One of the most fearless wide receivers of all-time was former — and recently retired — Pittsburgh Steelers standout Hines Ward. Ward, not a big imposing guy to begin with, would seek out contact on the field like he was a drug dog looking for a stash. This guy would take on the opposition with a ferocity and a smile that would both un-nerve you, and more often than not, uncleat you as well.
In fact, if you ask Ward, you can only look back to one day that he was actually terrified on the football field, and that day was the day they filmed the football stadium scene in the upcoming Dark Knight Rises film due to come out later this week.
Ward, and that scene, have been featured prominently in one of the trailers for the soon to be released movie, and if you see terror on his face as he's running, you better believe that it's real.
"I've run scared before, but I really ran scared that day," Ward Told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "They told me, 'Don't look back.' I felt the explosion when I was running. I had to wear earplugs. Usually, I'm smiling when I'm running, but that day I was actually screaming."
Ward, along with Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Mike Wallace and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher all appear briefly in the film as members of the Gotham Rouges. The Steelers, and Pittsburgh as a whole, were chosen as one of the five primary cities used as a backdrop for the film because of the involvement of Steelers co-owner Thomas Thull. Thull helped co-produce the movie and was able to combine his two loves in life, football and movies, into one special moment.
Overall, Ward, who has had numerous awesome moments on the field, rates his involvement in the Batman movie as one that he will never forget.
I've been blessed in my life with a lot of great things,” Ward said. “But being asked to be in the Batman movie was just such a big honor."
As a reward for performing so well, and because of Thull's involvement no doubt, the Steelers were slated to preview The Dark Knight Rises on Tuesday night, three days ahead of the film's release.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.