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NEW YORK - MARCH 14: Sean Avery #16 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2010 in New York City.

Oppenheimer is up for nearly all of the Oscars this weekend. Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Best Director, along with many of the Techie awards. But when you watched it, did you notice a familiar face among the cast? Flyers fans attending who have seen Oppenheimer may have noticed a familiar face that we used to love to hate. Sean Avery.

Yes, that Sean Avery. Avery made a small appearance in the historical biopic about the man who helped create the Atom Bomb, in a small role as, “Weatherman”. The guy who played 6 years for the Rangers, and became one of the most hated athletes by Flyers fans at that time.

It is actually the 2nd time Avery has appeared in a Christopher Nolan film, after also having a small role in his last film Tenet as “Red Soldier #1”. Since leaving the NHL, he has actually made a small career taking small roles in films and TV series.

Noticing Avery in the film had me thinking of other times recognizable athletes appeared in films. Not counting guys like Dave Bautista, John Cena, or The Rock, who are now more actors than athletes. But guys like Avery. Who are either not known as actors, or appear in just a small scene of a movie. The types of moments that if you are watching a movie may make you go, “wait, is that Sean Avery?”

Some of them had small roles. Others on this list had somewhat large roles in the films they appeared in. Some played themselves, and others actually tested their acting chops by playing a character. 

Here are some of the most memorable times actors appeared in film. Even if some of those cameos are memorable for the wrong reasons.  

  • Mike Ditka- “Kicking and Screaming”

    Ditka was far more than just a cameo in this Will Ferrell moving about coaching his kid’s soccer team. When Will’s character was struggling with the rigors of coaching, he turned to his neighbor to help him, who just so happened to be a Super Bowl-winning coach in the other kind of Football. And it went exactly how you would immediately picture Mike Ditka coaching a bunch of young kids to play soccer would. He drilled them like they are pro athletes, and made them wash his car. His performance also included a full meltdown directed at Will Ferrell where we learned that Mike Ditka is nobody’s Juice Box boy. 

  • Bob Uecker- “Major League”

    Bob Uecker is known for a few things. Not being very good as a baseball player. Being very good in the booth calling games for the Brewers. And of course for his role in the Major League franchise. Uecker brought his signature on-air wit to the role of Harry Doyle in all 3 Major League films. He more or less was playing himself. Just in this case, he was calling games for the Indians, not the Brewers. And I doubt the real-life Bob was ever getting drunk on air the way his character would. But his presence helped make the movie into a classic comedy. 

  • Mike Tyson- “The Hangover”

    Imagine being sucker punched by Mike Tyson. Zach Galifinakis’s character Alan learned what that feels like in The Hangover. The group made the unfortunate decision to steal Tyson’s Tiger and hide it in their Hotel Suite, even if they did not remember doing it. So it was quite a shock when they returned to their room to find Mike Tyson listening to Phil Collin’s “In The Air Tonight”. It was even more of a shock for them when Tyson knocked out Alan with one punch. 

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 17: (L-R) Actors Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, director Todd Phillips, actress Heather Graham, actor Bradley Cooper and former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson pose in the press room with the Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical award for 'The Hangover' during the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 17, 2010 in Beverly Hills, California.

    (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Brett Farve- “There's Something About Mary”

    Back when people still kind of liked Brett Farve, he had a cameo in the Romantic Comedy There’s Something About Mary. Throughout the movie, we hear a few times about Mary’s ex-boyfriend. Then at the end, we get a shock when that boyfriend is revealed to be none other than Packer’s QB Brett Farve. He is not on screen for long and does not exactly flash his acting chops, but it is a memorable scene from a comedy classic. But nowaday, it may not go over as well if Brett Farve made a cameo like this, given his most recent actions.

    3 Nov 1996: Quarterback Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers rolls out of the pocket during the Packers 28-18 win over the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport

  • Lots of Flyer’s Players- “This is 40”

    It is hard to forget the role 4 former Flyers players played in “This is 40.” At one point in the film, Leslie Mann and Megan Fox’s characters are in a nightclub chatting with a group of Flyers players. Ian LaperriereMatt CarleScott Hartnell, and James van Riemsdyk, all cameo in the scene. But Laperriere steals the scene when he shows off just what flirting means to him. When Megan Fox asks him if he still has all of his teeth, he removes his fake teeth and gives them to Fox to try on for herself.  

  • Hines Ward and other Steelers- “The Dark Night Rises”

    A lot of Steelers players actually appear in the final film of the Dark Knight Trilogy. But most of their cameos are short-lived, literally. The real-life Steelers players stand in as Gotham’s Football team The Rogues, with Bill Cowher playing the coach. Spoiler warning for Dark Knight Rises if you still somehow have not seen it, but Bane sets off bombs under the Stadium, which is depicted by Heinz Field, causing the field to collapse. Only Hines Ward seems to survive as he outruns the collapsing field into the End Zone. Teammates like Big Ben, Troy Polamalu, Maurkice Pouncey, and Ryan Clark all fell to their deaths.

  • Johnny Damon - “Fever Pitch”

    Seems right that one of the least likable Baseball players made a cameo in the worst Baseball movie. Jimmy Fallon’s romantic Comedy about a die-hard hard Red Sox fan was of course going to feature some Red Sox players. Jason Varitek and Trot Nixon also appear. But what Damon is most known for from the film is when one female character shouts out to him from the stands to let him know that he “has the sweetest ass in the league.” 

    BOSTON - OCTOBER 5: Johnny Damon #18 of the Boston Red Sox hits a two-run homer in the third inning of game four of the American League Division Series with the Oakland Athletics on October 5, 2003 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

    (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

  • Ray Allen- “He Got Game”

    Ray Allen as Jesus Shuttlesworth has a case for the best fictional basketball player of all time. Putting it on this list is cheating, because it is not a cameo. He played a starring role in the film. But it would feel wrong to leave him off it. Spike Lee cast Ray Allen in He Got Game to star alongside Denzel Washington. And despite having way less acting experience than Denzel, did a pretty damn good job sharing the screen with the legendary actor. Of everyone on this list, he easily gave the best performance. 

    28 Oct 1999: Ray Allen #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks dribbles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Bucks defeated the Clippers 109-96.

    Mandatory Credit: Tom Hauck /Allsport


  • Charles Barkley and Company- “Space Jam”

    Michael Jordan takes the starring role in Space Jam. But he is not the only Basketball player who appeared in the movie. Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bouges all saw their Basketball powers get stolen by the “Monstars.” Charles and Company spent the rest of the film unable to even dribble until Jordan helped return their basketball skills at the end of the movie. But in the meantime, we got to see a bunch of kids trask talk Charles, and the group of them all go through therapy to try to fix whatever was affecting their game. 

  • Dan Marino- “Ace Ventura Pet Detective”

    If only Dan Mario had held the laces out. Dan Marino cameos as himself in the first Ace Ventura. And it was Marino whose mistake while holding the ball on an FG attempt inspired the main antagonist of the film. Marino held the ball with the laces in, causing Ray Finkle to miss the FG, costing the Dolphins the Super Bowl. Dan has only himself to blame when Finkle kidnaps him at the end of the film.  

    Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, a Hall of Fame inductee, is introduced before the 2005 Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu February 13, 2005.

    (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

  • Cam Neely- "Dumb and Dumber"

    Speaking of Jim Carey films, another classic from him featured Bruins Hall of Famer Cam Neely. Neely cameos as Seabass, an irritable truck driver, in Dumb And Dumber, when he becomes one of the unfortunate victims of the main character’s particular brand of idiocy. Lloyd (Jim Carey), and Harry (Jeff Daniels) stop at a diner to get something to eat. Harry ends up accidentally throwing a saltshaker at Cam Neely, who predictably does not take it well. He spits into Harry’s burger and goes on to become a secondary antagonist in the film. 

    TORONTO - NOVEMBER 7: Cam Neely, the newest inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, at his induction photo opportunity on November 7, 2005 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar- “Airplane”

    Who knew that in his spare time, Kareem was an Airline Pilot? He cameoed has himself in the classic comedy Airplane! He initially insisted that he was not the real Kareem, and was just a Pilot named Roger Murdoch. But when one little kid visiting the cockpit lets him know that his dad thinks Kareem “takes too many plays off” Kareem lets it slip who he really is while telling the kid, and his dad, off.  

  • Boban Marjanovic- "John Wick 3"

    Boban has what may be the coolest cameo by an Athlete. Getting to fight John Wick to the death in a Library in John Wick 3. He gets just a couple of lines but gets to show off his stunt chops in a great fight scene with Wick. He may not be much of an actor, but if you want someone to play a big scary assassin, he certainly looks the part. Even if we do know that Boban the person is nothing but lovable in real life.

  • Derek Jeter- "The Other Guys"

    Another guy who just cameoed as himself in a movie. In The Other Guys, Jeter gets shot by Mark Wahlberg’s character Terry Hoitz, during The World Series. It earned Mark’s character the nickname Yankee Clipper, and why many other characters hated him all movie long after he ruined the Yankees’ chances to win a World Series that season.

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