Hines Ward, the Dancing With the Stars season 12 champ, may be twinkle toes on the dance floor, but his pro football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, is known for playing rough.
A new rule proposed to police excessive flagrant fouls in the league has been nicknamed the Pittsburgh Steelers rule because of the team's propensity for illegal hits. For his part, Ward was voted the league's dirtiest player -- and that's dirty as in mean -- in a 2009 Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players.
He has a reputation for hitting opposing players not directly involved in the play. Ward, said a New York Jets coach to ESPN, is "the toughest player in the league, when no one's looking."
His DWTS partner, Kym Johnson, said she "can't imagine Hines on the football field," when asked about Ward's less-than-gentlemanly play in the NFL on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night.
Ward joined the Steelers in 1998 and was voted MVP of the 2006 Super Bowl.
Last month, Ward was detained at gunpoint by Los Angeles police over a mix-up about a stolen car and he was later released. On Dancing With the Stars, Ward was a humble champion.
"Starting this competition, I never thought I'd be in the finals," Hines said. "But I owe it all to Kym. I want to thank the judges -- and all the fans."
He loves his mom, too. Ward, who was born in South Korea, jumped into the DWTS audience to kiss his mom after a dance during Tuesday's broadcast.