03-20-2012, 10:15 PM
IRONMAN a.k.a. Tony Stark
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Re: Hines Ward Officially Announces Retirement
heres the best hines ward retirement article i have read penned by jim wexell. it gave goosebumps and brought back bone crunching memories. way too long to post all here but is a must read-
* I met Hines Ward at minicamp in “the ghetto” of the Three Rivers Stadium locker room in 1998. It was an annex of the locker room where the Steelers put all of their rookies, except for their first three draft picks. Ward was the fourth that year, but regardless of his status Hines was ebullient that day. You could tell right then that he had found his new home.
* What a champ, I thought. “Rookie of the Year,” I wrote.
* Ward didn’t win any awards that season, but who will ever forget the tackles he made on special teams that first preseason? Or his number 15?
* I remember the Monday night game in Kansas City in 1998, when Ward came out of the huddle trying to get the glove off his right hand, and I remember thinking that something was up just before he got the ball and threw a 17-yard pass back to Kordell Stewart on third-and-10.
* Ward’s friend Bobby Shaw once told me to ask Ward about the “target board.” It was something Ward had put up in the wide receivers’ meeting room. “If there’s a DB who wants to play dirty, trying to punk somebody out, we’ll put him on there,” Ward explained. “Once he’s on there, somebody has to go after him on every play.”
* The “target board” came to symbolize the rest of Ward’s career. It was born out of a response to a cheap shot Bills safety Kurt Schultz had put on Troy Edwards during a preseason game.
* The story reminded me of Blaine Bishop, one of Ward’s first nemeses. And then I remembered Victor Green, who hit Ward over the middle during a game in 2000 and warned Ward that he’d better not come over the middle again. Ha. Ward went after Green the rest of the game before the worn down Green said to Plaxico Burress, “Tell your boy to chill out.” Burress replied: “I’m not telling him nothing.”
* Green later complained to his wife, and his wife told Lee Flowers’ wife, “That No. 86 needs to calm down a little bit,” she said. And it eventually got back to a chuckling Steelers locker room.
* Green tried but he could not get revenge the next time out.
* Earl Little and his Cleveland teammates tried that revenge thing in 2001. Two plays after Little had threatened to kill Ward, Ward gave him a concussion.