Hines Ward – Love For Football

Posted: May 2, 2013 in NFL Player Profiles
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There are many receivers that have played in the NFL that have better stats than Hines Ward, but very few of them have his determination and love for the game of football.  His career spanned 14 seasons and he was very dedicated to the team that drafted him; the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Very few people will be that dedicated and loyal to the team that drafted them.  They are always looking for the next highest pay check, or hunting down a Super Bowl ring.  Ward was like the John Stockton of football; you never heard bad publicity about him and he just did his job every game and made all his team mates around him better.  Ward has a pretty neat story on how he became a football legend, and he is an amazing role model for future players.  This is his story.

Hines Edward Ward Jr was born on March 8th, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea.  While he was still an infant his parents moved to Georgia, but Hines Sr went on a tour of duty to Germany.  Right after that his parents divorced leaving Hines to be raised by his mother; but his mother was unfit to care for him so he went to live with his paternal grandmother.  When Hines turned 7 he was re-united with his mother, but his father never helped with child support and was not involved in his life in any way.  Still to this day Hines has never reconciled with his father and has a close connection with his mother.  Hines attended Forest Park High School where he was able to show off his athletic abilities as a QB; he earned 2 Clayton County Offensive Player of the Year Awards.

Ward attended the University of Georgia for his college career, and he played both wide receiver and tail back.  Ward was an all around college player and in his college career he totaled 3,870 all purpose yards; that is second only to Herschel Walker.  As a receiver he totaled 149 catches, 1,965 receiving yards, earned All SEC honors as a football player.  What is interesting about all this is that when he was in college he found out that he was missing his ACL in his left knee.  For those of you who don’t know what that is; it is a very important ligament that keeps your knee and place.  It was discovered that he had an incident when he was in the 4th grade and the doctor never took care of it.  Upon graduation he received his Conusmer Economics degree from the University of Georgia.

Coming out of college; Ward went into the NFL Draft where he was considered by numerous teams.  Ward was drafted by the Steelers in the 3rd round of the 1998 NFL Draft.  The coaches were very impressed with how versatile he was, and how excellent of a blocker he was.  Now, one thing you have to know is that most receivers are terrible blockers; but Hines Ward blocked like a tight end.  He had no problem laying a monster hit on someone to make a play.  You just don’t see that in receivers anymore; they are too afraid of getting hurt. 

As a Steeler Hines always took a back seat to other receivers, but he was always a nice target for any QB.  Most games he would only have a few catches, but there were many games where he would just destroy defenses with his blocking and receiving.  In his career he went to the Pro Bowl 4 times, won 2 Super Bowls, was the MVP of Super Bowl XL, and he has made Pittsburgh Steelers All-Team.  Though his 14 seasons he also set records for his team and for the NFL.  He is the Steelers all time leader in receiving touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards.  His totals as an NFL player are 1,000 catches, 85 receiving TDs, and 12,083 receiving yards.

After retirement he still pursued other ventures.  He was on Dancing With the Stars and his won, he has had numerous business ventures, and he still does analysis for the NFL.  Hines Ward literally went from nothing to something and he was an amazing player to watch.  He is a kind hearted, genuine, and loyal guy and young players can learn a lot from him.  I wish more players played like him, and I hope there is a place for him in the Hall of Fame.


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