Kris Bryant broke several Cubs rookie records and led the Cubs to a 97-65 record.
The team clinched a Wild Card spot and it was their first playoff berth in seven years. The Cubs would then shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-0, and advance to the NLDS, wherein game three Bryant hit a two-run homer against their rival, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cubs won the series in 4 games but got swept by the Mets in the 2015 NLCS. Bryant was named the Baseball America Rookie of the Year for the 2015 season.
The following year, Kris led the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years.
After defeating the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cubs found themselves in the World Series for the first time in 71 years against the Cleveland Indians.
In the World Series, the Cubs came back from a 3 games-to-1 deficit and defeated the Cleveland Indians to secure their first championship in decades. During the 2016 postseason, Bryant hit for a .308 average with three home runs and eight RBI.
Bryant concluded the 2016 season by winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in his second year in the major leagues.
In both of Ben Roethlisberger’s and Kris Bryant’s careers, they were drafted in the first round.
Ben was made to be a backup for his first year until injuries promoted him to be a starter in his rookie year in 2004. Kris was in the minor leagues for 2 years, before the Cubs called him up for his rookie year in 2015.
In both of Ben’s and Kris’s rookie years, they made their league championship games where Ben got blown out, and Kris got swept. Despite the big losses, both Ben and Kris won the rookie of the year awards.
Then in their second year of their careers, both Ben and Kris won their teams a championship. Despite being in two completely different sports, Ben Roethlisberger and Kris Bryant had almost the exact same path for the first two years of their careers.
When Kris Bryant and Ben Roethlisberger both joined the league, they were very both joining teams that had a heavy load of veteran talent.
In Ben Roethlisberger’s case, he was the new rookie quarterback that had loads of talent on defense and offense.
Ben had a ton of running support in Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis and Duce Staley.
Ben also had a ton of weapons to throw to in Antwaan Randle El, Hines Ward, and Plaxico Burress.
In Kris Bryant’s case, he was the #1 prospect in baseball that was joining a team loaded with veterans in Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Ben Zobrist, and Miguel Montero.
Both Ben and Kris were joining their teams as a bright new rookie who was being guided by veterans, who were going to lead their team to a championship.
Thus showing, that Kris Bryant’s NFL Doppelgänger is Ben Roethlisberger.