Rabu, 21 Maret 2012
Ward's exit speech redefines tear-jerker
Well, I hope you're happy; you made him cry.
That's you, Steelers Nation, you fans from Pittsburgh to Pittston to Paris to Piracicaba, Brazil, and everywhere else in The Constellation of the Towel. You were the reason Hines Ward came back to Steelers headquarters Tuesday for one last real wet weep.
That Ward got released by the franchise he loved Feb. 29 surprised few, and that he quickly retreated from his stated intention to play further and chose instead to retire as a Steeler surprised perhaps some, but that he melted into a persistent lacrimation within minutes of his moment surprised no one.
Someone in the Steelers organization has the official results, but linebacker James Harrison, seated behind me at the noon news conference, called the first secretion at 2:26 of Ward's last official act.
Ward somehow got through an additional 25 minutes.
Harrison sat with former Ward teammates Jerome Bettis, Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel, and said unashamedly "we're doing an over/under on tears."
You think they were kidding?
Harrison seem like a kidder?
Ward cried early and often, late and often, pretty much doing the whole thing in a heavy mist, and, for anyone not terribly familiar with No. 86, it was as completely genuine as it was target specific:
"The one thing I love more than football," he gulped. "Steelers Nation and the fans."
Ward said he couldn't imagine playing for another team, which actually might have been the only way he could have played for another team, imagining it. The pounding snowstorm of outrageous free-agent cash that blanketed the NFL's receiving corps this month left Ward's sidewalk as dry and sunny as this new Pittsburgh spring.
I was hoping this presser was staged so that Ward could announce he was running for governor, which wouldn't be the first trail blazed for him by Lynn Swann. Though Swann could counsel Ward on any political aspirations, there's no confirmation Hines has any, at least not beyond the sometimes nonsensical politics of who winds up in Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Read More: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/gene-collier/wards-exit-speech-redefines-tear-jerker-627212/
Related: "Hines Ward's Last Down" -