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Steeler WR Hines Ward released the following statement via Facebook and Twitter regarding his controversial take on Ben Roethlisberger's concussion:

"To my Steeler nation and my fb and twitter fans; I just finished an extensive conversation with Ben. We spoke about the interview in which I made the #1 mistake in doing a interview, I did it based off of emotions. It's interesting how people interpreted my interview. Some say I threw Ben under the bus, some say I was just making a general statement about about concussions.
I would never question a man's toughness playing in a STEELER unif. I didn't mean to cause such a stir. My frustration was based on the fact that this was a big game for us to stay in the playoff picture and having Ben out there gave us our best opp to win in Balt. I was frustrated because there was no indication of Ben not being able to play because he practiced a normal routine this week (wed, thurs and fri).

Some of the guys didn't find out he wasn't playing until saturday and getting that news on the day before the big game didn't go to well. Now as a veteran guy on the team you can see how upset that made a lot of us considering we were going down into the lions den in Baltimore without our fearless leader.

In the locker room some questions came about playing with a concussion, that is where my 50/50 comment came from based on players opinions. Some say they've played after having a concussion and some say you don't wanna mess with that. half of the guys on the team have had concussions at least once in their careers. But in football it's a tough decision on whether one should play or not play.

I know Ben wanted to play this game but the docs told him he's down, and with that we trust our docs with their decisions. We would never jeopardize anyone's health for a game of football. Life is way to precious. One thing about Ben, he is a WINNER. We just wanted this game so badly.
So the moral of this story is not to do an interview based off of emotions and I made that mistake and I have apologized to Ben for that. Ben and I are cool and always will be. We will not let this come between us, our talk was very productive.

I wanted to set the record straight with my fans first because the media will not get comments about this situation from me, it's resolved and we are focusing on Oakland and getting back on the right track. Hats off to Dennis! He played his heart out. He won over a lot of guys on our team. He is gonna be a star!" -- 86
As I mentioned to Stan, Guy, and Chris this morning, this is not the first time there's been a public tiff between Hines and Ben. Remember before the 2008 season when Ben said he wanted a tall receiver in the draft and Hines got bent out of shape? If you don't, here's a refresher. At the time, the public perception was similar to what it is now, and the Steelers managed to get past it enough to win a Super Bowl. In retrospect, my closing thought back then looks comical:

Mike Tomlin made a lot of good moves in his first season as coach. But he also made some mistakes. Here's hoping that he gets everyone on the same page...and fast. If not, it could be a looooooong season in 2008.

Well, everyone got on the same page, the Steelers won SB43, and life returned to normal. The season wasn't nearly as looooooong as it could've been. But the bottom line is that the Steelers should be able to get past this, for no other reason than the fact that they've already done so in the past.

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SmokeyMaverick said...

Ah.... now that's better. Can we all leave it behind us now?

The Mad Bubbler said... more important news, Mike Rupp had a hat trick, and the Pens (a team who isn't full of crime committing egomaniacs) continued their surge back to first place.

Steve said...

Ben's reply: "That's ok, I'm not upset. Short receivers say those kinda things sometimes."