Hines Ward gets a Todd McFarlane action figure for his "Dark Knight Rises" cameo
Ward appears not as a Steeler, but as a member of the Gotham Rogues, Gotham City's fictional football team.
Ward's brief cameo in "The Dark Knight Rises" promises to be one of the more memorable action sequences of all the big dumb summer blockbusters. You've seen part of Ward's cameo in the first "Dark Knight Rises" trailer -- the scene where a football player is running back a kickoff, as the field completely implodes and all other players tumble to their comically entertaining deaths as Ward crosses into the end zone.
Sticklers for detail like "The Simpsons" Comic Book Guy will point out that Ward has not returned kickoffs since the 2000 season, and in the action figure version he is portrayed catching a pass instead of fielding a kickoff. Other details are accurate in their depiction of Ward -- the number 86 on his jersey, the name "Ward" on the nameplate of his jersey, and a tattoo of Mickey Mouse doing the Heisman pose alongside Korean symbols on Ward's right arm.
Ward did, however, return a kickoff for a touchdown for the AFC team at the 2005 Pro Bowl, though no players tumbled into a CGI-generated pit of doom on the play.
This is not the first Hines Ward action figure to come from McFarlane Toys. They've already produced a few Hines Ward Pittsburgh Steelers action figures, plus one Hines Ward Georgia Bulldog action figure.
Few details have emerged about Ward's cameo in "The Dark Knight Rises", this summer's blockbuster that all my comic book friends tell me is the one that I really have to see. (They have said this about five different comic book-themed movies just this month.) Director Christopher Nolan is notoriously secretive about his films, and his own cast reportedly doesn't even know how the movie will actually end.
"It's off the chain," Ward assured USA Today, apparently as a way of saying that the film will be good. "I can't wait to see the movie with my son."
Football fields will implode nationwide when "The Dark Knight Rises" opens on July 20. The Hines Ward "Dark Knight Rises" action figure will not be available, however, until November.