THERE ARE TWO reasons why Steelers receiver Hines Ward is completely in the wrong with his post-game comments following his team’s loss on Sunday.
“I can see some players or some teammates kind of questioning like, ‘Well, it’s just a concussion. I’ve played with concussions before. I would go out there and play.’ So, it’s almost like a 50-50 toss-up in the locker room. You know, should he play, shouldn’t he play.
“I’ve lied to a couple of doctors saying ‘I’m straight, I feel good,’ when I knew I’m really not straight.”
First, there’s the obvious in which Ward seems to be advocating quarterback Ben Roethlisberger playing with a concussion. First off, Ward’s an idiot because he doesn’t seem to realize the new age of the NFL. These players are multi-million dollar investments for these teams. Secondly, with more knowledge of concussion science, teams, players and everyone else in the game knows more about the long-term effects of head injuries on players’ post-football lives.
All that is a given. Ward should have kept his mouth shut on that principle alone.
But what really irritates me about Ward’s comments was that he took the goings on of an NFL locker room — its dirty laundry, so to speak — and aired it out for everyone to see/hear.
Whether or not Ward things Big Ben should have played with post-concussion symptoms is beside the point — I really don’t care. Ward has since “clarified” his comments, saying he wasn’t calling out Roethlisberger’s toughness. Of course, we all knew that, Ward — he’s probably one of the toughest guys ever to play the game. Shit, he got his head bashed in during a helmetless motorcycle accident (I didn’t say he was the smartest), and still played the entire next season.
Now, sure, for team camaraderie, Ward should apologize to Ben for seeming to call out his toughness, and suggesting that he lie to doctors so that he could play in a game.
But he should firstly apologize to the rest of his teammates for taking what was going on inside their locker room and putting it on loud speaker for all to hear. What goes on inside a locker room is damn near sacred. An NFL vet like Ward should have gotten that. He keeps doing shit like this, and his “Super Bowl hero” status be damned, I would be surprised he he quickly finds himself on an island in Pittsburgh.
Vince Young’s coming out party
So when the Tennessee Titans started the season 0-6 with Vince Young on the bench, few people firstly seemed to care and secondly even fewer people seemed to be heralding Young’s cause for playing time. It’s a good thing Titans owner Bud Adams was.
Now, for the record, The Man F.A.Q. correctly predicted the Titans’ first win of the season. But I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Tennessee would roll off five wins in a row. Even through the first four, I was only mildly impressed.
With Young’s 99-yard touchdown drive to beat the Arizona Cardinals — Young’s second such amazing win over a team quarterbacked by Matt Leinart — he may just have completed the 18 plays that finally put him in the category of “regular starter” in the NFL. I’m not going to call him elite just yet, but after his performance on Sunday, it will be hard for anyone to doubt Young’s ability to win football games.
MNF a game worth watching
So, I realize that Monday Nigh Football isn’t what it used to be. And EPSN doesn’t have the advantage of flex scheduling like NBC’s Sunday Night Football. But, tonight’s game pitting the Saints against the Patriots is definitely one worth watching.
Sure, I had some interest in watching the Titans beat the Texans last week (I went to college with Titan running back Chris Johnson). But the week before — Ravens-Browns — was a snoozer. Just because the Ravens used to be the Browns doesn’t make this a rivalry game or even worth watching.
Aside from that one, this year’s slate of MNF games has been pretty decent. Some of the best, in order of most recent, Week 9′s Steelers-Broncos; Week 8′s Saints-Falcons; Week 7′s Eagles-Redskins, Week 6′s Broncos-Chargers; Week 5′s Dolphins-Jets, Week 4′s Vikings-Packers … need I go on?
To MNF … thumb’s up.