As Adam West once said, “Shame on you, Shame.”
Let me start out by saying that we’re all very pleased here at NFL.com with the addition of Dave Dameshek. Star of NFL.com Fantasy LIVE and the weekly Shame Report, Dameshek has brought a slightly off-kilter perspective to all things NFL and fantasy football. And off-kilter is a good thing.
Dameshek’s Friday column has been consistently quality stuff, and that includes this week’s column on bad guys taking over sports.
Alas, Dave, this week’s column contains a fatal flaw. Your ever-so-random ranking of the top athletes-turned-actors is woefully lacking. Enough so that this lover of football and entertainment was compelled to set the record straight. And so, while Dameshek’s list included all athletes, here is the official list of the top NFL players-turned-actors:
6. Fred Dryer
As far as cheesy ’80s TV cop dramas go, Dryer’s “Hunter” lasted seven seasons – twice as long as William Shatner‘s “T.J. Hooker.” That makes the list right there.
5. Jim Brown
When the greatest player in NFL history retires in his prime and immediately gets equal billing with Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Chuck Bronson in “The Dirty Dozen,” that says it all. But while Brown is the only name that’s both here and on Dameshek’s list, he loses credit for not listing perhaps Brown’s greatest credit: playing Slammer in the classic “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.”
4. O.J. Simpson
Can’t question the Juice’s range -from the drama of “Towering Inferno” to the slapstick comedy of the “Naked Gun” movies. Of course, his best acting job was pretending that the glove didn’t fit.
3. Merlin Olsen
Goes from a Hall of Fame member of the Fearsome Foursome, striking fear in the hearts of opposing quarterbacks, to playing “Father Murphy.” ‘Nuff said.
2. Carl Weathers
The only name on the list who was truly famous for his acting before most anyone knew he was a professional football player, but fact of the matter is that before he was immortalized as Apollo Creed, Weathers played eight games as a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders in 1970-71.
1. Rosey Grier
Look, I can send you to IMDB to see a long list of TV and movie credits for this former bruising New York Giants great, but Grier is atop this list for one reason and one reason only. In 1972, he starred alongside Hollywood legend Ray Milland in one of the best (and by “best,” we mean “worst”) “B” movies of all time: “The Thing with Two Heads.” But don’t take my word for it. Here’s the trailer.
Assuming you haven’t already raced out to Blockbuster to rent “The Thing with Two Heads,” please feel free to chime in below with your picks for other NFL players-turned-actors.