Straight Shootin’ with Chad Cruise: I loved The Boz
By 1991, Brian Bosworth had already been through enough drama for two people. He was arguably one of the greatest collegiate football players of his time and in an era where the media exposure for athletes was beginning to expand “The Boz” became the biggest thing to hit the sports world since Mike Tyson and the closest thing to a comic book character on a football field. His antics were certainly controversial and he backed up his words with his play on the field. But after only two short seasons playing in the NFL, Bosworth found himself without a job and like any smart man with a considerably large amount of brawn and notoriety; he tried his hand at being an action star.
Bosworth’s first foray into the realm of action cinema was with the 1991 Craig R. Baxley film Stone Cold. Bosworth played the character Joe Huff, who was an undercover cop who gets recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a biker gang down in the American South. First of all, as a child of the 80’s I’m all for some Brian Bosworth action. I had his “Starting Lineup” figure sitting on my shelf at home right next to the Howie Long jersey and stack of flea market purchased ninja throwing stars. The Boz was one of the coolest guys around and seeing him get his very own leading role in an action movie was a child’s dream come true. Stone Cold would end up being one of the most kickass movies of the year and one which gave me great hope that The Boz would become the next big thing in the action genre. For whatever reason that never happened. In fact, Bosworth’s film career, in terms of quality action, never reached higher than it did with his first try. Stone Cold was amazing in part because of the great actors like Lance Henriksen and William Forsythe that surrounded The Boz. He was able to come across as a great hero because he had such great villains to fight. I’ve been saying it since we started this website that if you want to make a good hero you need to give him plenty of assholes to kill. Stone Cold had an abundance of assholes.
Bosworth’s next role didn’t happen for four years and if Stone Cold was his First Blood then One Man’s Justice was his Stop! Or my Mom will Shoot. It had a lot of potential but none of the greatness that he had found in his first flick. Following that stinker, he would appear in a couple of made for TV movies and later have small parts in George Clooney’s Three Kings and Adam Sandler’s The Longest Yard remake. Most recently he has played a character by the name of “Hawg” in the Revelation Road series. It’s nice to see him back to making films but I can’t speak of the quality of those as I have yet to sit down and watch them. ESPN’s great documentary series 30 for 30 released their Bosworth centric episode titled Brian and The Boz last fall and it was a real treat getting to see the real story behind one of my all-time favorite college football players. It saddens me to think about how many great movies Bosworth could have made but I guess I’ll always have Stone Cold, and that is still better than most.