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Ravens hypocritical about Hines Ward

January 17, 2009 By: Admin Category: Players, Pre-Game Analyses

December 17, 2009
By Donald Starver

I respect the Baltimore Ravens.  I may not like them, but I respect them.  I think most Steelers fans feel the same way.  Afterall, how can you not respect a team that plays “Steelers football” better than anyone else other than the Steelers?

The Ravens are rough, and tough, and they come ready to beat their opponent into submission (Or a coma.  Whichever comes first).  They play smash-mouth football, the way it was meant to be played.

Let’s face it Steelers fans.  If Ed Reed played for the Steelers, we’d love him.  It’s hard for us to admit it, but we would.  Can’t you just imagine Ed Reed paired up with Troy Polamalu?  Wow!  I could root for that tandem any day of the week.  Ed Reed, you have my admiration and my respect.

Or what if Ray Lewis replaced Larry Foote as a Steelers linebacker?  Would you root for him?  Yeah, I thought so.  In fact, I think there would be a massive number of black and gold #52 jerseys filling the stands of Heinz Field each week.  It may be hard for you to verbalize as much, but in your heart, you know it’s true.

Same with Terrell Suggs.  Or Samari Rolle.  Or Le’Ron McClain.  We’re genetically programmed to root against them, but if they played for the Steelers, we’d all embrace them.  They got game.  We hate them anyway, but we acknowledge their talent.

But one thing that I don’t respect about the Baltimore Ravens and their fans is the way the react towards Hines Ward.  Hines Ward is persona non grata in Baltimore.  He’s public enemy #1 to both the Ravens and their fans.  They hate him.  Moreover, they think he’s a dirty player.  Personally, I think they’re just whining, and I just can’t respect that.

Hines Ward is quite possibly the toughest player, pound-for-pound, in the NFL.  How many other offensive players make safeties and linebackers quake in fear when they’re on the field.  Though they may not admit it publicly, defensive players try to ALWAYS stay aware of where Hines Ward is.  They fail to do so at their own peril.

But while Hines Ward is tough, he’s NOT dirty.  Hines Ward has knocked a few defenders unconscious, and he’s broken some jaws, but he has seldom been called for a penalty while doing it.  In fact, the times that the league has chosen to fine Ward were on plays that were rather innocuous.  But the plays that keep him in the minds of defenders seldom draw penalty flags or fines.

The problem with Hines Ward is that he works too hard, and his opponents don’t like that.  Hines Ward plays until the referee blows the whistle.  That’s what every high school and college coach tells their players to do, but few actually do it.  Even when the ball is not coming to Hines Ward, he stays involved in the play.  Unlike supposed superstars like Randy Moss and Terrell Owens who jog their routes and act uninterested when the ball is not coming to them, Ward gives 100% on every play.  With no exceptions.

When the ball is going to another receiver, or when the Steelers call a running play, Hines Ward stays engaged in the game.  He is more than happy to be a surrogate fullback for Willie Parker.  Santonio Holmes knows that Hines Ward is going to be in front of him clearing a path to the endzone.  That’s what Hines Ward does.  How can anyone not respect that?  Particularly the Ravens.

Do you think that Willis McGahee and Le’Ron McClain would appreciate it if their wide receivers blocked for them the way Hines Ward does for his running backs?  Yeah, so do I.  Think Derrick Mason would like having Hines Ward as his wingman?  Me too.

Given that, how can the Ravens dislike Hines Ward?  The Ravens are supposed to be tough.  And they should respect toughness.  So who is tougher than Hines Ward?

Unlike Calvin Johnson, Hines Ward is not 6’5″.  Unlike Steve Smith, Hines Ward doesn’t run the 40 in 2.7 seconds.  Unlike Larry Fitzgerald, Hines Ward doesn’t have a 79 inch vertical leap.  Unlike Terrell Owens, Hines Ward doesn’t have the physique of a greek god.  Quite the opposite in fact.  Hines Ward is relatively slow.  He doesn’t jump particularly well.  He’s listed as being 6’0″, but that’s only true if he’s wearing 2 inch heels.  Yet Hines Ward is a multi-time Pro Bowl wide receiver.  How can anyone not respect that?

But perhaps the most impressive thing about Hines Ward is that he has managed to become one of the most feared blockers in the NFL.  He’s short, slow, and weighs 205 pounds soaking wet.  Yet 250 pound linebackers fear becoming a part of Hines Ward’s highlight reel.  Just ask Bart Scott.

On the play shown below, Bart Scott had a clean shot at Ben Roethlisberger, and he was about to knock Ben’s block off until Hines Ward came in and made Scott duck for his life.  Roethlisberger slid safely, and took no damage.  Thanks Hines.

Bart Scott was very upset after that play.  Why?  Was what Hines Ward almost did to him any worse than what he planned to do to Ben Roethlisberger?

The Ravens also hate Hines Ward because he once rung Ed Reed’s bell.  Here’s the play below:

As you can see, the play was coming to that side of the field.  After taking out Reed, Ward looks to make another block to free up his teammate.  That’s solid football, not dirty play.

The controversial play this year was when Ward broke Cincinnati Bengals’ linebacker Keith Rivers’ jaw.  As you’ll see below, Ward put a clean block on Rivers.  Moreover, if not for Ward, Rivers would have tackled the steelers’ player.  Ward probably allowed the Steelers to get an extra 5 yards on this play.

Hines Ward is a hard-nosed player who doesn’t stop until the ref blows the whistle.  How can the Ravens not respect that?  Did the Steelers, or their fans, complain when Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs used Ben Roethlisberger like a crash test dummy?  Did the Steelers, or their fans, complain when Ray Lewis broke our star rookie’s shoulder and ended his season?  No.  On both occasions, the Steelers and their fans acknowledged that they were clean plays.  We respected the fact that Roethlisberger and Mendenhall were on the receiving end of good, physical football plays.  We never whined.

But that is exactly what the Ravens do each time Hines Ward’s name comes up.  They whine.  And I’m sick of it.  The Ravens should like Hines Ward’s game (even if they don’t like him personally), and they should definitely respect him.  To do anything else is hypocritical.

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17 Comments to “Ravens hypocritical about Hines Ward”

  1. What else do you expect from the Ravens? What they lack on the field they compensate for with their mouths. The issue isn’t the hits. The issue is that it’s embarrassing to get laid out by a WR. He makes legal hits, they just can’t accept they’re coming from him. This is something they’ll never admit. Ravens just suck…that explains everything.

  2. awww relax, us Raven fans do have respect for Ward, his performance despite his less-than-stellar physical attributes, and his ability to lay people out. What it comes down to is we love to hate, we’re haters, and its what we do. Its adds a little spice to the game and something to look forward to. As I’m chowing down on wings and beer this Sunday I’ll be eagerly anticipating someone putting Ward on his back (though I have to say it probably won’t happen *sigh*) but at the same time you love to hate a guy like Ward that will bounce back up with that turd-eating grin of his.

  3. Hines, the BEST and the rest are all JEALOUS!!!! Keep on hitting them!!

  4. the holmes touchdown, was a touchdown, live with the call and the score and get on with life. steelers will beat the ravens again tomorrow and advance to thier 7th superbowl, and win thier 6th.

  5. I am a Ravens fan and do have respect for Ward. But hate him in the same way as most Pittsburgh fans hate Ray Lewis, they can’t stand him, his dance, or anything about him. It goes both ways. Both guys are great guys in their respective communities and have done a lot for their team and city. Good luck tomorrow, may the best team win.

  6. i’m with you 110% on this post, especially when you go into detail describing that hines plays hard and to the whistle, and this infuriates opposing players. they want to take a play off here and there and hines doesn’t let them, or shows them up because he is playing hard, and they don’t like that. they like to call it “playing dirty,” because that makes them look better, but he’s not playing dirty. the line between playing hard physical violent football and playing dirty is often a very fine line, and i’m not prepared to say that hines hasn’t crossed. in the heat of the battle that is an nfl football game, which player honestly hasn’t crossed that line? but the best sportsmen are the ones who play hard, who give it everything they’ve got, and keep it clean. that is the definition of hines ward. and not only that, but it is clear that he enjoys the game, too, which is more than you can say for several players in the nfl who seem to be doing it for a paycheck or some other reason. hines seems to be playing because he loves playing. thanks for this article.

  7. Sean Eckenrod says:

    Its called football! you loser, whining, ravens fans. You love it when Ray jumps on a pile and jumps around like he did something. You loved Rashard being knocked out for the year……but you cry when a “real” football player takes you out. Bunch of cry babies

  8. I appreciate all of you Ravens fans who have been big enough to admit that you do respect Hines Ward, and that Ravens fans just like to hate.

    Hines is a tough player, and I’m sure the Ravens would LOVE to have him cracking heads for them. But since he plays for the Steelers, they have to hate him.

  9. OK, So I’m a Ravens fan and I admit that Hines pulls out some of the very best catches. What WE baltimore dont like about him and MOST of the Shitburg Steelers is that the cheap shots. Yes, true hard hitting is football but have the balls to do it straight up. Not in the backfield or on the side line. Another note, I want to recongize Big Ben was the ONLY steeler left on the field when Magahee was down. I hated Ben but that right there proves to me Ben’s sportsmanship and I will always look at Ben in another point of view. Thanks BEN!

  10. You don’t want to send the whole team out there after something like that, you have to avoid fights, you send the captain only.

  11. Yeah, Id pass on Hines ward.
    Why would i want an old cheapshot artist on my team.

    No thanks.

  12. There is a reason they made helmet to helmet a penalty this year and he started taunting after he did that to Reed, then the play started coming to him as you see all the players start coming into the shot.

  13. The hit on Ed Reed. Ward led with his helmet, which is dirty, same with the Ryan Clarks hit on Mcgahee. Steeler fans are soo hypocritical. When one of their players get knocked out they are very quick to call for a flag. Suck it up Pittsburgh, I wouldnt brag about having 1 tough guy.

  14. Ravens 4 Ever says:

    The Ravens never have and never will play Steeler football. We play Ravens football, and play it well.

    You claim the Ravens are hypocritical? If so, why aren’t any examples of this so-called hipocracy listed in the article? Find me one quote from any Raven’s player to back that statement up. This smacks of Yellow journalism.

    Never forget, Ward was voted league’s dirtiest by the players in the NFL with something like %17 of the vote. Even if every player on the Raven’s roster voted for Ward (which is highly doubtful) then you’re still talking about a whole other team and more voting the same way.

    Clearly the issue goes beyond the rivalry between the two teams - Ward simply is a dirty player, no matter which team he plays for.

  15. Hope you all enjoyed Ward getting slammed to the ground by Reed after his pathetic attempt at a stiff-arm on Sunday!

    Prepare to be swept, losers!

  16. Um, that Ward hit on Reed was dirty, helmet straight ahead like a spear

  17. im a ravens fan. i respect troy polamalu the only one who doesnt play dirty football on that team. hines ward is great for cheapshots just look at the hit on ed reed i thought leading with the helmet was a flag.hines ward doesnt get flags called on him. anyway what about the helmet to helmet hit ryan clark gave to mcgahee again no pentaly?


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