October 24, 2008
Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward has been in the news this week for both delivering a big hit and for possibly being the target of a big hit. Today, he spoke with Kornheiser and Wilbon on PTI about the Ravens bounty and his block on Keith Rivers.
In regards to the bounty, Ward said:
"I take it as a big honor. It's definitely a big honor to have a bounty ... But all I have to say to Mr. Suggs is there's a policy in the NFL that you should read."
At that point, Ward pulled out a sign with the title "NON-CONTRACT BONUSES" that listed the anti-bounty rules in the NFL. Ahh, passive-aggressiveness. Is there anything you can't do?
After that, Kornheiser asked Hines about a meeting the Steelers had Thursday with the NFL about some comments members of the team had made about the NFL's rules on hard hits (including Troy Polamalu's "pansy" statement). NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson said he thought the meeting went well, and Ward agreed, saying:
"[The meeting] gave us a better understanding (of why the NFL imposes fines). They told us their side and we explained our side. We have a better understanding and ... that's all you can ask for. We're on the same page now."
But in response to Kornheiser's question, Ward had a distinctly different take on the proceedings:
"They came and they spoke and they say what they have to say. And the captains on our team ... we said what we had to say. But I really don't think we really got anything accomplished really. We understood where they was coming from with the safety of the league. What I was told was that I could have shielded my body and didn't have to hit the guy as hard ... and I just don't understand that. Because at that split second ... if I do that I might end up getting hurt that way. So, you know we discussed some things and talked about it and we both talked about it and have a better understanding, but we really didn't get anything accomplished"
That's a pretty incendiary comment. Hines seems to have made nice with the NFL when the suits came to Pittsburgh. His quote from after the meeting indicates he put on a good face and accepted what Anderson had to say. But then he completely disregards that talk a few hours later, saying that "we didn't get anything accomplished," which is akin to a slap in the face of the league.
I'm not saying I disagree with what Hines is saying, but I can't imagine Roger Goodell could be too happy with Ward's comments. It's like a kid going to the principal's office, getting leniancy and then immediately going outside to brag to his friends about how the principal is a rube. In some ways, that reversal is even worse than Polamalu's "pansy" comments.
Of course, you know what this means, right? Goodell is totally assigning Ed Hochuli to work the Steelers-Giants game this Sunday.
Screenshot from Pardon the Interruption
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