With the Super Bowl just a few days away, and the Pro Bowl behind us, we prepare for a teary goodbye to our NFL heroes. We’ll catch up with them, perhaps, in July at training camp. However, all is not lost. Should we get the itch to reach out, we can always enjoy our favorite former football stars in movie-actor form.

Are they the best actors in the world?

Yup! Without question, the following nine performances are, at the risk of oversimplifying… art. And it’s amazing that these artists can be so great on the gridiron, and also so impressive in front of a camera.

Yeah, we got Brain Bosworth on here.

Dan Marino – Ace Ventura

In this 1994 film, Jim Carrey wasn’t the only breakout star. Dan Marino went from non-Super Bowl-winning Isotoner glove pitchman to non-Super Bowl-winning cameo-maker. It was a huge leap in his career, considering he retired without a Super Bowl victory to hang his hat on.

In the film, Dan Marino is memorable not just for his luscious curly hair, but his ability to point out Ray Finkle’s tucked dick, and holding his own against fellow thespian Tone Loc. No, not holding his penis against Tone. We meant holding his own in the acting department. Never mind.

After this extended cameo, I believe that Dan Marino should still rot in hell, but should probably die of something less painful than gonorrhea.


Brett Favre – There’s Something About Mary

It’s a shame that this film came out over a decade before Brett Favre got caught taking pictures of his weenus whilst wearing Crocs, because if anyone could have had some fun with that, it would be the Farrelly brothers.

In the film, "Brett" is alluded to as Mary's old boyfriend, but only in the last few minutes of the film do we realize that her ex is Packers QB Brett Favre. Brett makes an absolute meal out of the role, and he does it wearing jean, possibly Wrangler-brand, which leads me to believe that he didn’t just develop his great fashion sense late in his career.

Here, we see a DVD karaoke extra in which he gets tackled by Warren, which probably shaved a few years off of Favruh’s career.

Alex Karras – Webster

Alex Karras was a Detroit Lion from 1958-62 and again from 1964-1970. He missed the 1963 season for “gambling activities,” which is almost as awesome as the fact that he played Emmanuel Lewis’ adoptive father, George Papadapolis, which is a very, very fun name to say. Try it.

Now, please.


There are probably a few clips more demonstrative than this opening titles sequence I chose to embed, but the shitty production value makes this one a delightful no-brainer. Besides, if you want to see what kind of actor Alex Karras is, just pause at the :17 mark, where we see him just OWNING the role of “important business man checking his watch because time is money.”

Lyle Alzado – Ernest Goes to Camp

Lyle Alzado was a quintessentially 80’s football bad boy, by which I mean he had a beard and often wore bandanas.

While those touches helped sell the image of “bad boy,” what really made him a “bad boy” was the fact that he did steroids until he got a brain tumor that eventually killed him. How’s that for naughty?

While Alzado had roles in a lot of stupid films, he also had a role in an secretly-classic film. That film is Ernest Goes to Camp, a film I watched approximately seven times per day for about three years growing up.

His role as a surly construction worker tasked with tearing down the camp is featured here in an insanely homoerotic tribute video.

Bubba Smith – Police Academy

Bubba Smith played the memorable Hightower in the Police Academy franchise. The role called for Smith to play a big black guy, which he did with ease, as playing a big black guy came to him very naturally. Smith stood 6'7" inches as a defensive end for the Colts, Raiders, and Oilers. He is often confused with Ed “Too Tall” Jones, who played 15 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. Jones stood 6’9”, so while it’s apparent that Jones was indeed “too tall,” we can all agree that Bubba Smith was also very tall, indeed.

Smith reprised his role in all but one of the Police Academy sequels. Which one didn’t he join? If you must know, it was 1994’s Mission to Moscow, which means that one must have really sucked.

Brian Bosworth – Stone Cold

Brian Bosworth was a highly-touted prospect hailing from the University of Oklahoma, who went on to play for the Seattle Seahawks after he sent letters to prospective teams telling them he wouldn’t play for them if drafted. He was a regular steroid user, which might explain the aggressively idiotic haircuts he gave himself.

After leaving the NFL in 1989 after having played only two games that season due to injury, he went on to star in Stone Cold, a film in which The Boz breaks all the rules, gets results, and presumably turns a few cities into war zones despite the fact that this is an election year for the mayor.

I haven’t seen the film, but that’s my guess. Honestly, I only included this role because Brian Bosworth wears a duster in modern times.

John Matuszak – The Goonies

I had never heard of John Matuszak the football player before, but I had heard of Sloth, so he makes the cut. It’s not surprising that Matuszak wasn’t well-known despite being a first-round pick. He spent his career abusing painkillers and narcotics, ending his NFL journey with a whimper in 1982.

However, that just set the stage for his greatest accomplishment, his portrayal of Sloth in the 1985 action-comedy The Goonies. No. Matuszak doesn’t look anything like Sloth, which is disappointing for some reason.

Carl Weathers – Arrested Development

Carl Weathers played football under John Madden for the Oakland Raiders in 1970 and 1971. He played (plays?) a fictionalized version of himself on the amazing show Arrested Development, where he often reminds Tobias Funke that he got himself a stew goin’.

O.J. Simpson – The Naked Gun

After playing for the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco Giants, O.J. Simpson briefly took up acting in the 1980’s and 90’s, before stepping away from the spotlight to focus on his true passion: killing people with a knife.

During his largely lackluster stints as an actor, he made an impression on many filmgoers as Nordberg, the cop who is constantly getting injured through misfortune and botched police work. It would be remiss to not at least entertain the notion that Leslie Nielsen contributed to the Brentwood killings by putting O.J.’s character through so much grief.

Bob Golic – Saved by the Bell: The College Years

When I was a freshman in college, I dreamt of having an RA like Bob Golic. Barrell chested, mullet, constantly matching denim shirts with jeans….

Unfortunately, I ended up with a chubby Christian girl as my RA, which pretty much ruined my college experience from the get go. Bob Golic was one of only many wonderful aspects of SBTB:TCY, but by shining so bright, he set the bar impossibly high for my own college experience a few years later.

God damn you, Bob Golic.

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