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mesaSteeler 03-06-2012 06:02 AM

Madden: No league for old men
 
Madden: No league for old men
http://www.timesonline.com/columnist...tml?mode=print
By Mark Madden Times Sports Columnist | Posted: Sunday, March 4, 2012 8:55 pm

Anyone watching tape of Hines Ward from this past season couldn't help but conclude he has nothing left to contribute.

If any team steps forward with an offer, itíll be a loaded one. Itís easy to imagine an AFC North rival, probably Baltimore, signing Ward. The Ravens could display the Pittsburgh icon wearing their purple clown suit, pump his brain for inside knowledge about the Steelers, then nail him to the bench or inactive list.

Ward simply isn't good enough to play in the NFL anymore. He finds himself at a crossroads. Should Ward grab a microphone and start that phase of his life, or hang on somewhere as a fourth or fifth receiver, perhaps damaging his Pittsburgh legacy?

It seems an easy choice. Ward has done some network duty, at the Super Bowl and on the red carpet at the Academy Awards. He's a natural. Between his NFL career and his triumph on "Dancing With the Stars," few match Ward's credentials for TV stardom. Ward might not be limited to ordinary ex-jock work. Movies could be in his future.

But football players want to play football. By the time Ward realizes he's not going to actually get on the field much, he'll be committed to a team. Ward won't quit. He doesn't quit.

Ward's delusions likely go beyond merely filling roster space. That giant ego probably believes he can not only start again, but star.

It's an absurd leap of faith. Video doesn't lie. Ward's final Steelers campaign wound down in pathetic fashion. He got sympathy snaps en route to 1,000 catches. He hit his number but looked feeble in the process. His milestone grab lost three yards. Yikes.

You can't will or work speed into returning. You can't turn back time. Teams don't employ blocking specialists at receiver. Ward's only worth now would be against zones, using savvy to find seams. Against man coverage, Ward can't even get off the line.

It would be interesting to see Pittsburgh's reaction if Ward returned to Heinz Field playing for Baltimore. Ward could run for mayor - as long as he retires now, forever a Steeler. Franco Harris remains a Steeler icon despite his brief sojourn to Seattle. But these are different times. More volatile.

Ward's finished. He may not realize it, but everybody else does. He should retire.

Of further debate: Whether or not Ward should make the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

If you live in Pittsburgh and saw Ward play, you've witnessed his intangibles and what he contributes to winning. But Hall of Fame voters crunch numbers. They consider Pro Bowls and All-Pro picks. Ward only made four Pro Bowls in 14 seasons, none since 2004. He was never a first-team All-Pro selection.

Lots of wide receivers are on line ahead on Ward: Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed. Coming soon: Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Only seven wide receivers have been named to the Hall of Fame since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. It is not an institution that places a high value on the position.

Ward seems a long shot, at best. If you think he has a chip on his shoulder now, wait until Ward addresses this situation after 4-5 years of disappointment. Ward's the kind of guy who will sweat the Hall of Fame every second until he makes it or dies.

You should hope Ward makes the right decision and retires.

Not me. I hope Ward makes the wrong decision. It will be a lot more fun to watch.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).

Kingmagyar 03-06-2012 07:29 AM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
Mark Madden - Hated, Controversial, but there is always a ring of truth somewhere in what he says.

tunes4life 03-06-2012 07:32 AM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

micraydim 03-06-2012 07:53 AM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tunes4life (Post 1001574)
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

Lol:thumbsup:

Cpitt78 03-06-2012 04:01 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
The only way this ends happily for me is this...

Hines Ward offered contract from the Ravens and in lieu of selling the Steelers down the river, he says "thanks but no thanks" and rides off into the sunset.

Fire Arians 03-06-2012 04:03 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
a little harsh but a lot of what he's saying is true

6RingsAndCounting 03-06-2012 07:20 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tunes4life (Post 1001574)
The words "Mark Madden" automatically invoke my "No Read" policy.

+1 :drink:

Bayz101 03-06-2012 07:24 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
Madden is like the Chris Chase of Pittsburgh.

tony hipchest 03-06-2012 07:25 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
madden felt the need to call ryan clark a punk ass thug yesterday for his comments on snitches.

madden is to steelers football what that turd rush limbaugh is to american politics.

fujirama24 03-06-2012 07:53 PM

Re: Madden: No league for old men
 
I have to completely disagree with you MR. Madden. I believe the steelers didn't utilize Hines at all the way he should have been. He is not a big bubble screen guy. He is a guy who can find the holes in a zone and get open. I think this will be one the the worst moves the steelers have made in the last 30 years. I think he had 3 to 4 really good years left in him. I believe he will either be with Wiz in Arizona or he will go were P. Manning goes. wouldn't be a bad spot for him. Though I love the way you talk steelers mark, This time I think your wrong.


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