Rex Ryan does a decent acting job in Adam Sandler film “That’s My Boy.’’ That in itself is unusual for a coach, but what is more unusual is that unlike most active coaches who have appeared in movies he plays not himself but a lawyer named Jim Nance (for the former Patriots and Jets fullback).
From Giants manager John McGraw in “One Touch of Nature” (1917) through Don Shula in “Ace Ventura: Pete Detective” (1994), Jim Boeheim in “He Got Game’’ (1998), a bevy of SEC coaches in “The Blind Side’’ (2009) and many others, coaches tend to play themselves.
Not Ryan, of whom Sandler said, “He stepped in there and nailed it.’’
I came up empty on other active coaches who played characters other than themselves in films so I begged for help on Twitter, where followers suggested two 1992 flicks: Jerry Tarkanian in “Honeymoon in Vegas,’’ when he (briefly) coached the Spurs, and the Dodgers’ Tommy Lasorda as Coach Cannoli in “Ladybugs.’’
As for Sandler’s next coach cameo, Ryan had a suggestion: “Belichick,’’ he said. “I think he would be good. There is no doubt. He's a funny guy. He just doesn't let people know it."