Being the Dancing With the Stars champion should have been the biggest thing Hines Ward did in the offseason. Instead, the Steelers receiver had more infamous headlines this weekend, as Ward was arrested on DUI charges. But it seems the lockout has gone on so long that he was first identified as the last Dancing With the Stars winner, along with being the Steelers' longtime receiver.
However, the Steelers are now the ones that have to keep an eye on Ward, to make sure this was just a temporary slip-up. Since fingers are crossed for the lockout to end this week, Pittsburgh will need him and all the other Steelers to have their head on straight, should a rushed training camp begin soon.
It has already been quite an offseason for Ward, after he became the latest NFL star to win on Dancing With the Stars. This followed Pittsburgh's Super Bowl loss to Green Bay, so 2011 as a whole has been a busy time for him.
But he had enough time on his hands on Saturday morning, to get arrested for allegedly driving under the influence outside Atlanta, according to the Associated Press. However, his lawyer denied that he was "impaired by alcohol" in a statement, yet he was released on bond regardless.
Of course, compared to the legal troubles of other Steelers' players, Ward's problems are minor. Ben Roethlisberger was accused of assaulting women twice, but he got past it and nearly led Pittsburgh to another Super Bowl title. Yet he wouldn't have won his past two without Ward, as he was also the Super Bowl MVP when the Steelers won it all in 2006.
At 35 years old, he may not be as fast on his feet as he used to be. Yet his feet were good enough to excel on Dancing With the Stars, and he can still hit harder than any wide receiver in football- which has gotten him in trouble a few times. But he and every other NFL player are now waiting to see if they will hit each other again on time, which may be decided within days.
Until then, Ward now has something else to distract him before football season eventually starts. No further information about the arrest was given out, and since his lawyer denies that he was really under the influence, there is likely wiggle room to get this settled quietly.
However, thanks to Roethlisberger, the Steelers have to be extra sensitive whenever one of their players gets arrested, and will likely be proactive to make sure nothing worse happens later. Yet Roethlisberger knocked his legal troubles out of the headlines after he started winning again, and Ward can do the same for himself when the season starts- lockout pending.