Hines Ward runs scared in 'The Dark Knight Rises'

A career with the Pittsburgh Steelers has its benefits.

Days before the rest of us are privy to "The Dark Knight Rises," the Steelers will pack a dark theater Tuesday to preview the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy.

Hines Ward felt the intensity of
Hines Ward felt the intensity of "Gotham's reckoning" while filming "The Dark Knight Rises". (Jennifer Graylock/Associated Press)

Not fair at all, but the Steelers have special privileges because (1) the team's co-owner, Thomas Tull, helped co-produce the film, and -- thanks to Tull's association with the team -- (2) it stars a flurry of Steelers players doubling as the Gotham Rogues.

Most of you, by now, have seen the preview, which features Hines Ward literally outrunning evil in a mind-blowing scene filmed at Heinz Field. Just a tad more intense than his "Dancing with the Stars" act.

"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, now retired, isn't the only Steelers player to appear in the film. Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, Mike Wallace and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher help guide the Rogues against the Rapid City Monuments.

The Steelers will preview the film tonight. The rest of us wait until Friday.