Feb
29

Still Bleeding Black & Gold

This isn’t how I wanted this chapter of my career to end. I did everything in my power to remain a Steeler and finish what I started here 14 years ago. I want to thank the organization, my teammates and coaches and everyone who made my run as a Steeler the best years of my life. To Mr. Rooney, thank you for allowing me to play for one of the greatest organizations in the world. To my fans and in particular, Steeler Nation, thank you for your support and all the great memories. I gave my heart and soul for you every down and I will always bleed black and gold. I do feel that I still have more football left in me and I am looking forward to playing in the NFL, again, this upcoming season.


329 thoughts on “Still Bleeding Black & Gold

  1. Nancy Somerfield

    I loved watching Hines playing football as a Steeler. Can’t imagine him with any other team. I wish Hines would end his career as a Steeler and maybe continue with the Steelers in some other capacity. I am looking forward to hearing what is happening. Everyone has their own opinion of why this happened. But I still don’t like it. I don’t want to see that smile on any other team.

    Reply
  2. Lois

    I am so sorry to see you go. I loved watching you. I respect the work you did in the community. You will be missed.

    Reply
  3. Randy Ingram

    Hines, I have watched you play since you were a Ga. Bulldog. Being both a Bulldog fan and a Steeler fan I’ve had 18 yrs to watch you play and enjoy the game. I’m still angry with UGA because they didn’t give you the chance to be the only player in NCAA history to have 1000 yds passing, recieveing, and rushing. But I’m frustrated with Pittsburg not allowing you to retire as a Steeler. You will always be a Bulldog and Steeler in my book. You Will be missed. Be well and keep smiling.

    Reply
  4. Dink Black

    i would like to see you joint the Bengals what a WR CORE IT WOULD BE WITH yourself ,Shipley, Green and Simpson

    Reply
  5. Connor Irbay

    Im 14 years old and The steelers have always been my favorite team. But Hines ward is what made the steelers great. I never watched a game and didn’t see him smile at least once. I remember seeing him get hit by 2 ravens, continuing to hold onto the ball, and gets up with a smile. Toughest player I’ve ever seen, don’t know what the steelers will do without him. It’s going to be tough to see my favorite player go to any other team than the steelers. Hines Ward is my hero, no doubt that I want to be just like him. No matter what team, still my favorite player!

    Reply
  6. jeremy r

    I will miss watching you play for the steelers every sunday….. but i will always be a fan and continue to watch you play every sunday no matter what uniform you dress in.

    Reply
  7. Michael Diamond

    Hines, if you dont need the dough, relax and enjoy your accomplishments. Get into acting or another form of entertainment to feed the hunger of competition. But, whatever you do, dont play for anyone else. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE!! THERE IS NOTHING LEFT TO ACCOMPLISH!! Ask yourself, what’s the benefit of playing for another team at THIS POINT!! If you dont need the dough, don’t go!! Retire and start the next phase in life.. Movies, Music whatever.. Use your celebrity to your advantage while you’re still in the spotlight!! The spotlight won’t stay still for long!! Get into movies while you’re still a hot storyline!! You can prolong stardom and the spotlight with acting..

    Reply
  8. Matt Maciejczyk

    Hines,
    I want you to know that you will always be a legend within the Steeler nation. I deeply respect you as the best all around reciever in the league. Your smile, your cluth receptions, and Bill Cower-esque toughness will be missed in the ‘burgh. You never failed to step-up when the team needed you, and that quality can’t be measured in 40 yds. You are my favorite reciever of all time and I feel you can still play. Take heart, you have joined Mel Blont as the other Steeler who was such a beast that the NFL changed the rules to contain him.
    If Peyton Manning goes to Arizona, nothing would make me happier than to see you reunited with Ken Wisenhunt and playing beside Larry Fitzgerald (from PITT). You did your best to stay with the Steelers. What happened is on them, not YOU. If you still want to play and feel you can still compete, you owe it to yourself to look at your options. Keep smiling!

    Reply
  9. Jean Decky

    Hines,
    I am so heartbroken over what the Steeler’s organization has done to you. People say that the players have no loyalty to teams anymore, well I say the opposite is true. I have been a Steeler fan since Rocky Bleier was playing and I have never been more disappointed with the organization. I keep hearing that your production was down with just 381 yards. How can you produce when they don’t put you on the field to play? I know they want to bring the younger players along for the future but I still feel you have a lot to offer the team. For them not to allow you to retire as a Steeler is just wrong. The best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do. I hope to see that smile of yours again soon.

    Reply
  10. Cindy Marvel

    I am a die Hard Steeler fan but I am a die hard Hines Ward fan as well It would be great if Bill Bid Well and Ken WiesenHunt would sign Hines on as a Arizona cardinal between Hines Ward and Larry Fiztgerald The Cardinals would have a great team more so then now. The Cardinals are worthy of a great player such as you Hines…. No matter hat team you go to I will be watching you.. Thank You for your years as a Steeler.

    Reply
  11. JACQUELINE BAKER

    HI HINES WARD I AM A GREAT BIG FAN OF YOURS I NEVER MISS A GAME WATCHING YOU . ON THE STEELERS TEAM I REALLY THINK YOU WERE A GREAT PLAYER I HOPE YOU FINE YOURSELF A GOOD TEAM TO PLAY WITH OR AGAINST. LOVE YOU HINES WARD.

    Reply
  12. Denise

    Hines, I was sure that when they were retiring you, that you would be retiring as well! Retire and become a famous dancer or actor! :) I am a die-hard Steelers fan and can’t envision you with any other team! Your smile lit up the field! You will be missed and remembered always. Pittsburgh’s loss…Steelers fans loss…

    Reply
  13. Delma Gabilo

    I feel so bad, I hate to see you go. I started loving football (specially Steeler’s Team) when my bf encouraged me to watch it. He was a Steeler’s Team since he was a young. He quote “You would like it because Hines Ward is there and He is Asian.” So it did catch my attention, if not to you I don’t know and would not like football until this time. My bf admires you a lot and he taught me every step of the way how to learn the game football. Since then, I’ve been watching you every game, even in the dancing with stars. I got mad every time they put you just one round and took you out of the game. How would they see that you would play well if they didn’t gave u a chance. I know, you want to retired as Steeler’s. Me and my bf was just talking now saying; “We hope, Mr. Rooney and The Steeler’s Organization just let you retired as a Steeler’s as a consideration for your loyalty and outstanding contribution in the Team. My bf even says, Hines, doesn’t need money, if they think they couldn’t keep him because of his high salary then they could at least negotiate on him and let the Man stayed. They really do him wrong, He is going to be a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest Wide Receiver in Steeler’s and NFL history, and they just cut him off–” I wish somehow they change their mind Hines. I still wanna see you playing in Steelers or it’s not gonna be the same… You started as Steelers and you entitled to retired as Steelers! I will pray for you and hope that God touches their heart and let you play the game in the team that you forever loved and bleed for– I am so proud of you Hines and your accomplishments… Keep smiling! We love you and forever be fans of you, Hines#86!!!

    Reply
  14. Chandler

    Hines, I was so upset when I heard that you would be leaving the Steelers. I believe that wherever you go you will shine and play to the best of your abilities. Your an amazing football player and I hope you will keep playing, and be the same happy man you were when you were with the Steelers. You will always be remembered as the best wide reciever in Steelers history. I am a huge fan and will follow you wherever your career takes you. Your the best!!

    Reply
  15. David Forbes

    Hines like alot of others posting here I have been a Steelers fan forever I remember vividly watching Swann & Stallworth and all the GREAT Steelers from the 70′s. I became a fan for life then and have watched the Steelers evolve over time. The one thing you brought more than any other was your passion and work ethic and YOU have made many Steelers understand what it is to be a Steeler. I will miss your clutch performances and that smile but you will LIVE forever a a LEGEND in Steeler Nation one of the GREATEST to ever have worn the Black and Gold and nothing can take that away GOD BLESS……
    hopefully one day you will come back as a coach for the Black & Gold even though I have no doubt you will be sucessful in what ever you do …

    Reply
  16. Ileen

    My family and I have been loyal steeler fans for years. This is by far one of the sadest things, to see someone like Hines leave Steeler Nation! I will always remember seeing him on Sundays dressed in black and yellow ready to play. Hines was an all around great player, he became a role model to many young recievers, always smiling no matter what situation he was in! It hurts to see him go, I know the decision is up to him and I know he made it clear that he is not ready to leave the NFL, but some how I still have hope that he will retire as a steeler!! It will hurt to see him in another uniform but no matter what I will always be a Hines fan!

    Reply
  17. Dmoore

    Hines…There is a huge following in Charlotte. A huge club would raffle your stuff every weekend. Couldn’t get a seat, you had to be ‘grandfathered’ in from prior years.
    If you came to the Panthers, you would add 20% to their stadium attendance.
    Plus, I’d love to have you here. ha.
    I know these things are ‘business decisions’, but Rooney made a huge mistake doing this in a year when you were at the top in popularity with the general public. Not a good business decision on his part.

    Reply
  18. Naomi Williams

    I am really upset that Hines did not get to finish his career out with the steelers. I am sad to say they were a great team one time. They also need a new quarterback.

    Reply
  19. Dustin

    I am a Steelers fan by association. My girlfriend is Pittsburgh born and raised. I am more than lucky to be able to say that she could possibly be a bigger football fan than I am. My four month old daughter was born just in time to watch the Steelers beat the Patriots in the recovery room. When I found out Hines was going to be released, part of me didn’t want to tell her, and when I did she cried. In the couple years I’ve really watched the Steelers I’ve grown to understand the personality of Hines and how he has represented the Steelers beyond football. We both agree that it is hard to imagine Hines in another uniform, and it won’t be real until it happens. We wish you the best Hines, whatever your future might bring. You’ve obviously touched the lives of all of Steeler Nation (and their loved ones).

    Reply
  20. dreadchef

    To Mr. Ward,

    As like all of the people on here I have always been a steeler fan. Being born and raised in western Pa. The days of me being there, As well as the first run of championships, and an era built on toughness. where, everyone was expected to play the NFL is same are long gone. As luck would have it, The steelers ended up with an extrodinary player out of Ga. Who amist all the pre-madonning, and, flash fed media hype of having “Exposure” Or self recognition. #86 really got it! He remaind True to understanding, True to an undying era. Which, is indeed rare. to be a team player
    No, scatch that an NFL all time great player. And is truley a dead breed. There ave been players that can catch but can’t block, there are players that can block but not catch. And there are bad O.C.’s really bad ones. No matter what the reason, Altough itmay be “slower” unlike when “86″was covered and can catch anything thrown his was. there were recievers this year, wide open and dropped alot of balls. not my call I’m no coach, Hines ward is not one of the best recivers that has ever lived, Thatis a gross understatement, He is one of the best players in NFL history. Period. arguablly better than Joe Green ( via the history of the NFL) WE were just lucky enough to have this man as a pittsburgh steeler……..

    Thank you #86,
    dread

    P.s. would love to have seen you play for haley….

    Reply
  21. shane

    Hey Hines just wanted to thank you for all you have done for the Steelers. You are a great football player and person. I have always been and will always be a Steeler fan and hines ward fan. I just wish you the best of luck no matter where you go. We are gonna miss you. Thanks for always giving your best effort. Remember your smile makes everyone smile. Good luck in whatever you do. Thanks againfor all you have done.

    Reply
  22. JT

    Hines-
    You will always, ALWAYS, be a Steeler. Your city loves you and personally, I feel it is devastating that the Steeler organization has chosen to not keep the heart of their team intact. I will cheer you on until you decide you are done playing and I will cheer loudly as you are inducted into the Hall of Fame. All I ask is PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t sign with the Patriots.
    Always,
    JT

    Reply
  23. Sarah

    I have bled black and gold since I was 1. My 18th birthday present was a Hines Ward jersey, after his second season. I have loved every second watching him battle with the rest of the Steelers for countless downs, wins, and two Superbowl rings. I started watching Dancing with the Stars because Hines was on it and voted every week. It kills me that the Steeler organization did not give him the opportunity to easily retire a Steeler! An organization I am always bragging about has failed me, with thousands of other fans by this decision.

    Selfishly, I would like Hines to retire a Steeler and invest himself in restaurants, gyms, etc in Pittsburgh and, with his fantastic personality, grab a spot as an announcer on one of the networks. I just don’t think I can handle seeing him in another uniform. As a fan though, I realize that he has to make up his own mind and that the Rooneys did him wrong.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Hines NOT Baltimore, New England, or Dallas!!!!! I am begging you!

    Reply
    1. Joan

      Hines

      I will never spend another penny on Steeler stuff, but I will always love the team. I hope you go to Baltimore or Dallas or new England & beat the crap out of the Steelers w/ a winning touchdown. I will be cheering for you! It will serve the Rooney’s right!

      Reply
  24. Dave

    Pittsburgh local news is repugnant, last week they gleefully used your release as a ratings bonanza, now they are dredging up police video’s of you. I’m embarrassed to be a Pittsburgher. Newscasters are cowardly vultures who delight in the troubles of others.

    Mr Ward, you are one of the classiest athletes Pittsburgh has ever been lucky enough to have. I hope you do very well wherever you go and whatever you do in your life, you gave so much of yourself to this city. Don’t ever think for a minute that the soulless bottom feeding newscasters in this town represent how we “everyday working people” feel about you. You are the best!

    Reply
  25. Jason T.

    I haven’t been a football fan for long. Being in Britain meant that I only really had the opportunity to watch football in recent years but it was players like you, Mendenhall and Polamalu which has made me a die hard Steelers fan. I’m truly sad to see you leave but I wish youa ll the best.

    Sincerely yours,
    Jason

    Reply
  26. Molly Miller

    Hines, I just want you to know that you have been one of my alltime favorite Steelers. I have been a Steeler fan for over 40 years and grew up in central PA. You have been a true team player and a great role model for the players who have joined the team in the past 14 years that you have been there. I am truly going to miss watching you play football for the Steelers. I always enjoyed seeing you smile after you got hit or after you made a great hit on someone else. Your love of the game should be a true inspiration to everyone who plays the game. Best of luck to you and I hope we haven’t seen the last of you.

    Reply
  27. Steve Fischer

    Thank you Hines for being a true Steeler player heart and soul. I have so many memories of you over the years. Until you came along receivers just caught the ball and ran. With your excellent and punishing blocks you showed the way the position should be played. No matter where you play you will always stay in my heart as Steelers wide receiver 86. One of the toughest and most reliable receivers to ever play teh game. Thank you.

    Reply
  28. Ammo Chuck

    I think the decision to let you go sucks. This is all about money. They, management need to look at what they can to make it up to you so you can retire officially as a Steeler. I have been a fan for many years and think if they don’t tender youy to another year I will be finding another team to rrot for. This saddens me deeply to see them do this to you, after all you have given them.

    Reply
  29. Deb Reddy

    Hines -

    My daughter and I were in the Charlotte Airport the night you delivered your “Still Bleeding Black & Gold” statement. I was shocked you were released and started talking to the TV. People around me were just staring. Of course I had on one of my Steeler sweatshirts so some people understood what I was upset about. I then looked out at the runway and a US Airways airplane was there with the Steeler logo on the tail. It just capped off the night. I know it is a business but I think releasing you was one of the biggest mistakes the Rooney’s have made. I hope you find a team to appreciate you and your talent. As soon as you sign on with your new team I am getting one of their shirts with your number on it – I am a HInes Ward fan as well as a Steeler fan so I will follow you wherever you go. If there is any chance you will be picked up by the Chicago Bears that would be awesome since I moved to Illinois from Pittsburgh 24 years ago. I wish you the best of everything life has to offer! Deb Reddy

    Reply
  30. Robin Porta

    Hines, I am very upset over the Rooney’s letting you go. You should have had the opportunity of ending your career as a Steeler like you wanted to. After all you did for them–playing your heart and soul out and mentoring to the new WRs. I have only been a football fan for about 10 years and watching you made it easy for me to pick the Steelers as my favorite team. Every time you caught the ball, no matter if you were stopped at that point or not, you came away with that beautiful, contagious smile of yours. Well, no matter what, I still admire you, not only for the way you play football but also for the Helping Hands Foundation. Anyone that can take time from their busy schedule to show children that they matter is alright by me. I will continue to watch you and cheer for you. My only wish is that I get to meet you face to face some day. You are truly a wonderful guy. Is there maybe some other way you can stay as a Steeler and be involved in football?

    Reply
  31. Cinsi

    I’ve been a Steeler fan for as long as I can remember. I can’t imagine watching the Steelers this coming year and not seeing #86 out on the field. I think the Rooney’s should do something to let you finish your football career as a Steeler. No matter who you play for I will always be a Hines Ward fan. Good Luck Hines!

    Reply
  32. DJP

    While I moved from Pgh to S.FL in 1973 I remained a Steeler Fan. My 2 all-time Steelert heroes are Terry B and Hines Ward. My very expensive team jersey is number 86 WARD. The Steelers could have found a place for you. Thanks for inspiring play and your bigger than life smile. A fan no matter who you play for.

    Reply
  33. Wayne

    You’re my favorite Steeler of all time, Hines, and that’s saying a lot for a guy who grew up idolizing Jack Lambert. I want to thank you for all the great memories of these past 14 years. You gave your all every down, and that’s all any fan can ask. I still think you have football left in you, too, and will be cheering for you wherever you go. However, when you do decide to hang it up, please make sure you go back to Hines Field :) and let us participate in your retirement celebration!

    Reply
  34. Adele M

    I was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area. I live in Virginia Beach area now–I tell my husband–lots of things I can do without–but not the DirecTV NFL package! I will not miss a Steelers game! My son was born 8 years ago….from day one–Steelers fan! It saddens me deeply to have you leave! I think the Rooney family/management/team should do whatever it takes to retain you! You have been a complete class act as a player and gentleman! I cried like a baby when you were on DWTS–to see you interact/respect/cherish & love your mother–was a view to who you are as a person/man! I think it is a great loss to Steelers team and fans to have you not with the team! Every NFL team should have men like you — for children, fans, coaches, players, and teammates to look up to–Not some of the others that make the news! And your class continues in your blog to us–fans & to your team–you continue to be gracious. I remember what happened to Franco years back….Steelers fans were very upset–and I was hoping the Rooney family would remember they said…it was a mistake–we did not treat Franco well in the end. I was hoping–they would not do it again–but they have! I can only hope you will do well no matter who you play for….I will always be a Steelers fan–it is part of who I am–born there–only one team! But I will cheer for you Hines no matter who you play for this year & next–I hope you do GREAT! I hope the team lucky enough to land you–appreciates your football talent but also who you are as a teammate, player, and man…and throws to you over and over and over again….with you catching everything! And….your blocking skills!! No other WR can block like you–you give of yourself completely in this game & it shows! I believe the Steelers did not use you wisely last season as a player. I can only hope somehow we let you go now–but we get you back in this mad world of free agency–and you play all years in black and gold 86. But if not….may you return in retirement to Pittsburgh and love us like Franco Harris loves Pittsburgh, The Steelers, & the fans. That you continue to be gracious over “team/football business” & forget this ever happened–We were blessed to have you for the 14 years as a player….may we be blessed again for you to return someday & love the town in retirement as we love you.

    Reply
  35. KAREN

    I was also extremely disappointed that the Steelers could cut their heart out so easily. I always thought that the meaning of a “Steeler” was not put money over integrity. However, in this instance, they made the wrong choice. Hine’s is an inspiration to all young athletes that you can achieve what you dream by working hard and believing in yourself. I also was thrilled everytime you got up and smiled after steam rolling an opponent or after they “thought” they had stopped you permanently. You will always be one of my favorite Steeler regardless of the color of uniform you may wear in the future. The Steeler organization should be ashamed that they did not allow you to retire in the uniform you were born to wear.

    Reply
  36. Harold Cope

    What a sad day when the Steelers turn away another hall of fame player. You should have been allowed to finish as a Steeler. I have been A Steeler fan since I could walk and talk and my family is now all Steeler Fans. Forty plus years I have been loyal to MY TEAM and I am saddened that they have let you go. You are and always will be a Steeler Icon who deserves the loyalty from not only the Steeler Nation but from the Steeler Franchise itself. You are a classy man/athlete Heinz and my Heart bleeds the Black and Gold for you. God bless you and even though I do not want to see you in different colors, I will always cheer you on with my family. Good Luck sir.

    Reply
  37. MIchael Diez - Reisterstown, MD

    I am new a new memeber of Steeler Nation and Pro Football (always watched college)but my wife Lisa has ALWAYS been a True Steeler Fan. Last year I got her front row seats to the Browns Games in Heinz Field and my first game ever! Even though we take many trips up to Pitts just to see the the field. We were also extras in the Batman movie up there and I loved watching you on the field with your smile. (LONG HOT DAY in WINTER GEAR)

    I will truly miss watching you play and we hope you well on whatever adventure you persue. Hines Ward has and will be my Steeler guy. :)

    Reply
  38. Marie Nellist

    Hines,

    Good luck wherever you go. I am sorry that Pittsburgh did this to you- you are a class act and did an excellent job for the Steelers. I am shocked that they would cut such an awesome player, especially one that still has time left in his career. As usual, though, it boils down to money. I am sorry the Rooneys and Mike Tomlin are not thinking with their hearts and only thinking dollars and how many good rookie choices they can get. Best of luck to you; and I will continue to watch you progress!

    Reply
  39. Kristi

    I was extremely upset to see that the Pittsburgh organization released you. I thought of you as Mr. Football, the man with a smile on his face all the time. Although there are many great players, you stood out amongst them all. You were, are and always will be my favorite no matter where your journey leads you. I will always be a Steelers fan but I will always be your fan also. I too, believe you have plenty of playing in you and I really believe that there could have been options made to keep you as a Steeler. But you’ll always be my number 86. I think I speak for many, we love you Hines.

    Reply
  40. shane

    Thanks again Hines for everything you did for the Steelers. You are a great player. Also you are a good person. Do what you feel is right and is the best for YOU. Nobody will knock you for doing what you want to do. I also wanted to say great job on Dancing With The Stars. Again don’t worry what people say do what you feel is best for you. YOU deserve the best. I hope for the best for you!!

    Reply
  41. Jim Jack

    Hines, You are the heart and soul of Steeler Nation. I truly hate to see you go. But, a friend of mine that is a Vikings fan said that he heard that you signed with Baltimore. I tried looking on the Ravens site and couldn’t find anything. Could you tell me if it is true! I truly hope that you do get to play if that’s what you want. Please respond!!

    Reply
  42. Michele Ojeda-White

    Hines you are my #1 favorite player and have been a Steelers fan since early 80′s. I can’t stand the thought of you wearing anything but black/gold. Was really hoping you would retire as a Steeler. Best of luck to you and keep on smiling!

    Reply
  43. Lynn

    Heinz, you have been one of the best players to watch. I feel Pittsburgh was blessed to have had you for 14years as a Steeler. I remember watching you play as I grew up in Pittsburgh. I still watch you play even though I left the steel city to South Bend, Indiana. Just want to say Thank you so much for wearing Blacka nd Gold with Pride! I look forward to seeing you play! you are one of the true players who play for the game! <3 always for ya

    Reply
  44. Alan Criswell

    Thanks Hines for all the great memories it was a experience watching and routing , hope you do well no matter where ever you go or what ever you do good luck in your future. Thanks again

    Reply
  45. Mark

    Hines, I’m so sorry you are not being given the chance to rejoin the Steelers next season. You are and always will be my favorite player. You played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I really hope the Steelers lose Lose Mike Wallace , and Jerico Cothery in free angency and resign you. Not that I dis like either player, but you the greateast Steeler reciver ever and should be with them the rest of your carrer, and then be the WR choch after. Just like they should make Charlie Batch the QB CHoch when he retires. Good luck wherever you end up Hines and know you millions of fans that wise you the best. Mark

    Reply
  46. sheila jahner

    It is truly sad to see a great man like Hines let go from the team he helped mold. It is with great sorrow that we as fans have to see the true old school souls of the Game retire,get traded,or let go.In my generation I have seen greats,I have seen had beens,one hit wonders(Randy Moss),and I have seen LEGENDS. Heinz you are a Legend. No matter what you do next you will suceed,Because legends don’t know how to fail! We,the true fans,will always luv you and respect you. Go 86 go!!

    Reply
    1. Joseph Bosse

      You will be missed Mr. Hines Ward! I’ve been a martial artist for several decades and know about the love for the game and loyalty to your team or instructor. I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that they decide to sign you back. I’ve been a Steelers fan since the 70′s.

      Good luck in the next chapter of your life.

      Joseph Bosse

      Reply
  47. shane

    Thanks hines go do what you want because you deserve to be happy afrer all you done. I really hope to hear from you. Go #86

    Reply
  48. Dorothy Pack

    All these past years I always was a Ben fan, and all along I realized I kept buying Hines things. I met you in Harrisburg right before you started dancing with the stars. I even had your #86 ticket in line. It was meeting you that I knew you had my heart. Most importantly I want you to be happy. I can’t even think of seeing you in another jersey, but I do realize it is a business and you must look out for yourself. I hope you don’t have your house on the market for any bad reasoning. I would prefer to think you are moving either to Pittsburgh or to the west coast and that you and Kym Johnson are opening up a dance studio. If not that then I want you to come back to Pittsburgh and be a wide receiver coach. You really do belong to Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation. There is so much love there and around the world for you. There is a campaign for everyone to wear a Hines Ward jersey on first opening day. Wait till you see all the support you’re gonna get. Much love Hines.

    Reply
    1. Nancy Somerfield

      I agree and did enjoy Hines being on dancing with th stars. Never voted before but voted every week. I thrilled that he won – he should have won. The Steelers are not going to realize what a loss there will be without Hines.

      Reply
  49. Cathy j

    Loved you since I saw you in your 1st preseason game. My husband and I looked at each other & said “He’s gonna be a fun one to watch”. Listened to your radio show on my way from work every Tues nite (SPRINKLES!!!) I understand how you can’t quit football til you are ready so no matter where you go or what you do I will always be a fan. Now I have a team plus one to watch every weekend.
    Thank you for being a great Steeler and for being a person that I was proud to brag about.

    Reply
  50. Michael Sink

    Hines,
    I will keep this brief and to the point, you are one of the greatest Steelers ever to ever play the game, you will be missed that is for sure! Thank you so much for 14 outstanding years!

    Michael Sink

    Reply
  51. Randy Morton

    You are the utmost in professionalism. I really don’t understand how Mr. Rooney couldn’t find a way to make it work. My favorite Hines Ward memory was the day you mailed me a autographed picture that I had sent you. I failed to put postage on the return envelope so you must have taken the time not only to sign but to add the postage as well. I mailed 15 Steelers pictures I had taken that year, yourself, and Bill Cowher were the only ones who mailed the items back to me. Man, you will be missed. I love the way you play the game.

    Reply
  52. Daniel

    The Steelers were crazy to let you go! We’d be happy to have you in Atlanta along side Tony G and as Matt Ryan’s go-to in the slot. Whenever you are finished in the NFL come on home to Athens! We need someone to show these Dawgs how it’s done!

    Reply
  53. Grimm

    Hines … Thank you for the memories , the loyalty , the hard nosed gameplay and everything you brought to the team and fans ..you will be missed and and forged in steel forever … take care man, good luck i’m sure we’ll see you around.

    Reply
  54. egs

    hines…….once a STEELER always a STEELER. the organization should consider retiring your number and you a steeler. no one else could ever have the right to wear you number. i have been a fan of the steelers since the 70′s and i have never have been so amazed with any steelers’ smile like yours. that smile will always be a steeler smile. mike tomlin, you need to have a talk with the rooneys!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Somerfield

      That is how I feel – he shouldn’t be on any any other team- the steelers should have treated him differently. He was that team . It won’t be the same.

      Reply
  55. Reginald Jamar

    Hate to see you go.Would hate even more seeing you play for another team.You are one of the greatest to not only play the position wr,you’re one of the greatest to play the game.Keep smiling.I will still cheer for you on another team long as its not the Ravens.lol

    Reply
  56. Shane

    I have been a die hard Steelers fan since I knew what football was. I really enjoyed watching you play and will miss seeing your smile in a black and gold jersey. I will always root for you (except when you play against the Steelers, of course) Play hard, Have fun, and keep smiling Ward!

    Reply
  57. Amanda

    Hines,

    It absolutely breaks my heart to think of you not being on the field in the Black and Gold next season. I have been a Steelers fan my entire life – in fact it’s a family tradition for us! I have never once felt so upset with the Steelers as I do now. I can’t imagine them letting someone like you go and not waiting and retiring you. I will always be a fan, whether you’re a Steeler or not!!

    Reply
  58. Rich

    Hines, thank you for your years and contributions to the great Pittsburgh Steelers. While it will be difficult to watch you play in a different uniform, any team will be fortunate to have you for both your talent and leadership. Best of luck to you!!

    Reply
  59. Eric O'Neil

    Hines,
    You have been “The Man” that your teammates and Steeler’s Nation could always depend on. Whether it was a big play, a big block, or a clutch 3rd down, you were always there. My family and I will continue to bleed black and gold however, there will be something missing from the experience of watching a game. More than just Mr. Clutch, #86 and that contagious and resiliant smile, it will be the leadership and feeling of your resiliant, never-say-die attitude. From my family to you and your’s, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

    Reply
  60. Shane R

    Thanks again Hines for all you done for the Steelers. I am going to really miss watching you knocking out oppenents. You are the best offense and defense player out there NO questinons asked. If it weren’t for you steelers would not have won 6 superbowls. The Rooney’s made a HUGE mistake letting you go. Mike Tomlin should step up and tell the Rooneys to let you retire as a Steeler it’s the least they could do for you. Without you steelers would not be ware they are today. Even with you gone i’m still gonna be a #1 steeler fan and wherever you go I will cheer you on as long as it’s not the ravens. Good luck Hines you deserve it! I hope to hear from you. Go #86

    Reply
  61. Shane R

    Thanks Hine for all you have done. I appreciated watching you play football for the Steelers. You are a tough player and never give up. You helped the Steelers win super bowl. You make Steeler nation smile with your smile. The best memory i have of you is when you played the Eagles about 5 years ago, you scorerd a touchdown and put the ball on the ground you stood on it and started to flap your hands like a eagle, i thought that was awesome. Thanks for all you have done in Steeler nation! Good luck in whatever you do. I agree with you, you have many years left of football because somebody like you has dedication. THANKS AGAIN # 86!

    Reply
  62. Brenda Gist

    Hines I can’t believe I won’t see you again in Black and Gold! It just won’t be the same without you. The Rooneys screwed up big time! Who do they think helped the young receivers learn the game???? You Hines taught them they looked up to you! I hope some day you’ll become a wide receiver coach for the Steelers! Please do us a favor please don’t sign with Baltimore you just won’t look good in purple uuuggghhh! Best of luck wherever you go. I’ll be rooting for you except on the days you play the Black and Gold!

    Reply
    1. Nancy Somerfield

      I can’t see Hines with any other team. I know he wants to play more football but it will be hard to see him on another team. Good luck to him whatever he decides.

      Reply
  63. Jim

    I will miss seeing you in a black and gold uniform. I still can’t believe you are gone. I am a Steeler fan forever but will be rooting for you wherever you go. Good luck and thank you for all the great years in Pittsburgh.

    Reply
  64. Dominico Caporali

    I want to thank you Hines for everything that you have given us fans. I know that my children although still young will always remember you. You are their All-Time Steeler. We have watched you progress into the greatest athlete that has been in the NFL. We will surely miss you and will forever be a follower of yours. I will be buying any jersey that you don. Please know my families prayers are with you and your family as we await your decision to play, and where. You changing jersey’s does not reflect your status as a Steeler. It just reflects your love as a player. Thank you and know you are #86 for life, and #1 for eternity…

    Reply
  65. Kathi Yager

    Hines is the best! Not only is he a Superbowl MVP but he won the Mirror Ball Trophy! How dare the Steelers let him go! I have been a Steeler fan forever (Thanks to Terry Bradshaw, the Louisiana boy that did not get a warm welcome from Steeler Nation when he arrived but has 4 Super Bowl wins and a .737 play off record, the best in NFL history)! It is just wrong to let Hines go. I wish the best for Hines and I have a feeling that the Steelers will weep over their mistake in letting him go…. Did Coach Tomlin have a say???? If Bill Cowher chooses to coach again will he pick up Hines? I sure hope so!

    Reply
  66. David Gates

    Just say simply! Thanks for the memories and good luck with your future! You were a big part of why fans love the steelers!

    Reply
  67. drmattie

    Dearest Hines— Thank you for all the wonderful and unforgetable memories–I have been a Steeler fan for many years—in fact, they didn’t even have a stadium when I became a Steeler fan they played at Univ. of Pgh. stadium. I do not care where you go or what you do–you will ALWAYS be a Steeler to me.(Just don’t sign with the Ravens or Patriots) I think they need their heads examined for letting you go and if it was up to me you’d still be on the team. I will miss your beautiful smile. God bless you my friend.

    Reply
  68. Diane Doven

    Hines,

    You truly are a true Steeler and the city, the game of football and the team have been a better place since you joined the Pittsburgh family. Please don’t be a stranger

    Reply
  69. Michael

    I am sorry to see you go like this. If they gave the bus another year then they should do the same for you. Hopefully now people will see that the Rooneys are in it for one thing the MONEY!!! They cater to Big Ben like he is the last quarterback on earth and they turn a blind eye to all the law suites, accidents ect, ect. What about Batch? he never plays and when he does he gets hurt. So what do the Rooneys do? take a man who is loved by his team and fans and they shun him. Mike Tomlin you could have done more but you too will learn when the Rooneys are done with you then you will also be kicked to the side. As this point i am sick to the stomach with the Rooneys and I will never cheer a team on that spits on their MVP’S .GOOD LUCK I AM SORRY TO SEE YOU GO!

    Reply
  70. R. A. Lawson

    I am finding it hard to even say Steelers. Without you they are the Browns! Please do not sign with the Browns!!!!! Best wishes to you.

    Reply
  71. dave bisacca

    Hey man wish you all the best. Thanks for everything.I have lived in pittsburgh all my life and have never felt such let down by them not giving you one more year. If they cant get mike to sign i hope they try to bring you back like with starks. if you would even come back. thanks for all your effort.

    Reply
  72. barry

    I was very sorry to hear that the Steelers let one of their greatest recievers go. I will always be a fan no matter where you go, but seeing you in another color just won’t seem right. I wish you the best whatever happens. I thank you for all of the exciting receptions, the fantastic blocks, and the ever present smile. The Steelers won’t be the same without you. Thanks again.

    Reply
  73. Daesha

    I can’t imagine you in any other colors besides black & gold . It’s really been hard for me to claim Pittsburgh as my team . I remember the next day when i went to school everybody had words of empathy for me because they knew how much i enjoyed watching you play , I’m following you Pittsburgh’s always gonna be my team , but the moment i heard you were getting traded off i was crying it broke my heart to know that you weren’t gonna be with them anymore you’ve played for them ever since the year i was born 1998 <3 & whatever team you go to , will be the team i root for I'm glad you're still playing in the NFL so i can see your smile the one who lightens up the whole field <3

    Reply
  74. Bobbie

    Hines, I am so upset & cannot imagine watching a Steeler game without seeing you. I thought you would be a Steeler for life. I am upset with the Rooneys & the whole organization!! I am a mother & grandmother and everyone knows what an important role you play in keeping the team together! I have been a fan for over 30 years, so I know a little bit about things like that. I always wear YOUR jersey because you are such a man of honor. I will support you if you go to another team…I know you want to play. Bless you & good luck.

    Reply
  75. Dawna

    You will be greatly missed by all Steelers fans. It was always so enjoyable to watch you play the game, always brushing yourself off with a big smile on your face. It was obvious how much you enjoyed playing. We are very glad you are continuing to play in the NFL and will still be cheering you on. We would love to see you paired up with Peyton Manning and have an awesome season straight to the Super Bowl. Best wishes to you Hines, wherever you go. This truly is a loss to the Steelers organization.

    Reply
  76. Ashley Rossi

    Hines -

    You are the heart and soul of this team and of Pittsburgh. No player has ever given more – we love you and wish you the best in whatever comes next.

    Reply
  77. Elly

    Hines on my wrist is a black and gold band that reads, Will Always Rise above Difficulty (ward). This is a difficulty that you will rise above. I have your jersey and a signed steeler #86 helmet that reads steeler 4 life. You will always be a steeler and loved by all the steeler fans no matter what you decide to do.
    The steelers made a big mistake letting you go, but I guess that is football. God Bless you and your family.
    Your smile is the reason you are loved so much by you fans. Never lose your smile, it is Hines Ward.
    Thank you for the great years. Will love and watch you in whatever decision you decide to do. I also want to congrat your mom for raising such a great person, I know she inspired you to do all that you have accomplished. I will always be a steeler fan but I have lost some respect for the organization on their decision to not retire you as a steeler when you are the steelers to me and all the fans.

    Reply
  78. Robin

    I want to thank you. You will always be a Steeler. Thank you for everything you have done for the fans. We will miss seeing that smile. God Bless and best wishes.

    Reply
  79. Phyllis David

    I have watched Hines from the beginning, loved watching him, and always will be a fan. Wished he could have finished with the Steelers and even though he will be playing for another team this fall doesn’t mean that he couldn’t end up in Pittsburgh again. I will miss Hines and wish him the best in all that he does.

    Reply
  80. j.t.haley

    hines,you are without a doubt the classiest player to ever dawn a football uniform,of any color!!!!!…the black and gold will never be the same.God bless you!

    Reply
  81. Kevin Price

    Well, it looks like Hines won’t be playing for another team. It would have been tough watching him play for someone else so I’m happy for Steeler nation but sad for him. What a great career! Fist ballot HOF!!

    Reply
  82. Mike Petty

    I wasn’t always a Steeler fan but more and more found myself rooting for them over the years mostly because I liked the way they played. Hines Ward was a big part of that too. He was a football player first, not afraid to get his uniform muddy, to get hit, or to put a hit on someone regardless of their size. Hines, you’ve always conducted yourself with class and dignity off the field and tried to make a positive impact both off and on the field. I both respect and appreciate that. Thanks for all the years of fun you’ve brought us fans. Just keep in mind that you were put on this earth to be more than just a football player. May God bless you and guide you in this next part of your life. You’re just getting started sir!

    Reply
    1. Tom Fraze

      We love you and the way you played, it’s just that simple. Thank you for not wearing another NFL teams’ uniform.

      Reply
  83. A. Mullig

    Thank you.

    You have played with heart and soul and class. You helped your team and the City of Pittsburgh to shine. I wish you nothing but the best in whatever path you choose to follow.

    Reply
  84. Lori Craig

    Hines,
    I cried through your retirement speech and still don’t understand why they let you go and I will make my opinion known to the Steelers. I have enjoyed watching you play for many years and will miss that great smile. And what a wonderful time watching you on the field catching the impossible balls, you made Ben look good quite a few times. May God bless you in all you do and you will be missed. You will always be a Steeler and your fans will always love you.

    Reply
  85. Stephanie G Turner

    Love me some Hines Ward!! Real men do cry! He has proven himself to be a man of character and integrity. He is a TRUE Steeler thru & thru and I will continue to admire him despite whatever shortcomings may befall him. We are all human, so mistakes are going to be made. Admitting and accepting them is what separates the men from the boys. Hines Ward truly is a man among men..#realtalk

    Reply
  86. Vickie

    Thank you Hines for all the wonderful memories!! You made football exciting. You are the only reason I became a Steeler fan!! I will miss seeing you every Sunday, football will never be the same without you and your gorgeous smile. I wish you the best for your future. Thank you for retiring a Steeler. #86 FOREVER!!

    Reply
  87. jamey miller

    Mr. Hines, I say to you a man of great character and integrity that no doubt you have been Mr. Steeler Nation. I live in Palm Springs, Ca. and I have enjoyed watching you and the Steelers when ever they telavise a Steeler game. You have been the heart and soul of this team for many years. I will miss that smile and your amazing play.
    I wish you the very best in life. Your legacy will be hard to mirror.

    Reply
  88. John T

    Sad to see it end like this but I am glad Hines will not play for another team. Thanks To Hines for all the memories, thrills, and good times he gave to the Steeler Nation! His level of passion for the game will likely never be seen again. And the smile, you just gotta love the smile! Hines will always be the face of the Steelers! Like Hines we all bleed Black & Gold!

    Reply
  89. Javier

    Dear Mr. Ward, thank you very much for playing your heart out during all these years, I’m sad that your career has ended, we are going to miss your great energy and attitude and all the killer blocks you threw, specially on the Ravens. Good luck on your retirement and I hope the HOF opens the door to you asap, you deserve it. God bless.

    Reply
  90. Jim Baumli

    Hines, I’m sad that you’re retiring but, as with everything else, you handled that announcement with passion and class.

    I’m not part of the Steeler Nation, but I’ve always appreciated your game on the field and your class off of it. I can think of no other top WR that was as effective or enthusiastic a blocker as you were. Thank you for always playing the game the right way.

    Best wishes on whatever you choose to do next.

    Reply
  91. JB

    I am saddened today that I will never see Hines Ward play another down in the NFL. Quite likely the most entertaining, most committed and most self-effacing football player I will ever see.

    I hope that your retirement ceremony is given with some notice so that I can travel to Pittsburgh to be there.

    Reply
  92. Phil Whitford

    Thanks for the memories Hines, I am going to miss you for sure. I loved watching you play. You would take a mean hit and get up with a smile. You are a stand up guy and made Steeler Nation proud. I love you man !
    Congratulations.

    Please dont play for the Ravens or the Pats, I just couldn’t stomach that.

    Reply
  93. Sylvia Young

    Hines – you will be sorely missed by this Steeler fan. I’ve loved the Steelers since I learned about football at my grandfather’s knee…that was 35+ years ago. They were Grandpa’s team so of course they bacame mine. I rooted for them when they were the “dirty” Steelers and I was right behind them during the 70′s and 80′s. But when you came along I supported them louder than ever. You brought class, integrity and such a passion for the game…it really made me fall in love with the sport all over again! I wish you all the very best in whatever you chose to do now…I know you’ll do it with grace and style. But, for me, a fan in Oklahoma…the game will never be the same again. :-(

    Reply
  94. Esmeralda

    Hines, I am very upset that you won’t be with the steelers anymore. You made the game a lot of fun to watch from a woman’s point of view. Guess I will have a lot of time on my hands come football season in Pittsburgh because I won’t be watching the games anymore since you won’t be playing. I am disappointed in Steeler management. Nevertheless, I wish you best! You are more than a football player. You are a great human being and we Pittsburghers are so fortunate to have known you.

    Reply
  95. BRanallo

    Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann…Hines Ward. Loved watching you play.

    See you in Canton.

    Reply
  96. Eric

    Hines, this had to be the most memorable birthday I have ever had. The saddest and happiest one. I am sad to see you go, but I am glad that you retire as one of the greatest Steelers I have ever loved to watch. My buddies poke fun of me because I cried, calling it a bromance…lol, but I sound off Steeler Nation, because once a Steeler, ALWAYS a Steeler. Hope to see you back as a coach one day, you have done great with Brown, Wallace, and Sanders. Here’s to #86, STEELER NATION, and the future Hall of Famer!!!

    Reply
  97. Gary

    Hines:

    It was such a pleasure to watch you play. You made so many timely catches! Time and again, when all hope was about to go out the window, there you were making a game saving play; keeping a scoring drive alive or just flatout scoring the winning touchdown yourself.

    And your grin; everytime I saw your grin I would remember myself, as though it were yesterday, laying on the bottom of a pile and laughing because it was so much fun.

    Warmest regards,
    Gary Seager
    Class of 1962, TMHS, Saxton, PA

    Reply
  98. Sandy Connor

    Football will never be the same… thanks for every catch that was always followed by that one in a million smile!

    Reply
  99. KAREN

    I just got done watching the press release and I have to admit, it had me in tears as well. I can’t express my disappointment with the Rooney family and coaches of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I always believed that the Steelers stood for loyalty, commitment, hard work and rewards for that hard work. The above showed none of it. You have always been the most loyal and dedicated Steeler and it showed through every play of every game, regardless if you were on the field or not. Your loyalty should have been rewarded not discarded. You will always be a Steeler in our eyes even if you decided to wear the dreaded Ravens jersey, LOL. You will always be remembered and loved by the Steeler Nation and your fans. Live well and prosper, Hines. You deserve it.

    Reply
  100. Scott

    Hines, Thank you for many, many memories over the years. You have been an inspiration to me and all of Steeler Nation. I will miss seeing #86 on the field. My youngest son (8 y/old) loves you and is still talking about how mad he is that you will not be playing for us next season. Over the years you gave all you had for this team, this city, and the fans….WE APPRECIATE IT!!!

    THANK YOU #86.

    Reply
  101. Gary Newswanger

    Hines you sir are a true sportsman and the game of football will never be the same without you. I have been a diehard Steelers fan for 50 yrs. and you rank up there with all the best of the True Steelers players, Webster , Lambert , Stallworth,Green,etc. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors . If you attack them as you did football nothing will stop you. Steeler Nation will miss you. God Bless You . Gary

    Reply
  102. Jenn Maund

    You have always been & always will be my favorite Steeler! Your smile & positive attitude have always been an inspiration to me. I hope the organization truely appreciates all you have given to them over the years. I know I have. Best of luck going forward.

    Reply
  103. BUZ PASTOR

    THANKS FOR YOUR 13 YEARS OF PLEASURE FOR ALL YOUR FANS,YOU ARE A FIRST CLASS ACT YOU WILL ALWAYS BE OUR HERO,GOD BLESS

    Reply
  104. Chris

    You are a TRUE class act!! I will miss your smiling face on the field and in interviews and pictures and as much I hate to see you go, I’m glad it was into retirement and not to another team. I couldn’t imagine you in another uniform. I wish ALL the BEST!!!!
    Congrats Hines!!! You ARE a STEELER for LIFE!!

    Reply
  105. Deb Proctor

    I was on a cruise and came home to find the bad news. am a true fan – even drove to Dallas! Your talent and dedication is above reproach. Even my 80 year old mother (suffering from Dementia) spoke out of the blue “I can’t believe they let Heinze Ward Go” My tears are as true as the ones I saw on you. I am very glad you won’t be wearing anything but Black and Gold; however; I believe Mr. Rooney and Tomlin have made a poor decision. You are the greatest and will do great things. God has a plan for you!

    Reply
  106. John B

    Hines, since you came to the STEELERS I wore the same 86 shirt to every home game and to watch every away game! I told everyone, as long as we have Hines we have a chance no matter what the odds were!

    I surely hope you will be at the home opener so we can all give you the thanks you deserve!

    Reply
  107. Darrell Castleberry

    Congradulations on a wonderful career. Thank you so much for the memories. I have been a Steelers fan since I dscovered football at the ripe old age of 9 years old in 1976. I can tell you Mr. Ward you are a true Steeler hero like Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Rocky Blier, and I can go on. You will be missed, but you will have a place in history and the heart of every Steeler fan young and old. GOD bless.

    Reply
  108. Jess

    Love you Hines! (Wearing your Jersey while I’m writing this) I first took an interest in football and the Steelers during your rookies year. I don’t know what football is without you. I don’t think any of us in Steeler Nation can imagine you in anything but black and gold. (Hey Mr. Rooney, can you give him a coaching job?) You’ve had an amazing career and the myriad of things you’ve done to help people in your community and beyond is incredible. Your passion, drive and big heart are an inspiration to us all. Keep smiling!

    Reply
  109. Colleen

    Wow Hines, what a touching statement today! Steelers Nation is so glad that you will remain a Steeler for life. What you did for us today was tremendous. Your loyalty is true ‘Burgh! Thanks for contributing on the field, but that can’t touch how you’ve touched us as a human being and true Steeler. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. To see you in another uniform would have been unbearable. Best of luck in all you do. We fans look forward to seeing you around tahn n at! Keep smiling! Love you!

    Reply
  110. Mark Williams

    Hines, my wife and I only wear jerseys of players whom we respect and who have retired. She will wear Ward and I will wear Blier. Two tough men who put the steel in Steeler. Ps. You knocked so much crap out of Baltimore they can smell it D.C.

    Reply
  111. Toni

    You are leaving exactly as you played…with style! You know that old…when one door closes, etc. Whatever door you choose, it will be another great experience, I am sure.

    Reply
    1. Bahrom

      I’m a die-hard Steelers fan from NJ too. I went to the Steelers @ Giants game 3 years ago and it was a phenomenal game. Hard to say you shoduln’t go to the Chargers, Colts or Cowboys games tho. Flip a coin dude it’s the Steelers that’s all that matters. Wait and see if any of them are a nationally televised night game. Those are always great.

      Reply
  112. Bill

    Hines

    Although I will surely miss you on the field, your news this morning made my day that you will retire a Steeler and be a Steeler for life.

    I haven’t lived in PIT since 1981 but the Steelers will always be my team. Your dedication to the cause epitomizes what the Steelers organization has always been. Good luck in your retirement!

    Reply
  113. Sandy from Georgia

    Congratulations on a stellar career, sir. You played the game as it should be played–all out. As a Georgia man, I have followed your football career since you were a freshman at Georgia. I will always remember how hard you played the game, no matter what difficult situation you might be cast in (or position you were asked to play). You have always been a Big “Team”, little “Me” guy. I knew then you would be a big-time NFL player, but I didn’t know you would be a Hall of Famer. Congratulations on retiring as a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I plan on making the trip to Canton for the ceremony.

    Reply
  114. Steve WIlson

    Mr. Ward,
    I remember a year I got dazzled by a rookie on special teams that looked so enthralled with the game of football no matter how the previous play went. I realized quickly that not only was he fun to watch but this guy was a GAMER – he played the game the way it was MEANT to be played. Around this time I came to love football in general and not just Steelers football, and I saw someone that was unlike anyone in the league. I pleaded with my family for a hard to find HINES WARD 86 Jersey 3 years into this Georgia guy’s career (2 sizes to big for me- I never grew into it haha). I become enamored with the “happy to be here” smile, and inspired by the knock-down drag-out attitude behind it. Before long, I had a new all-time favorite Steeler (beyond Louis Lipps, a deep threat, no comparison). For a decade of Steelers football, 3rd down was looking at my Dad and him saying: “High Time For HINES!” and we each rested assure in the knowing that 86 was on our roster and no one else’s! I used to listen to Steelers Huddle on MP3 from my uncle to experience more of Hines and Deshea! Still, I learned that the NFL is a business. I was so proud of my team and YOU for signing your contract to allow you to retire as a Steeler. We needed 86 to stay a Steeler! Really though, I had no idea I was watching a hall of fame career! Let me be clear, I’ll be there in Canton, losing my voice, cheering for my first Steeler HOF member (I’ll party like it’s 1998-so that you can hear it). Mr. Ward, I followed your off-field demeanor with the team. When you traveled to Vietnam with your Helping Hands program for bi-racial kids…We’re a Steeler Nation of MANY races, and we’ve all been inspired by the way you took the field and the way you carried yourself with CLASS and truly emotionally wearing your HEART on your Steeler Striped SLEEVE. We love our 86. I look forward to what you choose to do in the future. You’re so young. Please send a resume to Pittsburgh, as I would be comforted by your presence on the sidelines and your instruction to our recruits on how to be tough and appreciate the NFL like you do. We’re a Nation behind you, solidified by your character. Look ahead Mr. Ward, as well as behind. We’ll not forget you.
    Steve Wilson,
    Dayton Ohio

    Reply
  115. paxplant

    Thanks for the ride. It will be tough watching a Steelers game Nd not seeing on the field. As many have said you were and still are a class act.
    Good lucck any your future endeavors.
    God Bless

    Reply
  116. Anibal

    I need to explain that I has been Steelers’ fan since 1975 and you are with no doubt the greatest Steelers player ever not only for your unbelievable stats but the way you brought to the field the real spirit of the Pittsburgh Steelers every single play.
    Thanks don’t sound enough for such great memories.
    Buena suerte, from south of the border Steelers Nation.
    Anibal

    Reply
  117. Apples

    Dear Hines~ I cannot thank you enough for what you represent and the way you played the game. You will be missed on the field and, I’m sure, in the locker room and practice field. You embody what I have always loved about Steeler football and the organization as a whole; a positive, winning attitude and work ethic. It really is a sad day for football & Steeler fans in particular. Tbank you for the class and emotion that you displayed today. God speed.

    CDR K.A. “Apples” Applegate, USN

    Reply
  118. John, Maggie and Lizzie

    Mr. Ward, you sir, are a class act….

    Hope to see you soon as an analyst!

    God Bless…..

    Reply
  119. Defender of the Black N Glod

    I will miss your blue collar attitude you fit the mold all Steelers should aspire to be, As all the Steeler greats before you will not be forgotten and you will live in Steeler lore for generations to come I know my son will know who you were as I groom him to defend the Black N Gold. God Bless

    Reply
  120. Barb Fullen

    You will be missed! Now who’s going to be my WR on Fantasy Football this year… the Steeler DEF and you are always my first picks. Good Luck in this new chapter of your life and may God bless you in whatever you do. Here We Go

    Reply
  121. Denise

    A very special thank you – I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 42 in November 2010. Watching you play that season and dancing gave me strength and enjoyment during a very dark time in my life. You were there for everyone of my chemo treatments (but 1) and I thank you! I have followed your career from the start and I will miss your smile and style. You are a true class act!!

    Reply
  122. Debra

    Hines, It has been a pleasure and blessing to have a model like you as a sports figure for our young to look up too! You will always have a home in Steelers Nation, and in the hearts and minds of all your fans. Bless you in where ever your future takes you. Your a CLASS ACT with an unforgettable SMILE! Keep on shining!

    Reply
  123. Ken Toms

    Hines,
    I have been a Steeler fan since the Jets traded Namath. I have watched the super bowl teams through the late 70s and 80s and again more recently. I enjoyed watching the Steelers through all these years and never felt compelled to write to a player before and say thank you, until now!
    Thank you for all the memories. You truly have heart!
    Ken

    Reply
  124. Cathy

    Just watched your press conference and just like every one else who watched from Steeler Nation…Cried. I, just like so many other, am elated that you are and will always be a Steeler. I loved watching you play, and that famous SMILE…you will always be in the hearts of every Steeler fan…Thank You for 14 awesome years and I wish you all the best in where this next journey takes you.

    Reply
  125. Glenn S.

    Hines, Thanks for the memories – your intense 100% play and always coming out of a play with that big smile. When the people of Steeler Nation are talking about some of the best Steeler players to play in Black & Gold your name will always be among them.
    It can’t be said enough you’re a class act.
    Keep on smiling.

    Reply
  126. Elaine

    Hines,
    Had to laugh through the tears when you mentioned fans who wore their #86 jersey in Baltimore. I have done that, and will continue to do so! Glad you also mentioned that your wearing purple and black would never have happened–that would really have hurt.
    Thank you for 14 great years, and for your kind words to Steeler Nation.

    Reply
  127. Diane

    Hines….I have been a Steeler fan in California since the 70′s, when people asked me why I chose the Steelers
    I always said because they are REAL football players. I will most certainly miss you in any Steeler game I am lucky enough to see, but your smile will alwys be a great memory for me,,,because no matter what you always had than great smile. Today I am a 70 year old woman who still loves the Steelers, but will miss you alot. Good luck and God Bless to a REAL football player!!!!!!

    Reply
  128. Maddie

    Imy family is probably the biggest steelers fans out there go to yOur games ever year. I’m 14 and I know I am deff one of THE biggest steelers fans out there. I have own sonmany steelers clothes, posters, bags,dvd’s, and so much more. Last year my step dad aske me how I want my room, guess what right now my rooms black and yellow with a big steelers icon on my wall with posters of the players and including you Hines! When I got my room done like this I couldn’t of been happier. I know everything about the team it. When people ask me why I am a fan all I say is you obviously don’t know why football is then if you asking me this! I jut love everything about the team. When I’m upset I just turn in my steelers DVD somehow you guys make my life better knowing that thier are reall people out there and having a role model like you was a gift. I want to work for the steelers when I get older I know it’s hard ima girl to be in the NFL but I know someday I will get to work for the team. I’m sure you ha the best time on the team and you know that you had to retire for you. All I have to say is thank you for giving me and my family the best years. Watching you and the team play every game, at home and at the stadium. It was a gift having you play for sucha wonderful team. Thank you for giving me an all the other steelers fans out their your bestt which was THE BEST on this team. Happy retirement,
    Love your biggest fan madeline y. :)

    Reply
  129. Bob

    When I took my son to Latrobe for two years, you were one of the few Steelers who showed him courtesy and appreciation for being a fan. He treasures your autograph and your jersey. And we all treasure who you really are and wish every athlete would follow your example. I wish you peace.

    Reply
    1. janet u

      I am saddened by the retirement announcement but understand why. You are my alltime favorite Steeler and always will be. I will miss seeing your smile no matter what happened on the field. It will not be the same watching the games without you there. You will be missed more than you know. My son just started getting into football this past couple of years because when he was little I would scream and jump around so much that I would scare him, so for a while he didnt like football season, but now he does and he knows Hines was my #1 player so even he is upset. GOOD LUCK IN ALL YOU DO AND THANK GOD YOU PLAYED FOR OUR CITY AND OUR TEAM THE BEST THERE IS THE STEELERS.

      Reply
  130. Teena from Arkansas

    Hines, my daughter and I have watched you play your entire career. When we are passionate about something we love so much, the biggest hope you can have is that others see your accomplishments and learn from your passion. My daughter has played competitive soccer since she was 5, she was even recruited for a boys team that she played for until she was 14. To this day, when she takes the field, she puts on her Hine’s face. It helps her focus. You’ve been her role model and that’s something that doesn’t end because you closed a chapter of your life. Be proud of what you’ve done. You’ve made a lasting impression on the field and in the hearts of many fans young and old.

    Reply
  131. Cristin

    I want to thank you for being such a great role model for young athletes. I was born and raised in the burg and a Steeler fan; even though I no longer live there I am still a die hard. My children are fans and we attend as many games as possible in many different cities. I personally know a few members of the team from the 70′s and 80′s. You have entered a great regeime of past retired Steelers. Reitring from this franchise is an elite honor and you deserve it. You are an amazing person and I can only hope your attitude and honestly will influence children around the country. Your smile will never be forgotten and often missed. Thank you for your dedication to the “Steelers Nation”. Best wishes in your new adventures and whatever life may bring.

    Reply
  132. Brett Cornelius

    To a man who played the game with only the respect a true Steeler could, he retired with the same respect. In a time where business and money override loyalty to a team, Heinz retired with respect not only to himself but to the steelers. Not only does this show you the character of Heinz but also the steelers franchise. You will always be a steeler, especially in the fan’s hearts. It truly is Heinz Field.

    Reply
  133. Tim

    Thank you, Hines, for all the great years. You were always a class act, and a joy to watch. I’ll miss seeing you play. Best blocking wide receiver. Ever.

    Reply
  134. Lisa

    Hines,

    You are the reason I watch and love football. From the first time I saw you play to your last game. When I heard about your retirement today, I was at work but found the time to watch your news conference and cried just as you did. You are an AMAZING player and person. I was so hoping that you would not be cut this year to give you another chance at a Super Bowl victory. I would have watched you in another uniform. I wouldn’t have liked not seeing you in Black n’ Gold, but I would have followed. Glad you did go out a Steeler! Keep on smiling! :) Best of luck and I can’t wait to see what your future holds for you!

    Reply
  135. Jody

    Dear Hines, thank you for being such a role model. Too few modern professional athletes take the responsibilty of beIng a role model seriously. You have been and continue to be a role model for so many.

    The decision to retire was heartbreaking I am sure, it showed in your tears, and the tears of all of us who love you and love what you represent. Steelers nation is immensely grateful for all of your great years of play, all of your accomplishments and the sacrifice you made by retiring so as to retire as a Steeler. I am sure I speak for many when I say we hope for nothing but the best for you in retirement, and we hope very much to see you in another role in the NFL very soon.

    Reply
  136. Todd Palmer

    I am so sorry to see all the smiles fade. I have been a Steeler fan for more than 30 years. Yours were some of the best. Thank you for all the smiles and laughs. We could all tell how much you enjoyed the game. It showed in your face, your playing, and finally in your tears. I hope you stay in touch with all of your fans now and in the future. Thank you Hines from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all the best and hope that you still can smile every day knowing how many of us will be with you always.

    Reply
  137. LMY

    I have been a Steeler fan my whole life (all 40 years) and we (my family) absolutley adore you and were very upset over the Steeler Management decision. I even thought of giving up on the steelers as a fan (well, maybe for 1 minute-sorry) I can’t imagine wnat a difficult decision it is for you to retire when you still have a passion to play. From a selfish standpoint I just would have been so sad to see you play for another team, so I am happy that you are retiring as a Steeler.

    Reply
  138. Valerie Patton

    Hines it’s because of you that I grew to love football. I will forever remember how much you showed your love for this game with all your smiles. I will truly miss you more then I even imagined when I first started watching football. I can only dream that you will continue to be involved with the Steelers.

    Reply
  139. Toni Boldret

    Thanks for the Memories! #86 you will always be loved & respected Steeler champion! Thanks Hines we <3 you!

    Reply
  140. ladyblitzburgh

    I am sorry the way things turned out Hines. You will always be a Pittsburgh Steeler and bleed black and gold. I’ll miss your smiling face and it was a pleasure seeing you at training camp. Best of luck to you in the future Hines.

    Reply
  141. Vance

    All good things eventually come to an end. Your transition was done with class and style. You went out on top – not chasing the dollar or the past. I’m don’t think I can say the same about the P. M. saga.

    Congratulations!

    Reply
  142. Susan

    Hines, Thank you for a SUPER 14 years in Pittsburgh and for CARING about kids! Best wishes always. We all love and respect you, marvel at your talents and skills and accomplishments, and will miss your unforgettable smile. God bless!

    Reply
  143. tina kalcevic

    Hines,
    You are an amazing player and a true gentleman. The way you are handling yourself, with what I considered to be completely disrespectful treatment from Steeler management, is just one of the things that makes us Steeler fans love and respect you! I will be proud to continue wearing your jersey! My youngest girl, Katie, made a little paper Hines Ward # 86 jersey in school. It is on my ” Steeler Wall ” in my living room and will remain there always! To many of us fans, you will always be a Pittsburgh Steeler!

    Reply
  144. Kelly

    Hines, you have been my favorite Steeler of all time – and that is saying alot. (I actually got to ride on the shoulders of Mel Blount as a little girl growing up outside of Pittsburgh.) I am so glad that you chose to retire in Black and Gold and am honored by your decision. Thank you for all the smiles, all the love, and all the dedication over the years. Yep, even in the cornfields of Nebraska, you have many fans!!

    Reply
  145. Nicole Bringuel

    TO OUR FUTURE HALL OF FAMER, HINES WARD; TODAY AS I LISTENED TO YOUR RETIREMENT SPEECH I CRIED WITH YOU, AND WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU MAY NOT STEP OUT ONTO THE FIELD NEXT SEASON BUT ONE THING IS FOR SURE THE GAME WILL NEVER BE THE SAME FOR THIS STEELER NATION FAN. #86 LIVES ON AND CAN NEVER BE REPLACED. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR PASSION AND LOVE OF THE GAME WITH ME. THANK YOU FOR BEING A ROLE MODEL FOR NOT ONLY CHILDREN BUT FOR HOW SOME ADULTS SHOULD ACT YOU ARE A CLASS ACT, A REAL MAN, A REAL LEADER, AND SOMEONE I RESPECT IMMENSELY.I MAY NOT SEE YOU ON THE FIELD BUT NONE THE LESS YOU WILL HAVE MY SUPPORT NOT ONLY FOR YOUR FOUNDATION BUT FOR THE NEXT PART OF YOUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE. GONE FROM THE TEAM TO EARLY BUT ALWAYS IN MY HEART.FOR ME THIS GOES BEYOND BUSINESS IT’S ABOUT LOYALTY, YOU GAVE YOUR LOYALTY TO THE STEELER ORGANIZATION BUT ALSO TO YOUR FANS SO FOR THIS #1 HINES WARD FAN YOU HAVE MY LOYALTY AND SUPPORT AND MAY I GIVE BACK TO YOU THE WAY YOU HAVE GIVEN TO ME FOR THE PAST 14 YEARS! YOU AND YOUR TACKLES WITH A SMILE WILL BE MISSED..♥ ♥ FROM LAS VEGAS…

    Reply
  146. sharron

    I’m will miss everything about YOU. You are a simply amazing. Thank you for the passion and the intensity you brought to the field each & every sunday. Who, Who, Who could block, catch, & flash that thousand watt smile like you. You will be missed

    Reply
    1. Terry G.

      Hines, I am from Hawaii and have been a Steeler fan since 1972. I have truly
      enjoyed watching you these years and will miss #86 on the field. It has been a weird 2 weeks wondering if you would take a position with another team. As sorry as I am to see you retire, the other part of me is glad that you will retire having played with only one team. My team!!! Best wishes for your future HInes.
      ALOHA from Hawaii.

      Reply
  147. Stephanie Harrowa

    I sure am going to miss that smile on Sundays! You could always count on it to be there, no matter how the game was going. Hines, I cried with you today; much of the Steeler nation cried black and gold with you today. I am sure going to miss you out there, Hines! You changed Steeler football when you came into it 14 years ago, and it won’t be the same without you now. Thank you for returning our love by retiring a Steeler! And thank you for 14 great years of Steeler football! You have a fan for life here. I love you, Hines, and I’ll sure miss you! Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!

    Reply
  148. Ricd Dobrosielski Jr

    Can’t says anything that hasn’t already been said. So, Thank You. We Love Ya. Always did, Always Will……

    Reply
  149. Tammy Helfrich

    One thing that stands out in these comments and drew me to Steeler #86 from the beginning is that huge smile – winning or losing, just loving the game. Your retirement speech was so touching and very moving. You always brought a smile to my face – on the field and on the dance floor! Congratulations on a great career – you’ll be greatly missed in the seasons to come!

    Reply
  150. Danny

    Congratulations on an awesome career, Hines! I will always wear my #86 authentic Steeler jersey with pride, especially on the day we see you in Canton, Ohio! Aloha!

    Reply
  151. Patricia Nicolia

    Patricia Nicolia Hines where ever you go and what ever you do we will follow you. If you visit in any city in the country we will come in droves to see you not only because of your accomplishments on the field but because you are the epitome of what we in the Steeler Nation believe to be Real Steel, a man of loyalty and hard work, a man who played the game with a whole heart, a man who truly bleeds black & gold. YOU are what we want the Steelers to be.

    Reply
  152. Thomas Moore Sr.

    Congrats and Thsanks for the Memories!!! I look forward to seeing you at a Steel City Mafia Event in the near future. From “Black and Red” to “Black and Yellow” now that’s a ride!

    Reply
  153. sandra

    Congratulations on a wonderful career as a Steeler…I hope that you will be on the field again this coming season, watching you play is the highlight of my weekend. Not only do you bleed black and gold, you will always bleed “red and black”, GO DAWGS!!!!!

    Reply
  154. Henry

    Hate to see you go Hines but glad to have seen you play in the black and gold.If you would have played for anyone else I still would have rooted for you.
    Hope you enjoy retirement. Thanks for the good times.

    Reply
  155. Dave Matthews

    Hines you have been an inspiration and a true role model for all of us in Steeler Nation. Thank you for 14 great years. We will miss seeing you on the field “as a player” every Sunday. Keep on smiling!

    Reply
  156. Rick

    Just a sincere thank you for being the man you are on and off the field. Great role model who provided wonderful memories. Best of luck. Luv to see you in coaching, anywhere but preferrably with the Steelers of course. God Bless!

    Reply
  157. JJ

    Hines,
    What a great contribution you have made to the history of the game of football and the NFL. You have been a treat for football fans of every city, not just Pittsburgh (I am an Eagles fan). I respect how you played the game the right way. If you were not catching a ball you were making a critical block or trying to knock someone’s lights out. You are the ultimate WR. Best of luck in your future endeavors! Peace.

    Reply
  158. Dave

    It has been nearly 5 decades since I was a college quarterback. I have been a big fan of yours since you first broke into the NFL (though I root for another, less successful team). I have always told my daughter that if I could pick only one receiver to throw to, past or present, it would be Hines Ward. Never has there been such a complete player or one who enjoyed the game more. The smile on your face after each play could light up a stadium. You are number one in my book.

    Reply
  159. Karen Smith

    Your dedication to the Steelers is remarkable!!! As a fan I find that to be phenomenal!!! You are a class act!! That is why in my opinion YOU are the greatest Steeler ever!!!!

    Reply
  160. Rena DeBortoli

    Honored to have watched you play black and gold for 14 years. You are a class act Hines and an amazing person. You will be missed!!! Smile and dance! and mostly Enjoy whatever you do!

    Reply
  161. Ellen

    I watched you thru HS here in Atlanta, then at Georgia and then followed you to the Steelers. I am sorry that things ended like this with them but I know with your many talents and admirable character that the next role you decide to take on will be just as successful as your playing career. You have always been a class act and will remain so. Personally, I would like to see that smile on a regular commentator on network sports, but whatever you decide to do I wish you well. So come home and take up your next challenges. Whatever they are,in whatever field, you will be the MVP.

    Reply
  162. Julie

    Hines,
    Yes, you will be missed in the game of football but you have been given a talent and used it well. You are the eptiome of a what a professional athlete should be. I know your Mother and Son are ever so proud of you. Keep on smiling and dancing!! Thank you for retiring as a Steeler.

    Reply
  163. Aimee

    Good Luck, Hines! Pittsburghers will always love you, even the ones like me who no longer live there. It’s going to be hard to watch Steeler’s games without seeing your smiling face. There will be an empty space in all of our hearts. Thanks for all your hard work and your kind words to the fans.

    Reply
  164. Candi

    Thank you for putting integrity into a game that doesn’t seem to have much left. You are a stand up individual and make me even more proud to be a Steelers fan. I can’t wait to see what you do next!!

    Reply
  165. Kathy

    Congratulations and best wishes to you. You are such
    a class act and an inspiration to so many fans. You
    will be missed so very much. The fact that you retired as a Steeler means so much to so many.

    Reply
  166. Cindy

    Thank you Hines for making the Steelers such a great team. We will all miss your smiling face as we watch the Steelers. We are all proud to wear the #86 Black & Gold!

    Reply
  167. shane

    Thanks Hines for retiring as a Steeler you are truely a Steeler! Thank you soo much! I wish you the best luck in etwhatever you do. Iwill miss watching you play. Thanks for everything. I think the NFL should retire number 86 because nobody can be better than you. Good luck and hope the best. I think you should go into acting but hey your famous and i’m just an ordinary person so you prolly don’t care what i think. I would like to hear from u but i understand if u dont your famous and i’m not. Well great luck in the futue thanks for being a true steeler!

    Reply
  168. James Johnson

    Having followed you for all these years, I only wish I had followed you longer and I couldn’t be more sadden by your exit from the team. I have followed Steeler football all my life(40+years) and truly haven’t been this sad over a player leaving since the days of Bradshaw, Swan, Harris, Stalworth, and the rest. You are truly one of the greatest guys, on and off the field and I will miss your presence in the line-up. My only wish is that you were given the option to decide when and how you left the game. I will always be a fan but will be equally sad to see you wear another teams colors. All the best.

    Reply
  169. Frank Ross

    Dear Hines,

    First of all, congratulations on the retirement. It would have cause me and the rest of Steeler Nation a lot of anguish to see you suit up in another uniform. I would like to say that you belong in the Hall of Fame. Not only were you truly one of the best, if not, the best WR in the NFL (Because you brought the total package), but your impeccable character, charity, kindness and hospitality off the field. Over the last 14 years, you took your adopted city and took it to unprecedented heights. Whether you realized or not, you embodied the City of Pittsburgh and naturally carried the city on your shoulders from the NFLs stadiums you played in to White House to Seoul Korea and through our Nation’s television cables broadcasts from Los Angeles, CA. Hines you were great for the Steelers, great for the City of Pittsburgh, great for America, great for Korea and great for Steelers Nation. Regrettably, I have never met you (and I would really like to) and have yet to experience a Steelers game at Heinz Field. Heinz Field will never be the same without you, but I will always remember it as the House of Hines. May God bless you and your retirement Hines!

    Reply
  170. Steven Smith

    Hines,

    You always have been and always will be my favorite football player. It breaks my heart to think that I won’t be able to watch you on Sundays anymore. I hate that football has gotten to a place where a warrior like yourself who has given his best years to the Steelers can’t finish out his career the way he wants to. As sorry as I am to see you go, I am greatful that you have decided, and I am sure your decision was a painful one, to retire a Steeler and not to put on another uniform. Your actions on and off the field have brought smiles to millions, and I want to thank you for all of these wonderful years including two Superbowls {WOOT!} I wish you the best in all your future endeavors, and I know I will see you in Canton with that yellow jacket in a few years. You were truly one of the greatest! Much Love!

    Reply
    1. Josh Reid

      Hines,

      What you have given to the Steelers franchise over the past 14 years cannot be taken away or ever forgotten. With the cards that were dealt to you by this franchise, I and every other HINES WARD fan can agree in saying that you handled this situation in a very professional way. For you to retire as a true STEELER who bled gallons of black and gold on the field and expressed to your fans that you would not suit up in any other uniform made me so PROUD to be a fan of yours. You were such a substantial part of this organization; it worries me to think about where it could go from here. Regardless of your tenure of 14 years with the Steelers, I and everyone else can say that there is still a lot of fuel left to burn on the gridiron and you could have easily signed a contract with another team. I want to express my appreciation to you and let you know that I will ALWAYS be a Hines Ward fan until the day I die because of your character. Not only were you an unbelievable athlete, but a loyal friend and advisor to many people who have never actually even met you. I hope that someday I will have the opportunity to shake your hand to give you a “Thank you” in person. I really hope that you get a chance to read this and know that you WILL be GREATLY missed Hines, but NEVER forgotten!

      Thank you for always having a smile on your face and for everything that goes along with Steelers football.

      Reply
  171. Yi

    Thank you Hines for giving us the best years of our lives. We will always love you. Thanks for keeping the smile. Never let it go!

    Reply
  172. Jaquita

    Hines,

    I have never been so sad and mad at the same time. Watching my Steelers play this season, will just not be the same without your smiling face on the field. You are truly a remarkable man, with such love in his heart for everyone and everything you touch. I will truly miss you.

    Reply
  173. Carrie

    I am so sad that my favorite football player will no longer be playing with the Steelers this season. Your presence and beautiful smile will be missed. I’ll still be wearing my “86″ jersey! Good luck to you in retirement and all your future endeavors. You’ll always be an irreplaceable part of Pittsburgh!

    Reply
  174. alinolean

    Hines will always be one of my all time favorite Steelers. I have been a fan since the great 70s. He never gave up, and never grumbled. Even when the team was wasting first round picks on recievers two years in a row. He came to work the following years, penciled in as the number three reciever during training camp. He led the team in receptions both years, then final got the recognition from the Team that he deserved. Love ya Hinsey!!!

    Reply
  175. Peggy Sue OMalley

    It was a sad day for the NFL. I too, have cried a few tears, by myself and with others. I’ve had football heroes all my life, Terry, Franco, Mean Joe, Jerome. I have never had such a feeling as I do about Hines. He is and will be a True Gentleman, such class, compassion and passion. We could all find about 110 wonderful adjectives when speaking of Hines. I continue to support his foundation. Like others, Sundays will never be the same, that smile will leave a hole in Steeler Nation that will never be filled, Hines, you deserve the Best and I congratulate you on the history making career you have had. Yes, you did put your whole soul, grit and grind on every down and I see that you have mentored some up and comers. Thank You for many a happy Sunday! Thanks for DWTS, that was Fabulous! My friends got to see & witness what I go on about. I’d love to see you in the booth with Jerome and Coach Cower! That could be a whole nother show. Hint, Hint, Hint ESPN now that you have made the decision, I know you will go on with that Smile and I wish you nothing but the absolute best!

    Reply
  176. TexanCiCi

    When I watched you on Dancing with the Stars, you always made me smile. It’s so sad not to see you playing football on TV. I hope you will make some guest appearances on Dancing! Take care!

    Reply
  177. Shakir

    Hines, I want to thank you for showing us that just enjoying the game alone does not take anything away from an athlete. You have shown over these past 14 years that the love of the game and the Steeler organization took priority over money. I love the Steelers but I feel they could have kept you in the organization, if not as a player then as a coach. You could have shared a lot of your own special techniques wih the younger receivers. That’s what got you to the high level that you reached. You are a Fall of Famer and a gentleman.

    Reply
  178. Christy Harville

    Hines,

    Let me first begin by saying how much that my family will miss you on the field this upcoming season. We also bleed black and yellow in our household. You are and will always be a major reason that I am a Steeler fan. You have a smile that is infectious to anyone who sees you. Always be proud of the way that you have conducted yourself as a Steeler despite the crazy people who call you a dirty player. They aren’t even in your league! All of the Steeler Nation know how hard you have worked and the dedicaiton that you have shown in the 14 years that you have been a Steeler. I am a high school softball coach and I wish that some of my team could have your heart and tenacity on and off the field. You are truly a class act and an inspiration to all of your fans. I wish you the best of luck in your future endevors. We love you and will miss seeing you in black and yellow! #86 forever

    Reply
  179. donna shutter

    I cried yesterday watching you retire from our beloved Steelers. Thank you from all our family for being such a shining star. We wish you all good things in the coming years. I know something wonderful will come your way. You deserve it!

    Reply
  180. linda marker

    Anyone who loves the game like you can’t be all bad. and my opinion about the Steelers just went down. it is always the money, the heck with someone loving to play and playing good. i myself am a Raiders fan, but my old man is hardcore “steelers”, my house has more of those “colors” in it then is just. He however is fightin cancer for the third time and can’t do this so i did it for him. We love you Hines and you will always be in our hearts. Godspeed in your life and may many happy things happen for you. don

    Reply
  181. Steve from O'Hara

    Hines,

    What a dignified way to end your career. You will be remembered as a great sports legend in this city as long as they are playing football in Pittsburgh. Here is how my family will remember you: in 2002, we happened to staying at the same resort on spring break as Ray Lewis. My 13 year old son, approached him very politely while he was not busy and asked him for an autograph. His reply, “I don’t do that kind of thing.” My boy was very hurt that a famous figure could dismiss him so abruptly. From then on, every time we played Baltimore, she referred to him as “that thug”. Several years later, my wife happened to run into you at a downtown parking lot and asked you for an autograph for our boy. She said you were nothing but gracious and accommodating. Hines, you are a class act through and through and will always be remembered in our family for your terrific football skills and passion for the game, and, more importantly, as a gentleman and an ambassador for the city. Proud to call you a true Pittsburgher!

    Reply
  182. Pamela

    My first memories of the Steelers was in the 60′s before you were even born! My dad had 3 daughters and taught us to love football and the Steelers. Through all those years I think you and Joe Greene were the 2 players who in my opinion truly represented the Pittsburgh Steelers. Your hard work and dedication were always present in every single play. Pittsburgh was steellmills with tough hardworking men and though that era is gone, Pittsburgh continues to have the same mentality. If you are going to do a job be the best that you can be. That is something you appear to do in every aspect of you professional life. Thank you – we need more people in this country with your character. I’d love to see you coaching and bringing your enthusiasm to others. God Bless you in all that you do.

    Reply
  183. Chris Millroy

    I’ve been wearing this guy’s jersey every sunday since I moved here back in 2000. Immediately I fell
    in love with his “Hockey” style of play (I’m from Canada), his heart and team spirit, I remember nobody wearing his jersey back then and found it almost impossible to get one anywhere. Now at a game it seems every other person has one.

    I know he’s just a football player but for me he meant
    more than that. He’s what makes this Steeler team great. Thanks Hines, for the memories and passion you showed on everyplay and when I think of 86 in any sport you’ll only come to mind.

    All the best and we’ll surely miss that smile!

    Reply
    1. Sharyn Kelley Manns

      Hines,I cried with you yesterday, just as I cried tears of joy when you passed the 1000 mark, got the MVP,and won the Mirror Ball! Your smile has lit up this 67yr. old woman’s life for 14yrs…I honestly wondered if I’d ever be able to watch the Steelers again when they let you go. You and Jerome are up there with the 70′s guys! and I sure hope I’ll be around when you go to Canton. You left with dignity and class…I am so very proud of you (you’d think I gave birth to ya) and feeling that “bittersweet” emotion all your fans must have right now. Take care, you’ll always be loved in Pittsburgh!

      Reply
  184. steve stone

    hines
    luv you man. hate to see you not in black&gold anymore. whole family luvs stellers here in va.
    will always remember the games we got to see you play. good luck to a great guy.

    Reply
  185. Linds

    Hines I don’t know where to begin!!…I was so devastated when I heard the news that the Steelers had decided to release you…its hard living up here in Canada, to get to many games and I was instantly disappointment that I didn’t get to see you play in one of your last games wearing the black and gold…you are not only an exceptional athlete and outstanding person, but you are a true inspiration for the younger generation who are playing football..You show them that you can be an accomplished and well respected athlete without all the negative, controversy and unsportsman like things that can surround someone every day in this profession..You had a smile on your face all the time, and have shown that you can be an exceptional athlete if you always put in %100 and never give up!!…you are going to be a great loss to not only the team and the organization, but especially to the fans and Steelers Nation who love you so dearly!!…thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to cheer for not only a great team but a great player who will never be forgotten…and even though you have decided at this point in your life to hang up your black and gold jersey, I am not quite ready to hang your jersey in my closet…I will continue to cheer for you even though you may not be physically on the field, truly because you have given so much to this team and organization!!…I wish you nothing but the best in wherever life takes you, I have no doubt that your future holds many open doors for you, hopefully one back into Heinz field one day to be part of the organization again!!
    Congratulations on a great career and an outstanding performance in the black and gold!!  xoxo

    Reply
  186. Bob Perkowski

    My voice will be lost in the crowd, Hines, but you completely defined “Class Act” throughout you career and in retiring. Thanks for the thrills and fun you brought to the entire Steeler Nation. I’m thankful I won’t have to endure seeing you in anything other that Black & Gold. I hope to see you coaching for the Steelers in the very near future. You are one of the Burgh Boys and always will be.

    Reply
  187. Sonja Brown

    Hines, THANK YOU. Thanks for bleeding black and gold every game of every season. Thanks for leaving it all on the field every time you stepped out of the tunnel. Thanks for being a class act on and off the field. Thanks for loving the Steelers more than football. I know it was a very hard decision to make not to put on another uniform. My family and I will always be Hines fans and members of Steeler Nation. We hope to see you on the sidelines coaching one day soon. You have so much left to give football and football has more to give you. Good Luck in this next phase. You will always be in our hearts.

    Reply
  188. Miyoung

    I’m a bit devastated, and it must have been one of the most difficult decisions you had to make when you announced your retirement the other day. Everyone will miss you, even people who are not a part of Steeler Nation because of your absolute love and joy for the game. No one gets up like you do after a hard hit with that undeniable and charismatic smile – you’re the heart and most definitely the soul of the team. I will personally miss you because you’re the one that rekindled my childhood love for the Steelers from the 70′s. I honor you and your devotion not only to your team but also to your family, heritage and the forgotten children in Korea – your the best!

    Reply
  189. Matteo Danforth

    Hey Hines,
    Big fan my and my dad are.
    I wanted you to no tat even though you retired you will always be my favorite steelers player of all time.

    Reply
  190. Joan Alli

    You will be my favorite player of all time! I was so upset when I heard about the possibility of you being traded and now retiring. I won’t see that SMILE on the field anymore. You will be greatly missed. I wish you well now and in the future. I’m glad that you have this website and that I can still hear what you are doing. God bless, Joan

    Reply
  191. Dorothy Pack

    As happy as I was this morning knowing what you did for us …Steeler Nation ..I became sad again when I watched your retirement speech. I watched it over and over again and again. I cried uncontrollably. My tears were for you Hines. I started to feel bad that you did this when in your heart you feel you can still play. I wish they would have said come back Hines. But that didn’t happen. I really hope you do come to the games. You are soooooooo very much loved that it is just amazing. I have season tickets in the Legend club. I am sure hoping you come into the tent with us. I see the welcome all the other legends get. Franco hardly even gets in the door. I truely wish you were my son. I would have the biggest hug for you cause I already know I have the love and pride for you as a mother would.Thank you for all the wonderful memories we will have of you. I can only wish all the best for you. Here’s to you Hines, see ya in the burg!<3

    Reply
  192. Bill Bartilson

    Hello Hines: Thanks for the memories! I love the way you were always willing to make the tough catches, blocks and always come up smiling! Your work ethic and indomitable spirit are greatly appreciated and will be remembered for many years. Your joyful leap into the end zone during Super Bowl XL will go down as one of my fondest memories of the zest you have for the game. Hines, we wish you the best of everything as you enter the next phase of your life! Bill

    Reply
  193. Justin Okonski

    Mr. Hines,

    I just want to say thank you for all the great years of football you gave to this city. You are at or near the top of a huge list of Steeler Greats! While I hate to see you go, I will be forever grateful for the style and class you did it with! Steeler Nation Loves you!

    I would also like to thank you for what you are doing for my charity event! You don’t know it, but you are about to raise a considerable amount of money for my cause. I have Your signature on a jersey that was donated, that should bring in hundreds of dollars for our organization.

    That is a very powerful tool, and I hope you understand how much you are helping out every time you sign your name! THANK YOU!

    Please see http://www.stepstoindependence.org for a group of young children with the same grit and determination you showed every day on the field.

    I too am a big crybaby and am welling up as I write this. Please know OUR LOVE IS REAL!

    Reply
  194. Shane

    Thanks Hines for all you done. Like I said before I could see you acting like being on movies or tv shows like dancing with the stars. The reason is you are talented and you are a great person and everybody respects you. I bet there are alot of players are glad from other teams you retired cause they didn’t want you to show them what’s up. lol you couldn’t help to knock defensive players down you are just a good tough player not dirty TOUGH and dedicated!

    Reply
  195. Dave

    Hines, I don’t know what I could possibly add to the amazing sentiments other fans have left for you. What you have given to Steeler Nation over the past 14 years is immeasurable and it will live on forever.

    Thank you so much for the way you represented yourself and the organization. I feel so proud and privileged to have gotten to see you play in person a couple times- the one time I flew all the way from Fairbanks, Alaska on a work trip to visit family in PA and come see a game.

    I wish you all the best in your future and I hope to see you forever involved with the Steelers organization. They were wise to see the potential in you and should be eternally grateful for all that you gave them.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that you have nothing left to prove on the football field. Steeler fans have felt that way for many years, but we always enjoyed watching you to continue to prove it to any that may have doubted you.

    Thank you for everything.

    Reply
  196. NolaGyrl

    Hines, outside of my WHODat Nation, you & Ike(my old high school class mate) are my favorite Steelers. I wish you the best and would like to continue to see you on the screen somewhere doing something. I just want to see your beautiful smile out there. You exude a genuine spirit, a really classy guy. Peace & Blessings!!!

    Reply
  197. Amanda

    Hines…..Oh Hines you will be missed. I am glad that you will retire a steeler, but I am not pleased that you will no longer play football. You were by far my favorite player on the team. I miss you already!!!

    Reply
    1. Terri

      Hines,
      I hope that you realize what a profound impact you have had on me and my family! We are your number one Canadian fans!! We fly the black and gold because of you. My 14 year old daughter is so sad! But, we are so glad that you had the classn and the honour to retire as a Steeler. You are always in our thoughts. You have no idea how much we will miss your skill and your smile. Thank you for everything….miss you already…

      Reply
  198. Damian

    MVP86, I have struggled on what to say and to find the words that would even come close to expressing my son and I feeling for you. First, we want to thank you for everything you have done for our city and its people. Second, you where always a STEELER, and no one could take that away from you ever. my son has worn your jersey since 1999. You are truly a STEELER, and have displayed those qualities of the city and its people for 14 years. You have given STEELER NATION so much these past years. Providing the city relief during times of struggle and giving them hope for a better tomorrow, or escape for just a few hours. We were so blessed to have such a great player and man to wear the BLACK and YELLOW…Thank you for everything and some of the best times and my son’s and my life.

    Reply
  199. Mark J

    Every once and a while there comes a player that shares his skills and talents for the love of the game,.

    Every once and a while there comes a player who wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Every once and a while there comes a player that truly understands how much the fans care and support them.

    Every once and a while there comes a player of which demonstrates unselfishness and dedication.

    But there is only once in a lifetime you get a player like you. Someone who represents true Steeler Football.

    When we think of the Pittsburgh Steelers we think of Terry Bradshaw, Joe Green, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, Franco Harris, Mel Blount and many more. But from now on we will think of Hines Ward. There is not another player in any sport who was as loyal and dedicated. It was you that inspired “The Steeler Champion Mix Gem” video.

    Even more you have inspired many of us to be better people. God Bless you!

    Reply
  200. marianne

    We will miss you in morgantown,wv. Love your smile and the love of the game. You are the reason we love football! Hope to see you coaching on the sidelines for the black and gold! You are a great person and role model for people around the world. We love you!

    Reply
  201. Sherry Carr

    Mere words cannot express the sadness the nation – especially Steeler Nation – feels at not seeing you in a #86 uniform again. We’re soo extremely proud of you for retiring as a Steeler in class and with honor. You rekindled my love of football since the 70′s era and I thank you for the spark of passion that set my Steeler soul on fire. Watching football won’t be the same without you, but life goes on and we are all better fans because of you. I pray your son has half the beauty you possess and he will grow up to be a remarkable human being. Thank you Hines FOREVER!! (with tears in Fairmont WV)

    Reply
  202. Shane R

    Hines thank you so much for retiring as a Steeler. I am your biggest fan. I enjoyed watching you play every game. I always wanted to go to a steeler game and watch you but I never could get a ticket or anybody to go with so sorry I neve made it. I’m hoping to some day go to a Steeler game. I also new you would never sighn for the Ravens. I saw a picture of you on the internet in a raven uniform man people will put anyting on the internet even though its not true

    Reply
  203. Dorothy Young

    Dear Hines:
    Thank-you for being a great athlete, man, and humanitarian. Ecclesiastes speaks of a times for everything. I know that God has a greater calling on your life now. Georgia needs you!!! Much love and best wishes for your future victories.

    By the way, we share the same birthday. GREAT people are born on March 8th. Happy belated birthday!!!

    Reply
  204. Marlene Nardone

    Somehow watching the Black and Gold play will lose some of its appeal without the talented presence of #86. I, too, wish that Hines Ward would continue with the Steelers in another capacity. I can’t imagine a more terrific ambassador for the Steelers than Hines Ward. I’m feeling very sad in New Jersey.

    Reply
  205. HINES'FAN4LIFE

    Hines, I just want to say, like everyone else on this long list of fans and admirers, that you will be missed. The Steelers won’t be the same without you. Steeler Nation won’t be the same for that matter. You brought loyalty, love of the game, and joy to so many people across the country – since the STEELER NATION is by far the biggest nation. And you, Hines, have made it just that – the Greatest. You and your Smile on and off the field will be missed by everyone. As you move on to a “new phase of your life, I know you will pursue that with the same passion and honesty that you have brought to everything that you have already accomplished. Go out and be the best you can be – as you have always done – for the Steelers, and for everyone who has ever had the opportunity to watch and know you. God Bless!!

    Reply
  206. jonathan bechtold

    hines ward made the right choice retiring. I will always remeber Hines Ward as a die hard stellers fan. No one can ever mathch his talent and awesomeness

    Reply
  207. Marlene Nardone

    I,too, would like to see #86 continue with the Steelers in another capacity. Hines Ward is and would be a terrific ambassador for the Black and Gold. I’m feeling sad in NJ that I won’t see that familiar face and jersey on the field this season.

    Reply
  208. Jan

    Hines, Thank you so much for all you have given to the Steeler Nation and the many kids to and for whom you and Helping Hands are working. You will be greatly missed. I wish you all the best in the future.

    Reply
  209. Karen

    Hines, I feel so bad that you did not get to finish your career the way you wanted to, you could clearly see that in your face at the press conference. Thank you for all you have done for the team and city of Pittsburgh, for your courage through the years and being a leader of mixed race youth. I will continue to wear your jersey the day the Steelers play in protest that they released you. Here’s to you…

    Reply
  210. Kristi

    I know this is a delayed response but better late than never. Although I hated to see you retire, I am glad you retired as a Steeler. I could never imagine you in another uniform. I would like to see you as a coach or commentator in the near future. Steeler Nation loves you. We will miss that smile you presented while on the field. Through your smile, we could see your love for the game, love for the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and Steeler Nation. Even if you would have decided to continue playing for another team, many of us would have followed that journey. Do I believe your heart would have been in it? Absolutely not. As you stated, the Black and Gold runs deep.

    Reply
  211. Michele

    You came to the Steelers in 1998
    Little did we know you’d become an all time great
    You hold many records and won lots of awards
    You put a lot of points up on scoreboards
    Some called you dirty but you just played with passion
    Heart and soul in typical Steelers fashion
    A great blocking receiver – you even inspired a rule
    Defenders watched out for you or you took them to school
    You played like a winner – whether losing or winning
    You took a big hit and got up grinning
    1000 receptions made over your career
    And even some passes that made us cheer
    You made some impossible catches along the way
    Not to mention your Superbowl XL MVP day
    Over 14 years there have been tears – both happy and sad
    You’re retiring a Steeler – for that we are glad
    Now that you are leaving the game
    There’s no doubt you’re headed to the Hall Of Fame
    We love you Hines – we will forget you never
    You’re a Steeler for life – 86 forever

    Reply
  212. Ruth

    Thank you for everything: for being a Steeler, for your smile on the field and off, all the hard hits you gave and took, for the Super Bowls, for your obvious enjoyment of the game, and for the rule that will always have your name! It’s not going to be the same without you on the field. Most of all THANK YOU FOR THE MEMORIES!

    Reply
  213. Vera Richardson

    I will truly miss you on the field. Everyday I look at your poster picture that I received last year during the Steelers vs Ravens playoff. That was my first time at the stadium. My daughter and I had a blast. It was also great seeing you this pass weekend in Chantilly, VA. I thank you so much for the picture. I will always cherish it and will have it signed at your next signing. I must comment on the way you carry yourself of the field, you are a blessing to your helping hands foundation. If your ever looking for volunteers please allow me to know. May God continue to bless you.

    Reply
  214. Cathy

    Forever a Steeler fan … moving to the Boston area has had its struggles, but none as difficult as missing the bond Steeler fans hold in the Steel City. Watching Heinz perform on the field with such love of the game, and demonstrate the meaning of team on the sidelines, permitted my husband and I to be a part of Steeler Nation. Heinz … I believe there will be a place in the Steeler organization for you … your days of the black and gold are far from over! Thank you for sharing your love of the game with us all!

    Reply
  215. john

    it is a shame that they are getting rid of one of the best receivers around. Steeler games are never going to be the same anymore. I have been a steeler fan for well over 20 years and now i will still be a fan but advide follower anymore becsue for the rooneys getting rid of the best talent around

    Reply
  216. Zak Harvey

    Hines I have intently followed your playing days, and thank you. I have been a Steelers fan my entire life and being 31 years old I had never seen a Super Bowl that the Steelers were in and won in my life. I had started to think it would never happen. But when you guys won Super Bowl XL it was like a childhood dream come true. You being the MVP of that game made it even better. I am glad you stayed a Steeler, but I am very sad to see you go. You are my absolute favorite player EVER more than ANY other. I watched DWTS and voted every vote I could for you. So did my Mom, Dad, Brother, and the ENTIRE Harvey and Hollis families. But anyway thank you agian for being the player and honorable family centered guy you have always been.

    Sincerly,

    Zak Harvey Wellsburg WV

    P.S. Im still buying my son your jersey.

    Reply
    1. Rigby

      Omg I’m very touched with your msg. U took all the words out of my mouth. I feel the same about Hines…I became a steeler fan bec of him. Now, it he gone for sure? I just can’t accept it and still hoping they’ll let him stay. Thanks so much for your awesome msg. Steelers and Hines ward forever<3

      Reply
  217. Abraham Castro Pámanes

    I’m from México and I’ve been a witness of your achievements and I follow your entire career 14 years ago, and we are proud of an excellent person as you, you are an example for us, and that’s why friends of mine and I created a little tribute to you, a twitter account, made by your mexicans fans @HinesWardMexico, we hope you read this post and send us a tweet or may be follow us =) …

    I just can say only one phrase “God bless you Hines”

    PS Now you know you have fans in the Mexican Steelers Nation

    Reply
  218. Jonathan Simmons

    Hines you’re still the best, and you go will be missed in the “Black and Gold” on Sunday and Monday Night. I will still wear your jersey and continue to brag about you.

    Reply
  219. liz

    All I can say is Thank you Thank you. You are a beautiful spirit, a wonderful ball player and man. It has been a pleasure watching you play. You are blessed and will continue to be blessed in whatever you decide to do.

    Reply
  220. Diana

    It is truly apparent how much you love the game of football. The pure enjoyment is evident in your face every single play. I do love watching you on the field! You will be missed at the Steeler organization but we will follow your career anywhere you go. Good luck and keep doing what you do!

    Reply
  221. carlos batiz

    mexico is part of the steeler nation

    and as such we are gathering followers to make a tribute in the country, we are saddened by your departure but we are happy for your life.

    thanks for being steeler 4 ever

    Reply
  222. Darryl MacIsaac

    As Tina Turner would say
    “Simply the Best, Better than all the rest , Better than anyone” you will be missed. Hope they retire your # as a gesture of committment to organization

    Reply
  223. mac ferguson

    Hines you will surely be missed in by the Steeler nation you made every season and game the best you ever played. Your level of athleticism and sportsmanship will not easily be replaced and you will always have a place in the hearts of true Steeler fans everywhere on behalf of Hines ward fans in our house i say goodbye and good luck where ever life and the game may take you.

    Reply
  224. Jay Dennis

    you are a class act…all the way. i will cheer for you no matter what team you end up playing for. thank you for making Steeler football what we all know it should be.

    Reply
  225. Ginny C.

    Hines, I’m a little late, but here goes. Born and raised in the Pittsburgh Area, I’ve been a fan since 1975. Until you stepped into the black and gold, I had touted many different Steelers as my favorites. Terry, Jack, Lynn, Franco, because I couldn’t pick one over the other. That has changed because of you. When asked who my all time favorite Steeler player is, I reply, without hestitation. Mr. Hines Ward. You will be missed. Steeler football won’t be the same next season without you. Love ya.

    Reply
  226. Mike Wilson

    Hines, Steeler football will never be the same. You left an indelible mark and a large gaping hole in the Steeler offense. You will be sorely missed. The fans know you never stopped producing and management was a bit premature in making this decision. I am not as excited about the upcoming season which is also a disappointment. You added the highest level of passion and the lack of your smile, hits and receptions will not go unnoticed

    Reply
  227. Sandra

    You will be missed this coming season……that awesome smile of yours will not be there, but hopefully you get to attend some of the scheduled games. Black and Gold FOREVER!!!! #86 will live in our hearts!!! GO STEELERS!!!!

    Reply
  228. Colin Burns

    Hey Hines you have been my favorite player forever. Ever since that trick play in Super Bowl XL I knew you were amazing. I’m part of steeler nation and just wrote a paper about your life. Always having a smile on your face,winning DWTS, still growing up to be a man your mother had wished, your little talk with Terrell Suggs on ESPN,and your big hit on Kieth Rivers are all things that i have loved about you. You will always be a steeler to me and i hope you make it to the HOF

    Your Friend Colin

    Reply
  229. Ray

    I grew up a Swann fan, I watched Hines as a back-up, always a smile and very positive. When Hines went in, he seemed to get open and make the catch. It took a while for the coaches to see, but he made his way to the top. He started the ‘blocking receiver’ movement in the league. Now and always a Hines Ward Fan, I’ll wear my Ward jersey with pride. Hope their is a way for you to continue to contribute to the organization.

    Reply
  230. shane

    Hines so glad to hear you will be on tv. You know alot about football and everybody will be watching you. I bet all the ravens are glad you are done playing so you don’t beat the crap out of them anymore! Thanks for everything again!!!! Good luck.

    Reply
    1. Kathy

      I’ve been a Steelers fan for several years and I will miss you. You were my 10 year old son’s favorite player….Go Steelers!!!

      Reply
  231. Florian Mayer

    Hey Hines,

    hope youre doin allright. I guess im your biggest fan from Austria, thats a lil country south of Germany. Was workin in the Burgh and in the Mines round for a while and enjoying some of your games from 05′ to 09′.

    Well, just wanted to tell you that it was nice to see you smilin when you were switchin off some of those sissis not playin for THE STEELERS.

    Once a Steeler, always a Steeler.

    All the best to you & regards in advance,

    Florian

    (P.S.: Joe Flacco needs a haircut.)

    Reply
    1. Derrick.

      Gruesse Florian,

      Seeing that you are in Austria, be sure to join our “Steelers Fan Club of Germany” site. Once you find out what we are all about, you may be moving to Heidelberg. We are an officially recognized Dan Rooney Jr. Steelers pub in Germany and proud to be promoting Steelers Nation at the international level.
      Here’s our link:
      http://www.meetup.com/The-Heidelberg-Germany-Pittsburgh-Steelers-Meetup-Group/
      We hope to see you as our newest member.
      And as for you Hines, we miss you already!
      MfG,
      Derrick.

      Reply
  232. Shannon & Ray Drzewiecki

    I LOVE how u were on the field, I found myself always looking for u on the field! I Jay’s that ur not on the team physically, u made the team!!!! I will miss u so Much, I wish u like in everything u do! I cried my eyes out when I found out u weren’t on the team anymore! But good luck in life, and congratulations on ur other websites u have started!! U will be missed!!!!。・°°・(*>_<*)・°°・。

    Reply
  233. Lina Jang

    you will forever and always be the man i look up tp. i met you years ago as a cancer patient but only briefly. i was young but i do recall you talking about how dreams came to be reality with hard work and dedication. i wish you well in all you do. i wish that you could have had at least one more season, but i do understand that life won’t stop as a steeler for you. ive been a steelers fan ever since i knew what a football was. and seeing you on the team i became more dedicated than ever to be an appreciative fan not just for the steelers, but for you. i thank you for all 14 years of the terrible towel hanging on my wall. you will be missed, and you are the greatest and the most humble player in the nfl.

    Reply
  234. JD

    Can’t imagine a Steelers game without you. Not very classy of Rooney – they should have offered you a coaching job at least.

    Reply
  235. shane

    Hines equals steelers without you Steelers will NEVER be the same. Thanks for everything gonna really miss you bud

    Reply
  236. Ginny C.

    Hines – Ive been following Steeler training camp this year and it’s just not the same without #86. You are so missed by Steeler Nation. I’m glad we will have the opportunity to watch you on Football Night in America. Keep Steeler Nation close to your heart, as we keep you close to ours!

    Reply
  237. Linda S

    Hines,

    Even though I am an Eagles fan, I enjoyed watching you play in the NFL. God bless you and I wish you well.

    Reply
  238. Lauren Rihel

    Hines, it definitely wont be the same watching the Steelers play and not see #86 on the field! Oh how I will miss seeing that big smile! While I am sad to see you go, I couldn’t be happier that you retired a Steeler! You are a class act Hines! Steeler Nation loves you<3 Steeler for life…#86<3

    Reply
  239. Edie K

    Hines, I will deeply miss seeing you on the field. I can’t believe you won’t be playing with the Steelers anymore. What a loss for them. I love the Steelers especially since I was born and raised there. I live in California now and you definitly have a lot of fans here as well. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

    Reply
    1. Diane

      Dear Hines, watching the steelers is not the same without you. You gave so much to the city of Pittsburgh. However, I feel that you are destined for bigger and greater things because you have such a good heart. It is a good thing that you left the steelers without any major health problems. There are a lot of things more important than football. The very best to you always.

      Reply
  240. Jen Brittain

    I’m a Pittsburgher, born and raised. I will miss seeing you on the field this year, but I’m so glad you retired a Steeler!!!! It’s NOT the same wi/o you, but I wish you luck in the new chapter of your life. I will wear #86 proudly as I watch the black n gold this year. :) :) :)

    Good Luck!!!! Love you!!!!! <3
    Jen B.

    Reply
  241. shane

    Hines another season starts won’t get to watch you makes me upset but hey i wish you the best. I hope someday i can go to a steelers game been my wish fgor years but hey you cant always get what you eish for. Well i wish more than the best to you #86 will never be forgotten

    Reply
  242. Gloria Valdovinos

    Hines: I’m a mexican fan of you I’ll miss your smile in the field, I couldn’t imaging you with other colors in the NFL, take care yourself, you are the best as in Dancing with the stars. Changes are always for better, specially for sucessfull people like you, is a big loss for Steelers followers in the world

    Reply
  243. Vicki Morris

    As we look toward opening day of 2012, I can’t imagine watching the Steelers beat the Bronco’s without you. It will be a lonely season without your smile and tough effort! We will, I will, Steeler Nation will miss you terribly! Keep on keeping on baby!

    Reply
  244. ZOHAR

    Anxiously awaiting WILL RETURN YOUR FIELD BY STRANGE THAT SMILE OF ONE OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE NFL. MANY BLESSINGS AND MANY HUGS THIS MEXICAN FANS THAT HAVE

    Reply
  245. Shannon

    Mr. Ward, I was not aware of your work in Korea. I actually went to high school there, my father was in the Army. I love Korea so much I studied Korean language and culture In college. Though it was many years ago, it has always been my goal to go back. My youngest sister is Korean. Being a child out of wedlock is equally shameful in Korea and we adopted her as an infant. Keep up the good work. By the way, I’m a huge Steelers fan! Shannon

    Reply
  246. Karen Kaye Hardy

    Hines, I have always been a BIG fan of yours! I’m so sad that you are not playing for the Steelers this year :( I love, LOVE football! I also followed and voted for you on Dancing With The Stars. May God bless you and protect you in the future.

    Reply
  247. john mccann

    Hines I would just like to say you are my hero! As a half korean myself I know what it was like to grow up biracial (other half caucasian but it was the same with both sides not accepting me in my childhood). My father was army for 20 years and I lived in Korea twice and everytime I hear your stories it brings a tear to my eye because I know EXACTLY what you went through with Koreans AND Americans judging a book by its cover and all the humiliation. I think what you’re doing is great. It just also happens to be I’ve been a Steeler fan my whole life, and you are my favorite player because what you have done on and off the field. The way you are not afraid to express your emotions (crying for jerome, smiling in the face of adversity) deserves serious respect, because you were also one of the toughest SOBs I have ever seen on the football field, REGARDLESS of position. Seriously, I’m a straight man, but i can confidently say that I love you! Sergeant McCann US Army.

    Reply
    1. john mccann

      You will be sorely missed. IMO You are the greatest Steeler ever. Thank you for retiring a Steeler and for all your service in the black and gold!

      Reply
  248. Mark J

    Still miss you Hines. Truth be told the Ravens miss you too! If you were not a good player they would love you in Baltimore. They despise you that means you were great! And you stood in the way of their success.

    Reply
  249. Tabitha Stevens

    Mr. Ward, I really enjoyed watching you play football. And I was wondering if you could mail my son Casey Ward your autograph and maybe a shirt? Since you both share the same last name. My son is 22 he has Down Syndrome and is the most amazing young man. He is so sweet and kind and does not ask for anything. I am hopeing that you can help with this. I hate even asking, but there is no way I can afford to purchase one for him! and he does not ask for anything. I think him seeing his name on a shirt would amaze him. Sir if there is any way you can help, I would never be able to thank you enough. And I love the way you smile after you have plowed through the other team. Thank you and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Reply
  250. B. king

    Hines doin a project on you and thought id share that it only had to be 4 pages about your life it ended uo being 9 and a half pages.

    P.S.
    Ur awesome and steelers will never be the same without you

    Reply
  251. GENE REIS

    HINES YOU IMO ARE THE BEST STEELER OF MY TIME I BEEN WATCHING THE STEELERS SINCE BRADSHAW WAS A ROOKIE IN 1970 AND THEIR WERE SOME GREATS SINCE THEN I LOVED YOUR TENACITY RESILIANCE NOBODY ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE OF THE BALL HAS EVER SHOWED STEEELERNATION THE SKILLS YOU HAD. I WAS DEVASTATED WHEN THE STEELERS RELEASED YOU AND NOW WHEN I SEE YOU ON NBC BROADCASTED BRINGS ME JOY TO SEE YOURE STILL GOING SUPER BOWL XL WILL ALWAYS BE MY FAVORITE GAME IN RECENT MEMORY
    FAREWELL MY FRIEND AND GOOD LUCK IN THE BROADCASTING BOOTH
    HERE WE GO STEELERS!!!

    Reply
  252. Tamara Heyman

    Hines,It broke my heart, when I went on the internet and it said you was retiring!You have always beenmy absolute favorite football player ever! Your such and inspiration!I have done many school reports on you and you are a true role model to me!Thankyou for all your hardwork and the experience watching such a talented person!I have seen you at games, training camps, and pep rallies!Your such a handsome man!God Bless you in your future!
    Tamara Heyman,18,Pa

    Reply
  253. Robert Barron

    I always enjoyied watching you with the Steelers. No matter what happened to you… you always had a SMILE on your face. Thanks for all the great memories. Looking forward to your next adventure!

    Reply
  254. Abi Wool

    Hines, I just finished watching you cook on Rachael vs. Guy for the last time and I just want to say that you’re a great person, both in the kitchen and on the football field. You brought Team Rachael a great sense of team spirit and I’m sad to not be able to see you cook any more. I hope you continue to cook and love doing it!

    Reply
  255. Brandon Wagner

    Hines You are and always will be my favorite football player you are amazing. In my book you are the best wide receiver that ever lived. Your blocking was amazing you were great at what you did you are my role model you inspired my to do my best in everything. Hines when I watched you start to cry I was in tears Hines Steeler nation misses you.

    Reply
  256. Alison

    Dear Hines,

    I think you’re really cool. To be honest, I’m not much of sports fanatic (I’m actually a dancer from Shen Yun Performing Arts). But after reading about you in Whirl magazine, you have become my favorite athlete. Your achievements are definitely something to be proud of, but your personality is what I like best. Whether it’s on the field or the dance floor, in the swimming pool or kitchen, your smile is very inspiriting–this is also why I blogged about you! I wanted to share this optimism with others, and since you’re the star of my blog, I want to share it with you as well!

    I know you must be busy with Ironman training, but you can read it here and tell me what you think: http://www.shenyunperformingarts.org/blog/_9kLmURSnOl4/power-of-positive-thinking.html.

    Hopefully, I can perform for you one day, or–even better–meet you in person!

    Best wishes,

    Alison

    Reply
  257. Joanna O'Shea

    Ok…maybe I’m blonde…but is it just me or is this post saying that you are going to be PLAYING football again this year??? If so…that would be a dream come true!!! I am a true blue Steelers fan and hope you would be playing for them but I would follow you wherever you went! You are truly my favorite player! Your return would be awesome cuz I also don’t believe you were done!!!

    Reply
  258. Yes-Dex

    Hines we took a picture together at Hines field in 2011 you signed me ball and my jersey met your mom and son mom was running from camera. I was wondering is there any way you can sign my picture?? I keep missing you at the car wash.. And is there a chance you could stop by the steelers bar in Atlanta ga, smiths ole bar and grill we all would love to see you there.. You will always be the best player among the best team ever.. Dex and you can email me at yesdex@yahoo.com

    Reply
    1. Skye Ward

      I’m a freshman at East High School in Anchorage, Alaska and my number is 86 just like you. My name is Skye Ward, I’m on the football C-team and when I wear my jersey with yours and my last name and the same number you are the one who motivates me. I think of you and I make it through the game. I was asking if you can sponsor me and my team and help us to get new gear and anything that you can do to help. :)

      Reply
  259. Shane Ritchey

    Hines im your biggest fan more than anyone, hope to see ya ontTV talking football an really hope to hear from you

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>