Hines Ward will have a few hours of down time this week to work on that ’cowboy’ fashion he was sporting on the Steelers’ charter flight today. The veteran receiver and Pittsburgh’s all-time leading receiver came to town Monday wearing a black cowboy hat, a Western-style black shirt, black cowboy boots and a polished silver belt buckle big enough to pick up FM signals.
Welcome to town, hoss.
Dressing like that will fit right in around Fort Worth, which will host the Steelers for the next week. They don’t call it “Cowtown” for nothing (or nuthun’, as it’s said at the Stockyards).
Should Ward want to update that look and move past the Gunsmoke and Urban Cowboy genre, there are plenty of places around town that would gladly tip their hat to do so.
Both teams arrived today, and thank goodness. Maybe now the local talk can segue to actually being relevant to the game. First off, let’s all take a deep breath and let Ward’s wardrobe selection today be the last time we hear the words “Cowboys” and “Super Bowl” in the same sentence until training camp. Even if it is relating to, uh, fashion.
The local media has made a week-long talk topic of how the Dallas Cowboys won’t be playing in a homefield Super Bowl, but how two franchises that are negatively notorious in Dallas’ postseason past, will.
Ward’s boots were barely off the plane today before he was asked in a midday presser whether it would be cool to win a Super Bowl in the home of the Cowboys, given the rivalry between the teams.
“I don’t think we want to win it just because we’re in Cowboys Stadium. It would be cool just to win it just to win it, to win three Super Bowls for a lot of guys on this team, to win our organization’s seventh Super Bowl,” Ward said.
Pittsburgh has now tied Dallas for most Super Bowl appearances with eight. They already passed the (once) mighty Cowboys for most Super Bowls won with six to Dallas’ five, and could open a bigger gap with a win Sunday. One of Dallas’ proudest claims has now been wiped clean by the Terrible Towel.
The locals have reasons to be bitter. Pittsburgh beat Dallas twice in Super Bowls, but the last time Dallas won a Super Bowl was a 27-17 win over Pittsburgh in SBXXX following the 1995 season. Dallas’ animus for Green Bay stems from the 1960s. It was the Packers who beat Dallas to get to Super Bowls I and II, among a handful of other postseason defeats.
The Steelers have been back now three times since taking their only Super Bowl loss the Cowboys. Dallas has won only two playoff games in the 15 years since, but who’s counting?
“It’s kind of ironic the history between the Cowboys and the Steelers over the years,” Ward said. “I’m pretty sure a lot of Dallas fans don’t want to see Pittsburgh win the Super Bowl on their home field. That’s a motivation but I don’t think that’s the main motivation for guys to try and win it on Cowboys turf. We win it, we want to win it for ourselves, for our city of Pittsburgh and for our organization.”
So there. If Cowboys fans still have venom for Pittsburgh because of the past, save it for the game. The teams are here, so enough about Dallas already, unless we’re talking geography.
Ben Roethlisberger showing up for tomorrow’s Media Day on horseback would just be rubbing it in . . .
About the Author
Written by Scott Farrell
Scott Farrell is the publisher of ScotSports.com in Dallas, Texas. He is a former sports writer for The Dallas Morning News, and also works as a freelance statistician for TV sports productions, most recently for ESPN at the 2011 BCS National Championship Game. Farrell has covered high school sports in Dallas for 21 years, and has also worked in athletic media relations at SMU, Fresno State and Texas-Arlington. He won Best Sports Coverage Awards from the Texas Press Association three times and Best Sports Writing once. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.