They’ve shared the cover of a magazine and were arguably the biggest part in their teams bringing two championships to Pittsburgh for the first time in 30 years.

They’re a combined age of 49 and have done things early in their careers some players have worked decades to even have a shot at.

They’re constantly the coolest guys in the room and are the secret crushes of girls all over western Pennsylvania, if not North America.

They’re Ben Roethlisberger and Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh’s most prized and beloved athletes in a field more saturated than its been in nearly 20 years. (OK, maybe not as saturated now as before the Pirates traded everybody last summer, but you get my drift.)

Each is the most integral part of their team’s success and has helped make more memories in five years than sports fans in some cities see their entire lifetimes.

While it’s next to impossible to compare just who is the better athlete — the skill sets needed to be masterful in each sport are drastically different — we can try to evaluate which one is cooler, but it’s not going to be easy.

Both sell tons of jerseys. Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls and he’s not even 28. Crosby’s had the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final in back-toback seasons and is the youngest captain in NHL history to win the most famous trophy in all of sports.

Crosby’s turned Pittsburgh into ‘Hockeytown West.’ Roethlisberger’s made the decades-long Steelers woes at the quarterback position disappear.

But both are stars on a national level, too. Roethlisberger’s appeared on commercials for ESPN’s Sportscenter and endorses Nike apparel, while Crosby can be seen in advertisements for Gatorade and is pretty much the face of all the NHL’s marketing endeavors.

Big Ben has his own line of beef jerky and BBQ sauce, while Sid the Kid has a plethora of products he endorses in Canada like Pepsi and has an international deal with Reebok for his own line of “SC87” apparel similar to the Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods brands produced by Nike.

We have to also judge each by the company they keep. Talk to seemingly anyone under the age of 30 living in the Pittsburgh area and they’ll tell you about the time they saw Roethlisberger here or Crosby there in their travels around town.

Both have made their rounds on the late night talk show circuit. Roethlisberger’s been at the Espy’s, hung out with Shaquille O’Neal, hosted a WWE event and even played rounds of celebrity golf with some of the most famous people in the world (and has now made headlines about what did or did not transpire behind closed doors after said golf).

Crosby has carried the Olympic torch for his nation and early next year will be on the Canadian club considered the favorite to walk away from Vancouver with the gold.

But unlike Big Ben, Sid has kept his private life under wraps for the most part, though he has been under the wing of Mario Lemieux for most of his time away from his hometown of Halifax.

So, just who is cooler. Crosby does play the coolest game on Earth, but Roethlisberger is one of the most popular players and plays the most popular position in the most popular sport.

Can we just agree that both are pretty cool and leave it at that? Or should we get Shaq to drive down from Cleveland and sort it all out?

ä I will be on vacation until Dec. 21, so if you have any announcements that need listed in the Bulletin Board section of the sports pages, please send them to Herald Sports Editor Lynn Saternow who will be filling in for me at