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December 13, 2008

One of the more challenging roles for a serious actor is to play a character who is handicapped.  How do you realistically portray the lifelong struggle and quiet bravery that can often accompany a limiting physical disability?  While it can be one of the more difficult roles, it can also be the most rewarding.

On the flip side, you can star in a football movie.  Talent required?  None.  There have been a lot of actors who have tried on the role, these are the top 11 fictional quarterbacks of all time.  As is the case with any list that I produce, this is based on science and are quantified rankings.  This is non-debatable.

#11 Any Given Sunday – Jamie Foxx

Pictured - historically inaccurate mustache

Pictured – historically inaccurate mustache

I also didn’t buy that he came in for like a game and a half and all of a sudden was on the cover of every magazine.  Or wait… did I miss the subtext?  Were they so astounded that a QB could be successful and have a mustache?  Because that makes sense.  Shit, that was pretty subtle though.
Realism Factor: 4 / 10

#10 That one episode of the Simpsons where Bart is in a football league- Nelson

Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson

Ha ha indeed, non-football Nelson

Nelson is probably humanity’s finest quarterback.  He has an arm like a rocket, he can run the ball, he can block for himself, and apparently he can run fast enough to receive his own passes.  He doesn’t rely on the razzle dazzle, he’s very much an old school player who moves the ball by sheer force of will.  The rest of the team is really just there to pour Gatorade on him after he wins the game.

Having said that, he loses a ton of points for being a cartoon and also I think they make reference to him being a smoker.  QB’s do not smoke.
Realism Factor: 5 / 10

#9 Something about Mary – Brett Favre

I can't believe he lost to this guy

I can’t believe he lost to this guy

I just didn’t buy him as a quarterback in this movie, mostly because he did very little quarterbacking.  While I can see him nailing Cameron Diaz, I can’t see him losing her to Ben Stiller.  He looked awkward out there, and it came across on screen.  If you put him in a real game, he’d probably be killed inside of the first 4 plays.  They should have gotten Vin Diesel.
Realism factor: 6/10

#8 Friday Night Lights, movie or TV show – ??

I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback

I refuse to search imdb for you, mystery quarterback

I saw the movie and barely remember it, something about one of the guys wanting his fathers respect and then he found his ring.  I never saw the TV show.  Regardless, whoever played this quarterback I think did a good job because I imagine that QB’s are always trying to earn their fathers respect and probably have trouble keeping track of their rings because you can’t wear a ring and throw a football at the same time.
Realism Factor: 6.5 / 10

#7 Keanu Reeves in the Replacements

You're saying I can throw footballs?

You’re saying I can throw footballs?

This one is difficult for me as I loves me some Keanu.  I think he’s a brilliant, expressive actor who brings layers of complexity to any role he’s in.  I’m also the only human on earth who feels this way. You know when you were a kid you had those moments where you’d look around and say “am I the only one who’s not a robot”?  and then you’d try to catch people turning into robots when you’re not looking?  Like you’d look away and then turn around really fast, and go “AH HA!” hoping to catch people in robot form?  But you never could?  That’s what it feels like to actually enjoy the acting of Keanu Reeves.

Am I the only one who did this?

Anyway – I can’t remember this movie very well, but in general Keanu is quite athletic and has a good QB build.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#6 Necessary Roughness – Scott Bakula

I totally forgot Sinbad was in this

I totally forgot Sinbad was in this

The first time I wrote this, I typed “Scott Baio” so I’m subtracting a ton of points for that.  I only buy Scott Baio as Chachi and Bob Loblaw, not as a QB.  To a much lesser extent I slightly buy him as Charles in charge of my days and my nights.  Scott Bakula has the same problem.  If he’s not quantum leaping into bodies, I don’t want to know about it.

As I recall this story (poorly!) it might have been the most unrealistic football movie ever made.  I think it also ripped off the plot from Major League pretty significantly.  Wasn’t there some scene where a Hawaiian guy ninja kicked a defenseman in the face?  Do they even let Hawaiian’s play football?  After some consideration though, I’m giving this some added points because I think I love this movie even though I don’t really remember watching it.
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#5 Everybody’s all American – Dennis Quaid.

Probably a better pitcher

Probably a better pitcher

In your face Jamie Foxx!  Dennis Quaid is back baby, apparently in a romantic movie about football.  Wait, what?  Yeesh, I’m sure glad I never saw this.  For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to assume Dennis Quaid played the exact same character as he did in The Rookie, which was awesome.  He threw the shit out of that baseball and he was a pretty good math teacher!
Realism Factor: 7 / 10

#4 The Longest Yard (the new version) – Adam Sandler

Did somebody call for a rapist?

Did somebody call for a rapist?

I know, I should be using the original movie.  But I never saw it!  I tried to watch it, but could only get about 12 minutes in.  Burt Reynolds.  I don’t know man.  He just looks like a rapist.

I liked Adam Sandler as a quarterback, I really bought it.  You know that scene where he’s playing basketball and he keeps getting fouled, but he doesn’t call the foul and he’s all tough?  I could see a QB doing that.  I think he was also tired and world-weary which is how I picture a lot of QB’s to be who have been arrested and sent to jail.
Realism Factor: 8.5/10

#3 Best little whorehouse in Texas – ???

Not sure why Google returned this picture, but awesome

Not sure why Google returned this picture, but awesome

We know very little about the actor who played the quarterback in this movie.  I’m almost positive he is never mentioned by name.  We certainly never see him play football.  What we do know about him (whoever he is) is that he is quite an exceptional dancer, he has a great singing voice and he loves fucking shit-ugly hookers.
Realism Factor: 8.5 / 10

#2 Varsity Blues – James Van Der Beek

Dawson - totally not wanting your life

Dawson – totally not wanting your life

QB’s never want anyone’s life.
Realism Factor: 9.5/10

#1 The Last Boy Scout – Damon Wayans

This should get my career back on track

This should get my career back on track

This is another case where we don’t actually see the actor play any football so it’s tough to judge.  In fact, the only time we see him even throw a ball is when he’s trying to stop rape, or fight crime atop horseback, which aren’t exactly typical circumstances an average QB would find themselves in (except in razzle-dazzle horseback rape plays, or I-11 out of the shotgun).

Nonetheless, he certainly does fit the archetype mold for a QB – a disgraced drug addict who mortgaged his own future by selling out to the mob only to redeem himself by teaming up with a drunken, self-hating private detective in a failing marriage and then go on to stop a sniper by throwing him into a helicopter.

Make sense to me.
Realism Factor: 10/ 10

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Sports and Wine

September 9, 2008

Contents of sports articles guessed at by someone who doesn’t follow sports just using the headline as reference

Brady out for season

I know enough about sports to know that they’re talking about Tom Brady, and I’m pretty sure he plays football.  Normally people either go to jail or get hurt when they’re out for the season, and I recall my wife liking Tom Brady so I’m going to assume he’s out with an injury.

I guess he hurt his throwing arm or maybe his catching arm.  I’m pretty sure he’s a quarterback, so maybe it was his running leg.  Either way, I’m sure this has some significant ramifications for whatever team he plays on (Jets?  49’ers?  Steelbacks?).  Now, I may not know football, but the one thing I do know is the coach who is in charge of whatever team he plays for, whatever his name is, will have a plan.  If coaches make staffing decisions (do they call it “staffing decisions” in football?), then this person would have a decent 2nd string quarterback.

I’m going to go against my colleagues and predict that this won’t impact whatever team we’re talking about in the slightest.  I’m going on record as saying Tom Brady had his best season three years ago and ever since then has been coasting on the momentum.  I think 2nd string guy (I hope his name is Gary, because that’s what I’m calling him from now on) is just dying to get in there and show Coach Whoever what he can do.

Whatever team we’re talking about, they have a strong backfield and also maybe the defense will pick up the slack.  Gary knows how to move the ball down the field, and he’s not afraid to call audible if he doesn’t like what he sees at the line.  Unlike Brady, Gary isn’t a selfish player and will probably pass to the wide receiver, on average, 6 times a game.  Also, look for special teams to really explode now that Brady isn’t doing something

Federer wins record 5thstraight US Open

This one has me stumped because I can’t remember if the US Open is the golf one or the tennis one or maybe even racing.  I think the racing one might be called the US racing cup or something.  The reason this has me so confused is because if it’s golf, why didn’t Tiger win?  Doesn’t he always win?  I guess he exploded on the back nine or something.  So I’ll have to take that angle.  If it’s golf.  Also, I thought “Federer” was a hockey player.  This headline is 10 types of fucked.

 Federer (maybe the hockey player) won a golf tournament, inexplicably.  No one thought he could do it, even though he’s apparently won this whatever four times in a row.  He demonstrated once again that he wouldn’t let Tiger’s head games get to him.  Tiger has a habit of flashing his Nike sign right at you when you’re about to putt, but Federer was wearing sunglasses or looking the other way.  Whatever he did, it worked.

If there’s one thing Federer knows, it’s this course.  I guess he should since he’s won it 4 times.  He seemed almost bored as he birdied the 2nd, 4th, 9th, 11th though 15th and 18th hole.  He only got one eagle, a disappointment for those who were betting large amounts of money that he would get more.  His next nearest competition was Tiger Woods who only made one good shot of the day, during bout of drunken, self-pity during half time. His caddy bet a rival golfer that Tiger could hit the ball out of the bar, across a lake, and hit a pillar and make a seagull fly away.  Winning this bet gave Tiger the extra oomph he needed to Rally in the 2nd half, but not enough that he could win.

Federer will be enjoying his the cash from his win as he moves into the hockey season where he can expect to make virtually no money due to the salary cap.