10. Alex Karras – Blazing Saddles (1974)
Karras, who was a first round draft pick by the Detroit Lions in 1958, was a great defensive tackle and transitioned to life off of the football field very well. He played Mongo in Blazing Saddles. If you haven’t seen or don’t remember Blazing Saddles he was best remembered by the scene below. I gave Karras extra credits for continuing his acting career after this movie. In his acting career he was probably best know for playing George Papadapolis in the TV series ‘Webster.’
9. Shaquille O’Neal – Blue Chips (1994)
Although Shaq’s acting chops aren’t the best he did land a great role, along with teammate Penny Hardaway, in the movie Blue Chips. This movie is one of my all time favorite sports movies. A great story about a coach wanting to get his basketball program back on top and call on the evil boosters to get him the best players in the country. Shaq holds his own in this role. He also gets bonus points for Kazaam…I know those movies are terrible but you get extra points for acting in other movies/shows.
8. John McEnroe – Mr. Deeds (2002)
Say what you will about Adam Sandler movies but any time he can put John McEnroe in a movie playing himself that’s always fun. Mr. Deeds was funny enough even though, like most Adam Sandler movies, the plot was terrible. There’s nothing better than McEnroe being his angry self in New York.
7. Wilt Chamberlain – Conan the Destroyer (1984)
Wilt took a break from having sex with thousands of women to film this movie with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He played Bombaata, Captain of the Queen’s Guard. He was armed with a spiked mace and fights Conan to the death…unfortunately the star of the movie wins and Boombaata dies. Wilt’s costume alone gets him in the top 10.
6. Roger Clemens – Kingpin (1996)
A classic role in a great, funny movie. This is sometimes overlooked by some but Clemens played the character of Skidmark. He wants to fight Randy Quaid’s character for dancing with his woman. It has been a while since I’ve seen Kingpin but the cast was great and Clemens did a fantastic job as Skidmark. If Clemens never played baseball I can see him being this guy in real life.
5. Dan Marino – Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Okay, this is a very biased pick but nevertheless it had to be done. Dan Marino played himself in this hilarious movie. It was also at the very beginning of Jim Carey’s popularity. Marino’s acting was terrible but the overacting by Jim Carey made up for it. Even though many people have ripped Marino for his acting, I was 17 when this movie came out and at the height of my man crush on Marino so back off. I didn’t want to place this movie too high on the list and #5 felt just right.
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Airplane! (1980)
Kareem plays Roger Murdock as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Obviously the best scene is when the kid sits in the cockpit with Kareem and the pilot. Again, if you haven’t seen this movie you should definitely rent it. The movie itself is funny but Kareem’s appearance is priceless. It still makes me laugh out loud.
3. Cam Neely – Dumb & Dumber (1994)
One of the most quoted movie lines came out of Cam Neely’s scene in Dumb & Dumber. “Kick his ass Seasbass,” will go down as one of the most quoted lines. The bathroom scene with him and Jim Carey was fantastic too. It kind of surprised me that he would play that role after I saw the bathroom scene. I didn’t even realize it was him until I saw the movie the second or third time.
2. Mike Tyson – The Hangover (2009)
The appearance of Tyson in The Hangover was one of those ‘OH SHIT’ moments for me. He obviously played himself and it couldn’t be more perfect. I know Tyson has had his not so great moments but this cameo was absolutely great. I have nothing left to say about this so I’ll let the video do the talking for me.
1. Bob Uecker – Major League (1989)
Some people don’t realize that Bob Uecker played in the MLB for 5 years as a catcher before he retired. He then moved on to acting. His best and most memorable role was in Major League. He played Harry Doyle, the Cleveland Indians smart ass play by play announcer. This is definitely one of my favorite sports movies of all time. Uecker’s role is critical in this movie. This is one of the most quoted movies in my life. Many of the quotes come from Harry Doyle. Everyone wishes that if their favorite team is terrible that the play by play announcer can be half as entertaining as Harry Doyle.