Hines Ward, also called by President Obama as “the happiest man in football”, is a 2 time super bowl champion and the Most Valued Player (MVP) of Super Bowl XL. His accomplishments include 6, 1000 yard seasons with 4 consecutive seasons during 2001-2004, a record holding of 1000 receptions, 85 touchdowns and 12,083 yards. During his 14-year NFL career he played as a Wide Receiver for Pittsburgh Steelers and wore football jersey with number 86. He retired after 2011 season, as one of the best players in Pittsburgh Steelers history. He is the only Steeler with at least 800 career catches and over 11,000 receiving yards. You can buy Hines football jersey or other football jerseys online from our special store.
Hines Ward, was born on 8th March, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea to a Korean mother and an African American father. They moved to Atlanta when Hines was 1 year old. Soon thereafter Hines father went on a tour of duty to Germany. His parents got divorced the subsequent year and Hines was raised by his mother, Young-He Ward. From the beginning Ward was very hardworking and a determined athlete. Even in his early years at Forest Park High School, he was regarded as a top scholar-athlete. He finished his college with a bachelor degree in consumer electronics and ranked 2nd in school’s football team with 144 receptions and 3870 yards, next to Herschel Walker with 5749 yards. In 1997, he scored 55 receptions and 6 touchdowns. During his pre physical test at NFL, Ward got to know about a missing ACL in his left knee. Pittsburgh Steelers still took him as their 92nd pick and ever since then Ward did everything he could to make Steelers one of the most successful teams in NFLs history. Ward signed contract with Steelers in year 2001, and made extensions in year 2005 and 2009.
In 1998, his maiden year in NFL, he took 15 catches for 246 yards and 28 special team tackles. His first reception was in Baltimore during the season opener, with a 12 yard pass. In the subsequent season he showed significant improvement with 61 receptions for 638 yards. In this seasons opening game in Cleveland, he showed his spectacular skills, with a longest reception of 42 yards and 3 catches for 51 yards. In year 2000, his third season at NFL, he finished the season with 48 receptions for 672 yards, 4 touchdowns and 53 yards on 4 carries. His 2 notable games in this season were against Tennessee, where he received 1 special team tackle and the other at Cleveland, where he took 5 receptions for 75 yards, including a 31 yard catch.
2001 was another spectacular year for Ward, as he crossed his first 1000 yard mark and also made his first Pro Bowl appearance. He finished the season with 94 receptions and broke Steelers single-season record of 85 by Yancey Thigpen. 2002 was a season of setting records, premium selections and prize winning for Ward. He was selected for 2003 Pro Bowl, Associated Press 2nd team All-Pro squad and was also awarded the 2002 recipient of The Chief Award. This year he marked a new team record with 112 receptions, 12 receiving touchdowns to tie with Louis and Buddy. In postseason play, he took 18 receptions for 186 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2003, he was again selected for the 2004 Pro Bowl and was named Most Valued Player (MVP) for 2nd year. He was also awarded Associated Press 2003 second-team All-Pro honors award. He finished the season with 95 receptions for 1163 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2004, Ward was again selected for 2005 Pro Bowl and was again awarded Associated Press All-Pro honors award for the second time in row. He completed the season with 80 receptions for 1004 yards and finished the postseason play with 15 receptions for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns.
In year 2005, Hines scored 69 receptions for 975 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was also named team’s co-MVP and Super Bowl XL MVP. During 2006, Hines missed 2 games because of a severe knee injury, but still managed to score 74 receptions for 975 yards and 6 touchdowns. In 2007, Ward became the only Steeler to record over 700 catches. He started playing after the 4th week, and took 71 receptions for 732 yards and 7 touchdowns in the season. In 2008, Ward finished the season with 81 receptions for 1043 yards and 7 touchdowns. In postseason he had 9 receptions for 168 yards. In 2009 he took 95 receptions. In year 2010, Ward became the 5th NFL player with 11,000 receiving yards. He finished the season with 59 receptions for 755 yards and 5 touchdowns. For postseason he finished with 12 receptions for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. In 2011, Ward had 5 receptions for 67 yards.
Besides being a great football player, Ward is also well known for his pleasing personality and helping nature. He started a school education program in Georgia and initiated Helping Hands Foundation. He is also an active member of other foundations like The Caring Foundation, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and Pearl S. Buck International. He has been featured on cover page of numerous publications such as Newsweek, Time Magazine, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Moves Magazine and Whirl. He was awarded ABSs “Person of the Week” and won season 12 of ABC’s dance competition “Dancing with the Stars”. He also debuted in the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” as a player in the fictional Gotham Rogues football team.
While retiring from Pittsburg Steelers in year 2012, a tearful Ward on his retirement day said “I can say I'm a Steeler for life and that's the bottom line, that's all I've really ever wanted,"