It was a meeting of two of the most recognizable brands in America as one of the top NFL teams in the country, the Pittsburgh Steelers, were called upon to contribute to one of the most anticipated movies of next summer, 'The Dark Knight Rises'.
The Dark Knight Rises, the third movie in the wildly popular Christopher Nolan Batman flicks, made a stop in Heinz field early Saturday to shoot a scene that involved Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and about ten of his teammates. And while no lines were had by the black and gold, this was an experience none of them will never forget.
Oh, and before you ask, Roethlisberger's scene allegedly did not take place in the men's room with a college girl.
"It's a big production, helicopters flying over, taking video. It was pretty neat," Roethlisberger said. "They do it big, and I'm sure it will be an amazing movie."
The Steelers players, cast shockingly as football players, arrived to the shoot at 6:30 am and was back at St. Vincent sweating with their peers by luchtime.
"You put the uniform on, you sit around a long time, guys with the cameras come and get you and you go on the field and do our little part," defensive end Aaron Smith said. "Batman was not on site when I was there. Saw a bunch of football guys."
Outside of Big Ben and Aaron Smith, the following players were involved; strong safety Troy Polamalu, receiver Hines Ward, inside linebacker James Farrior, center Maurkice Pouncey, tight end Heath Miller, defensive end Brett Keisel and free safety Ryan Clark.
This type of excitement marks a far different one than the negative media firestorm that had surrounded Roethlisberger in previous years at St. Vincent's training camp. Between the sexual misconduct allegations, the motorcycle incident, and all the drama surrounding them, camps had taken a darker turn for the franchise quarterback. This year, however, the questions center on football and Roethlisberger is relishing in it.
"It's kind of refreshing to come into camp to just, you know, focus on football and focus on what I want to do in this 'second half' of my career, if you will," Roethlisberger said. "It's kind of a fun time right now."
It's been a mostly quiet summer for the quarterback. Outside of getting married, which is a huge step both personally and image-wise, the only time you heard Roethlisberger's name pop up was when he was blasted by teammate James Harrsion in an interview by Men's magazine.
While the comments were rough, basically calling him out for interceptions made in the SuperBowl loss to Green Bay, don't expect him to hold it against his long-time teammate.
"James Harrison is James Harrison, and there are no hard feelings there, no animosity," Roethlisberger said. "It's one of those things; once we get back together, it's water under the bridge.
"It didn't bother me one bit. I didn't know about it. I wouldn't have known about it if he hadn't called me. He called and left a message like, 'I know you want to talk to me, call me.' I was like, what are you talking about? I had no idea. I kind of let things go pretty easy so it didn't bother me at all. I'm harder on myself and I knew it was probably taken a little bit wrong because he's an emotional person."
Life often imitates art and for Ben Roethlisberger, his has taken a similar path to that of Nolan's Batman. No, I'm not saying he wears tights and swings from rooftops (which he may do, who knows), but he has had to overcome his own share of accusations and adversity…as well as crashed vehicles…
And now it's his turn to rise.
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS