Saturday, May 24, 2008

Best and Worst Athletes turned Actors

Terrell Owens has jumped into the Hollywood scene, and Jason Taylor has made his future intentions clear. Over the years, plenty of players have gone from field to film, but most are unable to match the same greatness they had in sports, and incorporate it to the silver screen. Owens and Taylor left me wondering who was the best and worst to make the switch. There's quite a few that attempted this, and some actually had success.

I give you part one in a series of best and worst athletes turned actors. They are in no particular order, and their talents receive a Horse’s rating of either “God given” or “God awful”. Enjoy.

God Awful: Ray Allen, Boston Celtics. Ray Allen was chosen to star in Spike Lee’s “He got game”, and hasn’t received a role since. The first mistake was accepting a starring role, with Oscar winner Denzel Washington playing a lesser part. If anything, it drew more focus to how lousy Ray was in his film portrayal of an umm…basketball player. After displaying his non talent, Ray Allen’s television endorsements and ESPN commercial spots have learned not to give him any speaking roles longer than a paragraph.

God Given: Mark Harmon, UCLA Bruins. This former Westwood quarterback never took a snap after graduation, and instead jumped into the world of acting. Though his roles are about as Oscar worthy as his football performances were Heisman worthy, it was apparent that Mark was more suited for make-up and teleprompters than pads and playbooks.

God Awful: Bruce Lee, MMA. Bruce may be one of the greatest action film stars in Hollywood history, but is someone that was always typecasted. The scripts in Lee’s movies were about as important as scripts in porno flicks. They were all about the action, faces, and climax. He spawned an onslaught of future kickers that took to the movie screens to also become lousy actors, with Chuck Norris, Jim Kelly, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Steven Seagal to follow.

God Given: Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers. Terry receives the “God Given” label, because in his roles he’s playing himself. No, he wasn’t a Superbowl winning quarterback in “Failure to launch”, but the personality of his character is much like his own. It’s similar to Icecube doing an outstanding job of portraying a thug in “Boys in the hood”. Imagine that? Let’s see both Icecube and Terry Bradshaw play the role of a trial lawyer, and we’ll judge again.

God Awful: O.J. Simpson, Buffalo Bills. This NFL Hall of Fame member, turned murderer (umm, allegedly), dazzles me in the wonder of how he received so many scripts. The juice wasn’t getting better with each role, but if anything, getting worse. The only thing even close to receiving nominations from the academy was his tugging and shrugging to indicate that a glove was maybe 2 sizes too small, in the 90s drama “If it doesn’t fit, must acquit”.

God Given: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Miami Hurricanes. Before gaining silver screen fame, Dwayne was known in the wrestling world, which is the same as acting. Isn’t it? This former member of the Miami Hurricanes football team has shown where he’s most comfortable, and that’s in Hollywood. He’s quickly gone from the more action packed roles to roles requiring more acting skills, such as “The Gridiron Gang”. The Rock looks to be solid on film for years to come.

God Awful: Brian Bosworth, Seattle Seahawks. Brian still hasn’t found anything he’s good at. He was a terrible NFL football player, as displayed by his short league stay, and just as bad as an actor (also reflected in his few roles). I think Hollywood tried to ride on a popularity that began at the University of Oklahoma, and managed to somehow continue into his NFL career. It was a very short ride for the Boz.

God Given: John Wayne, USC Trojans. Injuries may sometimes act as a blessing, and when John Wayne (known then as Marion Morrison) sustained an injury at USC, football coach Howard Jones yanked his scholarship, forcing him out of the program and school. Now he’s most remembered as the Duke, and I have to wonder if that little hitch in his giddee-up was a result of the past injury.

God Awful: Shaquille O’ Neil, Phoenix Suns. Shaq was allowed to be “Shaq”, as he co-starred with Nick Nolte in “Blue Chips”, but as for his other roles, they were for kids, where he simply played a freak of nature. It was the look, and not any talent that landed these roles. It’s the same as other massive on-screen freakazoid athletes, such as Bubba Smith, Wilt Chamberlain and Andre the Giant.

God Given: Tom Selleck, USC Trojans. Before “the stache” was Mr. Baseball, he was a young Trojan on a basketball scholarship. He’s actually been back in the news of late, giving his opinion to the newest O.J. Mayo scandal at USC. Selleck was never a great actor, but he’s not bad either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I learned something from that post. I never knew 'The Duke' was a Trojan or Tom Selleck either.

I guess the old adage "Some times bad things happen to good persons for good reasons" fits the Duke's situation well.

Who knows, if he hadn't gotten hurt playing football, he may never have been an actor and that would have been a tragedy, IMHO.

Good Post, TH.

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