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Columbus' Groce goes Hollywood in remake of "The Longest Yard"

May 24, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Columbus Destroyers News Release

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Destroyers offensive specialist Damien Groce is one of more than 35 current and former Arena Football League players who played a role 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.

In conjunction with the Columbus Dispatch, Destroyers players, coaches and Bombshells dance team members will appear tonight at a special pre-screening of the movie at the AMC Lennox movie theatres, located at 777 Kinnear Road in Columbus. Beginning at 6 p.m. the team will be signing autographs and taking photos before showtime at 7:30 p.m.

Groce played a stunt-double for hip-hop and rap artist Nelly, who stars in the film alongside Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and Burt Reynolds. The remake also boasts numerous 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, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Kevin Nash also star in the film.

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.

For further information on the Columbus Destroyers, visit or call (614) 246-HITS.

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