Top NFL player TV cameos
- Fantasy Analyst
- Published: Dec. 6, 2012 at 07:31 p.m.
- Updated: Dec. 6, 2012 at 08:01 p.m.
Television is a crazy world. Who knew that years after his appearance on ‘Saved By The Bell,’ San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh would become an internet sensation as that clip was re-discovered this week. (Hey, it happened with “Alf” a few years ago, so why not again here?) So with that, I bring you the best TV cameos by NFL stars on the small screen. (Not counting Mark Sanchez, who’s been playing a quarterback for almost four years. Too soon?)
Indianapolis Colts, "Parks and Recreation":
Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and Jim Irsay just completed shooting scenes for a future episode. I'm putting this on the list even though it hasn't aired yet because there's no way it comes out bad. I can't believe we don't have any more information on it, considering Rob Lowe was there and he's sort of the unofficial Colts ("Peyton Manning will retire soon!") Tweeter. Author's note - I actually once texted with Rob Lowe and he didn't mention the Colts. I know, I name-dropped, but when am I ever going to get "I texted with Rob Lowe" into a conversation naturally? That's a tough needle to thread.
Jerry Jones, "Entourage ":
The Dallas Cowboys owner interacts with super-agent Ari Gold to gauge his interest in owning an NFL team. Part of me wonders if Jones makes these Hollywood phone calls every day, and the show just asked if he'd do a fake one for TV. Regardless, it gave him the acting chops he shows off in the latest New Era cap commercials. And how has he not been asked to guest-star in TNT's new version of "Dallas"? Honestly, he could be a series regular, which would allow him to devote less time to running the Cowboys. It's a win-win for everyone.
Alex Karras, "M*A*S*H*":
Years before he would star on "Webster," Karras played a soldier whose life is saved by Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and then dedicates himself to attempting to pay him back. Alda and Karras had already acted together in the 1968 film "Paper Lion," about a sportswriter who gets a tryout with the Detroit Lions. Which actually, years ago, is how the Lions got their quarterbacks. The more you know! (Star trail across the screen...)
Eric Mangini, "The Sopranos":
He didn't have a line. He was just eating in a restaurant, and it was like five seconds long. But that was the power Mangini had during his first couple of seasons with the New York Jets. Now, his success feels as dated as the show he was on. However, most of the best Jets players were drafted by him, so his fingerprints are still on the franchise, just like how the influence of "The Sopranos" is still felt in cable dramas today.
Jay Cutler, "South Park":
It was only a matter of time before the creators found something Denver Broncos-related to hit on in the show. I'm sure they wanted to riff on a player earlier, but Cutler was the only QB to stick around for more than five minutes since Elway retired. "Hey, I have a great bit on Brian Griese!" "Forget it. By the time our new season comes around he won't be here. Let's table it."
Bill Belichick, "Rescue Me":
The Patriots head coach is in a funeral scene playing a mourner who, in a conversation with someone says the sport he follows is...lacrosse. I watched every episode of this show and I can't believe Denis Leary didn't get more of his favorite Boston athletes to do cameos. How was Steve Grogan not a fire chief? Terry Glenn a lieutenant? Bill Parcells the mayor who can't decide if he wants to stay in his job or leave to be mayor somewhere else? The possibilities were endless.
Bob Golic, "Saved By The Bell":
The early 1990s was a time of change. Finally, the crew graduated high school and left Bayside behind for new adventures at Fictional California College (which I think was the actual name of the school.) Enter Golic as a former football player (there's a stretch) with a softer side who portrayed a dorm advisor. He was extremely intimidating. Seriously, if he was my dorm advisor, I would have never left my room. I would have studied more out of fear than anything else. Which means I might have graduated with a G.P.A. over 3.0. Which means I might have had more doors open to me as a result. I'm going to stop because now I'm depressed I didn't have Bob Golic over my shoulder in college.
Peyton Manning, "The Simpsons":
Why do I have a feeling the "Keep away from Cooper" scene was exactly what happened when the three Manning brothers were teenagers - except instead of Cooper it was Eli? When both of the brothers' playing days are over, Eli's going to sit down at the Thanksgiving table and say "Rings, yo. Rinnnnnnnggggggs." And then flip the table over and walk out smiling.
Joe Namath, "The Brady Bunch":
I would have pretended to be sick like Bobby Brady did if I could meet Joe Namath. I love how even in the '70s, Namath brought his agent with him to the Brady's house. And when Bobby asked if Namath could come over for dinner, the agent whips out a picture and says, "How about an autographed photo instead?" How ahead of its time was that scene?
Tom Brady, "Entourage":
What? A Jets fan picking a Patriots player over a Jets player for the top spot? Well, I have to tell the truth. Brady was phenomenal ("I'm good. I'm used to the hate."), but more importantly, he seemed real. As in that's how an athlete would really react if put in a situation where a fan starts insulting him in a public place. But what I don't get is Turtle's animosity for Brady. The Giants beat him in the Super Bowl, so there's no bitterness. The Giants forever have a leg up against the Patriots. Now, had they made Turtle a Jets fan, well, let's just say I would have liked to have written his lines.