Tim Tebow–there’s nothing the guy can’t do: Will the ball across the goal line without blockers, walk on water, cure malaria with his blood, take over the “Die Hard” franchise as the son of John McClane (Bruce Willis). Even if only half-seriously, studio executive Tim Rothman floated Tebow’s name for the job on “The Jim Rome Show” this week. McClane’s son will get the “Die Hard” torch in the upcoming fifth installment, “A Good Day to Die Hard.” Tebow’s name probably came up after execs saw “Abduction” and slashed Taylor Lautner from their short list.
If Tebow takes up acting, like many NFL players have before him, action would be the right genre. He’s intense. Fellow Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton? That hard luck dude would be great in a dramedy. Brady Quinn would be in a full-fledged tear-jerker like “The Notebook.” Even if Tebow is an atrocious actor, he’d outdo Howie Long’s foray into acting, 1998’s “Firestorm.” However, he’ll have to really get his Daniel Day-Lewis on to leap ahead these former NFL-ers on the most memorable roles by former players.
5. Dan Marino–himself in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”
Dan Marino is not a good actor. Dan Marino, we think, knows he’s not a good actor. The Hall of Fame quarterback not only appeared as himself alongside Jim Carrey in “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”–an eminently watchable comedy today–but Marino and his relationship with fictional kicker Ray Finkle was written into the script. Marino never got a Super Bowl ring but dammit, he was awesome in this flick.
4. Brett Favre–himself in “There’s Something About Mary”
.” SportsCenter hosts still make reference to Ben Stiller’s rendition of the quarterback’s name. Favre
‘s unexpected cameo as the mysterious “Brett” in “There’s Something About Mary
” came at the pinnacle of his career and well before he retired and un-retired about half a dozen times. And those penis pictures.
3. Bubba Smith–Hightower in “Police Academy”
, the gentle giant, passed away a couple months ago at the age of 66. A two-time Pro-Bowl selection, Bubba is perhaps better recognized by younger generations as Moses Hightower
in the “Police Academy” franchise. Hightower, for all his size and might, was a florist prior to joining the police squad. The big guy (he was 6-foot-7) only once admitted anger
when, after having construction zone items fall on him, he noticed that his name pin was displaced and said to himself, “Now I’m mad.”
2. OJ Simpson–Det. Nordberg in “Naked Gun”
Before Simpson brutally murdered… Before Simpson killed…Before Simpson was accused…
Oh, f*** it. After a distinguished career in football, OJ Simpson
was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and three years after, he rooted himself alongside Leslie Nielsen
in the hysterical “Naked Gun
” trilogy as Detective Nordberg. The Juice actually took up acting 20 years earlier, but this is his best role, and also his last
1. Carl Weathers–Apollo Creed in “Rocky”
This one doesn’t even require a justification. Apollo Creed
is an icon, a character who started as Rocky’s enemy and later transformed into a good friend and ally in Sly Stallone
‘s epic franchise. When you see Carl Weathers
, who briefly played for the Raiders NFL as a linebacker
, you think “Apollo” or “Creed.” That’s the true mark of a great movie role swallowing the actual actor.
Photos: Warner Bros. (“Police Academy,” “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), Paramount Pictures (“The Naked Gun”), Twentieth Century Fox (“There’s Something About Mary”), MGM (“Rocky”)