Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward waves the Terrible Towel while being introduced -credit: Vincent Pugliese- US PRESSWIRE

Stories of Steel: Ward Is A Steeler For Life

I had something else for today, but in light of yesterday’s announcement, I couldn’t think of putting a focus on any other player but Hines. I watched the press conference and yep, teared right up. Sniffing and wiping right along with 86. His dedication to this team and to the fans is unmatched, and I think pretty rare, in the League. Not many guys who would give up the rest of a career to make sure he only had one team on his wikipedia page. Heck, the guy had a black suit and a gold tie on, (even elway yesterday had the rainbow coaltion going on).  He spoke of Steeler Nation numerous times throughout his presser and you just knew he meant every word. I got a little mad today when I got some messages saying that Hines was only retiring because he got no other offers. I’m not sure I believe that, but even more so I’m sure that’s not the point. I think wholeheartedly the guy would bleed Heinz ketchup if you cut him open, primantis sandwiches and thumb print cookies would spill out along with about four pounds of the grass from Hines field. When he said he couldn’t put on another uniform, I believe him. When he said it would be a cold day in hell before he wore purple I cheered. I was half expecting him to whip out a terrible towel and swing it around a few times. Maybe they could have played a little Renegade and showed a montage of HIS hits.

Hines has been my favorite Steeler for, well, forever. He made me watch an entire season of Dancing with the Stars, enough said. How many times did I grin after seeing him catch a ball, get lit up, and then stand up with a smile. First Down. How many other times was he down the field blocking. We have a top notch receiving core today partly because of his mentorism. We have a fifth Lombardi Trophy because he’s just that good. He’s got all the records. My only regret is that all of this is happening now. Should have somehow been done last December at the St. Louis game, so that we of Steeler Nation could have truly shown him our appreciation. I was there, it would have been awesome. And deserved. A stadium filled with fans who with one roaring voice can tell a guy, yep we love you. Something that even ten thousand facebook posts to him can’t replicate. I hope the team at least chipped in and got you something nice.

Thank you for fourteen years of tremendous play. Thank you for being the toughest wide receiver in the game. Thank you (in advance) for not getting involved with one of the housewives from Atlanta, as I know they will see you as fresh, loaded meat in the metro area.

I would like to point out two things… that its a shame this day for Hines was overshadowed by Manning-Mania, if those folks in Denver think that getting rid of Tebow is going to quiet things down out there, then they must have misseed the forty seven satellite trucks parked outside Sports Authority field. And second, let this be a lesson to all future players who are making decisions on retirement, I speak to you Bret Favre no one in particular. Cherish the time you have had on the field, make the word “teammate” mean something, and take your passion for the game and turn it into something good.  Show some class. Most of all, make a gosh darn decision.

Much love Hines, much love.



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