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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ward goes out with class

Hines Ward announced his retirement today, the way he should have done so about a month ago - with class.

Ward thanked his teammates, the organization and fans for his 14 years in a Pittsburgh uniform, choking back tears on a number of occasions.

At this point, there's not a whole lot I can say about Ward that I haven't already said.

I've always respected him and he was always a stand-up guy who was loved by his teammates.

That was apparent at Tuesday's press conference when Aaron Smith, James Harrison and Jerome Bettis showed up to lend support.

They did, however, have a side bet on how long it would take Ward to break down and cry. As Harrison said, "Hines is a cryer."

But there's nothing wrong with that. Ward played with emotion, and it was tough for him to walk away from the game he loves.

Ward can do so, however, with his head held high. He gave his all at all times on the field and in practice.

And as he said, he and Smith, James Farrior and Chris Hoke – all of whom the team has parted ways with in the past month – leave a legacy here much like the Steelers of the '70s.

They won, and they won a lot.


adamg said...

Really hope the Steelers have them all back as honorary captains for a home game next season so the fans can give them the sendoff they deserve and did not have a chance to give last year.

Henigin said...

That would be cool, but in all fairness I think we all knew this was a pretty good possibility during the season -- at the Dec. 4 game against Cincinnati, the crowd was cheering for Hines every time he entered or left the field. I could honestly see Farrior back for part or all of the season if injuries hit or the draft doesn't bring some big help.

bruinmann77 said...

Dale was Smith Ad his way of saying he is retiring? and will be no press conference

adamg said...

Read somewhere that Smith did not want a retirement press conference.

joe said...

glad hines took his time to think about it and then retire never wearing another jersey. was great to read smith's ad in the paper too. farrior might have been one of the greatest fagency pick ups ever, certainly one of the best steeler fagency pick-ups.
we all got to enjoy these guys for so long, easy to take it for granted how well the steelers do things overall.

Dale Lolley said...

Pretty much for Smith. Again, classy. Didn't want a big hoopla made about it. Just wanted to go out on his terms.

Anonymous said...

Dale, Ben wasn't at the press conference and Ward didn't mention his name.

Did Ben help push Ward out of Pittsburg? If so why? I know he mentioned some things about Ben's injuries but it wasn't anything major. Is his ego that fragile?

alexrkirby said...

I seriously doubt that Ben pushed Hines out. But at the same time I don't think Ben was pushing for Hines to get more playing time either.

The two aren't friends.

Pistol said...


With recent developments do you see Kuechly being avab now that the Eagles snagged Ryans???

bruinmann77 said...

Dale what excuse did ben give for not comming.

Dale Lolley said...

What excuse did anyone give for not coming? Three teammates and one former teammate were there. It's the offseason.
People are making too big a deal out of it.

As for Kuechely, I would expect he'll be gone regardless of what the Eagles did.

marc said...

it's being reported wallace asked for fitzgerald type $. first of all, that's laughable if it s true. but more importantly, is that a relfection of his arrogance (in your opinion) or is he just saying "if you want to get me out of pittsburgh, this is what it will cost"

thanks for your insight.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty funny. Good for him sticking with the Steelers for 2012 anyway, if true. Here's hoping he plays that way next season!

Pistol said...

Well at least we know 2 things about Wallace if this is true. 1. He has a great sense of humor 2. He is an idiot.

bruinmann77 said...

wallace will have a great 2012 as he near URFA which will be great for the steelers. They are not going to pay him more than either Ben or Troy.

Anonymous Brian said...

Yeah, as Marc suggested, maybe that's just his way of saying he's not leaving unless he gets a ridiculous deal.

Bet he signs a DeSean Jackson-ish deal during camp.

Anonymous said...

He's good as gone we all saw this coming. We utilize him next year and then say goodbye after that as he will command $100 Million from someone and get it.

Anonymous said...

Fitz and CJ got huge contracts because they are already in the system, they know those two dominate there. NO ONE will give wallace 100 million or close when there's no guarantee he will be as good. Upwards of what vincent jackson got, a better player but older and not a field stretcher, is what I expect and his agent should be expecting

60 million seems like the starting point imo

Dale Lolley said...

"He is as good as gone and we all saw this coming."

What a bunch of hogwash.

I see it as he wants to stay with the Steelers and if somebody wants him, they would have to bowl him over with ridiculous money.

Not to mention, people are quick to believe an unsubstantiated report from a team hoping to save face with the fans for not even making a run at Wallace and re-signing Ted Gin and adding Mario Manningham.

Mark said...

So if I start a rumor that Wallace has cured cancer and the common cold, are people going to start talking about what a genius he is?

Like Dale said, let's wait for a substantiated report, rather than a random rumor.

emac2 said...

I do think Wallace wants to set the market and it's very possible he has been looking at next year so that his restricted status wont cost him dollars.

Every year closer to 2014 when the TV deal hits also makes it easier to get an insane deal. This is one of the worst years because there is no salary floor but next year the really cheap teams will be forced to spend a combined 100 mil or so more and we will be 1 year away from the TV money which probably adds another billion or so to contracts next year.

With all that extra money and no compensation a 100 mil deal isn't out of the question. I think he has always had an eye on making a name for himself with his FA deal since he was drafted "so low"

I wonder if he has a verbal with the Steelers that he won't sign a contract this year ,unless it's it's a monster deal, if they agree not to tag him next year.

Anonymous said...

And when the salary cap increases by $20 some odd-million next year, it won't seem so crazy when Wallace gets his $100 Million from a desperate team.