Sports Illustrated released their ranking of dirtiest NFL player, and once again, Hines Ward was elected by his peers as the dirtiest of the dirty.

This is not news because everyone hates the fact that Hines Ward is a tackling wide receiver who once took a player out for the season, stood up, kind of gloated about it, and then later that year said he’d make that tackle again.

Not the classiest of players, but whatever, he’s a Steeler.  If he played for any other team, I’d hate his guts.

So readers have emailed me all, “HINES IS THE DIRTIEST AGAIN!”

But screw that, look who rounded out the top ten!

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu (3.7) and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (3.2) rounded out the top 10.


The man who prays 6,377 times a game? The man who goes to a church wherein the services are FOUR HOURS long?  The man who heals people?! Who give his money to the poor? Who visits the homeless and hands them bags of food before driving off without thanks?!


That’s like calling Mother Teresa the most selfish nun that ever lived.

I want proof that Troysus is a dirty player because without that, these NFL players really are just a bunch of whiny sissies that can’t handle it when a talented safety regularly intercepts their shit, and when he can’t intercept their shit, he tackles them until their brains cry out for mercy.  Otherwise known as … FOOTBALL.

Cowboy the hell up, NFL sissies.  Put those big girl panties on, get out there, and take a tackle like a man, otherwise, I’m sure there’s a raging game of cricket or Hungry Hungry Hippo going on somewhere that you can get in on.

Go show those marbles who’s boss and leave football to the men.


  1. Lauren
    November 5, 2009 11:39 am

    First of all, I love Hungry Hungry Hippos. I would throw the marbles at my brother when I didn’t win. Which was very, very, rarely.

    Secondly, not when he was with the Steelers, but:

    And if you want to take a liberal interpretation of the word “dirty” then Jeff Reed wins this contest, hands down.

  2. Chris
    November 5, 2009 11:46 am

    Big babies. We were just discussing this past weekend the whole “protecting the quarterback thing.” Remember the hits Terry Bradshaw used to take…that was football.

  3. Carpetbagger
    November 5, 2009 11:47 am

    From the Gospel according to Luke (not Ravenstahl): “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you.”

    Or, a more modern translation: “O NFL, why doest thou go hatin’ on the playas that kicketh thou arse so? Thou shall not be a playa hata.”

    Amen. (and watch out for lightning)

  4. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 12:01 pm

    Perhaps they are referring to personal hygiene. I mean, have you ever SMELLED Troy? I thought not. So how do you know? How do YOU know?

  5. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 12:11 pm

    Also, this talk about the head-cracking old days when men were men and played with all manner of injuries including when they had concussions to the point they didn’t know which huddle they were in? Funny! That’s really funny! Now that there’s research that’s beginning to show the constant brain trauma associated with football is turning 50-year-old men into your great-grandpa.

    Ask Mike Webster, or Terry Long, or Justin Strelc2yk. What? Oh, that’s right.

    I know, there I go spoiling everyone’s good time again, and I love you Ginny, I mean physically n at, but there’s some serious soul-searching coming for everyone who supports football in our society. The recent article in The New Yorker about this asked if football is really so much different from dog-fighting, which on its face is absurd, except that maybe it isn’t.

    I think football is a fine game, and I’m not some soccer-lovin’ pussy, but my dislike for most of the elements around the game, not least of which the blood-thirsty fans, turns me way off.

  6. joe
    November 5, 2009 12:44 pm

    Right on bucdaddy. For me it’s not so much the game on the field (which has always been brutal), but the digitalized destruction glorified in TV graphics and fast cuts — it’s desensitizing to the joy of play that is football.

    Check out this early
    football movie from 1904 by Thomas Alva Edison
    — some serious headaches there.

    Watch that clip for bonus Bill Cosby take on football…

  7. YinzerInExile
    November 5, 2009 12:49 pm

    Well, the biggest difference between football and dog fighting — that I can think of — is that the grownass men who play the sport do so of their own free will and knowing full well the potential for injury, whereas the dogs are notsomuch given that option.

    My bf I were just talking about this the other day and I determined that, actually, I’m totally comfortable being a fan of real, smashmouth football, so long as none of the players are hog tied and forced to sign contracts or play at knife point. If they want to crack their skulls for money, who am I to deny them an audience?

    It’s a brutal sport. My guess is that they know that prior to making the decision to become professional football players, and they are well-compensated for their risk — not that I don’t support mandatory lifetime benefits for players from the league that profits so highly from them.

  8. Pensgirl
    November 5, 2009 12:57 pm

    AAAAAAAAAAY-men! Preach it sister!

  9. Lisa J
    November 5, 2009 1:03 pm

    I’m with yinzerInExile. These guys know full well what they are agreeing to when they sign those multi-million dollar contracts. These days we have too many players afraid to take any kind of hit because that’s millions more they might not make later. I think they need to get over it, and just play the game.

  10. Vivian formerly NYLuvsPitts
    November 5, 2009 1:06 pm

    In the 10 Ten Dirtiest Player Photo Gallery they have the meanest Hines Ward picture I’ve ever seen.

  11. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 1:28 pm

    I’m not so sure they know the risks. First off, much of the real damage is only now coming to light, though you could argue that anyone with a lick of sense ought to have known that 60 minutes of helmet-on-helmet hits between 300-pound men roided up in a rage isn’t conducive to good mental health. (The NFL, for one, is officially in denial about this.)

    Which leads me to my second point: They may have mostly all attended college for three-four years, but that doesn’t mean NFL players are the brightest bulbs in the marquee. I seriously doubt most of them have a basic medical knowledge of the trauma the brain endures in the course of a football game, or even in practice (UNC is doing interesting research in this area). As the article points out, it’s not just the big-hit concussions that do long-term damage, but also the constant smaller, nonconcussive hits on every play that seem to have a cumulative effect.

    Thirdly, these are guys who have mostly been brought up in a culture where if you break your arm and the bone is sticking out you are encouraged to spit on it and rub a little dirt on it and get the hell back out there and play, you sissy. What Pop Warner or high school or college kid wants his coaches and his teammates to think he’s a big pussy?

    So we get a situation where the starting quarterback for the team in my town suffers a mild concussion on a Saturday and by Tuesday his head coach is already speculating that he’ll be fine for next weekend’s game, and nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with that, least of all the quarterback, who was back out there the next game.

    Jesus, that kind of mindset is scary.

    Much as I like to spout off and solve the world’s problems, I don’t think I have a solution for this one. People used to talk seriously about banning boxing and that never happened, so I know better than to think anyone will think seriously about doing something as drastic as banning football. Not now. But I wonder if, 100 years from now, our great-grandchildren will look back on what we called sport, and look at the accumulation of 50-year-old men with Al2heimer’s-like dementias and wonder, what the hell were they thinking?

  12. Chris P
    November 5, 2009 1:40 pm

    Ed Bouchette talked about this on the radio last night … the poll is unscientific at best … they poll players in August/September … basically whoever wants to walk up to a reporter in the locker room and cast their vote … so the vets stay away and all the rookies and free agents end up being the voters … well, think about it … who would a rookie vote for … it ends up being a popularity contest … proven by the fact that Troy got #10 lol (ahead of Ray Lewis OMG)

  13. Carpetbagger
    November 5, 2009 1:43 pm

    If they go back to leather helmets, I’ll bet players stop leading with their heads! We still need more evidence though, such as…

    Dick Butkus, who said, “I wouldn’t ever set out to hurt anyone deliberately unless it was important–like a league game.”

    Or Fridge Perry, who said, “I’ve been big ever since I was little.”

    Or George Rogers, who said, “I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.”

  14. Sooska
    November 5, 2009 1:47 pm

    The difference is that dogs can’t make the choice to fight-neither can bulls or cocks(!)and adult football players, hockey players, boxer, etc. do know what the risks are and still play and go head first into it. And no. No one will question it until they come up with the financially feasible concussion proof helmet technology.) I won’t argue that there is no difference between these guys and the gladiators from millenia ago. Life threatening barbarism sells and always has. (Any bets Ryan Clark plays on Monday?)

  15. NW Joe
    November 5, 2009 2:16 pm


    To say that these people don’t know the risks is ridiculous. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that two 300 lb. men slaming helmets 50 times a week, 16 weeks a year for 10 years MAY result in brain damage. And I emphasize ‘MAY’ because there is no definitive study that shows this to be true. At this point, the studies done have a little more validity to them than the global warming studies (but just a little).

    Hines is not even a dirty player. He plays the game until the whistle. He doesn’t hit people late. Dirty players are players that purposely try to injure another player (for example, going for the knees). These poll results are a result of the fact that the Steelers are always on TV and the idiots running the networks are constantly replaying these supposed dirty hits.

    There are dirtier hits every week but nobody cares when it is some scrub from a losing team. Everything with the Steelers is magnified (supposed dirty players, getting calls from the ref) because they win every year. When you win, fans of other teams are haters.

  16. bluzdude
    November 5, 2009 2:23 pm

    I think the votes for Hines all came from the large block of DBs and Linebackers that have been knocked on their cans by the “little” wide receiver. (who then laughs at them) The defenses invest so much into pumping up their own images as being the biggest and baddest, (I’m looking at you, Ravens) that when they DO get flattened, they can only assume it must have been a cheap shot. Their egos won’t allow room for anything else.

    As for Troy? Must be a statistical anomaly. No one with 2 functioning eyes could think that guy is dirty. Troy never makes the bone-jarring hits… that’s Clark’s job… Troy just takes their pins out and makes the tackle every time.

  17. HokieRider
    November 5, 2009 2:29 pm

    My favorite part about that survey (and specifically the pictures associated with it) is the fact that Albert Haynesworth was #2. The picture on the left for Haynesworth shows him intentionally stomping on the unhelmeted head of an opponent. And somehow Hines Ward is dirtier than that? On what planet?

  18. houndogg
    November 5, 2009 2:46 pm

    ward is a tough player, and every player is a bit dirty. no biggie there, he’s all heart!

    sure these athletes today know what they’re getting into, but they HAVE to be protected by the league in some way or another (both on and off the field). the players themselves are just getting so much bigger, stronger, and faster. we’re not all that far off from seeing someone die on the field.

  19. Pat
    November 5, 2009 3:01 pm

    It’s ridiculous to argue that these guys know what they’re getting into when they sign up to play football and that by deciding to play, they essentially assent to dying a horrific early death.

    They’re finding brains of high school and college kids that have played football with huge protein deposits that resemble Alzheimer’s patients. No one’s studied this until recently. No one has any idea what football players have truly gotten themselves into.

  20. NW Joe
    November 5, 2009 3:27 pm

    @ Pat

    What study are you referring to? Post the link.

  21. Leah
    November 5, 2009 3:34 pm

    I love it! I agree 100%

  22. Martin Silenus
    November 5, 2009 3:38 pm

    From the story that ran on the Newshour on October 29

    “REP. JOHN CONYERS, D-Mich., judiciary committee chairman: Commissioner Goodell, is there a link between playing professional football and the likelihood of contracting a brain-related injury, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, or CTE?

    ROGER GOODELL, commissioner, National Football League: You’re obviously seeing a lot of data and a lot of information that our committees and others have presented with respect to the linkage. And the medical experts should be the ones to be able to continue that debate.

    But our bottom line is, we are not waiting for that debate to continue. We want to make sure our game is safe, and we are doing everything we possibly can for our players now.”

  23. oldgraymare
    November 5, 2009 3:45 pm

    maybe all those who can’t handle being hit can join the Mannings and the Williams sisters in the Oreo double stuff league.

  24. Tinare
    November 5, 2009 3:45 pm

    Yep. Defensive players are all tough and macho and make condescending comments about putting quarterbacks in dresses. But when it comes to being blocked by a wide receiver, then the skirt is above another knee…

  25. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 3:46 pm

    The guys in the NFL now have been playing football probably since they were 5, and maybe their mothers once told them, “Oh, I can’t stand the thought of you getting hurt,” but who else has been telling them in Pop Warner and high school and college, “You know, if you play this game long enough you might end up sleeping on the floor of the bus station like Mike Webster”?

    Anybody? Anybody?

    So you think they are all aware of the risks, which are really just coming to light? Sure, every player has in the back of his mind that he can blow out a knee at any time, but this is longer term, and potentially much more devastating, and way easier not to think about.

    Besides, even if anyone was telling them that, what indestructible 6-3, 210-pound 18-year-old who can run a 4.4 40 is going to project himself as Terry Long in 30 years, drinking antifree2e to end the torment?

    The same way no kid taking his first hit of cocaine or crystal meth thinks about ending up strung out and nodding all night on a stoop in the winter.

    Flag football, that’s the way to go ;-)

  26. NW Joe
    November 5, 2009 3:48 pm

    I am not talking about ‘professional’ football players. If they are incurring some risk, they know it (or at least should know it) and they are being paid well for incurring that risk.

    Show me the study that indicates high school and college players are being affected.

    The worry at the lower levels is that there are no qualified medical personnel on-site to determine the severity of a concussion and sometimes these kids are sent back into the game with horrifying repercussions.

  27. NW Joe
    November 5, 2009 3:54 pm

    bucdaddy, show me the study that links suicide to playing high school or even college football.

    Who knows why Terry Long did what he did. He and Justin Strylzek both were steroid users. Maybe that led to their depression. At least there are studies that indicate a link between steroids and depression.

  28. Martin Silenus
    November 5, 2009 3:54 pm

    Sorry if this has been said already, but all the protective gear helps football players to hit harder. Add steroids to the mix and you you have a dementia cocktail. I think the answer is to take away all the pads and helmets.

  29. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 3:57 pm

    NW Joe,

    The New Yorker article I referenced above says that for several years now at North Carolina they’ve been monitoring and measuring helmet impacts in games AND in practices. It does not IIRC mention that this study has come to any conclusions yet, and since it’s only been running a few years, my guess is we’ll have to wait until some of those Tar Heels start developing early onset and/or dying so their brains can be studied postmortem that we’ll begin to understand what’s happening.

    Meantime, do we really want to wait until we have 1,000 2ombiefied former college/NFL players before we come to recogni2e the problem?

    Football has billed itself as “The 100-yard War,” and I think war is now a very apt analogy for the kinds of mental traumas that can be inflicted on strong young men and that they will have to live with for decades.

  30. BagitTagit
    November 5, 2009 4:18 pm

    I feel like I’m being bashed in the head and its leading to suicidal thoughts just reading these comments.

  31. Carpetbagger
    November 5, 2009 4:41 pm

    IMHO, nothing causes as much brain damage as those Bud Light Tailgate Approved commercials. I lose 5 IQ pts every time one of those comes on. I leap for the remote control but, alas, it’s too late. His voice has taken another chunk out of my cerebellum!

    Hold a Congressional hearing on that!

    November 5, 2009 4:43 pm

    You might want to send them here…

    scroll down and check out their logo…


  33. Vivian formerly NYLuvsPitts
    November 5, 2009 5:02 pm

    @ Chris P. I didn’t realize that Troy was ahead of Ray “I’m gonna kill Hines Ward” Lewis. OMG is right!!! lmbo

  34. unsatisfied
    November 5, 2009 5:25 pm

    how many personal fouls does hines have this season? does he lead the league?and, how many games has he been kicked out of this season?

    just askin’…

  35. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 5:41 pm

    NW Joe, You make a good point about steroids/depression.

  36. NW Joe
    November 5, 2009 5:57 pm


    Can’t they do a study on ex-college players? They don’t have to wait a few years.

    Look, anyone who has ever played football likely got their bell wrung a couple of times. It is the nature of the sport. Is there a relationship between playing HS and/or college football and dementia? Possible but I don’t think the link will be strong enough to ban the game. They are developing better helmets all the time. I am sure at the amateur level (esp. HS), they will be used.

  37. Lisa J
    November 5, 2009 6:49 pm

    Do I think they need better protection?? Yes, I do. But that doesn’t change the fact that I also think they really do have an idea of what risk they are taking when they play the game. Some play for the love of the game, some for the love of the money. All know the risks. Do I think Hines Ward is the dirtiest player out there? Not from what I’ve seen. He’s just knocking people down twice his size and smiling about it. I’ve seen worse than anything he’s done.

  38. cmd_45
    November 5, 2009 8:00 pm

    I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference where Mickey Collins of UPMC was speaking. He is one of the big experts in concussion and post-concussion syndrome. Most major sports leagues as well as car racing and even Cirque de Soleil use a test he developed with some other researchers. They test every individual prior to the beginning of their career so they have personal data regrading things like reaction time, eyesight, general knowledge and lots of other factors. This is then used if the player sustains a head injury to determine if there is a serious injury and also when and if they can return to play. He was involved with Merrill Hodge among many others. The NFL appears to be making progress in trying to protect it’s players. If they know what the test is for, then they have been informed of the risks and accept them. The same group is also involved with many local high school and college teams.

    As for Hines, if he had been a bigger guy he would have been on heluva linebacker and no one would be complaining. He likes contact and he is cocky and that’s what they hate. I can’t see anywhere where Troy has been a dirty player. The hit in the USC KSU game seems like more of an aberration. Maybe he just thought the ball was already there.

    All of this exception to the contact in football makes me wonder where hockey is in this spectrum. They regularly take and give hits just as brutal and then some.

  39. Pat
    November 5, 2009 9:54 pm

    Here’s the New Yorker story bucdaddy and I are referring to:

    These guys that are dying were probably steroid users, sure, but that doesn’t change the fact that they do have brain damage and that many of these players (Andrew Waters for example) seem to suffer from depression directly linked to that brain damage.

    The problem is that they can’t do studies on ex-college players or ex-high school players because there’s no test for this protein buildup that can be done without access to the brains, which means the subjects can’t be alive.

    Are there a lot of questions about the studies being done? Sure there are; they’re still in the early stages, the sample sizes are probably small, and there are lots of other questions that still need to be answered. At this point, though, the correlation between football and serious, serious brain injuries seems to be pretty strong.

    Of course the players know there’s a risk, but I don’t think that any of them have any idea how huge the risk is that they’re taking. I’m sure that most offensive lineman or linebackers would tell you that they play the game right, that they take time off when they get a concussion, that they know there’s a risk involved but that it won’t happen to them because they’ve done everything right. The truth is, that might not matter.

  40. Pat
    November 5, 2009 9:55 pm

    Sorry, that’s Andre Waters, not Andrew. Here’s his Wikipedia page:

  41. bucdaddy
    November 5, 2009 11:52 pm


    Kinda depends on how much superhelmets cost, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t want to be the A.D. at (pick any poor) high school trying to outfit 80 kids with helmets that cost $500 apiece or something. Maybe they can swing that at Fox Chapel or Mount Lebanon, and maybe not.

    That’s even supposing they could make a helmet with enough cushion to absolutely prevent a concussion, without it looking like the players have giant mushrooms on their heads.

  42. YinzerInExile
    November 6, 2009 12:47 am

    Ok, so if players didn’t know the risk, now they do — or, I should say, they at least have a substantial inkling. In the interest of fairness, let’s say the League grants everyone who wants one — in light of new, if nebulous, brain study information — a clean break from their contracts. They take whatever payout they’ve thus far received, though they don’t get the remainder of their contractual salary.

    How many do you think would stand up and walk out on football?

    Since I’m going with a pretty firm “not too damn many” I’m comfortable assuming that 1) yes, they really are aware, after playing football through childhood, high school and college, that it’s a high impact sport. You needn’t be a med student to figure out that all manner of injuries are possible, and I’m willing to bet that the minimum one moderate concussion their likely to have suffered in that time will turn a few lights on regarding potential hazards to the ole grey matter; and 2) even if they did know, and were given the option of walking away, they probably wouldn’t.

    Players obviously need to have all health and safety information known at a given time made readily available to them. But the fact remains that some people love doing things which aren’t necessarily the safest, or most healthy things they could be doing. It seems ab-freaking-surd to me that a persons willingness to take chances with their own body should be legislated just because some people who *wouldn’t* be comfortable taking those same chances thinks they know what’s best for others.

    Would *I* subject myself to such beatings on a regular basis? Hell to the no. Does that give me the right to demand that other people live my powderpuff life? Notsomuch.

  43. bucdaddy
    November 6, 2009 2:33 am

    Well said, Yin2er.