Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a Hines Ward guy. Ward is probably my favorite Pittsburgh Steeler, and the way he plays the game always really appealed to me. His style is the type of workman like style that really identified me with the Steelers.
Pittsburgh is not much different than the small mining town I am from. It’s hardnosed and working class. The type of place that appreciates a scrappy effort.
Now I understand that Pittsburgh isn’t all factories and steel mills any more, but the people still have that attitude.
So, even though my father and grandfather left me no choice regardless, the Steelers was just an easy choice for me, despite living more on the eastern side of the state.
Another easy choice was my Hines Ward jersey. I pick one player and that is what jersey I wear, until they are no longer with the team. I got my Hines jersey to replace that of Plaxico Burress and it has been with me for two Superbowl victories and one Superbowl loss.
It might be time for a new one though.
I will be the first to admit that Ward has lost at least a step. This season, and last to be honest, were disappointments. That’s the name of the game though. Age will catch up to you, and with his hard hitting style it’s amazing he lasted this long.
Not sure who I will pick now.
Really I just hope Ward doesn’t cheapen what he did in the Black and Gold by going to another team to catch 20 passes for a year. Obviously it isn’t my decision, but it’s so rare that a guy stays with his team for his whole career. To me at least it would make him look like a broken man.
In fact the way he is again playing up his contract status though the media is already making it seem that way. Like he can’t let go. Like he can’t accept the amazing career he has had in Pittsburgh.
He already has something another 30 catches in Arizona won’t buy him. Legendary status.
Franco Harris went to Seattle. Did it hurt him in the long run? No. Was it kind of pathetic? Yeah.
Emmitt Smith couldn’t let go. Were his few seasons in Arizona really memorable? Not really. Just another old man with little left who couldn’t accept his fate.
I hope Ward isn’t that guy. He holds every Steelers receiving record. He has a real good shot at being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he could probably get a staff job tomorrow.
Nothing is official yet. If he comes back fine. I don’t want him back personally but I can at least see the reasoning. If he leaves it won’t be his fault, but it will be sad to see on many levels.