Hines Ward, who blocked really hard, and was a blocking wide receiver, and blocky blocking blockingly blocked blocks, retired from professional football today after 14 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He will be remembered for blocking, something he did more than any other receiver in the history of football as we know it. This may actually be true, but it is also a device to drive home the overemphasis on Hines Ward's admittedly thunderous run blocking. Hines Block retired as Ward today, and will block in his retirement.
Forget two Super Bowls, though. The real crown jewel in Ward's resume is the insane 31/59 417 yard passing performance in the 1995 Peach Bowl against Virginia. The Bulldogs lost the game 34-27, and did only score one offensive TD (on a Ward sneak, no less,) but let's not ignore everything Ward was working against. His coach was Ray Goff. He was the third-string QB called in a few games prior to relieve two injured starters. The offense was slapdash at best, and Ward had not started consistently at QB since high school.
Finally, we remind you that he was playing for Ray Goff. We mention that twice just to remind you what a handicap this truly was, and also to mention Ray Goff being a complete idiot for the benefit of the young unaware of the man's talents for squandering future NFL talent. Educating the youth: it's an EDSBS priority, even if we'd happily write a check to cover a fraction of Goff's return to Athens because that shit was hilarious.