With all the hysteria in Pittsburgh today, you’d think Steelers receiver Hines Ward had just hoisted this trophy once again:
Nope. The trophy behind the hoopla is this one. And Ward won it for dancing.
That’s Ward and his dancing partner, Kym Johnson, on Tuesday night, as they won the coveted (ahem) Mirror Ball Trophy as the best dancers on this season’s Dancing With The Stars. And Pittsburgh is as excited about this win as it would have been for winning a Super Bowl ring for the other, uh, other thumb.
I’m normally not too crazy about all the extracurricular stuff that goes with living in Stiller* Country, but I have to give Hines credit. I watched nearly every episode – a problem I brought upon myself by agreeing to sort of cover the series as part of my real job – and the football player acquitted himself well. Ward’s personality – which I’ve heard described as something like shooting sunshine out his ass – was evident on the dance floor, and he was consistently rewarded for it by the judges, who were responsible for half of the total scores for each couple.
The other half? I imagine there was some serious ballot-box stuffing on the part of Stiller Nation.
But if I’m a Stillers fan – and I most definitely am not – I still might have a couple questions about the worth of Ward’s appearance on the show. He’ll apparently soon have surgery to repair one of his ring-laden thumbs, although the injury appears to be football-related and not a rogue paso doble sprain. And while Ward is generally one of the most sure-handed receivers in football, he had one big drop on the show – as in dropping Johnson on her head during a rehearsal session:
But I suspect that as long as dropping dancers doesn’t translate into dropping football the next time Ward’s on the field, Pittsburgh is going to be OK with any little nagging troubles left over from the show. We love us some football, and we love us some reality TV – the winner of the first Survivor All-Star season is a Pittsburgher, after all – and putting the two together has made for a fun off-season.
Hm. American Idol is holding auditions in Pittsburgh on July 15. I wonder if Ben Roethlisberger knows how to sing?
*Preferred local pronunciation.