After fourteen years in the NFL, Hines Ward decided to hang up his jersey for good. This happened in March of 2012 and was one of my top fifteen stories of 2012. So without football controlling his life, what is Ward going to do with his free time? Act.
The two time Super Bowl winner appears to have found his passion for acting. Ward was an uncredited football player in the blockbuster smash “The Dark Knight Rises”. The role wasn’t a huge stretch for Ward, because it was set in the Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field and Gotham Rogues players wore similar Steelers colors. In the movie, Ward played the kick returner for the Rogues, running as the field was blown up by bad guy Bane.
Now it seems that Ward is getting into tougher roles. In February, Ward will be featured as a zombie on the hit television show “The Walking Dead” on AMC. Although he is uncredited once again, Ward has been getting some notice for the role. The part of the zombie was secured by former University of Georgia teammate IronE Singleton. Ward’s former teammate played the role of T-Dog on the show and encouraged Ward to be featured on the show.
Aside from these acting roles, Ward has also been featured on reality shows. Ward is most famous on television for winning season 12 of “Dancing With the Stars”. Ward and partner Kym Johnson lifted the Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of the year as the wide receiver showed his dance moves and strong footwork. In 2013, Ward joined the cast of “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off”, where Ward is a member of Rachel Ray’s cooking team.
After fourteen seasons and 1000 catches in the NFL, Ward has transitioned well into his second act. Ward can easily continue acting in small roles for the next couple of years, or could land a larger role. Many former athletes go on to act or star on television and movies. Will the zombie role be the beginning for Ward?