A collective sigh of relief was heard throughout Steeler Nation yesterday when fan favorite Hines Ward decided to retire, rather than play for another team.
Fans had been torn between their desire to support Hines in his attempt to continue playing in the NFL, and their desire to not see him wearing another team’s colors. Yesterday’s decision put an end to that conflict.
For those of you who didn’t see Ward’s retirement announcement, here is the video:
I was extremely happy to hear the announcement. Like so many others, I didn’t want to see Hines wearing another team’s uniform. I still remember seeing players like Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland, and Carnell Lake playing for other teams after leaving the Steelers. None of them added to their legacy by doing so.
Hines Ward is 36 years old. His best days are behind him. So while he may have caught a few more passes, or made a few more blocks, I doubt that he would have significantly added to his legacy. He’s the Pittsburgh Steelers’ all-time leading receiver. He has 2 Super Bowl rings. He’s a former Super Bowl MVP. And he’ll likely someday be in the Hall-of-Fame. What more can he hope to accomplish in the league?
So despite the tears that Hines shed during his press conference, it’s a happy day for Steeler Nation. We didn’t want to see him playing for any other team. And we’re grateful that Hines heard our pleas.