Hines Ward asked for Hat Day, but “I had absolutely nothing to do with the underwear thing,” he says

PITTSBURGH --- Steelers coach Mike Tomlin surprised fans and players alike by announcing that the first day of training camp will be Women’s Underwear Day for the team. The sequence of events leading to the decision began when receiver Hines Ward asked that a few sessions of spring minicamp be conducted without helmets. That led to the creation of Hat Day.

“Everyone was just supposed to wear baseball caps, but some free agent wore some kind of an Easter bonnet,” Ward said. “I guess he wanted to be noticed by the coaches. Unfortunately, that gave Mike the underwear idea.” Ward said that several lineman “pounded on” the unnamed free agent, and “I don’t think he’ll be making the roster.”

Post-Gazette fashion editor Lamont Jones has advice for the players. “La Perla is a very popular, quality lingerie line with women, but I don’t think most of the Steelers will be able to fit in it,” he said. “Maybe the kickers. Everyone else should probably check out Cacique,” the plus-sized line from Lane Bryant.

Black and gold are obvious choices for the Steelers, Jones said. “But players should consider some colors that would compliment their skin tones. Light shades of green are really big right now. And I can’t emphasize enough that the players should take advantage of the in-store fit experts when they are making their selections. Really, coverage and support will be critical.”

Hines Ward said he is trying to understand and accept Tomlin’s decision. “A lot of guys are griping. I know he wants to build team unity, and I guess he is trying to build unity through adversity. We all miss coach Cowher, but you have to move on, even if it means wearing strange underwear.” Ward said he has an outfit in mind, but declined to describe it to reporters.

Fashion editor Jones thinks the players should discuss their choices among themselves. “The worst thing that could happen is having two players show up in the same look,” he said. “You don’t want to get into a ‘who wore it best’ competition. It’s bad enough they have to do this --- I’m sure none of them wants to come out on the short end of a fashion poll.”