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Dennis Hopper's long-forgotten NFL connection

On Friday, Gary Coleman died.  His only connection to football was the episode of Diff’rent Strokes in which a girl made the team instead of Arnold, and Mr. Drummond secured a roster spot for him by purchasing uniforms.

On Saturday, Dennis Hopper died.  As a reader reminds us, Hopper was the centerpiece of a 1994-95 Nike campaign in which he played a deranged, footstep-hearing, shoe-sniffing, photograph-eating official named Stanley, who often wore a trench coat over his uniform, and a backpack over his trench coat.

Hopper did spots devoted to Bruce Smith, Junior Seau, Hardy Nickerson, Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Sterling Sharpe, Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, a postseason homage to horseshoes and hand grenades, and an extended Patton-style monologue for the Super Bowl.  (If we’re missing any, let us know.)

They’re all surprisingly good, despite the passage of nearly 16 years.  So rest in peace, Dennis, and thanks for giving us a rare moment in time when we enjoyed the commercials played during football games almost as much as the game itself.

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41 Responses to “Dennis Hopper's long-forgotten NFL connection”
  1. viksfanaz says: May 29, 2010 3:21 PM

    R.I.P. Hopper was great in Hoosiers.

  2. dannymac17 says: May 29, 2010 3:22 PM

    Dennis Hopper was a great man and will be dearly missed. one of my favorite actors of all time. I try to model my life based on his evil character from Speed, i even went as far as cutting off my own finger…
    just kidding.

  3. back4dattack says: May 29, 2010 3:24 PM

    yes

  4. GBfanForever says: May 29, 2010 3:27 PM

    Bad things man, bad things. . .

  5. RedGoneWILD says: May 29, 2010 3:31 PM

    DENNIS HOPPER WAS THE MAN!!!
    RIP

  6. rayg says: May 29, 2010 3:32 PM

    Forgotten to you , maybe. These spots were legendary. The NFL has never hit this high of a quality bar since.
    Bad Things, Man. Bad Things!

  7. se18a29 says: May 29, 2010 3:35 PM

    R.I.P.

  8. footballrulz says: May 29, 2010 3:43 PM

    Hey Mike, how much TV did you watch as a kid? I mean did you actually remember that episode about Drummond & the uniforms or did you have to google it?
    RIP Dennis!

  9. FinfanJim says: May 29, 2010 3:45 PM

    I couldn’t believe how well I remembered those commercials. I was reciting them as though I saw them yesterday. 1994, huh? Damn, time flies…
    R.I.P. Dennis.

  10. HC says: May 29, 2010 3:47 PM

    Hopper was great, from Rebel Without A Cause to Easy Rider to Hoosiers to Apocalypse Now, to a ton of other great roles.
    Thanks for all that entertainment; RIP.

  11. Bo Darville says: May 29, 2010 3:49 PM

    I can’t wait for the Uniwatch column analyzing those uniforms from that Different Strokes episode!

  12. KD says: May 29, 2010 3:49 PM

    Don’t forget that Hopper directed Easy Rider, with Nicholson wearing the football helmet and U of Mich sweater.
    No, man, like hey, man. Wow. I was watching this object man, like the satellite that we saw the other night, right? And, like, it was going right across the sky, man, and then… I mean it just suddenly, uh, it just changed direction and went whizzin right off, man. It flashed…

  13. GBfanForever says: May 29, 2010 3:50 PM

    Reggie White was omitted from the list. I think that was the origin of the “bad things man”

  14. Italian.ArmyGuy says: May 29, 2010 4:07 PM

    Too Tall Jones was on an episode of Diff’rent Strokes…is that the same one???

  15. Brenton says: May 29, 2010 4:11 PM

    Florio.
    Are you going to sit there and tell me you don’t remember the Diff’rent Strokes episode with Deacon Jones?
    Arnold was stuck on a ledge of a tall building…and who saved him?
    Deacon Effing Jones.

  16. God's Own Silver and Blue says: May 29, 2010 4:16 PM

    If there were ever a dictionary with an entry for “study in contradictions”, Dennis Hopper’s face would be prominently displayed next to that entry. In spite of being a regular donor to the Republican National Committee and starring in An American Carol (a right-leaning movie), Hopper publicly supported Barack Obama for President in 2008.
    Complicated and talented man, awful news. RIP, Dennis.

  17. Hosstyle In Tampa says: May 29, 2010 4:17 PM

    I give you….chills:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB4rsn8rJYM
    R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

  18. VonClausewitz says: May 29, 2010 4:19 PM

    RIP Dennis.
    It’s a shame his greatest work, the 2 episode stint on Fishing With John, isn’t more widely appreciated.

  19. Slow Joe says: May 29, 2010 4:40 PM

    RIP
    I had definitely not forgotten those commercials. I youtubed them as recently as a few months ago.

  20. afiresnake says: May 29, 2010 4:46 PM

    He also did the teaser for the first monday night game after the tuck rule thing happened in the 2001 playoffs.
    I believe 2002 season, first MNF game, Pats vs. Steelers.
    Sorry to see him go.

  21. ICEWALKER says: May 29, 2010 4:47 PM

    Hosstyle In Tampa says:
    May 29, 2010 4:17 PM
    I give you….chills:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB4rsn8rJYM
    R.I.P. Dennis Hopper
    ++++++++++++++++++++++
    One of those things that makes me wish it was KICKOFF WEEKEND!
    Great link!

  22. Drat says: May 29, 2010 4:59 PM

    Dennis Hopper was my neighbor for three years in Venice, CA, 20 years ago. He lived over one block and down one block. His house was an odd big old corrugated sheet metal structure he called “Redoubt,” in this funky beach neighborhood full of drugs and crazies. A former marine nutcase on that street broke his leg one day jumping out of a tree to impress two prostitutes; he promptly cut off the VA-applied cast because of itching, and then his ankle swole up the size a cantaloupe but the color of an eggplant. Just to give you some local color. Right off infamous “Electric Avenue,” three-four blocks from Venice Beach, where you could find Dickie V at the courts checking out the LA basketball talent. Never met Hopper.

  23. joelvis72 says: May 29, 2010 5:10 PM

    I never forgot him whispering about Hardy Nickerson and then sniffing his shoes. Good stuff.

  24. Johnnyb612 says: May 29, 2010 5:11 PM

    I loved those comercials. He was great in them. The only thing that beats those when it comes to football comercials is jerry stiller as vince lombardi.
    R.I.P. Dennis Hopper.

  25. iusedtobeteddybayer says: May 29, 2010 5:41 PM

    During the Watts riots I wasin a elevator with D. Hopper in Vegas. He was tripping his brains out…alledgedly. will be missed.
    By the way, his wife is a bitch.

  26. DiamondDave13 says: May 29, 2010 6:04 PM

    Wow, Drat…thanks for the meaningless and unrelated rambling. I and, everyone else, is now dumber for having read it. Hopper would certainly slap you across your open mouth for that.
    Rest easy, Dennis.

  27. akuehn713 says: May 29, 2010 6:08 PM

    Long forgotten my ass, I watch those commercials on youtube all the time.
    You are missing Rod Woodson’s.

  28. brasho says: May 29, 2010 6:37 PM

    God’s Own Silver and Blue says:
    May 29, 2010 4:16 PM
    If there were ever a dictionary with an entry for “study in contradictions”, Dennis Hopper’s face would be prominently displayed next to that entry. In spite of being a regular donor to the Republican National Committee and starring in An American Carol (a right-leaning movie), Hopper publicly supported Barack Obama for President in 2008.
    Complicated and talented man, awful news. RIP, Dennis.
    _________________________
    It just shows what all the psychadelic drugs and stimulants did to the man’s brain.. the last few years it was likely beyond mush.

  29. Bob Nelson says: May 29, 2010 6:46 PM

    He played a lot of psychos and moral degenerates.
    But he did do some movies with John Wayne.
    Too bad he did not get roles as the moral good guy hero.
    He did have a long career. Glad you found an NFL connection.

  30. Drat says: May 29, 2010 7:51 PM

    Hey DiamondDave,
    He wouldn’t slap me across the face. Are you kidding? He would appreciate it. Context. Stories. Hopper wasn’t a face-slapper, but if you are, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  31. aj says: May 29, 2010 8:08 PM

    Long forgotten? Speak for yourself.

  32. stiles22 says: May 29, 2010 10:30 PM

    Long forgotten? The NFL commercials are one of the main things I remember him for!

  33. Ick McWang says: May 29, 2010 10:42 PM

    Holy crap I had forgotten all about these, but upon seeing I remember them almost word for word… especially Bruce Smith and Junior Seau, its like I watched those yesterday

  34. Steelerjsun says: May 29, 2010 10:46 PM

    I love these! I was just lookin ‘em up the other day. Where’s Rod Woodson’s?!?

  35. Psychonolfi says: May 29, 2010 11:07 PM

    A Hollywood Madman none greater! Long live Frank Booth! And one last Love Letter to everyone right between the F…ing eyes!

  36. Mangy66 says: May 29, 2010 11:49 PM

    “Choo Choo”
    RIP DH

  37. gmas1970 says: May 30, 2010 1:46 AM

    You’re Sicilian, huh? One of the great movie scenes…Hopper and Walken.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqccyUpnZwA

  38. Tomthebombtracy says: May 30, 2010 8:12 AM

    “Apocalyse Now” with Dennis playing the idolizing, apologizing, philosophising photographer with cameras jangling around his neck…..that’s the Dennis I think of.
    “Hoosiers” is the best sports movie of all time and he played a great role…..that last scene of his when he is the hospital ward listening to the championship game on the radio. He didn’t say a word but his expressions did all the talking.

  39. Rogue says: May 30, 2010 9:24 AM

    He will be sadly missed. R.I.P. Dennis
    I have watched Hoosiers about 5 times

  40. Fballguy says: May 30, 2010 9:35 AM

    gmas1970 says:
    May 30, 2010 1:46 AM
    You’re Sicilian, huh? One of the great movie scenes…Hopper and Walken.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqccyUpnZwA
    Good call…I was going to post this if you didn’t. Classic scene.
    Fballguy

  41. footballrulz says: May 30, 2010 1:54 PM

    Hopper & walken–two of the best

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