It would at first glance seem odd to honor Hines Ward with the Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award when much of his life is ahead of him.
Ward is 36 and just one year into what Chuck Noll would call his life's work. Yet his first life was so filled with achievement that it deserves some recognition.
Where do we start? Most prolific receiver in Steelers history, Super Bowl MVP, two-time Super Bowl champ, top eight in receptions in NFL history, three-time Steelers MVP, first Korean-American Super Bowl winner, a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and "Dancing With The Stars" champion, among others.
He wasted no time since his retirement from football finding new work. He landed a multi-faceted job with NBC that includes Sunday night NFL football and Notre Dame football broadcast duties. He has been competing on the Food Network's "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off," a chef's version of "Dancing With The Stars."
And now he's training for the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, where he plans to compete in the famous world championship that requires participants to run a marathon, swim 2.4 miles and bike 112 miles.
"I've always wanted to be known for more than just being a football player," Ward explained from his home in suburban Atlanta before heading to swim lessons to prepare for the Ironman, which takes place in October. "I've always wanted to think outside the box."
He credits his manager/agent, Andy Ree, for challenging him in those areas.
"I've been busier now than when I was in football. I did that my whole life and the routine didn't change the last 14 years. This past football season, I traveled all over the world. I'm in the Diamond Club with Delta. I lived in different hotels and I was excited to see different cities and go to stadiums and appreciate fans all over the NFL.
"Of course, you're going to miss football and the competitive side, but I wake up a lot easier on Monday."
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Hines Ward honored with Dapper Dan Lifetime Achievement Award
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Jan 28