I am a diehard Steelers fan. Yes, one of those fans that talks football every day of the year. I even follow the reports coming out of the combine (although I don't watch it- I mean, c'mon. Dudes running 40 yard dashes is almost as boring as watching dudes play poker). I can recall every draft the Steelers had for the last two decades, so naturally I remember when Hines Ward was taken in the third round in '98. My first thought was, "Do we really need ANOTHER Kordell Stewart?" I'm glad I was wrong.  Throughout his 13 years as a Steeler, Hines Ward did more for the organization than anyone else during that time. He has shown toughness, he has shown spirit, he has shown class, he has shown charity and generosity...and now, like many aging pros, he has been shown the door.

I don't fault the Steelers. I believe the organization showed him all the respect they needed to when they got him his 1000th catch in what turned out to be his final regular season game for the club. There just isn't enough cap or bench space for a 36-year-old receiver who has lost the only step he ever had.

It has been a great run in Pittsburgh for Ward. Crushing blocks, 1000 yard seasons, three Super Bowl appearances, two Super Bowl wins, and one Super Bowl MVP. He will probably try to latch on with another team and I'm sure he will play in 2012. It just won't be for the Burgh. It's sad but it is the way of the NFL. I wish him luck and I hope that someday he ends up in the Hall of Fame, where he belongs.

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