November 04, 2009
Sports Illustrated asked 296 players who they thought was the dirtiest player in the league and the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver was a resounding victor, earning nearly double the votes of the next highest player.
I was always on Ward's side when it came to the dirty/hard argument, but his block on Keith Rivers last year swayed me to the other side. It's a gray area though; if Ward was on my favorite team I'd defend him to the death.
Below is a partial list of vote-getters, their percentage of the vote and a brief description of their dirtiness. You'll find that there is literally nothing surprising about the results of the poll, other than that Vince Young(notes) got a vote. (What, he throws his clipboard at people?)
1. Hines Ward (11.6 percent): One of two players on this list to have a rule informally named after themselves, Ward is known for lighting up defenders with a bit too much gusto after an interception or fumble.
4. Roy Williams (5.1 percent): Even though the horse collar rule was made to protect the league's quarterbacks from the former Dallas Cowboys "star", I had never really thought that Williams was dirty. I just figured he did it because he couldn't tackle.
7. Richie Incognito(notes) (3.7 percent): You know that famous baseball-related bar trivia question that asks how many ways a batter can reach first base? Incognito's dossier reads like a list of all the possible ways to accrue a personal foul.
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