Fact: if Terrell Owens and Hines Ward had a love child, it would be Rod Tidwell. Think about it, Rod is an ego-maniac (T.O), has the toughness of a tight end (Hines) and loves endorsement deals (both). Not to mention the fact that if you were to throw pictures of T.O. and Hines into one of those creepy internet face-mash sites meant for crazy girlfriends who want to see what their kids would look like with the guy they’ve been dating for two weeks, I’m pretty sure Cuba Gooding Jr. would pop out.
Another fact: Rod Tidwell is one of the greatest fictional movie athletes of all time. Not only is Rod an embarrassingly accurate depiction of professional football receivers, he is responsible for one of the best movie catch phrases ever – “Show me the money!” Rod Tidwell is a legend. Here are five key takeaways from my favorite character in one of my favorite movies:
1. Find an ambassador of KWON (no, not the Korean surname)
Let’s face it, before meeting Jerry, Rod is nothing more than a crotchety old man from a Tyler Perry movie, except he’s actually funny. At the outset of Jerry Maguire, Rod is a washed up, under-sized receiver who thinks he’s worth more than his play would indicate (textbook case of the Favre). But upon meeting his ambassador, Tom Cruise (c’mon, does he play anyone other than himself?), he begins to realize that he’s lost his swagger. A couple decent games and a big MNF game later, Rod is crying to some Bryant Gumble wannabe to the tune of $11.2 million. In sum, find an ambassador of kwon and you will go far.
2. Never mistake a man for Darius Rucker, aka “Hootie,” unless you want to get major stank eye
The fastest way to get yourself in trouble with a professional athlete is to mistake him/her for someone else. Professional athletes are egotistical attention fiends and simply can’t deal with blows to their egos. Take our buddy Rod, for instance. He is walking through the airport all fine and dandy, and some harmless kids come up for autographs. This initially pleases Rod, who believes himself to be a celebrity, even though he is the slot receiver on a less than thrilling mid-90s Arizona Cardinals team. When one child asks if he is Hootie, Rod snaps. Sure, he doesn’t yell at the kids or become violent, but the question eats at his insides. The emotional trauma could affect his play, so please, please exercise caution before asking someone if he’s Hootie. The ego you burst just might be Rod Tidwell’s.
3. Don’t settle for smalltime endorsements; go after Nike, McDonald’s and Chevy!
This one is pretty self-explanatory. No one’s ever heard of the dude in the commercial for the local roofer or exterminator, but I’ll bet the sports-literate people out there can name the last five athletes they saw on a Subway commercial. Be like Rod! When you’re in the middle of the dessert, and the director wants you to ride a camel wearing some kind of sheik outfit, say nay! Remember, if you think small, you’ll be small. Dream big. Maybe not Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick duking it out for Mighty Wings that Larry Bird has already commandeered big, but you get the picture.
4. Always grab the microphone and sing at your friend’s wedding
Especially when it’s a totally inappropriate song for a wedding, like “What’s Going On.” You’ll be the life of the party, and the band will totally thank you because they were getting creeped out by the mother of the groom hitting on them. When in doubt, say yes to the microphone. We all have a little Rod in us. Do it! Bonus points for any Lil’ Kim, Sisqo or R. Kelly songs not called “I Believe I Can Fly.”
5. When you score a really awesome touchdown in the biggest game of your life, do the TD dance big!
Okay, so most of us won’t really get the chance to do this one, but we can extend this to other milestones in our ordinary lives, like closing on that condo we wanted or getting that dream job. These big moments don’t come around too often, so we have to take advantage. Personally, I can’t think of a better way than to do upside-down spins, Lambeau Leaping into stands full of adoring fans or running around screaming “you know!!!” Can you? Didn’t think so. When success finds you, do it like Rod. Do it big!
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