Detroit–Northern Illinois safety Jimmy Ward seemed bemused watching his podium mates, head coach Rod Carey and quarterback Jordan Lynch, share the spotlight at the Marathon MAC Football Championship Press Conference on Thursday at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. After all, both Lynch and Carey have been the subjects of media focus after the unprecedented season the Huskies have enjoyed this year. Carey and Lynch both appeared in the Ford Field media room with their game faces squarely in place.
Ward appeared almost sanguine as he watched his teammate Lynch carefully answer questions in a manner that would be least offensive to NIU's opponent, the Bowling Green Falcons. However, when it came time for the First Team All MAC safety to speak about The Hard Way, Ward was much more loquacious than his cohorts. The Hard Way has become the blueprint for Huskie football and no one symbolizes The Hard Way more than Ward.
Ward has a smile that can light up a room and it was on display as he waxed about how The Hard Way has shaped him as a player on a very successful Huskie team. He indicated that The Hard Way was epitomized on bitter Winter days with snarling winds when contact is most painful. For anyone who has watched Ward this season, there is no doubt that if Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack is ranked number 1 in the MAC as a defensive player, Ward is 1A.
Ward's talents will be on display tonight as the Huskies take on the Bowling Green Falcons at 8:00 pm at Ford Field in Detroit. The game can be seen on ESPN2.