Now that Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers has retired. It’s only right that we evaluate his career in a vicious fashion (5-year-old girl beauty pageant style). You know how it is. When somebody retires we don’t have time to wait and reflect. You have to ravage them immediately like a woman 3 drinks in at a night club. You have to jump on it early, because anything beyond that is pass-out territory, and you don’t want to get the law involved in love. But I digress. It is now the perfect time to access Hines Ward’s career.
Actually who am I kidding? I’m not going to access his career I’m just going to discuss whether or not he’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t know why I tried to fool you into thinking I’m about to reflect of what he meant to football, or his impact on the game. I have better things to do. Like use 1000 words to access Ward’s Hall of Fame credentials.
When it was first announced that Hines Ward would not be returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the banter began about whether or not he was a Hall of Fame wide receiver. Most people think Ward is either in or out of the Hall of Fame, with no grey area in the debate.
The people that think he’s in will lean on intangibles. They will tell you about how he delivered in the playoffs and led his team to a super bowl victory1. They will also talk about his undeniable toughness.
Heinz had no problem mixing it up with any player on the opposing team. As a matter of fact he was considered to be a dirty player throughout his career. Dude would do whatever it took to win. He was definitely one of the most, if not the most physical receiver to ever play. That was evident by his inclination to block downfield, and how he never avoided catching the ball over the middle. Going over the middle is something that can’t be overlooked, because that’s one of the more undesirable things for a franchise receiver to do. However that’s not the whole story on Hines Ward. There is more to his Hall of Fame resume besides toughness.
When you evaluate someone you have to look at his numbers, and Hines Ward’s number aren’t the greatest.
Hines is top ten in only one receiving category (receptions) all-time, and he also never led the league any receiving category in a single season. When you couple that with the fact that he failed to make the pro bowl during the last 7 years of his career, it’s hard to argue that he’s a Hall of Fame pass catcher.
Now if your one of those people that doesn’t believe in the numbers and you go by the eye ball test (by the way I fully support the eye ball test). Ask yourself if he looked like a Hall of Famer.
The standard for the modern day Hall of Fame receiver has been set. Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin in…Cris Carter and Andre Reed out. So if that’d that’s the standard, how could anyone consider Hines for Canton?
If you believe the Hall of Fame is for elite players, then Hines Ward doesn’t belong there. Ward is a fantastic NFL player. He should be held in the highest regard for being a super bowl champion, and a tough son of a gun. I think his number should be put in the ring of honor during Pittsburgh’s first home game. However it should stop there unless the standards have changed.
1. That’s right “a” super bowl victory. The second one was on Santonio Holmes, and I would argue that Ward he was one of the main reason the Steelers didn’t get their third in five years.
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