Outside of competition, it's important to remember that athlete's are people like you and me. They have hobbies, goals, and aspirations that don't involve sports. One common goal for these professionals is to make it on the big screen. With their already established popularity, it's common to see one of these guys make a cameo in a blockbuster picture, or even star in their own film.
Now, not every former athlete can be Arnold Schwarzenegger or Dwayne Johnson. Heck, even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was decent in Airplane!. Some of these guys don't have what it takes to make it in Hollywood. Whether it's a complete ineptitude on camera, or just an overacted role, there are some athlete parts that are hard to watch. Obviously there's a reason that many filmmakers look to incorporate famous figures that aren't actors into their movies. It's always a fun surprise and perhaps the film gets watched by some who otherwise wouldn't have interest in it. Sometimes though, these cameos fall flat on their faces and just becomes an embarrassment for all involved. It's time to dive into the film library and dig up 17 most embarrassing athlete movie cameos you'll be happy you missed!
17 Shaq - Grownups 2
When the first edition of Adam Sandler's Grownups came out, it reeked of Sandler just getting some of his buddies together so they could have fun and put on a stupid movie that would make a decent buck at the box office. Well, things got even worse as Grownups 2 was the sequel no one asked for. The movie is littered with cameos from various sports figures, including Dan Patrick, Stone Cold Steve Austin and of course, Shaquille O'Neal. Shaq's cameo is the worst of the bunch as he plays a balding cop who gets bullied by his older, but much smaller brother. Every one of Shaq's scenes in the movie are corny. Good on Shaq for landing himself a decent post-basketball career, but this is definitely some of his worst work.
16 Tom Brady - Ted 2
Tom Brady remains an ageless wonder at the quarterback position, having just completed an MVP season at 40 years old and setting a Super Bowl record with 505 passing yards in a losing effort. Perhaps the reason Brady wants to keep playing until he's 45 is because football is the only thing he knows how to do, because if his performance in Ted 2 is any indication, he clearly can't act! New Englanders Seth McFarlane and Mark Wahlberg were likely having the time of their lives having Brady on set, but they're the only ones who enjoyed it. In the movie, Wahlberg's character breaks into Tom Brady's home to extract a sample from Brady's 'boys'. Thankfully, they had Brady throw Ted in a perfect spiral, which is something we know Brady can do.
15 Brett Favre - There's Something About Mary
"What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?" This next entry for crappy cameo goes to the Packers legendary quarterback. Number four made a brief appearance in the 1998 romantic comedy, There's Something About Mary, starring Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon, and Ben Stiller. After everyone tries to win over Mary through deceit, Ted (played by Stiller) realizes the only guy that's ever been completely honest to Mary is none other than HOF QB, Brett Favre.
Not to bring out the cross-sport reference, but Favre's cameo was a real swing and a miss.
Not only was his acting dismal, but he wasn't even the first choice to play the role! According to a recent report, Brett was actually the Farrelly brothers' third choice behind Drew Bledsoe and Steve Young.
14 Kidd, Nowitzki, Nash, and Finley - Like Mike
Lil' Bow Wow, and a host of NBAers, come in next on our cameo list. For those of you who didn't have a childhood, Like Mike was a 2002 comedy with the most realistic plot. An orphan finds MJ's old sneakers and suddenly gains all of his abilities on the court. There are absolutely no plot holes in this film and it's definitely one-hundred percent believable!
If you have tried to drown out your childhood with copious amounts of alcohol like myself, you may have forgotten that the film featured a few cameos. Whether it's Lil' Bow Wow asking for AI's autograph, or throwing an in-bounds pass off of Jason Kidd, the film has some big names involved. One cameo that sticks in our mind though is then-Mavs teammates, Steve Nash, Michael Finley, and Dirk Nowitzki, approaching Lil' Bow Wow's character, Calvin, in the back hallways. Dirk ends up asking for his autograph, addressed to his niece, Dirk. Classic, but poor execution!
13 John McEnroe - Mr. Deeds
Adam Sandler has a habit of adding ex-athletes in his films. Not to particularly enhance the plot or anything, pretty much just because he can! Maybe he wants to hang out with his childhood heroes onset, who knows? In his blue-collar pizza worker turned wealthy business owner comedy, Mr. Deeds, bad boy tennis star, John McEnroe makes an appearance.
Adam Sandler's character, Longfellow Deeds, ended up living it up with McEnroe, who plays himself, getting drunk around town, beating people up, and egging cars.
Really, the whole scene has no relevance to the movie itself, but come on, if you had the opportunity to live it up with "Johnny Mac", even if it was just acting, wouldn't you? This is definitely not the last Sandler flick to grace our list!
12 Kevin Durant - Thunderstruck
So Hollywood pretty much tried to remake "Like Mike" starring Kevin Durant back in 2012. Instead of shoes, the main kid got his powers from a limited edition basketball, swapping his ball skills with NBA MVP, Kevin Durant. Ridiculous premise aside, we are pretty sure you've never heard of this movie, and if you have, you probably have never seen it. That's because it only made under $600,000 in the box office!
KD has come out and stated that he's done acting after this family friendly comedy flopped more than James Harden euro-stepping through the paint. If you want to watch the trailer, just prepare yourself for some of the most stereotypical, horrible acting you have ever seen. That is, until we continue down our list!
11 Lawrence Taylor - The Waterboy
"Remember the time Bobby Boucher showed up at halftime and the Mud Dogs won the Bourbon Bowl?" That's right, our next cameo comes to us from Adam Sandler's The Waterboy. Overall, this movie has everything you want in a sports film: dumb commentary, borderline racist portrayal of cajuns, and Lawrence Taylor.
That's right, LT made his way onto the big screen in one of the biggest overacted cameos we have ever seen one.
The main character, Bobby Boucher, spoke at Taylor's fake football camp, mumbling on as he always does. After Bocher's rant, LT speaks to the kids saying "Kids, which brings me to my next point, don't smoke crack!"Ah, the irony, since LT is known to have struggled with cocaine abuse in the past...
10 Hulk Hogan - Rocky III
Honestly, if you think Rocky III is one of the better installments of the franchise, you should probably take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. The most light-hearted film in the series is poorly written, and let's be real, the Rocky and Apollo training montage on the beach is utterly ridiculous. Nothing like a slow-motion embrace of two former rivals in knee-deep water!
It's hard to imagine more of a low-light in the film than the aforementioned bro hug, but Hulk Hogan's character, Thunderlips, may be the worst part of the entire Rocky III movie. It was pretty much a ploy to throw Hogan on-screen, and it didn't work. You would think that the Hulk's acting career would have ended after this horrific performance, but he went on to star in more crappy films, including Mr. Nanny, Suburban Commando, and Santa With Muscles!
9 Howie Long - Broken Arrow
Eight-time Pro Bowler, Hall of Fame football player, and absolutely horrific actor, Howie Long, is our next athlete movie cameo you'll be happy you missed. In the 1996 action flick, Broken Arrow, Long plays a mercenary mole, Sgt. Kelly.
Other than his horrific presence on-screen, the Oakland Raider legend is remembered for his iconic yell in the film, dubbed "The Howie Scream."
In reality, that wasn't Long's vocal chords at all, as director John Woo dubbed the scene in post-production!
Today, the three-time All-Pro defensive end continues to act, but not in Hollywood. Long is an NFL analyst for Fox Sports, gracing fans with his presence on Sundays. Although he acted in a few other films, we are glad that Howie isn't a staple in the box office!
8 Darius Miles - The Perfect Score
I hate to say this, but The Perfect Score is one of those movies I'll still sit down and watch, even though it's utterly awful. For those of you who have never seen the teen comedy (I'm assuming most normal people have never seen it), some rag tag group of high school students decide to steal the answers to the SAT. Hilarity and hi-jinx ensues, et cetera, et cetera.
One of the main characters in the film is none other than former third overall pick, Darius Miles. Although he had a decent beginning to his NBA career, even making the NBA All-Rookie First-Team in 2001, Miles play on the court was otherwise unimpressive. The same goes for his acting career. Still though, I don't care what the critics say, The Perfect Score is the perfect guilty pleasure.
7 Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger - The Dark Knight Rises
Who doesn't love the Christopher Nolan Batman series? It's truly one of the best superhero trilogies of all-time, and the late Heath Ledger's performance in the second instalment, The Dark Knight is legendary. But, even this blockbuster series is tainted by money and politics. For example, in the third film, The Dark Knight Rises Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger, and other Steelers appear in the film as Bane (played by Tom Hardy) blows up Heinz field!
Why Pittsburgh? Why this scene? Well, it turns out the "Gotham Rogues" were a ploy by the production company, Legendary Pictures, to grab a few extra bucks for the film.
The Rooney Family sold a minority stake in the team, and even the mayor of Pittsburgh, Luke Ravenstahl, got to fulfill his childhood dream of being in a Hollywood hit. Although we love the movie, we can't help but think the whole scene is just a stupid product placement.
6 Tito Ortiz - Zombie Strippers
Retired MMA fighter, Tito Ortiz, should have stuck to the Octagon, and not the film set. In 2008, Ortiz appeared as a bouncer in the film starring his wife, adult film actress, Jenna Jameson. His performance was statue-esque and poorly executed. We now know that Ortiz can put his opponent into submission in the ring, and submit the audience to sleep on the screen.
Overall, even though the premise of Zombie Strippers is ridiculous, the film could have been executed so much better. Unfortunately, they tried to make movie too realistic, and it turned out to be a huge bust. I guess it just goes to show that people will watch anything with Jenna Jameson in it. Sill though, it's got a much better rating on Rotten Tomatoes than The Emoji Movie!
5 Dan Marino - Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
"Laces out!" The athlete movie cameo that rounds out our top 5 is none other than Hall of Fame quarterback, Dan Marino, in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. While Jim Carrey is absolutely hilarious, "Dan the Man" should have taken a few acting lessons before shooting. The whole premise of the movie is based around the abduction the Miami Dolphins mascot, who was stolen by fictional Dolphins kicker, Ray Finkle, who was trying to get frame Marino for a bad hold. As ridiculous as it sounds, the movie is a classic Carrey comedy.
Still though, the nine-time Pro Bowler's cameo should have been up for a Razzie.
I think even the writers of the film were New York Jets fans, seeing as one of the funniest lines of the movie, by Finkle's mother, was "Dan Marino should die of gonorrhoea and rot in hell!"
4 Xavier McDaniel - Singles
Singles is 1992 romantic comedy that many of our readers may never heard of. Although it's achieved cult status among Gen-Xers, the film, centering around relationships in Seattle's grunge-filled 90s, only made $18.5 million in the box office. One plot line from the film was Super Sonics' All-Star, Xavier McDaniel's "pep talk" to one of the characters.
Although the acting is poorly executed, the premise itself is hilarious. In order to "hold out" while making love, the main character thinks about McDaniel giving a post-game interview. Nothing like killing a buzz than a half-naked NBAer telling you to hold on just a little bit longer in bed. For those of you who don't picture a professional athlete, Maxim has some more imaginative "suppressors" for you!
3 Lee Trevino - Happy Gilmore
I'm still not sure if Lee Trevino's cameo in Happy Gilmore is utterly amazing, or absolute horse poo. In a film studded by cameos including Bob Barker and Verne Lundquist, Trevino's comedic relief was overacted, but hilarious. Whether it was a simple headshake or telling Shooter McGavin that "Grizzly Adams did have a beard," the six-time major champion provided cutaway laughter throughout the film.
Why is he number three on our list? That's because Trevino himself regrets being in the movie!
Being the soft-spoken, proper golf professional that he is, "Supermex" didn't read the script beforehand, and states "If they were going to use all those foul words in there, I never would have done it." It's okay though Lee, most viewers didn't even recognize you anyway.
2 Lance Armstrong - Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
The one-time American cycling hero, and current pariah, Lance Armstrong, makes one of the most memorable movie cameos of all-time in the 2004 comedy, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. As the main character, Peter LaFleur (played by Vince Vaughn) gives up on his teammates, and contemplates leaving the dodgeball finals for good, he meets up with Lance Armstrong in the airport bar, talking Peter out of quitting with an epic monologue.
"You know once I was thinking about quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung, and testicular cancer - all at the same time. But with love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike, and I won the Tour de France five times in a row. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit."
But, less than a decade later, Lance Armstrong admitted to doping his way to his titles in an interview with Oprah! Did he issue some big apology to the world? No! Armstrong said he would have never come clean if the evidence wasn't stacked against him, and when pressed, he said "I'd probably cheat again!"
1 Sammy Sosa - On the Line
Behind only homemade trail-mix and gentrified neighborhoods, the next two whitest things in the world are Sammy Sosa, and an NSYNC movie. That's where we arrive at our top spot of athlete cameos you'll be glad you missed, Sammy Sosa in On the Line. In 2001, NSYNC members Lance Bass and Joey Fatone starred in this ridiculous PG comedy, probably pandering to their pre-teen audience.
In the film, during an outing at Wrigley Field, one of the characters gets hit down low with a foul ball from none other than MLB All-Star, Sammy Sosa.
'Slammin' Sammy' manages to squeeze out his line of "Damn, that's the third time this season I hit this guy," with absolutely zero enthusiasm. Stick to corking your bats man.
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