Let’s not beat around the bush. To paraphrase Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis, Hines Ward must go down, and he must go down hard.
That, perhaps even more than a win, should be the Ravens primary focus in their game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night. Ward has been a thorn in the Ravens’ side for over a decade now. From grabbing Chris McAlister’s facemask during stiff-arms to that infuriating perpetual smile to last year’s hit on Ed Reed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3uM3d42b6M), the effects of which are still limiting Reed’s playing ability, no other NFL player has been a more consistent nuisance to the Ravens. Former Steelers Plaxico Burress and Joey Porter tried to achieve that role, but neither got the best of the Ravens the way Ward has, and it’s time we settled the score once and for all.
Therefore, I am proposing that a bounty be placed on the head of Ward and I’m willing to throw a few of my own bucks into the pot. No more messing around. Let’s take the bull by the horns and get this thing done. As far as organizing the endeavor, we couldn’t have a better coach on the staff than defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, whose father Buddy was the instigator of the infamous Bounty Bowl games between the Eagles and Cowboys in 1989. Rex can glean some advice from Buddy about covering up the evidence, distributing pay-outs, silencing witnesses, etc. When you think about it, this is a no-brainer. We have the perfect victim, a justifiable motive and access to a virtual expert on the whole bounty concept.
Of course the politically-correct knee-jerk reaction is that my proposal is shamefully wrong. But admit it, most of you would love to see Ward writhing in pain after a blind-side by Bart Scott or Tom Zbikowski. If you wouldn’t, you either haven’t been watching the Ravens as long as the rest of us or your family heritage can be traced back to an incestuous relationship in Western Pennsylvania. And before you post a comment with some self-righteous “I never want to see anybody get hurt, even someone from the other team…” click over to an Orioles message board and complain about the time you got beer spilled on you during the ’97 American League playoffs. This is about embracing your darkest inner desires and there’s not a better venue for that than pro football, a tough game where people sometimes get hurt…and where people sometimes have to get hurt.
As far as candidates for the actual deed, I nominate back-up defensive back Frank Walker. The guy has only been with the Ravens a short time and he already looks like he has a chip on his shoulder. He goes from getting burned to talking smack in a matter of seconds, so he is obviously without much of a conscience. And if the shot on Ward happens to incur a league-imposed suspension (or even a lifetime ban), I don’t think the Ravens will miss him too much. Besides, not only will he have a few extra bucks in his pocket, he’ll also have the undying admiration of an entire city…or at least mine.
So who’s in? It’s time to wipe that smile off the face of Hines Ward once and for all, and I’m willing to pay to make it happen.