About 15-20 children attacked a former 49ers linebacker after he tried to stop them from hurting someone else.
Ed Beard was enjoying his usual Sunday bike ride, with his pet poodle in the front basket, when he noticed the group beating someone up at an elementary school near his home in Chesapeake, Virginia.
"They got him on the ground, fighting like heck, the real thing," said Beard, who was drafted by the 49ers in 1964.
"Have you guys ever been at the Oscar Smith football stadium?" he asked the group after going over to intervene. "It's named Beard-DeLong-Easley."
The children apparently weren't impressed and they formed a circle around Beard. Then they attacked him, the Virginian-Pilot reports.
When Beard woke up, he was bleeding from the head and his bike was on top of him. His dog, Duke, was still in the basket. The children gave him a gash on the back of his head, which turned into a concussion. They also gave him a black eye.
"I stupidly thought I could talk to them," said Beard, who has been counseling troubled teens for decades. "Those guys beating up on me, they don't know who Ed Beard is."
Besides having a stadium named after him, Beard played with the 49ers from 1965 to 1972, winning the NFC West during his last three years with the team. He was also inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Police don't have any suspects yet, but Beard's wife said he went on his usual bike ride the next day.
"I took beatings on the football field," Beard said. "I can handle it."