Pittsburgh, PA: For years, sports writers, game announcers, and fans have all wondered about Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Hines Ward and his never-ending smile. Until now, most believed that his smile was due to an overwhelming sense of happiness and accomplishment. However, after some research and repeated interviews with individuals close to the Steelers organization, it appears as if the truth is a bit more troubling.
According to sources who wish to remain anonymous, Hines Ward is, in a word, retarded.
“It’s true,” said a trainer recently. “Hines Ward, though he may be a good receiver, is actually retarded. That’s why he smiles so much. He has no freaking clue about what’s going on. In fact, he thinks that it’s his birthday every Sunday, which explains the constant smiling.”
Another source made similar claims. “Ward is the only player in this organization who is forced to wear a helmet on the bus. Otherwise, he’d bang his head against the glass repeatedly in an attempt to knock himself out. Trust me, I’ve seen him ride the bus sans helmet and it ain’t pretty.”
When asked if Ward received preferential treatment, a third source nodded his head vigorously. “Well, for one, he gets a birthday cake every Sunday before the game, even though it isn’t his birthday. Two, he gets tucked in at night by the coaching staff. They are also required to clear his room of any “monsters.” And three, for every touchdown catch, he receives an ice cream cone, as well as a hug from Coach Tomlin.”
Tomlin aggressively denies this. “Hug? I don’t give him hugs. Who told you this? Give me a name!”
As it turns out, Hines Ward’s name is really Reginald Thompson. Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney went as far as to help Reginald change his name changed in order to sound like the Steeler’s stadium, Heinz Field. “I asked him, ‘wouldn’t you feel special if your name was like the football field? It would be your field, Reggie!’ He started laughing and jumping up and down, and repeated the phrase ‘Hines Ward, Hines Ward!’ I expect the ward came from repeated conversations about Reggie becoming a ward of the state. So we opted for Hines Ward to be his name. I think it fits,” Mr. Rooney explained.
Ward, for his part, didn’t appear to understand most of the questions presented to him on a recent Monday night. When asked if he is retarded, he smiled. Another reporter asked if his knee was improving and he merely jumped up and down – smiling, of course. In fact, nearly all of the questions were answered with either a grunt or smile.
However, when a reporter asked what flavor of ice cream Ward preferred above all others, he lit up and began to ramble off a list. “I like the vanilla and the chocolate. I also like strawberry and peanut butter and Ben & Jerry’s and strawberry and vanilla and chocolate. I like vanilla. It tickles my tongue.”
Coach Tomlin happened to pass by during this exchange and pulled Ward away from the line of questioning before he could repeat the word “chocolate” yet again.