The league on Monday announced plans for the NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp, a four-day event (April 2-5) that will offer current and former players "a comprehensive overview of creative disciplines in the film industry including screen writing, directing, producing and film financing."
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There has been a dearth of NFL stars in film in recent years, so let's hope this league endeavor opens more doors. Dozens of players have been in the movies, and here's a list of five memorable instances in the not-so-distant past.
Howie Long: The former Raiders star and longtime NFL on Fox co-host had his chance to succeed Steven Seagal's (oddly still-vacated) throne as the nation's preeminent action star. Unfortunately, 1998's "Firestorm" failed to burn up the box office. That said, the trailer did have that really cool part where Long emerges from a body of water surrounded by flames and throws an ax toward the camera, so yeah, there's that.
Dan Marino: The Dolphins legend threw 420 touchdown passes during his Hall of Fame career, but his (fictional) faux pas of failing to hold the football laces out for kicker Ray Finkle is how many non-football fans know about him. Of course, we're talking about his role in "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," the 1994 movie that launched Jim Carrey's movie career while showcasing Marino's affinty for floral vests. Marino later showed up in the dreadful 2000 Adam Sandler-vehicle "Little Nicky," where he asked Satan to give him a Super Bowl ring.
Brett Favre: Mr. Wrangler Jeans was the king of the football world when the blockbuster comedy "There's Something About Mary" was released in July 1998. Favre has little more than a cameo in the film, but his first name is mentioned several times, leading to his reveal in the film's climax. We couldn't track down Favre's scene in the movie, but we did stumble across an odd cameo in the low-budget, Reggie White-helmed "Reggie's Prayer" (1996). Favre played a janitor, laboring on screen in a manner that made his final season in Minnesota seem like a day at the country club.
Brian Bosworth: The former NFL bad boy made a bid for action stardom with 1991's "Stone Cold," playing a renegade cop who goes deep undercover to take down a biker gang of anarchists. It was awesome. The movie flopped but remained durable cable fare during the '90s. Bosworth forged on with his wounded career and has since starred in a series of low-budget productions.
O.J. Simpson: "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" (1988) is among the greatest comedies ever. This will not be debated. Simpson had a small but recurring role in the franchise, playing affable tragedy-magnet Nordberg. Things got real ugly for Orenthal James later in life, but he'll always have this scene with the late, great Leslie Nielsen.