2:58 pm, January 31st, 2011
In between games, football sometimes becomes more like a tensely-drawn drama than a sport. Between subtle
smack-talking, Twitter battles and, of course, the media blowing even the smallest stories out of proportion, the football postseason is always filled with the theatrical.
With 14 days between conference championships and the Super Bowl, media week often becomes a stage for the dramatic. Now, even more than usual, we place athletes in one-dimensional roles: the heroes vs. villains, the favorites vs. the underdogs, the blue-collar team vs. the
So, naturally, we started wondering: if the Super Bowl really were a film, which actors would portray the players and coaches? Without further ado, here is the cast of
Super Bowl XLV: The Movie.
1.Mike Tomlin: Omar Epps
No explanation is really needed: Epps was born to play Tomlin. Though he's been starring in the popular drama
House since 2004, Epps has been in only one movie in the last seven years. The actor has already played a running back in The Program, a baseball star in Major League 2 and a basketball player in Love and Basketball. Now that he's reached 37 (just a year younger than Tomlin), the next logical step is portraying the coach of the Steelers.
2.Aaron Rodgers: BJ Novak
Besides Mike Tomlin, this is the easiest part to cast. Though known mostly for his comedic role as Ryan in
The Office, Novak has started to branch out recently. He fought against Nazis as Pfc. Smithson Utivich (nicknamed "The Little Man") in Inglorious Bastards. This could be a chance for us to see how versatile he really is. Plus: look at them!
3.Hines Ward: Ken Watanabe
One of the best blocking receivers of all time, Ward is synonymous with the Pittsburgh Steelers' toughness. And who's tougher than Watanabe? The man who played Katsumoto in
The Last Samurai and Ra's Al Gul in Batman Begins knows all about knocking guys down. The only problem, of course, is Watanabe's accent. But he doesn't really need to talk too much; he just needs to catch balls and lay defenders out.
4.James Harrison: Ving Rhames
We'll get this out of the way right now: Ving Rhames is too old to play Harrison. We know. But if Donald Faison could play a high-school junior in
Remember the Titans at 26, we're willing to look past age for the man who played Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. Nobody wants to get a hit put on him by the 2008 Defensive Player of The Year—who has lately become known for laying out players and getting fined for it—and nobody wants a hit put on him by Wallace. Can't you just picture Rhames staring down Aaron Rodgers and saying, "I'ma get medieval on your ass."
5.Ben Roethlisberger: Gerard Butler
If you ignore his romantic comedies, Butler has actually shown he has some acting skills. He played a solid tough guy in
RocknRolla and a warrior in 300. He also has the size and scruffiness to play Big Ben. But Just like Roethlisberger, Butler has had some unfortunate issues outside of work. Roethlisberger was charged twice for sexual assault, while Butler was charged for battery after giving a Paparazzo a fat lip.
6.Donald Driver: Taye Diggs
One of the most consistent and hard-working players in the NFL, Driver is also known as a pretty sweet guy. He even won something called "
The Nice Guy Award" (yes this exists) in 2000. So who better to play Mr. Nice Guy than Diggs, an actor who portrays a character nicknamed "Dr. Feelgood" in Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy?
7.Troy Polamalu: Dwayne
Besides their shared Samoan heritage, Dwayne Johnson and Troy Polamalu actually share some football experience as well. Before he played Sean Porter in
Gridiron Gang, The Rock was actually a defensive tackle for the University of Miami. He might be a little big to star as a safety, but Hollywood can fix that with some nifty camera work. Just slap one of those Polamalu wigs on him and he's good to go.
8.Clay Matthews: Channing Tatum
Matthews is on his way to superstardom. This season, he had 13.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a touchdown. The man is just a warrior—something Tatum has played before. The rising star has acted in several army movies, including a
GI Joe remake in 2009. But although he's a big guy, Tatum would still need to put on a few pounds to play the beast-like Matthews (oh, and he'd also have to grow his hair out).
9.Charles Woodson: Don Cheadle
Year after year, Woodson remains one of the most dependable players in the league when healthy. The veteran has won the Heisman Trophy, Rookie of the Year and is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Similarly, you can always count on Cheadle to star in a great film. He has acted in award-winning films such as
Crash and Traffic. While Woodson won a national championship at the University of Michigan, he lost in his first trip to the Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders. Similarly, Cheadle didn't win in his only Oscar nomination for his role in Hotel Rwanda.
10.Mike McCarthy: The Debate Moderator From Billy Madison (James Downey)
There's no doubt that McCarthy is a great offensive coach. Even though the Packers have no running game, their explosive offense is still difficult to shut down. Still,
McCarthy has taken some flak for his decision-making skills. James Downey is a fantastic comedic writer. He's been writing for SNL since 1977. But in movies like Dirty Work and Billy Madison, Downey's characters make some questionable decisions—like coming up with the debate topic "My Spouse is Sleeping Around." Of course, Downey's speech is one of the funniest scenes in Billy Madison.