Comparing Hollywood Stars with Current NFL Players and Coaches

Brad AlmquistFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2013

Comparing Hollywood Stars with Current NFL Players and Coaches

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    There is an endless variety of unique personalities that permeate the Hollywood world. After years of playing distinct roles in acting or music, mixed with trials off the camera, these stars gradually form their own reputations.

    NFL players do the same. As teams blend players from different backgrounds into 53-men rosters, these personalities are clearly exposed.

    The Hollywood world and NFL world have their fair share of divas, class acts and curmudgeons. And while these two circles are distinctly different, certain stars from their respective spheres share similar qualities.

    Let's take a closer look into which Hollywood entertainers resemble NFL players and coaches most closely.

Adrian Peterson and Denzel Washington

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    It seems fitting that the best running back in the NFL today shares similar personality traits with one of the great actors of this generation, Denzel Washington.

    While Washington is considerably older and has been in the movie business far longer than Peterson has been on the playing field, their mindsets coincide. The tenacity and intensity that both of these figures personify resemble one another and have lead them to tremendous success.

    Peterson won the MVP Award last year after his nearly record-breaking season, something improbable after he tore his ACL the year prior. He showed his freaky athleticism, determination and will to return to the field stronger than ever. It would be an understatement to say he did.

    Meanwhile, Washington possesses similar characteristics. In many of his movies, he depicts characters who are the ultimate bosses and tough guys, and he plays those roles with unmitigated excellence.  Whether it be his role as a fearless football coach or a troubled, life-saving pilot or the manager of an international business, Washington's enthusiasm and intensity are top-notch.

    While both of these eminent figures embody true determination, intensity and subsequent success in front of the camera, they are both down-to-earth people when the lights are turned off as well.

    Peterson and Washington are true professionals.

Larry Fitzgerald and Terrence Howard

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    Larry Fitzgerald is one of the NFL's most admirable players, refusing to partake in any trash talk and always quick to provide a positive perspective.

    On the field, he is extremely versatile and is one of the most consistent commodities in the NFL at the receiver position. Off the field, he has an infectious personality with his perpetual happiness and kindhearted nature.

    Terrence Howard is the Fitzgerald of the movie business. Howard shares many similar qualities as he is widely respected because of his natural goodness. His versatility is evident as well. Howard has played various roles, ranging from an inner-city rapper in Hustle and Flow to starring as Nelson Mandela in Winnie Mandela.

    Despite their ongoing professional success, both Howard and Fitzgerald remain as humble as they come.

Dez Bryant and Tom Cruise

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    Dez Bryant and Tom Cruise are both overwhelmingly talented, yet their personal egos often supplant their accomplishments. Essentially, Bryant and Cruise are divas.

    As Bryant's career continues to ascend into NFL stardom, so does his activity on the sideline and off the field.

    Most recently, during the Cowboys' Week 15 matchup with the Packers, he stormed off of the field prior to the game's conclusion, claiming that he didn't want to be seen crying after the the Cowboys' devastating loss. And previously this season, he claimed that he was the best wide receiver in the NFL before his head-to-head battle with Lions standout Calvin Johnson.

    Similarly, Cruise's inflated personality hasn't gone unnoticed. His unexpected acts, such as the time when he jumped off a couch on the Oprah Winfrey show when discussing his affection for Katie Holmes, have grabbed the media's attention. He is also known for insisting on performing his own stunts in action movies.

    While these instances from Bryant and Cruise usually garner the media's attention, both guys have shown their good nature out of the spotlight. Cruise is a fantastic humanitarian, taking part in various organizations to help the underprivileged and ill. Meanwhile, Bryant participates in his fair share of philanthropic events.

    Despite their kindhearted nature and talent for their crafts, Bryant and Cruise have a tough time remaining out of the spotlight due to their diva-like behavior.

Drew Brees and Matt Damon

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    Is there anyone who doesn't like Drew Brees or Matt Damon? These guys are two of the classiest professionals in the sports and movie spheres, not to mention that they are both extremely successful.

    Brees is going on his 13th year in the NFL, and the former Purdue Boilermaker is a seven-time Pro Bowler. While his accolades are incredibly impressive, Brees' off-the-field persona demands equal respect. He is humble, down-to-earth and very personable.

    Likewise, Damon's career has been a long, celebrated one, yet his reputation is similar to Brees'. Damon is most noted for his incredible performances in Good Will Hunting and the Bourne series, yet he maintains the mellow, easy-going and entertaining personality that pleases audiences.

    Brees and Damon are not only supreme professionals, but great people as well. These two have experienced a vast deal of success throughout their storied careers, while remaining as two of the most likable figures.

Mark Sanchez and Keanu Reeves

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    Mark Sanchez and Keanu Reeves most closely resemble each other for one reason: Their public perception is their own worst enemy.

    Sanchez's reputation has spiraled more negatively than any other athlete in recent memory. Once a solid quarterback for a winning playoff team, he was lauded as the game manager that the New York Jets needed. However, with a couple of horrendous years topped off by one of the most infamous blunders in sports history, his demise has come in the harshest of ways.

    His closest resemblance in the Hollywood world is Reeves.

    Reeves has had his considerable share of success on the camera, particularly after starring in Constantine and The Matrix Revolutions. But, he quickly became the topic of movie jokes after viewers criticized his acting abilities. This reputation gradually continued to a point where the general consensus is that Reeves just isn't that good of an actor.

    Sanchez and Reeves are the topics of countless punchlines in the movie and sports worlds. Whether fair or not, this ongoing criticism and joking has seemed to supersede any previous accomplishment either of them has achieved.

Bill Belichick and Tommy Lee Jones

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    Let's face it, Tommy Lee Jones and Bill Belichick rarely smile. They are solemn, reticent and focused on the task at hand with just about no room for extra emotion.

    They may occasionally lash out or momentarily show a glimpse of a smile, but generally, these two are about as stone-faced as they come.

    Among sharing similar mannerisms, both Jones and Belichick have excelled at their crafts for decades.

    Belichick has asserted himself as the NFL's revered mastermind as he has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and is the longest tenured coach in the league.

    Meanwhile, Jones has enjoyed his share of success in front of the camera. Among his hit movies are Men in Black, No Country for Old Men and, most recently, Lincoln. 

    Whether it be a postgame news conference by Belichick or an award show that Jones attends, these two constantly display their reluctance to show emotion. And what great entertainment it is.

Peyton Manning and George Clooney

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    Peyton Manning's light, witty personality most closely coincides with one of the prominent faces of the movie world, George Clooney.

    Clooney has experienced a great deal of success throughout his career. Since starting in 1978, he has won 67 awards for acting, writing and producing films. Despite his prolonged career, Clooney has continued to produce top-notch movies to the day, just as he did in the 2012 award-winning film Argo.

    Similarly, Manning's level of play hasn't diminished as he has aged but has instead escalated to unprecedented heights. As he finishes off his 2013-14 campaign with the Denver Broncos, Manning is on pace to crush the single-season touchdowns and yards records for a quarterback.

    Both figures are consummate professionals. While Manning and Clooney are recognized mostly for their accomplishments, their personality traits are eerily similar. Each have a great sense of humor, which Clooney has steadily showcased throughout his career and Manning has displayed in commercials, press conferences and as a host on Saturday Night Live.

Dick LeBeau and Morgan Freeman

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    How long has Dick LeBeau been in NFL circles? Fifty-five years to be exact. LeBeau, a two-time Super Bowl champion regarded as one of the greatest defensive coordinators in NFL history, coined the concept of the "zone blitz."  

    His lifespan is almost compatible to legendary actor Morgan Freeman's as only three months separate the two from birth.

    Like LeBeau, Freeman has perfected his craft through multiple decades of brilliance. Throughout his illustrious career, Freeman has starred in several award-winning movies, including Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Million Dollar Baby.

    Freeman and LeBeau are the venerable figures of their businesses. The tenures of their careers are awe-inspiring, especially considering that they continue to produce at the age of 76.

    However, their wise, calm temperaments are what make them so alike.

Tom Brady and Brad Pitt

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    Tom Brady and Brad Pitt are closely related in multiple facets. They are clever, focused, dedicated to their craft and please audiences with their down-to-earth personalities.

    Both have developed distinguished careers in their fields and are regarded as two of the most accomplished. Brady is a two-time MVP and three-time Super Bowl Winner while Pitt has been nominated for Emmy, Academy and Golden Globe awards.

    Meanwhile, the two have caught the eyes of the media off the field and camera as well. Both are married to world-renowned actresses and models.

    According to Forbes, Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, was the highest paid model of the year in 2013. Similarly, Pitt's wife, Angelina Jolie, has a net worth estimated to be about $145 million. Combine those earnings with their husbands' excesses of wealth from their storied careers, and the Bradys and Pitts are living just fine.

Richard Sherman and Kanye West

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    Boisterous, surly, egotistical. Any of those words can accurately describe two of the biggest loud-mouths from the sports and music spectra, Richard Sherman and Kanye West.

    Sherman turned heads in the 2012 playoffs when he was slapped by Washington Redskins tackle Trent Williams after the two got in a verbal spat. As a third-year standout from Stanford, Sherman has made a living on shutting down opposing receivers, but he hasn't done so in quiet terms.

    Quickly dubbed as the league's loudest trash-talker, Sherman is not shy to bluntly express his feelings to fellow opponents; though, he may have the credentials to merit it.

    Meanwhile, West has a reputation for his unexpected, violent lash-outs and tantrums. From his criticism of George W. Bush to his outrage at the Grammy's, to constant verbal attacks on various radio shows and comparing himself to Steve Jobs, West hasn't been bashful when tempted to express his feelings.

    However, both West and Sherman's accolades are impressive. West has won 21 Grammy Awards to the date, which ranks him sixth all-time. While Sherman is much younger and newer to his profession, he was one of only two cornerbacks to be named to the First Team All-Pro squad last season.

    These two polarizing figures are immensely talented and equally as expressive.