93.7, The (so-called) Fan

November 14, 2011 at 9:52 am 4 comments

Even if (and I still say it’s a big if) Hines is no longer a starter when fully healthy, he deserves more respect than he got this morning from 93.7 FM, The (so-called) Fan.

They seemed inexplicably smug (bordering on happy?!) to note Hines’ minimal play yesterday, talking about him as if he’s some new-kid-nobody who got outplayed and didn’t earn a starting position. First and foremost, I’m not convinced he’s lost his starting position. The man’s dealing with two injuries that would have put a lesser man (a radio talk show host for instance) out for at least 4-5 weeks, if not the season.

It’s a small miracle and a tribute to Hines’ toughness (and perhaps a sign of the Steelers caginess) that he was even dressed and on the field yesterday. The team is in a great position right now with a phenomenal group of receivers, so why not give Hines a bit of a rest when he’s banged up?

They talked as if Hines isn’t as good as Jerricho Cotchery. Seriously? Nothing against Jerricho. Glad to have him. But he’s no Hines Ward. He hasn’t been here since 1998, a catching, running, blocking, fighting, bouncing-backing, smiling from ear to ear symbol of what football means in this town. Jericho’s a nice addition to be sure, but if he had that beyond-height-beyond-speed-beyond-training-beyond-coaching-beyond-explanation spark that somehow makes things happen — like, oh I don’t know, some 6-foot tall guy being the team’s all-time leading receiver or, um, maybe, catching five passes and a touchdown to be MVP in a Super Bowl that brought the Lombardi back to Pittsburgh — I think he’d have played in more than three games this year.

Yeah. I know. There are other talented receivers on the field with younger legs than Hines or Jerricho. That’s icing on the cake. That’s smart succession planning. We’ve breathed a collective sigh of relief in the past few months. Not because we like Brown and Wallace better than Hines Ward but because we’ve known, deep in our blackest-goldest gut, that the day would come when we’d be without Hines. And we’ve worried about it. And we’ve dreaded it. And the whispers in our heads say, This could be it; this could be the last year. I don’t know about you, but that breaks my heart a little. And I, for one among what I suspect are many in Steeler Nation, am in no hurry to see such an iconic, talented, intelligent, and spunky Steeler retire.

In a time when very few players stay with a team, in any sport, throughout a career, we have had the privilege to call Hines Ward “ours” since 1998. He was drafted a Steeler. He’ll retire a Steeler. And, in-between, for one play or one hundred, he plays his heart out.

That’s what loyalty looks like, 93.7.

Entry filed under: Humor - Commentary. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. WritingbyEar  |  November 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Amen, dammit. Do not see what all the disrespect is about. The man is Canton-bound. Whether he plays 10 games or 2 — he is, and always will be, a Steelers legend.


  • 2. Pike  |  November 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Well said!!!


  • 3. Ken Jordan  |  November 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    I told you it’s all about Big Ben.



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