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AFL players hit Hollywood in "The Longest Yard"

May 23, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) News Release

NEW YORK – More than 35 current and former AFL players were involved in the production of “The Longest Yard,” a remake of the 1974 film, presented by Paramount Pictures. The film opens in theaters nationwide this Friday, May 27.

The film stars ADAM SANDLER, CHRIS ROCK and BURT REYNOLDS (who portrayed Sandler’s Paul Crewe in the original film) and also features hip-hop and rap artist NELLY and actors JAMES CROMWELL and WILLIAM FICHTNER.

The remake boasts a who’s-who of competitive and world-famous athletes, including three-time Super Bowl-winner MICHAEL IRVIN, four-time Super Bowl-winner BILL ROMANOWSKI and BRIAN BOSWORTH. World Champion Wrestlers BILL GOLDBERG, STEVE AUSTIN (who wrestled as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin), and KEVIN NASH as well as K-1 Kick-boxing champion BOB SAPP are also on board for the explosive action of “The Longest Yard.”

While the AFL players involved in the making of the film may not play a major role on screen, behind the scenes they most certainly did.

“The reality is without the Arena Football guys…we wouldn’t have a movie. The reality is the bulk of the football was done by those Arena Football guys and the fact is they were out there every single day,” said Goldberg. “They basically pulled the train. Not only did they come from practice, but weeks later, after the movie was done, they went right back to their season and you have to tip your hats off to them.”

Below is a list of current and former AFL players involved in the making of “The Longest Yard.”

Con’s Offense
Pat O’Hara Tampa Bay Storm
Sam Clemons Former AFL player
Jerry Sharp Arizona Rattlers
Darryl Hammond Nashville Kats
Damien Groce Columbus Destroyers
Scottie Nicholson Former AFL player
Brian Mann Los Angeles Avengers
Sean McNamara Los Angeles Avengers
CoCo Blalock Las Vegas Gladiators
Maurice Bryant Former AFL player
Kelvin Ingram Arizona Rattlers
Clif Dell Tampa Bay Storm

Con’s Defense
Wilky Bazile Las Vegas Gladiators
Hardy Mitchell Las Vegas Gladiators
Terrance Joseph Arizona Rattlers
Ben Bronson Former AFL player
Sirr Parker Former AFL player
Justin Skinner Former AFL player
Lucas Yarnell Las Vegas Gladiators
Jeff Russell Former AFL player

Guard’s Defense
Evan Pilgram Former AFL player
Paul La Querre Tampa Bay Storm
Dane Krager Austin Wranglers
Evan Hlavacek Arizona Rattlers
Cosmo DeMatteo Nashville Kats
Aaron Jones Former AFL player
Gary Compton Former AFL player

Guard’s Offense
Tim Engelhardt Former AFL player
Juston Wood Former AFL player
Nyle Wiren Tampa Bay Storm
Brett Bech Former AFL player
Darren Chiaverini Austin Wranglers
Louis Williams New Orleans VooDoo
Marcus Owen New York Dragons
Lance Clelland Grand Rapids Rampage
Matt George Tampa Bay Storm

The remake, directed by PETER SEGAL, is the comic story of a former pro quarterback trying to make good in the toughest possible situation. When former NFL player Paul Crewe (Sandler) is sent to prison, the warden forces him to transform a diverse group of inmates into a football team. Unlikely teammates, the convicts unite when they find out they are playing: the guards. With the help of fellow inmates Nate Scarborough (Reynolds) and Caretaker (Rock), Crewe promises the cons a chance to exact revenge in a bone-crushing showdown where anything goes. The Mean Machine returns to the gridiron in this new take on the 1974 classic.

Filming began last year on July 13 and wrapped at the end of October. After a three-week training camp, the crew headed to Santa Fe, N.M., for six weeks and filmed at a prison that was no longer in use. They then returned to the Los Angeles area to film the "Mean Machine vs. Guards" game at El Camino Junior College for another eight weeks.

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