Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A short ode to Hines Ward

I know that thanks to my Philly heritage I focus on stuff happening in the eastern part of the Keystone State, but something happened in Pittsburgh this morning that I think is noteworthy.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward, the only man to catch 1,000 career passes and win multiple Super Bowls who's name isn't Jerry Rice, retired on Tuesday vowing to remain "A Steeler for life."
When I say, "Good for him," I mean that despite the gas he knows he has left in the tank, he chose not to sign with a different team and become a soulless "serviceable option" like so many have done before him, like Jerry Rice.

It's a shame when greats of the game transition into something that isn't their prime. The NFL salary cap dictates that competitive teams who want to stay competitive have to release older players with high cap numbers for younger, cheaper talent with upside, rather than aging downside. His retirement (save for changing his mind when training camps open this summer and he gets the itch to do what he's done all his life) gives him an opportunity to transition right into becoming a position coach or team executive for the Steelers, and I think that's great for the city of Pittsburgh.

Busted bits of bracket tid ...

When I came to the end of filling out my NCAA sheet last Wednesday night, I had Kentucky and North Carolina in the final. Clearly, Kentucky is the on-paper choice of the two, but in thinking that being the best team in the league or country hasn't served those teams well over the last couple of years as far as winning championships, I went with the Tarheels to win.

Fast forward to this week, when UNC point guard Kendall Marshall had surgery to insert a screw into his non-shooting wrist.

Much like his wrist, I think I'm screwed.

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