Hines Ward: What to Expect from NFL Star on Food Network's Celebrity Cook-Off

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03:  Professional football player Hines Ward attends GQ, Lacoste And Patron Tequila Celebrate The Super Bowl In Indianapolis at The Stutz Building on February 3, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for GQ)
Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Two-time Super Bowl champion Hines Ward will be taking the tenacity that made him one of the NFL's fiercest competitors to the Food Network's Rachael vs. Guy Celebrity Cook-Off. 

The show will premiere on the Food Network on Sunday, Jan. 6, and features the kinds of celebrities we've all come to expect from reality/competition shows. In other words, there is a good chance you will look at the list and then have to hit the Google machine to figure out who half of them are. 

Joining Hines will be: Chilli, Gilbert Gottfried, Cornelia Guest, Dean McDermott, Kathy Najimy, Carnie Wilson and Johnny Weir. 

So, as you can tell, Hines has his work cut out for him, or maybe he doesn't. I have no idea. Although, one contestant is named after food, and Dean McDermott has apparently been attending culinary school.

This begs the question: Is it even fair to have McDermott on the show? At this point, he sounds like more of a chef than a celebrity. Obviously, the rules are loose on this show, which is probably really good for Hines.

In the NFL, Ward was often accused of getting away with things that weren't always legal. When the competition heats up, don't be surprised to see Ward racing to get some ingredients and push off one of his competitors while running his route to the vinegar. 

I'm only half joking about that. Ward is a true competitor, and he his not concerned about making friends while trying to win. In a Sports Illustrated poll of his peers in 2009, Ward was voted as the NFL's dirtiest player. 

Gilbert Gottfried better look out. He could be going for the paprika he shares with Ward and have this happen to him. 

At that point, the comedian will say in his trademark voice, "Hines Ward just blocked me into next week," and he will really regret losing his gig with Aflac. Now that would be a cooking show I'd watch.  

So, if you don't know Ward, you are probably starting to get the picture. The dude likes to win, but he also likes to be on TV. So, I think it is safe to assume that he won't try to hit anyone on this show.

Ward has been popping on TV for various reasons and he was a former Dancing with the Stars Champion. The former Pittsburgh Steeler will undoubtedly be on his best behavior and flashing his megawatt smile. 

Also, it seems likely that Ward, whose mother is Korean, will be sharing some of his ethnicity in his dishes. The Food Network's Joseph Erdos asked Ward what the best meal he ever ate was and what his signature party dish is. Ward answered with his "mom's Korean barbecue ribs" and his "Asian persuasion wings."

So, when it comes to Ward on this show, you can expect him to do what he always does, and that is everything he can do to win.