Monday, November 14, 2005

Guy Smiley

For anyone who isn't from Pittsburgh or doesn't follow football, this is Hines Ward. This is his usual expression. The man is always smiling. When the going gets tough, and when the game gets rough, Hines' grin just keeps on going. Well, except for that time after we lost in the playoffs last year and he cried while talking to the reporters. And believe me, everyone in Pittsburgh remembers that. If we weren't quite as emotional as he about simply losing the game, seeing him cry certainly got us all going.

I'm so happy that Hines has finally gotten the attention that he deserves from the rest of the country. In last night's game against our arch-rivals, The Cleveland Browns, Ward broke the all-time team record for most receptions previously held by John Stallworth. As usual, Hines handled the moment with quiet dignity and class. The press was all over it though, and rightfully so. Now everyone wants to talk to Hines. Now everyone considers him what I knew he always was - one of the best players in the NFL and a true Steelers great.

Hines Ward has long been my favorite Steeler and I've always been baffled that he's not more famous than he is. He doesn't get the same attention that other receivers like Terrell Owens and Keyshawn Johnson do. Part of that is probably because he doesn't have a big mouth. He plays the game, does it well and doesn't criticize his teammates. He might do a little jig in the end zone post-TD once in a while, but it never becomes a full-on production. He might do a little fun trash-talking on the field to the opposing defense, but it's always with a wink and a smile. Always a smile. This is a man who loves to play football, and it shows. And in a league that has more than its share of extraordinarily greedy, not-quite gentlemen, Ward's attitude is refreshing. He doesn't need to brag about his skills. He goes out on the field every Sunday and shows us what he's got. Actions speak louder than words. And the smile speaks volumes.


Edge said...

I remember the first time I heard his name a few years ago. It was something like, "Watch Hines Ward ... he's going to be something..." The next year I drafted him as an unknown in my fantasy league and won mostly on him.


Lee Ann said...

How can you not smile back with that big grin facing you? You said it all when you said
Actions speak louder than words. And the smile speaks volumes.

Shane said...

I could break the all time receptin record against the Cleveland Browns. :p

The Zombie Lama said...

People who smile all the time kind of creep me out...

LoraLoo said...

Leaving behind the fact that I'm a Dallas Cowboy fan (ducking) - this guy is a real class act. If it were still the 70's, it would be a crime for me to even be here. I'm real glad we've gotten past the whole iron curtain thing, and have found other arch rivals - because I really like your blog. :)

Bar Bar A said...

he's cute!

Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

Yeah, I'm with you about all the B.S. the players are about these days. About a decade ago I quit watching football because Bears fans don't like to lose like Cubs fans do. I just could not believe how wimpy these players were getting, demanding ridiculous salaries and then sitting on the sidelines with a papercut. Ugh, I miss the old days. However, it's nice to know that there is some class out there, even now. Yay Hines!

Lee Ann said...

WOOHOO! Congratulations! I came right over as soon as I got your news. When do you start? I would love to know more if you feel like sharing. I am really happy for you.

cmhl said...

I love watching people play that really love the game..

Neo said...

Becky - Man my Eagles could have used him last night. :(


Writeprocrastinator said...

I remember Hines all the way back to his sophomore year at Georgia, the man gets no credit because he is the consummate professional and he is on a run-first, pass-last team. The Steelers always run first in the red zone and if he was drafted by the Eagles or Colts, there would be no need to put his name under the photo.

The thing he really gets no credit for is, no one run-blocks the way Hines does. Pound-for-pound, he is the best run-blocking wideout.

Kate said...

And he's half Korean. :)

BeckEye said...

Jef - He's something all right!

Lee ann - The opposing defenders don't feel quite the same way. :)
Thanks for the well wishes too! I wrote more about my job in another entry.

Shane - Well, he didn't make all 538 catches in one night.

Zombie - He knows something you don't know. :D

Loraloo - Steel curtain. STEEL! Ha ha. Yeah, I still don't like the Cowboys but I don't pay much attention to them these days. We love to hate the Browns and Ravens. Dress 'em up in purple...they're still Browns.

Well Woman - I appreciate him for his skills. But ok, yeah, he's cute as hell. :)

Librarian - Hines definitely is a throwback to the old-school type of football player. He just wants to play the game, as it should be. He never missed a game in his college or pro career due to injury until the recent game against the Jags where he had to sit out with a pulled hamstring.

cmhl - There are so few of them now, it's really a shame.

Neo - Aw, you poor thing. If only T.O. could keep his mouth shut!

Writeprocrastinator - That's true also, which I neglected to mention...the Steelers have always been a running team. And he is a great run blocker. He just does everything. When he's out on that field, every play, he's doing something. He's not one of these guys who just wants the glory, just wants those TD passes. He wants to win, plain and simple.

Kate - Is he now? I wonder how you say "nice smile" in Korean?

LoraLoo said...

Steel curtain. That's what I meant! Yeah, yeah...that's it! I was, er, just testing you. Yeah!


PS - Congrats on the new job in NYC!

Kate said...

I think it would actually be something like "suh-mile cho-wah-yo" That's either I like your smile or good smile.

An80sNut said...

I am not a Steelers fan but I have to say that he actually looks like he enjoys being out there. He is also arguably the best all-around wideout in the NFL. His blocking is what helps spring Bettis, Staley and Parker for big gains. T.O. can learn a lot from just watching a player like him. Second on the NFL reciever list? Steve Smith (although his numbers say he's #1.)


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