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Hard Hat Award (Game #8, @ Wash.)

November 06, 2008 by Still Mill


Hard Hat Award (Game #8, @ Wash.)

Stillers QB Byron Leftwich and longsnapper Jared Retkofsky are the co-winners of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.


Leftwich was pressed into action after halftime when Ben was unable to make a go of it.  Thrown stone cold into a tight game on the road, Lefty never flinched, calmly standing in the pocket amidst heavy pressure and hitting one key pass after another.  When the dust had settled, Byron had led the heretofore struggling offense to 2 lengthy TD marches en route to a 23-6 win over the Skins.  All around the NFL, teams are struggling because of timid play by their backup QB, but Lefty showed that he�s got the mental toughness and fortitude to come in stone cold and lead the offense. 


Retkofsky was signed the week leading up to the game due to a season-ending injury to Warren.   It was the first regular season game for the former Horned Frog, and he received a baptism under fire.  Due to the struggling offense, the punt team was on the field seemingly every 3 minutes in the first half of a very tight, physical ballgame. He took a beating after nearly all of his punt snaps, with the Skins going out of their way to beat on a defenseless snapper in order to intimidate him into a poor snap.  It never happened, as Retko was on the money with all 8 of his punt snaps.  Retko had obviously seen the lowlights of the punt snap fiasco vs. the Giants, and when you think of pressure, it doesn�t get much more pressurized than the situation he was thrown into.  To his credit, he had a Hard Hat type of effort and did his snapping quite well. 


Other players receiving consideration from The Committee were Willie Parker, Jamie Harrison, James Farrior, Andre Frazier, Troy Pola, and LeMarr Woodley.  It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost.  Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.


Kudos to Leftwich and Retkofsky for winning the Hard Hat Award.  Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas! 


Previous 2008 Hard Hat Winners:


Week 1, vs. Houston: Willie Parker and LeMarr Woodley                                   

Week 2, @ Clev: Keyaron Fox and Jamie Harrison

Week 3, @ Phil: Troy Polamalu

Week 4, vs. Balt: Jamie Harrison and LeMarr Woodley

Week 5, @ Jax:  Ben Roethlisberger

Week 6, @ Cinci:  Mewelde Moore

Week 7, vs. NY Giants: Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel


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