This weekend there is one thing on the mind of America: football. Hollywood doesn't stand a chance trying to compete with the cultural juggernaut that is the Super Bowl. Showbiz and professional sports are two completely different worlds that fight for your attention, and usually sports win out. However, there are a few actors who have been able to travel between both worlds, becoming blockbuster movie stars and learning about the thrill of the 50-yard line.
These guys are action stars, Oscar winners and, in one case, a president. Read our list of actors who played football, and check out their impressive stats.
Experience: Caan played college football at Michigan State University, before relocating to New York City. That experience helped him with several football-based roles, including turns as a brain-damaged former player in 1969's 'The Rain People' (a pre-'Godfather' team-up with Francis Ford Coppola), and as a tough coach of a college team in 'The Program.' But of course, one of his most famous roles is the part of terminally ill NFL player Brian Piccolo in the classic TV movie 'Brian's Song.'
Experience: After playing baseball with Charlie Sheen on the Santa Monica High School team, Cain received an athletic scholarship to Princeton University. He captained the school Volleyball team, but it was his football stats that made him stand out. Cain set an NCAA 1-AA record for 12 interceptions in a single season. After graduating, he signed as a free agent with the Buffalo Bills, but suffered a knee injury in training camp, ending his professional career before it began. It would be a sad story if he didn't bounce back landing the part of Superman, immediately reinforcing his physical superiority over the rest of us slobs.
Position: Offensive Lineman
Experience: Dennehy attended Columbia University on a football scholarship. He played No. 70 on the Columbia Lions, later remarking "We were at the bottom of the league!" What he really wanted to do was act, but since the Columbia Players didn't want to associate themselves with a jock, he left school, joined the Marines, had two kids, came back, graduated, then went to Yale Drama School. His big screen acting debut was playing a pro-football player in 1977's 'Semi-Tough.' Is that story not manly enough for you? The dude also played rugby with NYC's Old Blue RFC.
Experience: Like Dennehy, Fox played for the Columbia University Lions. And just like during Dennehy's time, the team wasn't very good. For his first three seasons with the team, it had a staggering combined record of 0-30. An Oct. 10, 1987 game against Princeton -- in which Dean Cain dominated plays -- gave the team its 35th loss in a row, setting a new Division 1 record. A missed field goal from the opposing team in a senior year game for Fox gave Columbia its first victory in five years. Fox's final college record: 2-38. By that point, he had already started modeling and acting.
Experience: Foxx played football and basketball at Texas' Terrell High School, hoping to play professionally for the Cowboys. He was the school's first player to pass for more than 1,000 yards. It was that experience that got him cast in the professional football epic 'Any Given Sunday.' And it was that early success that endowed him with the restrained, modest ego he possesses today.
Position: Starting Quarterback
Experience: Being the son a Heisman Trophy winner bred football into Harmons' genes. After transferring to UCLA, he led the Bruins to an upset victory over defending national champions the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The year after that he received the National Football Foundation Award for All-Round Excellence. In the two years he played, the team only lost five games. One of his first acting gigs came with his dad as a father/son spokesteam for Kellogg's cereal. And if you're saying, "Hey, Mark Harmon is a TV star, not a movie star!" then you've obviously never seen 'Summer School.'
DWAYNE "THE ROCK" JOHNSON
Position: Defensive Tackle
Experience: The Rock started his athletic career at Bethlehem, PA's Freedom High School, competing in football, wrestling and track-and-field. He received a full football scholarship to the University of Miami, playing a part on 1991's national championship team. An injury benched him, and saw him replaced with Warren Sapp. After graduating, he joined the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, but was cut two months into the season. So he joined the family business instead, becoming arguably the most famous pro-wrestler of all time, and the only one to successfully transfer to Hollywood.
Experience: The Six Million Dollar Man started playing high school football in Middlesboro, KY. He played for Indiana University before transferring to Eastern Kentucky University. Unfortunately, while there he suffered a serious back injury in his first game, ending his college career and paralyzing him for two weeks. But they could rebuild him -- they had the technology. He moved onto studying acting, performing in Kentucky's theater scene. After a brief tour of duty with the newly franchised Boston Patriots, he turned down a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals, and instead moved to Los Angeles to pursue his acting dream, and become a superhero to any child growing up in the '70s.
Position: Defensive Lineman
Experience: The one-time Al Bundy played for Ohio University on a football scholarship, but after partying too hard and feuding with his coach, he transferred to Youngtown State University. In 1969, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as a 15th round draft pick, but was cut during training camp. He had a back-up in place, by enrolling in YSU's new theatre program -- which trained him to invoke the proper gravitas necessary for recalling the faded glory of his days at Polk High.
Experience: At Eureka College in Illinois, the Gipper played football, was captain of the swim team, performed in the theater program and was elected student body president. He might have done some other things after that, but well we don't recall.
Experience: In his sophomore year at Palm Beach High School, Burt was named First Team All State and All Southern as a fullback. He then took a full scholarship to Florida State University, played halfback and roomed with college football broadcaster Lee Corso. In the first game of the season, he suffered a serious injury; he tried to play through the pain, but a car accident later in the season aggravated the injury, and he was forced to end his college career. It was Reynolds' goal to play football professionally, and he credits his professor, Watson B. Duncan, for tutoring him into acting. He took his football passion to the big screen with movies like 'The Longest Yard,' 'Semi Tough' and 'The Longest Yard' (remake). He also co-owned the Tampa Bay Bandits -- inspired by his movie alter-ego -- in the '80s upstart professional football league, the USFL.
Experience:All the way back in 1924, "Duke" was a member of Glendale High School's championship team. He went on to play for USC under coach Howard Jones, who would coach the team to four national championships and five Rose Bowl victories. Unfortunately for Wayne, he suffered an injury bodysurfing on Newport Beach. Too terrified to tell Jones what really happened, he tried to cover it up, but was forced to quit in his second year on the team. Since he was attending USC on a football scholarship, he also had to leave the school. By that point, he had already done a little acting, appearing as a football playing extra in 'Brown of Harvard' and 'Drop Kick.'
Experience: Apollo Creed began his collegiate career playing for Long Beach City College; he didn't actually get to play a game, because he was recuperating from an ankle injury. He transferred to San Diego State University and achieved letterman status two years in a row. He moved on to the NFL, playing for the Oakland Raiders under John Madden, then soon after joined the BC Lions in the CFL. Altogether, he played 26 professional games over four seasons.
Position: Defensive Tackle
Experience: The Oscar-winning actor got his football start early, commuting from South Central L.A. to attened Palisades High School. He received a football scholarship to Cal. State Polytechinic University in Pomona, but a back injury forced him to quit playing and focus on music and acting. In a way, we should all be thankful for that injury, because we might have been robbed of his performance as the star player at 'Ridgemont High' and this hilariously painful scene.