We knew this was coming. We knew we'd see that smile again.
Early Thursday it was announced that former Pittsburgh Steelers wide reciever Hines Ward will be a part of the network's Football Night in America/Sunday Night Football as well as other NFL-related roles.
Ward, who announced his retirement on March 20, 2012, was drafted in the 1998 NFL Draft's third round and played 14 seasons, all with the Steelers. He racked up multiple franchise records, including receptions (1,000), receiving yards (12,083) and receiving touchdowns (85). He was also a four-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time second team All-Pro selection and played in three Super Bowls, winning two. In Super Bowl XL, Hines Ward was the MVP with five receptions for 123 yards, one rush for 18 yards, and the game-winning touchdown. He was also the best blocking wide receiver in the NFL and an excellent route runner who always seemed to find the open spot to save the Steelers. Hines Ward was the real man of steel.
"We think Hines is a perfect match for television because he brings with him a unique combination of charisma and football experience, which he demonstrated on our Super Bowl pre-game show from Indianapolis," said Sam Flood, executive producer, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network in a release that was issued to announce Ward's hiring. "He's an opinionated personality who can draw upon his 14 years of experience, having excelled at the highest levels of the game. Just don't expect him to dance."
Along with Aaron Rodgers, Ward appeared on NBC’s Super Bowl XLVI pre-game show, and he was also a part of the Oscar's Red Carpet coverage. So he's no stranger to a studio's bright lights, which is where that memorable smile should be in the first place.
One thing, though, to anyone reading this who may know Hines Ward. Please ask him, since he's not in the NFL anymore and can't get fined or suspended, to level Mike Florio who is also a part of the NBC SNF team. I mean just flatten him. Tell Hines to straight go Keith Rivers on Florio. Like this, remember? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPbraVljIrc&feature=youtube_gdata_player
That would make me very happy...and I would imagine it'd be great for ratings too. Don't y'all think?