We’re bombarded with Hollywood news almost daily, sometimes hourly. For many who can’t seem to disconnect their faces from their smart phones, the bombardment is every minute or second. So, it’s often natural for us to think, “What would it be like if this actor played this role?” Well, as football fanatics at TheSportster, we obviously thought, “What would it be like if this football player just quit the game and took up Hollywood? How well would they do? What type of movies would they play in? Why should they quit football in the first place?”
And it’s actually a good time of the season to ask these questions. While we’re technically at the end of prime movie viewing season, we’re at the start of many player’s off seasons. And instead of prepping for training camp, these players will have plenty of time to make the right connections in Hollywood and get their acting chops up to par before Oscar season rolls back around. For some players, they need to start looking at a career outside the gridiron anyways. For others, it just seems like the right move because they were made for an even brighter spotlight.
For those players who we already deem Hollywood-ready (e.g., Rob Gronkowski and Peyton Manning), they can jump into any production and be a smash hit. In fact, the star tight end is in the new Entourage movie, which premieres June 5th, 2015, and his beer chugging cameo is a must watch for anyone under the age of 25. Other stars on the list are raw talent just waiting for the right director to mold them into Best Actor material. And all of the stars listed here have the ability to become another type of star on Hollywood Blvd.
20. Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos
Welker needs to be on film for two reasons. One, he’s actually witty. If you remember back to the 2010 NFL Divisional playoffs, Welker’s subtle foot comments about opponent Rex Ryan irked coach Bill Belichick so much, the latter sat his receiver to start the game. Welker’s personality is dry, which may limit what he can do on screen, but put him in the right position in the right offense and let him rack up the statistics. The other reason he needs to hit the big screen is simply because he’s taking so many big hits. It’s time to hang up the cleats and pick up the scripts.
19. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
There’s going to be a trend with some of these NFL players. And that trend is that a lot of them tend to have a dry personality. So maybe Rodgers’ dry humor will carry him to the pinnacle of the movie industry? Or, maybe this just is a stretch addition to our compilation to begin with.
Either way, Rodgers has put together a decent resume, which includes recurring roles in State Farm commercials and subtle jokes at the podium like drinking a grape soda during a press conference following a Packers win over the Vikings this season. Sure, his State Farm commercials prove Rodgers has more range on the field than on screen, but like every rookie, he needs time to grow.
18. Ndamukong Suh, DT, Detroit Lions
Suh is sneaky. He lies. He’s a dirty player. And yet, he somehow continues to kind of get away with his style of play. While he’s only been fined a few times in recent years (roughing the passer in 2011, illegal block in 2013, and stepping on Aaron Rodgers leg in 2014 are some examples), Suh is a repeat offender who buys time before committing his next offense. Sounds to me like a perfect villain.
17. Terrell Suggs, LB, Baltimore Ravens
You hate to stereotype someone based on their appearance alone, but sometimes the look defines the person, and you just hope their acting chops can back it up. Take for example, Cillian Murphy whose villain roles in Batman Begins (2005) and Red Eye (2005) had the New York Times citing him as a “picture-perfect villain.” Suggs is that guy. He has the look of someone who wants to terrorize opponent’s backfields endlessly, as well as terrorize your next door neighbors for as long as they live there.
16. Troy Polamalu, SS, Pittsburgh Steelers
The only thing that could hurt Polamalu in Hollywood is old age. After all, he might be as well known for his high-energy play as he is for his illustrious, long locks. The lifelong Steeler has been a spokesperson for Procter and Gamble’s Head and Shoulders for the past six years, and even took out an insurance policy on his hair, issued by Procter and Gamble in 2010 for a cool $1 million.
15. Jerry Jones, Owner, Dallas Cowboys
Jones isn’t going to retire as the Cowboys owner, so we’re kind of bending the rules here. However, that’s fine because he’s an NFL star who developed under, and was made for, the spotlight. Ever since he won his three Super Bowls with America’s team in the early 90s, Jones has been one of the most boastful owners to date. We’re actually surprised he hasn’t made more appearances in film, but he has appeared in a commercials for Pepsi, Papa Johns, The League, and made an extended appearance in an episode of the seventh season of Entourage.
14. Aqib Talib, CB, Denver Broncos
While it may seem like a stretch to include Talib here, this guy has both the swag and chops to make it in Hollywood. He hasn’t played in any movies, and is known more for his on-and-off the field altercations than endorsement deals, but that is the exact reason we included him. He’s a raw talent just waiting for the right director to develop him into a Hollywood star. Talib can talk smack, and isn’t afraid to show his personality in front of the cameras. Further, his number-one cornerback status is proof he can be coached into a worthy actor.
13. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
It’s tough to add Gronk to a list of players who should retire because quite honestly, he might just be as fun to watch on the field as he is on the screen. The newly dubbed 2014 All-Pro tight end will make his Hollywood debut in the upcoming Entourage movie, and he’ll play a role that isn’t all that unfamiliar to him. If you haven’t seen the trailer, Gronk’s beer-chugging cameo is around the 1:16 mark. More of the same in the future for Gronk? Hey, if it’s not broken, why fix it? Right?
12. Mark Sanchez, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Broadway Mark? Doesn’t really have the same ring to it as Broadway Joe (i.e., Joe Namath), but it wasn’t too long ago that New York and Namath were clamoring over Sanchez for both his supposed on-field talent and his charming looks. The guy still has the looks of someone who should be adorning fur coats and walking out of area theaters. And we actually think he has a better chance of having a Super Bowl worthy acting career than actually winning the Super Bowl.
11. Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers
Davis might seem like an odd listing. After all, has he really performed in movies or theater? Does Davis really have the type of personality to warrant a Hollywood contract? And has he really done anything dramatic on and off the field that says, “those skills are transferable?” Actually, yes. This past summer, Davis starred in a short film called Captain Torpedo, produced by French Mustache Production. It’s not a serious movie, but could be a foot in the door for the fading tight end.
10. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
Brady does not have the same comedic timing that Peyton Manning has in his commercials. The former doesn’t have quite the ability to bring home the punch line, but he does very well in more serious pieces. And, he’s getting better at it. As the poster child for UGGs, Brady does a nice job bringing a more serious, manly tone to the brand. And we will say that while he struggles with the punch line, he’s been recently lighting social media on fire. There’s always different ways to command an audience, and it looks like Brady found his niche.
9. Pat McAfee, P, Indianapolis Colts
Punters really aren’t in the spotlight that much, so you may wonder how he made it onto our list. Well, little did we know, McAffee actually has some serious interview chops, and he showed them off when he met with the cast of Parks and Recreation at Lucas Oil Stadium. He was engaging and looked comfortable sending a few jabs the actors way, as well as taking some himself. Any good comedian knows you have to be willing to self criticize to win over your audience, so he questioned his own social status on the team because he was the lowly punter.
8. Rex Ryan, Free Agent Head Coach
While Ryan isn’t a player, we had to include him. His lengthy resume of one-liners and memorable press conferences is enough of a reason to award him a star on Hollywood Blvd. Never one to back down from a challenge, Ryan enters each situation with a type of consistent bravado that has made him popular among fans, players, and media members alike. Players love playing for him, the press loves to talk with him, and fans appreciate his fresh opinions. He also has some experience on the big screen, playing a cameo role as a New England Patriots’ loving lawyer in Adam Sandler’s movie, That’s My Boy.
7. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
This past season, Joseph Fauria jumped to conclusions when he accused Wilson of stealing his girlfriend Erika Hammond. But do we blame Fauria for doing so? Wilson’s charm turns heads, and the fact Forbes listed him as one of the NFL’s most marketable players is not surprising. That strong endorsement also can’t hurt your stance in Hollywood. In 2014, Seattle’s quarterback owned the number one selling jersey according to the NFL Players Association. Truth be told, the well-spoken player may even be a better fit to play the lead role in the next Fifty Shades of Grey than current lead man Jamie Dornan.
6. Herm Edwards, ESPN Analyst
Sometimes the coaches just get all of the glory. Due to his fiery attitude and ability to emphasize parts of a sentence few thought could, or should, be emphasized, Edwards has the ability to play any number of comedy roles. He also has a signature trait, which will help him stand out amongst the bland actors. What is it? His short dress pants that reveal his signature, multi-colored dress socks.
5. Johnny Manziel, QB, Cleveland Browns
Can we all agree that Manziel needs to retire and start an Entourage spin-off? I mean, isn’t he living the movie right now? Cleveland’s quarterback has a knack for partying hard and then showing up for work the next day hung over. Or, well, kind of show up for work. On December 27th, 2014, Manziel actually missed his scheduled treatment for his injured hamstring because he was up late partying the night before. Reports surfaced that Manziel through a rager the night before his treatment, and security had to track him down at his residence the following morning.
Lights. Camera. Action. Manziel, Entourage is all yours. Make us proud, son.
4. Mike Ditka, ESPN Analyst
While some critics believe Ditka is too old and conservative for the national spotlight, we actually believe he’s perfect for Hollywood’s spotlight. “Da Coach’s” one-liners and grandpa attitude both on and off the sideline is refreshing. Over the years, he’s stayed true to himself, which is something we can’t say for many NFL stars, analysts, and reporters who often appear rehearsed on camera.
For example, in the movie “Kicking and Screaming,” Ditka stars alongside comedian WIll Ferrell as a stubborn assistant head coach. Ditka’s range is limited, but that’s the point. People like him for who he is, and his stubborn nature makes him all the more appealing on the big screen.
3. Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
Whatever you think of the movie “Draft Day,” you have to admire Foster’s courage to take on a pretty prominent role in his first big movie. While “Draft Day” was a complete dud at the box office, grossing only $29 million worldwide, that’s not the point here. Foster actually does a nice job portraying Ray Jennings, a college football recruit hoping to be drafted high. It’s a role very unfamiliar to Foster who went undrafted in the 2009 NFL draft.
2. Hines Ward, Analyst NBC Sports
Are you a big fan of apocalypse dramas? Or maybe you’re a bigger fan of watching celebrities lose it all in a situation they had little control over. Then seeing Hines Ward in The Walking Dead might just be your calling. The show hasn’t hosted a ton of A-plus celebrity Walkers, but they brought Ward in to play a gruesome creature during the ninth episode of their third season. Ward also had a cameo in the “Dark Knight” as a football player for a team that looks eerily similar to that of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former receiver didn’t have any lines in either role, but maybe that’s for the best. The fact he was in two of the biggest productions of our time helps him soar to the top of this list.
1. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Manning already has enough of a TV resume to get a gig in Hollywood with little competition. According to Forbes, he’s still the NFL’s top endorser, bringing in $12 million annually due to deals with Nationwide, Gatorade, Buick, DirecTV, and Papa Johns to name a few. And you have to admit, that Denver’s quarterback has a certain witty humor to him. Just look at his Saturday Night Live United Way skit for proof that he’d draw audiences to the big screen. Before he has a chance to make it to the Red Carpet, it’s almost a given one of the major networks will scoop this Super Bowl champion up. It’s too bad for Hollywood though. Manning would represent the quarterback class well on the big screen.
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