The annual Pro Bowl is generally viewed by NFL players as, in this order, 1) a reward for a job well done, 2) an opportunity to get some much needed rest and relaxation, and 3) a chance to play
a glorified sandlot football game another football game.
Well, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster took the opportunity with this year's Pro Bowl trip to Hawaii to add a fourth characterization: the opportunity to make a cameo appearance on Hawaii Five-O.
In an episode of the program which aired on Monday night, Foster played a role he is very familiar with -- "Pro Bowl running back named Arian Foster."
If you check Foster's IMDB.com profile, this is the role in which he clearly excels:
- Monday Night Football (2010-2012)....Himself
- Rome Is Burning (2011)....Guest / Himself
- Mike and Mike In The Morning (2011)....Himself / Telephone Interviewee
- CBS This Morning (2012).....Himself / Houston Texans running back
- Jim Rome on Showtime (2012)....Himself
Clearly, Arian Foster is doing an amazing job of playing himself on talk shows and in actual NFL football games. So now let's take a look at how he did playing himself on Monday's edition of Hawaii Five-O, Zapruder analysis to follow:
(NOTE: For some reason, the person whose YouTube account had the Foster video on Hawaii Five-O took the video down, so the only remnants of it on the internet is an unembeddable version on NFL.com. Here is the link to that video, so you can click that link and watch the video while you read the rest of the post. You'll have to open a separate browser. Sorry for making you work.)
0:01 -- We get a jump cut-laden look at a typical Pro Bowl practice, which apparently consists of dudes frolicking with each other on their shoulders, lots of players in ball caps and visors, mascots doing back handsprings, and festive club music. It's basically a modern day version of Rocky Balboa's training regimen for the first Clubber Lang fight in Rocky III.
0:16 -- We see our detectives Scott and Danno walking around Pro Bowl practice. Scott appears to be in "all business" mode, while Danno seems hellbent on satiating some sort of wanton manlust for Peyton Manning. He will have to settle for Arian Foster who, conveniently enough, is the guy the two cops actually need to talk to.
(Point of order: The trigger event behind the detectives' need to converse with Arian is actually not part of this video, but in the scene prior to this we were shown security footage of Foster at a poolside bar jumping into a fight between a man and a woman and defending the woman's honor with a stiff right cross to the dude's face.)
0:28 -- Foster is shown chit-chatting with a few vacationing fans who are begging him to do his touchdown celebration, the "namaste" bow. Reluctantly, he decides to do it for them, and what's weird is that the fans don't take a picture (with or of him), shoot video, or anything. They basically just wanted Arian to do a namaste bow for them. Arian tells the fans that he'd rather not have done the "namaste" bow because touchdown dances are sacred and should be left on the field, but what I believe he meant to say is that he'd rather not have done the "namaste" bow because he doesn't like being treated like a circus animal.
0:40 -- This is the actual acting part of the scene, where Foster has to answer questions like a credible witness/person who bludgeoned the fuck out of some guy's face and I have to say, that for someone who probably hasn't had to answer a lot of questions from the police about bludgeoning the fuck out of some guy's face, Foster is pretty solid in the role. He's actually recalibrating the "football player as actor" scale with this performance, shooting past such luminaries as Steve Young on Beverly Hills, 90210...
....Joe Namath on The Brady Bunch....
....and Jim Harbaugh onSaved By The Bell
Of course, he has a long way to go to surpass the acting chops of Robert Kraft, but in time, perhaps he can challenge him....
1:18 -- We get through the "cops and thugs" part of the dialogue and now transition into the comic relief portion as Danno decides to ask Arian about a fumble he lost in Week 11 against Jacksonville because, wait for it, it cost him his fantasy league title! (My first reaction to this -- whose fantasy football title gets decided in Week 11 of the NFL season?)
1:35 -- Unlike having to stretch his acting limbs a little bit by punching out some dude's lights, Arian Foster transitions almost seamlessly into "NFL player who is disgusted with fantasy dork," probably because in real life he is disgusted by fantasy dorks. It wouldn't surprise me if they just went scriptless and let Arian improvise this scene. Arian, just pretend that Danno is one of the thousands of tools who berates you on Twitter after you go for less than 100 yards in Week 14. Aaaand...ACTION!
2:12 -- The Hawaii Five-O script writers get a nice little dig in on the Texans as a whole when Scott notices Arian's class ring, asks him about it, and Danno interjects that it's obviously "not a Super Bowl ring."
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Well fuck you very much, Danno!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.