Eight years ago this week, the Chicago Bears spent a second round draft pick on a largely unknown running back from the University of Tulane. Then Bears GM Jerry Angelo was well-known for two things: finding late round steals on defense and for being completely inept in selecting offensive players in any round.
When Angelo used the 44th overall pick on Matt Forte, just two years removed from major knee surgery, Bears fans all over the world groaned in unison.
But the player the Bears ended up with exceeded everyone’s expectations. In eight seasons, Forte became the face of the franchise.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl twice, set an NFL single-season record, and left the franchise second all-time in rushing yards and sixth in receiving yards.
In the video below, we spoke to Matt about his time with the Chicago Bears, what he remembers about his own draft experience, and teaming up with Verizon on the NFL Mobile App.
Old Spice Guy Isaiah Mustafa is more than a pretty face with a a tightly toned torso and a voice like butter. At one point, he was a actually a real dude, just like you.
After running track in high school, Mustafa decided to try football and ultimately walked-on at Arizona State University as a wide receiver. He played in the 1997 Rose Bowl and caught passes from quarterback Jake “The Snake” Plummer.
Post graduation in 1997, Mustafa played on the practice squads for the Tennessee Oilers, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Seattle Seahawks and even played a season in NFL Europe for the Barcelona Dragons.
After football and prior to landing the “Old Spice Guy” gig, Mustafa owned and operated a restaurant in L.A., won $47,000 on game show The Weakest Link and landed acting roles for shows on NBC, ABC, USA Network and The CW.
We spoke to Isaiah just prior to the kickoff of Old Spice’s year-long partnership with Tough Mudder at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, where he and thousands of athletes took on a grueling 10-plus mile obstacle course.
Before he became the world’s second most famous spy novelist, literary master John le Carre famously disliked the world’s most famous spy (who never actually seems to spy much). He has said of James Bond that “you felt he would have gone through the same antics for any country really, if the girls had been so pretty and the Martinis so dry.” We can argue about whether or not that’s literally or just figuratively true of 007. However, it’s very definitely the case if you’re talking about Sterling Malory Archer, the cocktail-guzzling, murderously self-centered yet oddly competent titular protagonist of “Archer,” Adam Reed’s blend of super-smart, reference-heavy, super-black comedy spy satire and frequently filthy animated workplace sitcom. If you’re a fan, like this writer, you’ll be delighted to know that the show returns to FX with its seventh season this Thursday night, March 31th.
Last summer, just as the new season was starting to go into production, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Comic-Con roundtable with pretty much the entire regular cast of the show as well as creator and voice actor Adam Reed. That’s pretty impressive considering the show’s cast includes voice acting comedy genius H. Jon Benjamin (“Bob’s Burgers,” “Home Movies,” etc.) as the voice of Archer; multi-talented actress Aisha Tyler as the even more multi-talented and super-smart superspy Lana Kane; SNL-grad par excellence Chris Parnell (“30 Rock”) as weaselly espionage accountant Cyril Figgis; borderline ubiquitous working actress Judy Greer as the lovably psychopathic billionairess Cheryl Tunt; the less well-known but seemingly no less talented Lucky Yates as mad scientist Dr. Krieger; and the voice of poly-addictive fan favorite Pam Poovey herself, Amber Nash. Present in the room but, sadly, not at my table was genuine acting great Jessica Walter (“Arrested Development,” “Play Misty for Me”), whose Malory Archer is easily the scariest mom in spy fiction this side of “The Manchurian Candidate.”
What follows are highlights of the conversations I was lucky to have or listen in on.
Sometimes, a person’s name says all you need to know about them. Steve Smith accomplished everything a basketball player could and was so smooth doing it that he never needed a nickname.
After growing up in Detroit, the 6-8 point guard attended college at Michigan State. He was named an All-American as a junior and senior, and hit a game-winning shot in the 1991 NCAA Tournament.
A couple months later, Smith was selected by the Miami Heat with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. His NBA career spanned 14 seasons. He was named an All-Star in 1998, won an Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Sydney games, and won an NBA championship in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs.
In this video, the current NBA TV and CBS NCAA Tournament analyst spoke to us about his partnership with Harley Davidson and the Live Your Legend campaign, the experience of being an oversized point guard at Magic Johnson’s alma mater, running into the buzzsaw of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the late ’90s, and where he keeps his NBA championship ring.
2016 NFL Hall of Fame nominee and pro football legend Terrell Owens has teamed up with Butterfinger to make the Super Bowl bolder than ever before with the Bolder Than Bold campaign by asking players to bring back the boldest moves on the field – the touchdown dances. Butterfinger has offered to cover up to $50,000 for fines that may be incurred by any player boldly celebrating in the endzone.
In the video above, we asked T.O. about his potential Hall of Fame induction, if he ever used HGH or PEDs, and his favorite endzone celebration. Below are a few highlights:
Favorite touchdown celebration:
“My favorite was either the popcorn or the pom poms. I think those were two that were really kind of spur of the moment and impromptu. Sometimes, when you get in the moment, you have the best celebrations.”
Who gets into the Hall of Fame between him and contemporary Randy Moss:
“I’m definitely going to go with myself. I did it across the board, I did a little bit of everything. I did the little things, I did the intangibles. I blocked downfield, I played hard for four quarters, and with some people’s assessment of his play, he didn’t play 100% of the time.”
On Peyton Manning’s HGH/PED usage and if he ever used:
“No, man. What you see is a product of pure hard work, dedication in the weight room. I think (the speculation on Manning) is as ridiculous as Mike Martz’s comments about me leapfrogging his two guys (Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce) to get into the Hall of Fame. To look at Peyton Manning and think he’s on HGH? Really? He might be on some Butterfingers, but he ain’t on HGH!”
For more information on Butterfinger’s #BolderThanBold campaign, check out the YouTube Channel.