Monday, October 13, 2008

Hines Ward fined unnecessarily for unnecessary roughness

It has recently come to light that Steelers’ wide receiver Hines Ward has been fined twice this season by the NFL — on two consecutive weeks, a total of $15,000 — for “unnecessary roughness,” in spite of the fact that he wasn’t penalized for such a rule violation in either of the two applicable games (Baltimore, at Jacksonville).

Lost in the afterglow of the win over Jacksonville is the fact that Ward was the catalyst for turning the momentum in Pittsburgh’s favor after the Steelers were dominated by the Jags for most of the game. Recall that it was Ward’s block on a Jaguars’ defensive lineman (I believe it was #95, Paul Spicer) that sparked the Steelers’ offense, as the six-foot-four, 295-pound Spicer was so infuriated by being pushed downfield by a diminutive wide receiver that he committed a personal foul against Ward in frustration. The penalty gave the Steelers a free 15 yards, a shining example of the kind of game-changing effort that Ward has demonstrated throughout his career.

In conjunction with the fact that Ward already holds most of the team’s key receiving records — ahead of Hall of Famers John Stallworth and Lynn Swann — it seems likely that Ward will one day receive serious consideration for the Hall of Fame.

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