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View Full Version : Sadness should be the overriding emotion by far with Hines leaving


LayingTheWoodley56
02-11-2012, 12:15 PM
Save me all your talk about how "it's a business" and this and that. I understand that. It was apparent to anyone with a brain that Hines Ward was not a very valuable on-field contributor to the 2011 Steelers and most of his catches were designed, ineffective screen passes and the like to inch him closer to 1,000 catches. On a football level, I don't disagree with the move to let him go, considering our depth at wide receiver.

But for one second, let's stop thinking about how this affects our outlook for 2012 (which it likely does positively.) This is a sad day, because in today's free agency era where so many players jump from team to team, it is special to have a great player like Hines Ward who has been with the same team since day one. These 14 years have allowed us (certainly me) to become attached to #86 because he has played football the way it is meant to be played for more than a decade. Hines reminded us that there is a joy to this game every time he popped up after a first down with that indelible smile on his face. He reminded us every time he took his relatively puny frame and put someone 50 pounds heavier than him squarely on their ass. That unbridled physicality from one of the smallest players on the team always spelled Steeler football to me as I grew up with it.

I became a Steeler fan in 2001 at the age of eleven. Unlike many of you, I have never known a Steeler team without Hines Ward. His big moments of the past decade are inextricably linked with the many memories I have of being a Steeler fan. Forget about this "business" for a moment (again, it is a smart move to let him go), and for just one moment, look back and smile. Remember 2005, when a young Ben Roethlisberger found Hines to put us up big just before the half in Denver, one step from the Super Bowl. Or his game-tying touchdown against the Jets in the divisional round in 2004. Hell, last year he snagged a statement touchdown just before the half against the Packers in the Super Bowl to tell them that the Pittsburgh Steelers weren't going down quietly. How about the game-winner against the Jags in 08? The catch and run to set up our first score in Super Bowl XLIII? My most joyous Steeler moment has to be watching #86 leap a mile high into the end zone after bringing down that heave from El in Super Bowl XL. In a moment so many diva receivers would have used as an excuse to do some pre-orchestrated celebration routine, Hines only display was one of pure joy.

I encourage my Steeler brethren to post their favorite memories of Hines Ward here, because with the news that he will not be back next season, I feel a lot of sadness. He has personified Pittsburgh Steeler smashmouth football for 14 wonderful seasons, been a member of 2 Super Bowl championship teams, gone to a third, and been a key member of 5 teams that went to the AFC championship game. Who else would you want on a key 3rd and 8? There's a lot to be said for a receiver who took one of the most glamorous positions in the game and embraced the least glamorous part of it and made it his own. His smile (and I'm a straight man) has endeared him to us for all of these years, and I for one will miss it come this September. I hope that Hines realizes that this move is not personal whatsoever, and he will be back in Pittsburgh for years to come, maybe even someday as a coach.

There won't be a game in Pittsburgh in the near future where their won't be a few #86 jerseys in the stands. Hines Ward's jersey will take it's place alongside Mean Joe, Franco, Bradshaw, Lambert, Rod Woodson, Lloyd and all the other Steeler greats as one that is always represented on gameday as a nod to the great history that this team has. Hines has always been my favorite Steeler, and it's going to take someone truly special to make that change. I will be wearing the Hines jersey today that I bought in 2004, that I wore during our two Super Bowl victories, that has been (In a strangely inanimate-object type way) my companion for so many Steeler Sundays.

You'll always be my boy, 86. You were a great football player in every sense of the word. You embraced Steeler Nation and we embraced you. You inspired me to write a rambling post on this message board that many people will not read based on its length.

Never forget Hines Ward guys. Guys like him are rare.

plenewken
02-11-2012, 12:25 PM
:applaudit::applaudit::applaudit::applaudit:
Very well said. Ward will remain an example of professionalism and dedication for the generations to come.
I hope he stays in the Steelers organization in some capacity, I really do.

zcoop
02-11-2012, 12:37 PM
I wish he could stay around another year also but we'll see what happens.

StainlessStill
02-11-2012, 12:47 PM
Hines hasn't been let go YET, there's still time for negotiations but, the writing is on the wall. If he is let go, then that just goes to show every day comes for a favorite and legend. He'll go down as a Steelers legend but he simply doesn't fit in the direction of this offense anymore. I'd hate to see him in another uniform and waste his time. Hines has nothing more to prove.

It will be weird without Hines. I'll be wearing my #86 jersey loud and proud.:tt04:

ETL
02-11-2012, 03:02 PM
Well said. I agree with you - it is a sad day.

I just hope Hines doesn't do a Franco Harris and play his last days with another team

Fire Arians
02-11-2012, 03:22 PM
it'll be more sad if we have to lose one of our young receivers at the expense of keeping hines for another year or two. i would even hate to not re-sign jerricho cotchery to a reasonable contract because we wanted to be the good humanitarian and keep hines on the roster.

LayingTheWoodley56
02-11-2012, 03:33 PM
Well said. I agree with you - it is a sad day.

I just hope Hines doesn't do a Franco Harris and play his last days with another team

It would be very weird to see Hines in another uniform, but he seems deadset on playing next season. Maybe this will make him change his mind. Like was said above me, he has nothing more to prove and at this point it would probably be better for him to go gracefully and realize that when it's it it's it.

ricardisimo
02-11-2012, 03:37 PM
it'll be more sad if we have to lose one of our young receivers at the expense of keeping hines for another year or two. i would even hate to not re-sign jerricho cotchery to a reasonable contract because we wanted to be the good humanitarian and keep hines on the roster.
Unless you're talking about Sweed, Hines isn't the impediment. Money-wise, Mike Wallace would be. Roster space isn't an issue, unless for some bizarre reason they only want to keep 4 WRs.

FanSince72
02-11-2012, 03:57 PM
Well said!
And I feel sad for the fact that even though you point out that it's more than just "business is business", it really boils down to that and that's what hurts more.

But I remember a game way back in 1983 when I was sitting in my local watering hole and watched Terry Bradshaw throw the last pass he'd ever throw in his career (a touchdown [naturally] to Calvin Sweeney) in a game against the Jets. Cliff Stoudt took over and even though we won that game 34-7, we lost the last game that season as well as the Divisional Playoff game to the Raiders.

The Raiders! Ugh!

That last day was both happy and sad.
Happy because even after sitting out an entire season after elbow surgery, Terry came back for the first time that season and threw two TD's and put us up 14-0 just a few seconds into the 2nd quarter as if he never left. But the sad part was the "pop" he said he felt on that throw to Sweeney and after that the last image of him in a Steeler uniform I remember was him standing on the sidelines with an ice pack the size of a basketball wrapped around his elbow thinking, "It's over". "The whole damned thing is over".

That was the last game for him, the last game for Shea Stadium and the last NFL game ever played in NYC. Most importantly it was the official end of a dynasty that defined modern football and the end of an era in football that we'll never see again and that Terry was largely responsible for helping to create.

December 10th, 1983 was the saddest day I've ever experienced as a Steeler fan.

If I could get past the sadness of all that, I can get past losing Hines Ward.

zcoop
02-11-2012, 04:37 PM
Well said!
And I feel sad for the fact that even though you point out that it's more than just "business is business", it really boils down to that and that's what hurts more.

But I remember a game way back in 1983 when I was sitting in my local watering hole and watched Terry Bradshaw throw the last pass he'd ever throw in his career (a touchdown [naturally] to Calvin Sweeney) in a game against the Jets. Cliff Stoudt took over and even though we won that game 34-7, we lost the last game that season as well as the Divisional Playoff game to the Raiders.

The Raiders! Ugh!

That last day was both happy and sad.
Happy because even after sitting out an entire season after elbow surgery, Terry came back for the first time that season and threw two TD's and put us up 14-0 just a few seconds into the 2nd quarter as if he never left. But the sad part was the "pop" he said he felt on that throw to Sweeney and after that the last image of him in a Steeler uniform I remember was him standing on the sidelines with an ice pack the size of a basketball wrapped around his elbow thinking, "It's over". "The whole damned thing is over".

That was the last game for him, the last game for Shea Stadium and the last NFL game ever played in NYC. Most importantly it was the official end of a dynasty that defined modern football and the end of an era in football that we'll never see again and that Terry was largely responsible for helping to create.

December 10th, 1983 was the saddest day I've ever experienced as a Steeler fan.

If I could get past the sadness of all that, I can get past losing Hines Ward.

Damn partna, you got me to thinking back. I was stuck on an island halfway between the US and Europe when this game happened. I was on a 15 month assignment for the USAF. We had to rely on our buddies to record the games (Beta/VHS) and send them to us after the fact.

Atlanta Dan
02-11-2012, 04:47 PM
Well said!
And I feel sad for the fact that even though you point out that it's more than just "business is business", it really boils down to that and that's what hurts more.

But I remember a game way back in 1983 when I was sitting in my local watering hole and watched Terry Bradshaw throw the last pass he'd ever throw in his career (a touchdown [naturally] to Calvin Sweeney) in a game against the Jets. Cliff Stoudt took over and even though we won that game 34-7, we lost the last game that season as well as the Divisional Playoff game to the Raiders.

The Raiders! Ugh!

That last day was both happy and sad.
Happy because even after sitting out an entire season after elbow surgery, Terry came back for the first time that season and threw two TD's and put us up 14-0 just a few seconds into the 2nd quarter as if he never left. But the sad part was the "pop" he said he felt on that throw to Sweeney and after that the last image of him in a Steeler uniform I remember was him standing on the sidelines with an ice pack the size of a basketball wrapped around his elbow thinking, "It's over". "The whole damned thing is over".

That was the last game for him, the last game for Shea Stadium and the last NFL game ever played in NYC. Most importantly it was the official end of a dynasty that defined modern football and the end of an era in football that we'll never see again and that Terry was largely responsible for helping to create.

December 10th, 1983 was the saddest day I've ever experienced as a Steeler fan.

If I could get past the sadness of all that, I can get past losing Hines Ward.

That relationship didn't end well either based on this early 1984 story

Terry Bradshaw, who missed all but one quarter of last season with an elbow ailment, knows that his future with the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncertain, but the 35-year-old quarterback apparently does not like to be reminded of it. Last week, when the Steelers acquired the quarterback David Woodley from the Miami Dolphins, Coach Chuck Noll mentioned Bradshaw's injury and expressed doubt he would recover enough to resume his career.

Bradshaw didn't like that. ''He doesn't talk to me, he doesn't call me, but he makes these statements,'' Bradshaw said the other night. ''He ought to just keep his mouth shut and pay attention to the draft,:chuckle: and take care of business and not make statements about me until he's absolutely certain what he's saying.'

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/29/sports/sports-people-bradshaw-jabs-at-noll.html

Bayz101
02-11-2012, 05:07 PM
How soon people forget.

Fire Arians
02-11-2012, 05:41 PM
i don't have a problem keeping hines, but he needs to realize he's now the #5 WR (#4 at best if cotch is gone), and should be paid accordingly. None of this 'restructuring' with him, he has to be willing to take a pay cut, and a big one at that. If he's willing then fine. If not then sorry hines.

ricardisimo
02-11-2012, 06:02 PM
Yeah, veteran minimum is what we're talking about, but with Hines' years of service that's still a hefty chunk of change.

Atlanta Dan
02-11-2012, 06:15 PM
Isn't #4 receiver someone who would be expected to play on special teams:noidea:

This is more than $$$ - unfortunately there is no longer a spot that fits for Hines - if Wallace walks the Steelers need to make a play for Cotchery - if both Wallace and Cotchery walk its still does not work for Hines to be the #3 receiver

But no question Hines will be missed

FanSince72
02-11-2012, 08:14 PM
That relationship didn't end well either based on this early 1984 story

Terry Bradshaw, who missed all but one quarter of last season with an elbow ailment, knows that his future with the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncertain, but the 35-year-old quarterback apparently does not like to be reminded of it. Last week, when the Steelers acquired the quarterback David Woodley from the Miami Dolphins, Coach Chuck Noll mentioned Bradshaw's injury and expressed doubt he would recover enough to resume his career.

Bradshaw didn't like that. ''He doesn't talk to me, he doesn't call me, but he makes these statements,'' Bradshaw said the other night. ''He ought to just keep his mouth shut and pay attention to the draft,:chuckle: and take care of business and not make statements about me until he's absolutely certain what he's saying.'

http://www.nytimes.com/1984/02/29/sports/sports-people-bradshaw-jabs-at-noll.html


Yeah but I didn't know any of that at the time.

All I knew was that the team I grew up with and who did things that no one else had ever done before was no more.

steelerchad
02-11-2012, 08:42 PM
Isn't #4 receiver someone who would be expected to play on special teams:noidea:

This is more than $$$ - unfortunately there is no longer a spot that fits for Hines - if Wallace walks the Steelers need to make a play for Cotchery - if both Wallace and Cotchery walk its still does not work for Hines to be the #3 receiver

But no question Hines will be missed

Agreed. He's a liability at this point. He's one of my favorites. His home jersey is the one I wear to Heinz Field. But #4 or #5 receivers need to be able to return punts, kicks, or play coverage on special teams. If we keep him on the team, we may be cutting the next Antonio Brown this summer.
At 36, let's call it a career. He's done dancing with the stars, he's done some commentary. He'll probably get a gig somewhere on TV.

60_MINUTES
02-11-2012, 11:49 PM
Hines is not going anywhere guys.... Jason LA is hearing we may cut him... well no shit... we are gonna cut him or whatever so we can then sign him back at VET min..... I heard the same thing that you guys did that stir all this shit up... He said because ward only had a year left that we couldnt spread any of his money out etc..... hello jason we wouldnt do that with a guy wards age anyway...we will cut him and if Ward wants to come back at vet min he will be back...


I would say chances of Ward leaving the steelers is 0 percent...Remember guys rooney himself said he planned on talking to Ward about his contract... Im sure they will have a plan in place to bring him back

FrancoLambert
02-12-2012, 09:19 AM
Sadness and gratitude for all of his contributions.
Maybe the best blocking WR to ever play the game.
The smile that so many tried to wipe from his face did disappear at times this year.
As the season progressed he saw it coming. Now it's here and we see it too.
Thanks Hines for providing so many great memories and for being a proud Steeler.
:applaudit: :tt04: :tt02: :tt: :tt03: :wave:

Kingmagyar
02-12-2012, 11:18 AM
I stated this on another post about Ward but I do believe this is very true,

"I don't know if he can even play the game anymore. Those passes at the end of the season to him were really bad junk passes to get him his catches. Assuming Todd Haley pushes for a tall receiver in the draft say around the 3rd -4th round and resigning Cotchery that would place Ward at 6th. They may not even keep 6. So there is the chance they would cut him out of training camp. "

I would much rather see our receiver depth chart look like this

Mike Wallace
Antonio Brown
Emanuel Sanders
Jerricho Cotchery
3rd or 4th round tall receiver in this year's draft (Marvin McNutt, Nick Toon, Tommy Streeter, or Brian Quick)
6th spot used somewhere else on the team for a special teams player.

It is sad Ward's era is coming to an end. There was no receiver like him ever, but thank God we have 3 really good guys on the team, and we will always remember Ward who really carried this team with clutch plays in the mid 2000's.

harts
02-12-2012, 01:36 PM
Emotion is for losers
Winners adapt, create, and improve.

When you can no longer do these things in football it is time for retirement.

Hines has hit that mark

I can safely say that Hines has done just about as much as he can to make himself great.

In the end that's all you can ask

Either you got it or you dont
and when you dont
It is time to go

FrancoLambert
02-12-2012, 04:10 PM
Can't keep him at the expense of losing young and promising talent.

His contibutions, toughness, and grit will never be forgotten

His crushing blocks were as exciting as his catches.

Thanks for everything Hines, you are a true Steeler.....if this is the end, go out as a Steeler.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-13-2012, 09:33 AM
I honestly never wanted to see Franco Harris retire. I say we wrong a right and sign him to a contract, then let him stay as long as he wants. That roster spot for Dwyer wasnt doing much anyways.

tunes4life
02-13-2012, 10:17 AM
I found while reading the initial post that it really helped for effect if I played some music in the background. I chose this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EQ6eHeBrhM

But you choose something to suit your tastes.

steelfury02
02-13-2012, 11:50 AM
Keep 3 QBs, not 4

Keep 1 less RB

problem solved?

Curtain_of_Steel
02-13-2012, 12:23 PM
So we are trying to slice and dice position players just to keep Hines?

Come on guys wake up.

Hines should've been in the best shape of his life coming into this season. Why do I say that you ask? He danced for how many weeks? Practiced dancing for how many hours? He worked muscles he probably never worked, all of which should've supported his knees, hammys etc. He still didn't practice but half the time at best, maybe. It's time!
Its like have Rover the dog at home, you see him hobbling around, tough to get up, can't chase the ball around with the other dogs anymore. That when you know its time to take walk him down the long cold hallway and put him out of his misery. Rover, I mean hines lived a good life. Its time to move on.

Than when your done, you go to the store and find a young peppy pup thats ready to go. Soon you forget and go on.

hopefully Hines doesnt hang on and finds another team and does a crossing route with Harrison beating down his path. He may wish he retired.

steelfury02
02-13-2012, 12:56 PM
not everyone is ready for a new pup after the old one passes on

I'll take your same argument and apply it to the Bus's last playing days. He was good for a 1 yard first down play every now and then, had one last flash in the pan (v. Bears) but pretty much contributed zilch except experience and leadership in the XL run IMHO.

Would you be willing to keep Hines for the minimum? Lastly - who says the 5th WR has to be a special teams contributor?

There are plenty of backup defensive backs and probably a running back who would suffice on ST.

Now we're hoping for the Steelers all-time leading receiver to get hurt by a former teammate? I think your personal frustrations are a tad misguided lol - yikes!

Edman
02-13-2012, 01:33 PM
No "restructuring". It's either a paycut or adios for Hines. His time here will be cherished and we will all miss him, but it's time to move on.

DanRooney
02-13-2012, 01:48 PM
Sadness? Apparently lots of people want the team to move backwards.

ricardisimo
02-13-2012, 01:58 PM
Sadness? Apparently lots of people want the team to move backwards.
You must be the life of the party at family funerals, with your pick-me-up speeches about cutting dead weight and such.

truesteelerfan
02-13-2012, 02:41 PM
I think we are overlooking Hine's value on the team outside of his ablity to catch passes and run block. I believe that Hines was instrumental in the development of Wallace & Sanders. How much does a WR coach make? I know Hine's salary would be different (meaning it counts against the cap), but his leadership and actual willingness to teach his skill set to other, younger receivers makes him a resign (after we cut and sign for vet min, if he'll take that low). Even if he's not on the field, the other WR on this roster are better at their craft because Hines has helped them develop. No Hines, our WR lack the training that only a superstar of Hine's resume can offer.

harts
02-13-2012, 07:31 PM
I think we are overlooking Hine's value on the team outside of his ablity to catch passes and run block. I believe that Hines was instrumental in the development of Wallace & Sanders. How much does a WR coach make? I know Hine's salary would be different (meaning it counts against the cap), but his leadership and actual willingness to teach his skill set to other, younger receivers makes him a resign (after we cut and sign for vet min, if he'll take that low). Even if he's not on the field, the other WR on this roster are better at their craft because Hines has helped them develop. No Hines, our WR lack the training that only a superstar of Hine's resume can offer.
Offering him a coaching spot
but he shouldnt take up space on the 53