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Five for Friday: Athletes on the Big Screen

What are your favorite movies that have featured an athlete?

American professional boxer Mike Tyson gives masterclass in Yekaterinburg
Mike Tyson’s role in The Hangover was glorious.
Photo by Donat Sorokin\TASS via Getty Images

With all the animosity between groups out there, and no I’m not talking Democrats and Republicans, I wanted to try something out where everyone is always correct.

On Fridays, I will throw out a topic asking for your top five in whatever the conversation is that week. I’ll give my opinion and then read your choices in the comments section. We’ll keep this going as long as there is some participation.

As these are your (or my) opinions, we can’t be wrong so just have fun with the topic.

Five for Friday

This week we’re going to the movies again but this time to talk about movies that had a role or even just a cameo from an athlete. In deciding these movies, I’m not picking athletes that became movie stars (Carl Weathers and Dwayne Johnson for example), but rather the athlete that has only one or two movie credits to his name. I have listed the movies in reverse order leading to my favorite at the end.

  • Brett Favre, There’s Something About Mary: Favre plays himself as a former love interest of Mary. Favre is the least slimy of Mary’s potential suitors which was ironic after the alleged “trouser” pictures that Favre was believed to have sent to women.
  • Michael Irvin, The Longest Yard: Irvin plays Deacon Moss in the re-make of Burt Reynold’s 1974 classic movie. Moss isn’t impressed with the point shaving Paul Crewe and refuses to join his prison team until he learns that the guards aren’t being very nice. Spoiler alert, the cons win.
  • Mike Tyson, The Hangover: Tyson and a tiger make an appearance in The Hangover and that’s not nearly the craziest part of the movie. I always thought Tyson was the baddest man on the planet but giggled when I heard him talk. Tyson once said that he wasn’t going to be in the movie but he liked Old School which was also directed by Todd Phillips so he relented (say relented in Mike’s voice, makes it even funnier).
  • Alex Karras, Blazing Saddles: Karras was close to being eliminated under the movie star clause but went with him since he is a Hawkeye and a newly minted Hall-of-Famer. Karras played Mongo in Blazing Saddles and made the movie in my opinion when he knocked out a horse (no animals were actually hurt in the filming of this movie).
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Airplane!: I believe there is only 0.46% of the worlds population that can’t quote at least one line from this movie. If you are one of those tiny fraction of a percent, I highly recommend that you watch this classic and bring down that number. Abdul-Jabbar, of course, plays a co-pilot who gets his balls busted by a punk kid that got to come into the cockpit.

Let me know some of the great movie cameos that I missed and are your favorites so I can check them out.

Go Hawks!