The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Celebrities on the Gridiron


I am a simple man when it comes to television. Anything that is funny,  has to do with sports, or rednecks hunting, catching, or making whatever I will usually watch. I love shows like Swamp People, Call of the Wildman, and Moonshiners. It is backwoods ingenuity at its finest. But my latest obsession is with the A&E show Duck Dynasty.

It is fascinating to me how a family of ZZ Top lookalikes can start and operate a multi-million dollar corporation. I just love all of it, the shaggy hair, bushy beards, American flag bandanas, and camouflage sports coats. But recently after reading an article on ESPN, I became even more intrigued.

According to the article, the founder of Duck Commander, Phil Robertson, played division one college football back in the 1960s for Louisiana Tech University. And what is even more amazing is that for two years he started in front of a young kid by the name of Terry Bradshaw. Perhaps you have heard of him?

This got me thinking about what other celebrities in television and film have spent time on the gridiron at the collegiate level. And here are just a few:

–          Tommy Lee Jones

  • Before his days as sheriff in Lonesome Dove or fighting aliens in the Men in Black films, he was playing offensive guard at Harvard. While playing for the Crimson, Jones received not only All-Ivy League Honors, but All-American Honors as well.

–          Burt Reynolds

  • Long before people called him the “Bandit”, Burt Reynolds was running through tacklers as a high school fullback. Reynolds would eventually accept a scholarship offer from Florida State University where he roomed with another college football legend, Lee Corso.

–          John Goodman

  • The Roseanne star not only had talent in acting, but athletics as well. Obviously he was not very skilled at combining the two though (Because The Babe was god-awful).  Goodman attended Southwest Missouri State University (now just Missouri State University) on a football scholarship but switched to acting full time after an injury derailed his athletic career.

–          Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

  • Not too surprising here just by the way the man is built. Johnson played football at the University of Miami and was actually on the 1991 National Championship team. And after an injury sidelined him, he was replaced by another name that may ring a bell, Warren Sapp.