In the run-up to a Super Bowl, so many people are covering so little news and small stories become huge. Russ Grimm hating the Rooneys, for instance. Anquan Boldin and Todd Haley dueling at 20 paces.
This flap between Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is another perfect example. I don't believe it's much of a flap at all. I had a conversation with Whisenhunt as the clock ticked down in the AFC Championship Game about the prospect of facing his former team and the quarterback he mentored. Coach was highly complimentary about people. Highly complimentary.
I think Roethlisberger had trouble adjusting to a tough offensive coordinator and the young kid probably pushed back at some of the things he was being taught. It's natural for a player as great as Roethlisberger was in college to have issues with some of the lessons he got at the next level.
But were any of these permanent scars on their relationship? I doubt it sincerely. If they were, I'd have heard about it by now from my NBC pal Jerome Bettis. Bus has never said anything about hard feelings between the two men.
Big Ben is also Opinionated Ben. It hasn't been easy for him to swallow the coaching and advice he's gotten from his elders in Pittsburgh. But as Whisenhunt told me, "I really liked coaching him. He's the kind of guy who really wants to be good."
Just because somebody wants to be good, doesn't mean that they do whatever they're told and never chafe. Roethlisberger chafed. But it certainly doesn't mean that he and Whisenhunt won't be able to share a few beers in coming years.
Check SI.com's Super Blog regularly for more dispatches from Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa.