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Old 10-31-2008, 07:16 PM   #1
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Thumbs up The More Refined Side Of Steeler Hines Ward

The More Refined Side Of Steeler Hines Ward

Sonni Abatta PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― When you think of Hines Ward, chances are, you think of hard hits and undeniable presence on the football field.

A few weeks back, KDKA's Sonni Abatta got to see a more refined side of the Steelers' star wide receiver.

Hines and I met at the Perfect 10 Nail Studio in Green Tree. Not one to flex his star muscle and leave us waiting, he arrived to the shoot 15 minutes early. As soon as the interview started, we talked all things, not football.

And we began by talking about indulgences.

Turns out, Hines goes to Perfect 10 twice a month to get a manicure and pedicure. But he stressed he doesn't get polish--just buffed.

It turns out, he's not the only Steeler who prides himself on being manicured. Hines says Deshea Townsend, Willie Parker and Santonio Holmes have all been known to get a little pampering, too. So much for keeping teammates' secrets!

Hines does add, though, "Some of my teammates tease me all the time."

When I ask who, he says Larry Foote, James Harrison--"mainly all the defensvie guys."

This isn't the only thing Hines does to keep polished. Fashion is also high on his list.

"I'm very into fashion. I love everything about it," says Hines.

That means coordinating outfits. Hines claims his closet is color coordinated, and his shoes are coordinated too.

"My dress shoes are on one side, Jordans on the upper shelf, and tennis shoes are on the middle shelf. I'm very anal about that."

And speaking of accessories, Hines also travels in style--with the whole range of Louis Vuitton luggage.

"I have the whole set," he adds. "The carry-on bag, the tote bag. I got it all. I have to coordinate it."

But Hines is concerned about more than just the frills. Asked about his son, Hines beams. Four-year-old Jaden isn't just yet following in Dad's footsteps. He's a soccer player.

"Every time he kicked the soccer ball he'd look back at Daddy and say, 'I did it,' and it's just a different perspective."

And Hines wants to be there for his son in every way.

"[A]ll the things I didn't receive from my father help me to become a better father to my son. ... I paved the way for him to have a better life."


A man of many talents, Hines also moonlights as a television show host. He hosts his own show, "The PNC Hines Ward Show," which airs Saturday nights on KDKA-TV.

And this could be just the beginning of his career in front of the camera. Hines says he'll definitely explore his broadcasting options when his football career is done.

Asked who he'd want to interview the most, Hines says it's former President Bill Clinton.

As far as this year's presidential election goes, Hines says he knows who he'll vote for, but won't say it publicly. He does admit that Barack Obama's mere presence on the ticket is inspiring to him.

"So many parents--African-American and different ethnic groups--you sit there and tell your kids you can be something in life, and you finally can say, one day I wanna be President, because it might happen," he says.

What might also happen is Hines learning a different language. When I asked what one talent he wished he had--outside of football--after some thinking, Hines said it would be speaking fluent Korean. His mother is Korean. Language classes, Hines says, could be in his future.

"That would be a great thing to have a full conversation with her in Korean. ... I thought about finding a class in the off-season, but walking around on campus? I'm a little too old for that," he said.

What he's not too old for, though, is having an idol of his own. After having played it cool meeting celebrities like Ice Cube, Chris Tucker and Martin Lawrence, Hines was a little less composed after meeting basketball legend Michael Jordan.

"I walked away and got on the phone and started textin' everyone, like, 'I just met Mike!' he says. "I was a fan away from a fan. ... I played it cool, but inside, I was, 'It's Michael Jordan!!"

Nice to know even superstars have their super-fan moments.
"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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