Inside the Ravens with Aaron Wilson

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hines Ward feels hot flashes on Dancing with the Stars

Pittsburgh Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward is more known for his aggressive downfield blocking than any fancy footwork.

However, he's finding that his dancing shoes are a good fit as he's off to a solid start on Dancing with the Stars. Not that it's easy, though.

“It’s five hours a day, six days a week," Ward told 93.7 The Fan In Pittsburgh, per "It’s kind of like being in a sweat box. We’re in there constantly moving around, and you’re doing it for five hours. So it’s like for me, it’s great rehab for my me because that’s what they wanted me to do, start getting some movement in my knee.

"So you know what, I actually enjoy it. I don’t know what I’m really doing to be honest with you, but when I pick up on it….You should have seen me day one with my dancing to the night of Dancing with the Stars, it’s like night and day. I was just so amazed that I came so far, and to go out there and do it on live television. It’s crazy. It’s almost surreal because I never thought I could dance like that.”

Ward acknowledged experiencing some nerves.

“When the cameras go on, it’s so loud in there I couldn’t even hear the two people that were talking on the microphone," he said. "To be honest, I didn’t even know where to look at, so I just tried to go through the routine in my head and go please don’t embarrass myself on national television. So to be honest, people said you look nervous, I was nervous because it’s different in football — you have butterflies when you run out on the field in football. Words can’t describe the feeling you feel when you run out on the field at Heinz Field anyway. But to do something that’s out of element, out of your environment, oh man I had a hot flash right before I went out. My whole body went hot when they said ‘Hines and Kim doing the cha-cha-cha. Literally I almost passed out because I was like I can’t run now, I got to go out there and do it. It was more anxiety because I had been working on that dance for awhile.

"I wanted to hurry up and get it over with, but at the same time the nervousness of going out there and not messing up, because I got so many texts from my teammates saying ‘don’t go out there and embarrass yourself. ‘ Then to go out there and do the routine, I got hundreds of texts like ‘way to represent, way to represent, you can do it all the way.’ So it was just great to have that support from the guys. Because the locker room, they’re your worst critics. If you come on the plane and you’re dressed wrong, you’re going to hear about it. If you do anything wrong you’re going to hear about it. I was more concerned with the outfit. I knew it was a little high on my butt and stuff like that. But all the guys were cool, they were like ‘you kept it cool.’ So I was happy about it.”

Ward said he's getting positive feedback from his teammates.

Which of his teammates were texting him immediately after his performance:

"I was just glad I didn’t mess up on national television, because everyone’s going to watch that first show," he said. "You may lose some fans afterwords, but everyone’s going to be like ‘I’m going to see how Hines is going to do on that first show.’ So all eyes was on me and I knew it was so crazy, but I was just happy man just to do it, do the best that I can. And I’ve got a great dance partner.

"She just told me…because I’m a perfectionist, I want to do something so perfect. So I was more worried about the technical things rather than just going out there and having fun. And right before we went out there she said, ‘don’t worry about the technical stuff, you’re not a ballroom dancer anyway, so don’t over-analyze the dance’. So that’s what I did.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


NEW ORLEANS -- The league isn't enforcing its personal conduct policy during the lockout, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today during a press conference at the close of the annual league meetings.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello reiterated after the press conference that the NFL will monitor arrests or any other trouble with the law and then implement its usual code of conduct and punishments following the end of the work stoppage.

Goodell said he believes that it's important for the NFL and the fans that the personal conduct policy be respected.

And Goodell said if a player violated the personal conduct policy he doesn't know how it would apply during the lockout.

Goodell dishes out more fines, this time to teams

NEW ORLEANS -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today that five NFL teams were fined for having illegal contact with players during a designated dead period.
"They were fined," Goodell said.

The punishment stems from a violation of a provision of the collective bargaining agreement.

The NFL didn't disclose the teams or fine amounts and league executive Jeff Pash said after the press conference that the five teams are either being fined or investigated.

The Miami Dolphins are regarded as one of them because of the contact between quarterback Chad Henne and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll and other staffers.
"Five teams were contacted, whether they were inquiries or fines or some of each, I haven't read the letters so I don't know," Pash said. "The commissioner sort of rather strongly suggested that one team in South Florida might have crossed the line. Beyond that, I don't know."

The Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers are also considered likely violators of the rule, according to published reports regarding the contact that took place between new head coaches/coordinators and their players.

The NFL released the following portion of the collective bargaining agreement that governs the violations:

"There have been rules in place for years that govern what is permissible prior to the start of the offseason program. It is the interpretation of Article XXXV of the CBA. Before the offseason program begins, generally around March 15, players are permitted to use the Club's facilities on a voluntary basis subject to the following rules:

(i) such players may not receive per diem payments or workout bonuses of any kind and may not be paid or reimbursed expenses for travel, board or lodging during this period;

(ii) such players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practices or meetings of any kind;

(iii) the Club's strength and conditioning coaches may not direct such players' individual workouts, but may supervise use of the weight room to prevent injury, correct misuse of equipment, etc.;

(iv) such players may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period."


NEW ORLEANS -- One day after an NFL official said that the league has the right to use replacement players during the lockout, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made a strong statement that isn't the direction the league is heading.

"We have not had any discussions or consideration of using replacement players," Goodell said today as the NFL wrapped up its annual league meetings. "It's not in our plans."

So, apparently there won't be any need for a sequel of "The Replacements."

The NFL used replacement players during the 1987 NFL strike. They were referred to as "scabs" by striking players, and the nickname stuck.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peyton Hillis is thinking big

Expect Browns to win it all

The Cleveland Browns' bruising running back
envisions a winning season and perhaps even a playoff run in the ultra-competitive AFC North.

Perhaps Hillis was playing to the fans in attendance at a recent radio appearance, but he also feels strongly about his football team.

“We’re bringing winners to the table,” said Hilllis, per the Canton Repository. “We feel like we’re gonna win it all.”

Hillis was apparently prompted by radio host Tony Rizzo to give the Browns fans something to feel encouraged about.

“Well then I’ll say it,” Hillis said. “We’re gonna win. There’s no doubt about it.”

Hillis said he definitely isn't getting cocky after last year's breakthrough season as the Browns' featured running back.

“I don’t believe in getting a big head,” Hillis said. “I try to stay as humble as I can be. That’s what the good Lord wants.”


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ravens Zbikowski touts Ngata for heavyweight boxing

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens hard-hitting safety Tom Zbikowski is getting back into the boxing ring, and he's of the opinion that Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata would be an outstanding heavyweight.

At 6-foot-4 and a relatively lean 350 pounds, Ngata is extremely athletic. He's a former rugby player.

“If you let me train Haloti Ngata he’d do some damage," said Zbikowski, who's set to fight March 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas for his second professional fight. "He’s seriously the most gifted athlete I’ve ever been around and he’s 330 pounds. There’s no one who would be able to compete with him physically. He’s just a bear.”

Zbikowski agreed with a suggestion that many of the great potential American heavyweight boxers are playing in the NFL instead of pursuing boxing.

“It might be true," Zbikowski said. "The Klitschkos are the best right now and they’ve been the best for a long time. Just because they’re in Europe doesn’t mean there are not great heavyweights. I think a lot of the American heavyweights right now are playing football. Boxing is honestly one of the most athletic things you can do and to be a good boxer you have to be very athletic.

"Right now you’re seeing the top athletes go to college to get an education. I think if you have boxing back at the collegiate level you might have some more American heavyweights but right now they’re seeing that as the best path to go.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Steelers' Ward set to go Dancing with the Stars

Pittsburgh Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward isn't known for his end zone touchdown celebrations, but he's about to try out his dancing steps.

He was named to the Dancing with the Stars cast Monday night.

Several NFL players have appeared on the show in the past.

That includes Chad Ochocinco, Jason Taylor, Emmitt Smith, who won the competition, Lawrence Taylor, Michael Irvin, Kurt Warner, Warren Sapp and Jerry Rice.

Here’s the full cast via an ABC press release:

Ralph Macchio, 49, the baby-faced star of three Karate Kid movies and My Cousin Vinny

Kirstie Alley, 60, starred in Fat Actress, Veronica’s Closet, and, of course, Cheers

Petra Nemcova (pictured), 31, a Czech model who’s been linked to James Blunt and Sean Penn

Wendy Williams, 46, a frank talk-show host

Sugar Ray Leonard, 54, the Olympic gold-medal-winning boxer who, as a pro, famously claimed world titles in five weight divisions

Psycho Mike, a.k.a. Michael Catherwood, 31, a popular deejay for KROQ in Los Angeles

Chelsea Kane, 22, best known for playing Stella on Disney Channel’s Jonas L.A.

Romeo, 21, once known as Lil Romeo, is a rapper, actor, and son of past DWTS participant Master P

Kendra Wilkinson, 25, the former star of E!’s The Girls Next Door and the current star of her own eponymous reality show

Chris Jericho, 40, a pro wrestler who won 23 championships in the WWE

Hines Ward (Editor's Note: Why waste a picture?), 34, an NFL Pro Bowler from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the third wide receiver to appear on DWTS