The Essentials: NFL Action Stars
Now that NFL Week 1 is over with and my fantasy team is utterly broken, I felt it was a good time to put together my list of some of the best NFL – Action stars. Check it out:
Fred was a former player for the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. You can see him wearing his Super Bowl ring and smoking a cigar in almost every movie he’s in. He was at the forefront of the “blasploitation” era in the early 1970’s. He has continued to play tough characters to this day and has no less than 10 films in some sort of production at the moment.
One of the greatest football players of all time, Brown played for the Cleveland Browns from 1957-1965, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He acted alongside Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen and has made a whole bunch of quality films since then. I personally loved him as Fireball in The Running Man and kicking ass in Original Gangsters.
More affectionately remembered as Sloth in The Goonies, Matuszak spent his time in the NFL with the Houston Oilers and later competed in the 1978 World’s Strongest Man Competition. He passed away from heart failure with a smorgasbord of drugs in his system but not before he starred in his very own 80’s cop movie, One Man Force.
It’s hard to believe Carl Weathers has ever been anything other than an actor since he has done such a good job of cementing himself with quality roles in a long list of great action movies. He too played for the Oakland Raiders for a short while before becoming a professional actor. His breakout role was as Apollo Creed in the Rocky series and later rocked it in my favorite movie of all time, Predator. Weathers was given a shot at his own franchise with Action Jackson but it sizzled at the box office. Thanks, American public.
Howie was one of my favorite NFL players growing up. I had his Raiders jersey in the closet and his Starting Lineup figure on my desk. The man has impeccable hair and a chiseled jaw that is perfect for the action genre. He played small roles in Broken Arrow, and 3000 Miles to Graceland but had a leading role in the movie Firestorm. I personally own this one on DVD and I encourage you to check it out asap. I mean, how many movies are there about wild land firefighters?
The man named as LT is one of the best defensive players in the history of the NFL. His personal life is total crap but he was a monster on the field. He played for the NY Giants from 1981-1993 and went into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. His best action film would be In Hell, with my man Jean Claude Van Damme.
The Boz is the perfect football to action story. He was the most intimidating player in college football when he was at the University of Oklahoma but later got run over by the great Bo Jackson and shortly after, left the league. His first film role was one of my favorite action movies of the early 90’s Stone Cold. It was all downhill after that but every 3 months or so I revisit that flick just to relive the magic.
Dryer was the first round draft pick of the NY Giants and played there 3 seasons before finishing his career with the LA Rams. His career is almost exclusively spent doing TV series and his most popular was starring in the show Hunter. It lasted several seasons in the 80’s but then was brought back for a season in 2003. There’s no doubt that Dryer was one tough cop.
Crews is probably the most famous of the NFL’ers currently making films. He spent six years in the NFL, with stints at the LA Rams, San Diego Chargers, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles. Now, he’s busy doing Expendables movies and making multiple TV shows.
Bubba Smith, who is most well known for his work in the Police Academy series as Hightower, spent 9 years in the NFL playing for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders, and Houston Oilers. While he has 50 credits to his name, many of them were TV roles and in non-action movies. Most recently he has portrayed police officers again but in more action oriented movies. He also played opposite Busta Rhymes and Xzibit in the film Full Clip.