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Old 12-10-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy
http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/b...4211264.column
David Steele
8:12 PM EST, December 10, 2008

To a man, the Ravens stood before the microphones today, displayed great professionalism and poise, and suppressed their deeply held, collective belief that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward is the spawn of Satan.

They might not literally believe that, of course -- and even if they did, they were certainly under a Hines-inspired gag order anyway. But it is safe to say there aren't a lot of warm, fuzzy feelings toward the man who is one of the NFL's best receivers and one of its most potent instigators. And they face him Sunday, two months after the words "Ward" and "bounty" were uttered in the same sentence on a radio show by Terrell Suggs.

No, the Ravens don't necessarily like Ward. Ravens fans are sure to make it clear they don't like him. But they do respect him -- everything about him, even the things that make him so unlikable, like his chatter, his smirks, his flexes and his teeth-rattling blocks when they're least expected (on Ravens in particular, such as Ed Reed and Bart Scott in recent years).

And why not? Were Ward doing these things in a purple-and-black uniform, rather than gold-and-black, he might be one of the most beloved Ravens of all time.

If ever there were players cut from the same mold, it's Ward and the central figures on the Ravens, the ones who give them their identity, the ones who are respected and feared, but also despised, and, most of all, uncannily effective in getting into opposing heads and under skins. (Ask Jarret Johnson, who probably hasn't been allowed to forget the out-of-bounds hit on Ward that shifted momentum in the second half of their first meeting this season.)

It should be no surprise that, at least in public, Ray Lewis -- hated as much in Pittsburgh as Ward is here -- had no cross words for Ward, and praised him at length before today's practice. Asked if he would like or respect Ward if he were a teammate, Lewis said: "I like him and respect him right now. … He's a hell of a competitor. You can't take that away from that guy, and he plays the game one way. Hey, you're not going to like everybody; everybody won't like everybody in this business. But the way the man plays football, you have to commend him for that.

"Outside of that, if you look at anything else, then I think it becomes more personal."

Ward certainly has never taken things personally. The games against the Ravens might have extra spice, but he has enraged opponents and fans all over the league throughout his career. Not long after the "bounty" talk in Baltimore heated up, Ward incited several Cincinnati Bengals to swear vengeance after his block broke the jaw and ended the season of linebacker Keith Rivers.

For what it's worth, none openly threatened to "kill" Ward, as Scott did last season. Nothing even remotely that incendiary has escaped any Raven's lips this week. Take that as a very positive sign.

The amount of time spent talking and worrying about Ward -- a 6-foot (maybe), 32-year-old receiver, as he himself enjoys pointing out -- two months before they even faced each other again, was mildly embarrassing. Showing any sign Ward was in their heads now, much less on Sunday with so much on the line, would be devastating to their hopes of winning.

The Ravens themselves know how many games can be won just by showing up because the other team is too focused on image and reputation, even that of one particular player.

Which, again, makes Ward their kind of guy.

Listen to David Steele on Fridays at 9 a.m. on WNST (1570 AM).
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

Ray Ray is one of the best to play the game.
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Old 12-10-2008, 09:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

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Ray Ray is one of the best to play the game.
Let me correct you: "Killah Ray WAS one of the best to play the game in his prime"

Now he's just a has-been hanging on to rep and homefield statisticians who credit him with an extra 8-10 tackles a game.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

And I guarantee the Raven players won't be playing or talking nice on the field Sunday. I can also pretty much guarantee they won't be saying a lot of good things after the game either. They are acting all political now, but that stops on Sunday. If someone gets knocked down again by Ward it's all over. And yes I do hate Ray Ray. This guy should be in jail and is the most over hyped football player right now.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
Let me correct you: "Killah Ray WAS one of the best to play the game in his prime"

Now he's just a has-been hanging on to rep and homefield statisticians who credit him with an extra 8-10 tackles a game.
RayLew may not be was he once was, but I'd say that he's better than half of the MLB's in the league right now. He may even go down as the greatest of all time....
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

I don't dislike Stabbit Ray as a professional athlete - for many years, he was an outstanding MLB, but I don't put him up there with some of the great MLB's who are playing in this day and age. He's aged and most of the time, it clearly shows.

I dislike Ray the Knife because off the field, he is a scumbag who got away with murder and I will never change my opinion of him.

However, I do appreciate his comments about Hines.

Wonder if he felt the same way when The Bus ran over him like a freight train?
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

I hope Hines brings gets the wood out for Ed Reed again.....That was such an awesome hit!!!! Then smiling toward the sideline pointing at him on the ground.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

Steelers' Ward really is NOT Ravens' kind of guy. Period.
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Old 12-11-2008, 08:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

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Steelers' Ward really is NOT Ravens' kind of guy. Period.
Actually, he's the anti-Raven.......
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers' Ward really is Ravens' kind of guy

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Originally Posted by SteelersMongol View Post
Steelers' Ward really is NOT Ravens' kind of guy. Period.
Couldn`t agree more Mongol......in fact I had to take a shower after reading that article!!
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