Hines Ward

Hines Ward Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Hines Edward Ward, Jr. (born March 8, 1976) is a former American football wide receiver who played fourteen seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Georgia. The Pittsburgh Steelers chose him in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, and became the team's all-time leader in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown receptions. Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL, and upon retirement was one of only eight NFL players to have 1,000 or more career receptions.

Born in Seoul, South Korea to a Korean mother and an African American father, Ward grew up in the Atlanta area. He has become an advocate for the social acceptance of foreigners in Korea, especially mixed-race youth.

Aside from his career in the NFL, Ward has appeared in various forms of television and film media, including the reality TV series Dancing With The Stars, and a brief cameo in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises. He is currently a studio analyst for NBC's Football Night in America.

Early life

Ward was born in Seoul, South Korea, to an African American father, Hines Ward Sr., and Korean mother, Kim Young He (???). His family moved to Atlanta and East Point, Georgia when Hines Jr. was one, and Hines Sr. went to Germany to serve a tour of duty. The next year Ward's parents divorced leaving Ward to live with his mother and then with his paternal grandmother after Hines Sr. convinced a family court that Kim could not raise Hines Jr. independently, because she did not speak English. Ward would later be reunited with his mother at the age of 7. During this time, Hines Ward Sr. did not support Ward with child support or visit Ward regularly with Ward stating that he talks with his father about once every two years. Ward has stated that he has never reconciled with his father who abandoned him when he was 2 years old. Under the guidance of coach Mike Parris at Forest Park High School in Forest Park, Georgia, Ward showcased his athletic skills as a quarterback, and was two-time Clayton County Offensive Player of the Year.

College career

As a wide receiver for the University of Georgia Bulldogs (1994"1997), Ward's 149 career receptions for 1,965 yards placed him second in team history. He also played tailback and totaled 3,870 all-purpose yards, second only to Herschel Walker in Bulldogs history. In 1996, Hines had 52 receptions for 900 yards, and also ran 26 times for 170 yards. In 1997, Hines hauled in 55 passes and scored six TDs, getting All-SEC honors in the process. Ward played some quarterback his sophomore year, and holds Georgia bowl records for pass attempts, pass completions, and passing yards in the 1995 Peach Bowl in which he completed 31 of 59 passes for 413 yards.

When he came out of college it was discovered that Ward was missing an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, which he lost during a bicycle accident during childhood. According to a Yahoo! Sports article, Ward broke his kneecap in the fourth grade and the doctors never accounted for the ligament. He received his bachelor's degree in consumer economics from UGA.

Professional career

Ward's versatility, hands and willingness to block served him well as a professional wide receiver. Since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, he earned three team Most Valuable Player (MVP) selections. He was also a four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection (2001"2004). Ward also had a streak of 4 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons The streak was broken in the 2005 NFL season during which he missed a game due to injury. In 2002, he set a Steelers franchise record for receptions (112) and touchdowns (12) and was named to his first of two consecutive All-NFL teams. Although he was considered one of the best blocking receivers in the NFL, he was also criticized for habitually hitting defenders on their blind-side. Ward was twice named the NFL's dirtiest player, as determined by a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players; the most recent was in 2009.

In 2005, Ward missed the first two weeks of training camp in a holdout for a contract extension that would increase his salary. Ward had considered holding out before camp in 2004, but had been persuaded by the Steelers that they could work out an extension during the year. Ward eventually showed up on August 15, 2005 and was on the sidelines for Pittsburgh's first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles that night, though he did not play in that game. On September 5, 2005, the Steelers announced that they had reached an agreement on a four-year contract extension worth $25.83 million with Ward.

On November 13, 2005, Ward became the Steelers' all-time leading receiver with his 538th catch against the Browns on ESPN Sunday Night Football surpassing John Stallworth's record. The Steelers won 34-21.

Ward accumulated 76 receptions, 1,064 yards, and eight receiving touchdowns in 14 post-season appearances. On February 5, 2006, Ward was named MVP in Super Bowl XL as the Pittsburgh Steelers won 21-10. Ward became the second foreign born player to earn the accolade. Ward scored a 43-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, thrown by fellow wide receiver Antwaan Randle El. Overall, Ward had five receptions for 123 yards, one touchdown and one rush for 18 yards.

Immediately following Super Bowl XL, Ward was videotaped for the "I'm Going to Disney World!" television commercial, adding "...and I'm taking The Bus!" Ward and Steelers teammate Jerome "The Bus" Bettis appeared in a victory parade at the Magic Kingdom theme park on February 6 along with Emmitt Smith.

On December 2, 2007, Ward became the Steelers' all-time touchdown receptions leader with his 64th touchdown reception against the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Then on December 20, 2007, Ward became the Steelers' all-time receiving yardage leader in a game against the St. Louis Rams.

Ward often faced criticism for his style of blocking, particularly for his propensity to hit defenders on their blind-side. During a game on October 19, 2008, Ward put a vicious downfield blindside block on rookie Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers. The impact of the block left Rivers with a broken jaw, and caused him to miss the remainder of the 2008 season. Ward was not penalized for this block, nor was he fined by the league as the hit was deemed legal. The league, however, later passed a new rule banning such hits. The so-called "Hines Ward Rule" made a blindside block illegal if the block came from the blocker's helmet, forearm or shoulder and lands to the head or neck area of a defender. In a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players in 2009, he was voted the "dirtiest player in the NFL."

According to Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens when the Ravens played the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football that season, the Ravens players placed a bounty on Ward and rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall left the game with a broken shoulder which ended his season. Ward talked about Suggs' comments in an interview on Pardon the Interruption. Although he held up an NFL policy banning bounties, he thought it was also humorous that they would do it to him.

On December 28, 2008, Ward caught his 800th NFL reception, extending his record for receptions by a Steeler receiver. Also in this game, Ward achieved his first 1000 yard season since 2004, finishing with 81 receptions for 1043 yards and 7 touchdowns on the year. In the 2008 Playoffs, Ward recorded 9 receptions for 168 yards. In the 27-23 win over Arizona Cardinals at the Super Bowl XLIII, Ward played a supporting role, catching two passes for 43 yards. He played the game with a sprained right MCL.

Ward was signed to a four-year, $22 million extension by the Steelers on April 25, 2009. On September 27, 2009, during a game against Cincinnati, Ward's four catches for 82 yards earned him 10,000 career receiving yards and made him the first wide receiver in Steelers' history to achieve that milestone. On third-and-two Ben Roethlisberger hit Ward for a 14-yard gain, giving Ward 10,001 career receiving yards. Ward finished the 2009 season with 95 receptions for 1,167 yards and 6 touchdowns.

In a September 12, 2010 home game against the Atlanta Falcons, Ward became the first player in Steeler history to surpass 11,000 receiving yards. He caught 108 yards worth of passes in that game to pass Hall of Fame Steeler receiver John Stallworth for the most 100-yard receiving games all-time for the Steelers with his 26th. His 6 catches against the Falcons gave him 901 for his career, making him only the 12th NFL player of all time to surpass 900 career receptions. Ward's streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception came to an end in a 39-26 loss against the New England Patriots in Week 10 of the 2010 season. A short catch by Ward was knocked loose when he was tackled by safeties, Patrick Chung and James Sanders, and was knocked out of the rest of the game; the Patriots challenged the call, and the pass was ruled incomplete on review, ending the streak.

On December 4, 2011, in a 35-7 home victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, Ward became just the 19th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 receiving yards. On January 1, 2012, in a game against the Cleveland Browns, Ward caught his 1000th reception, becoming the eighth player in NFL history to do so.

On February 29, 2012, the Steelers announced their intention to cut and release Ward, which they did two days later.

Ward on March 20, 2012, announced his retirement from football stating, "Without the support over the past 14 years this game wouldn't be the same to me. It wouldn't be as fun for me. You guys meant the world to me. The city and this organization means the world to me. So today as sadly as it feels for me right now, I hope it will be a good day for everyone here."

At the time of his retirement, Ward was the last remaining player from the Steelers to have played with the team during the 1990s. In addition, he was also their last player to have played for them in Three Rivers Stadium.


] Ward resides in Sandy Springs, Georgia, and has a son named Jaden who he had with his ex-wife Simone Ward. On his upper right arm he has a tattoo of Mickey Mouse in the Heisman pose, just below a tattoo of his name in Korean.

Business and media enterprises

Ward co-owned a bar in Pittsburgh's South Side called The Locker Room. The bar sustained serious water damage in February 2007, due to flooding from a malfunctioning boiler, and it was closed for repairs until June of that year. The bar received an insurance settlement of $500,000, which subsequently became an issue during a legal dispute between the bar's owners.

On September 11, 2007, co-owner Nicholas Lettieri withdrew the entirety of the bar's funds, approximately $19,000, from a corporate account, causing it to miss a large number of scheduled payments. The company filed suit for the return of the money, and Lettieri subsequently justified his actions by claiming that the money was owed to him, also voicing the belief that the other co-owners, Ward and Kimberly Pitts, as well as Pitts' husband, Korry Pitts, had falsified invoices and diverted company funds to their own bank accounts. Company attorney Thomas Castello dismissed Lettieri's allegations as "baseless, ridiculous and unfounded," and the matter currently is before the court.

The Locker Room reopened under the name South Side 86 (because of Ward's jersey number), and is owned entirely by Ward, who bought out his co owners.

Ward hosted the Hines Ward Show on Pittsburgh CBS O&O KDKA-TV. from 2006-2012.

In 2012, shortly after announcing his retirement, it was announced that Ward had signed on with NBC Sports to be a football analyst, highlighted by his role on the Sunday Night Football pregame show Football Night in America.

As a figure for social change

In 2006 Ward became the first Korean American to win the Super Bowl MVP award. This achievement threw him into the spotlight of media in South Korea.

From April 3 through May 30, 2006, Ward returned to his birthplace of Seoul for the first time since his parents moved to the United States when he was one year old. Ward used his celebrity status to arrange "hope-sharing" meetings with multiracial Korean children and to encourage social and political reform. At one hope-sharing meeting, he told a group of children, "If the country can accept me for who I am and accept me for being a Korean, I'm pretty sure that this country can change and accept you for who you are." On his final day in Korea, he donated $1 million USD to create the Hines Ward Helping Hands Foundation, which the AP called "a foundation to help mixed-race children like himself in South Korea, where they have suffered discrimination."

In January 2007 former Steeler and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Franco Harris, owner of R Super Foods, honored Ward for his philanthropic efforts by featuring Ward's picture and story on boxes of Super Buns. Like Ward, Harris also won a Super Bowl MVP award (in Super Bowl IX), and also is biracial, being of African American and Italian American parentage.

In September 2010, President Barack Obama, appointed Ward as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

DUI arrest

On July 9, 2011, Hines Ward was arrested for driving under the influence in DeKalb County, Georgia after being witnessed by a MARTA police officer failing to maintain his lane and subsequently hitting a curb. An officer of the DeKalb County Police Department responded which led to the investigation and Ward's arrest. On February 22, 2012, the DUI charge was dropped as part of a plea agreement. Ward agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and received a sentence of one year of probation, 80 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine.

Film and TV appearances

Ward made an appearance as a member of the fictional Gotham Rogues football team in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises. He will also appear as a zombie in an untitled episode of the third season of The Walking Dead, and will be one of the members of "Team Rachael" in the second season of Food Network's Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.

Dancing with the Stars performance

On May 24, 2011, Hines and his partner Kym Johnson won season 12 of the American TV dance competition Dancing with the Stars.

Week # Dance/Song Judges' score Result
Inaba Goodman Tonioli
1 Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Club Can't Handle Me" 7 7 7 No Elimination
2 Quickstep/ "Part-Time Lover" 8 7 8 Safe
3 Samba/ "Fantasy" 9 8 8 Safe
4 Paso Doble/ "Explosive / Adagio for Strings" 9 8 8 Safe
5 Rumba/ "God Bless The USA" 9 9 9 Safe
6 Viennese Waltz/ "End of the Road" 9 9 9 Safe
7 Team Cha-Cha-Cha/ "We R Who We R"
Tango/ "La lección de Tango"
8 Foxtrot/"This Will Be"
Jive/ "Chantilly Lace"
9 Argentine Tango/ "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps"
Winner Take All Cha-Cha-Cha/ "Just Dance"
10 Quickstep/"Puttin' On The Ritz"
Freestyle/"Dancing Machine" and "I Want You Back"
* In week 7, Donnie Burns was the guest judge and scored the dances as well (first score listed is Burns').

This biography article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hines Ward". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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