Rarely is the identity of a player, as well as his style of play, in complete and utter harmony with ideals of the franchise for which he plays. The black and gold way is a physical manner of play, steeped in the proud tradition of winning without compromising integrity and hard work.
When one embodies these values to the highest degree, he's one of Steeler Nation's own, right down to the DNA level.
Hines Ward's status as a "black and gold guy" simply has "super-authenticity."
Steelers fans will always vividly recall the tough-nosed receiver that was equally capable of laying the key block or snagging the key pass. The blue-collar heart of the Steel City still beats strongly, even during this pass-friendly era, giving those who bleed Black and Gold an added sense of pride when they refer to Hines Ward as the most "physically dominant wide receiver of all time."
Unlike most athletes, the Pittsburgh icon's career moments stem from three distinct categories: talent (play-making), physicality (blocking) and character. During his career in the Steel City, Ward bonded with all of us through all three of these forums, each of which is represented in this ranking.
While the following countdown reflects back on the career of one of the Steelers' legends, every fan will continue to carry more than 13 remarkable memories given to them by No. 86.