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October 20, 2008 - John Mehno
If Hines Ward played for another team, you would hate him.
You'd hate the way he bounces up from hard hits with that big smile on his face. You'd hate the zeal he puts into blocking, like he did Sunday when he KO'd Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers for the season. Ward threw a block that broke Rivers' jaw.
You'd hate the sight of him looking for someone wearing a No. 86 jersey to hand over the ball with which he just scored a touchdown. Ward doesn't just play the game hard, he plays with a ferocity that unsettles opponents. Think about it: When you list the names of the game's big hitters, they're always defensive players like Jack Lambert, Ray Nitschke, Lawrence Taylor and Dick Butkus.
Ward is a unique player. Be glad he wears the Steelers' uniform.
Pretty big weekend all the way around, the with Pitt and Penn State winning, and the Penguins rebounding from a third-period collapse earlier in the week.
Sidney Crosby broke out of a goal-scoring slump to get his 100th career goal. You don't worry about Crosby scoring goals any more than you worry about Hines Ward being motivated to play.