View Full Version : What, Ward worry?

11-06-2009, 04:36 AM
What, Ward worry?
November 5th, 2009
http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the- ... d-worry-2/ (http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-the-press-box/2009/11/05/what-ward-worry-2/)

A day later Hines Ward still couldn’t stop smiling as he talked about getting voted the dirtiest player in the NFL in a poll of almost 300 of his peers.

Maybe that is because Ward knows that getting under opponents’ skin gives the 33-year-old wideout and the Steelers and edge – and I suspect that the smile he wears as if they’re a game day accessory, such as a pair of wristbands, infuriates opponents as much as his physical style of play.

“I’m going to tear it out and frame it,” Ward said of the poll in this week’s editions of Sports Illustrated. “I finally got a title. Last time I think I was second behind (former NFL safety) Rodney (Harrison).”

Ward seemed to take pride in the fact that he was the only skill player to make the top 10 of the poll in which participants are granted anonymity. And his amusement that he beat all other “dirty” players by a couple of football fields – he won 11 percent of the vote compared to 6 percent for runner ups Albert Haynesworth and – may stem from the double standard that exists when it comes to Ward.

Ward is fair game to get creamed when he goes across the middle. Yet when he lays out an opponent with a made-for-YouTube block, he is somehow crossing a line?


Ward said he is not worried that SI’s latest poll will bring him extra scrutiny from referees.

“They talk to me every game,” he said. “Officials are always looking at me.”

Nor is the four-time Pro Bowler concerned about retaliation from opponents.

“I’m coming after everybody else (too),” he said, “so I don’t get caught up in it.”

There is one drawback to getting notoriety for supposedly being a dirty player, Ward said.

“I just don’t want someone who doesn’t know anything about me to get that misconception about who I am and what I do,” said Ward, who is in the midst of a Pro Bowl-caliber season. “That’s what I really worry about more than anything.”