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Hines Ward Reflects On Dancing With The Stars Experience

For those of you who are happy that Hines Ward won Season 12 of Dancing With The Stars but deep down can't stand all the attention devoted to Ward's participation on the show, don't worry, it's almost over. But naturally we're going to see what the MVP of Super Bowl XL had to say about the experience and winning the Mirror Ball Trophy. Ward held a Friday press conference to field questions about the show, so let's check out some of the highlights from the session.

Ward was asked a fairly dumb question at the outset -- how he'd compare the experience of winning a Super Bowl with winning the Mirror Ball Trophy:

"It's a great accomplishment. There's no question about that, but comparing the Mirror Ball Trophy to the Lombardi Trophy is like night and day. I can't lie about that. It's a great feeling, though, because I never danced a day in my life before. I didn't even go to my high school prom, I was so scared to slow dance with somebody."

Ward then had an interesting answer about his initial decision to participate, and how he wouldn't have done so if not for the lockout:

"If it wasn't for the (NFL players) lockout I would not have done the show. The lockout took effect maybe - what, March 1? - and I moved to Los Angeles right after that. I told (Steelers) coach (Mike) Tomlin and the organization that I was thinking about doing it because there was a lockout, and they were OK with it. And I'm pretty sure they didn't think I would last long, anyway."

Ward clearly enjoyed working with his professional dance partner, Kym Johnson. He was asked about working with her and what it meant to him to see her continue on with the competition just days after nearly injuring her neck:

"With Kym, my hat's off to her. To take a guy who has never danced before all the way to the Mirror Ball Trophy is just amazing. I think it speaks volumes about her as a teacher and as a dancer. For her to step up ... after a major injury that she had and go out there and perform ... and that she would come back and respond like she did, I was just full of tears of joy."

Definitely a fitting pairing. Johnson endeared herself to Steeler Nation in a big way for that display of toughness and the way she helped Ward along throughout the competition.

Ward then explained how seriously he took the preparation when asked about how he might be able to use some of the skills he learned from dancing on the football field:

"I think it will help me out with my footwork, as far as getting in and out of breaks faster and just going out there, but you know I took the same approach that I took to the football field to the dance floor. I studied. I watched some of the previous dancers and their routines. I went home and I wrote down my dance routines on a piece of paper."

And is there any more dancing in his future, say as a career once his playing days are over?

"My dancing career is over. I just wanted to try it."

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.