Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Jets [Print without images]

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Cromartie funny in NFL lockout spoof

By Jane McManus

Taylor Lautner stands in the middle of an “Iowa” cornfield and hears voices saying “If you build it, they will come.”

From that comes Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout, where 20 or so NFL players wearing logo-free football uniforms find their way into the Twilight actor’s field, take up residence in his house and hit on his wife. (OK that last one is really just Antonio Cromartie.)

The latest video from Funny or Die debuted on SportsCenter Wednesday morning at 9:24 a.m. and features two New York players, Cromartie and the Giants WR Steve Smith.

For Funny or Die president or production Mike Farah, getting a slew of high-profile athletes together was a challenge. For the two-day shoot starting June 27, he nearly had Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez before scheduling proved too difficult, and former Giant Michael Strahan was on his wish list early on.

He did get Dwight Freeney, Ray Lewis, Tony Gonzalez, DeSean Jackson, Shawne Merriman and a host of others. Funny or Die, a comedy production house actor Will Ferrell helped found in 2007, often lands Hollywood celebrities — Ray Liotta, Marielle Jaffe and Dennis Haysbert are in this one — but dealing with athletes was a little different.

“The one thing, coming in actors are used to sitting around on set,” Farah said. “The athletes are not used to that downtime.”

Anyone who has seen a team practice during training camp can see why. Football players have highly structured hours — after a play from scrimmage, they don’t wait 45 minutes to run the next play. Still, the players got their lines. Smith has a part where he marvels at the field.

“Now this is fantasy football,” Smith says.

Farah said Smith, a Southern California kind of guy, was so low-key he seemed more like a college kid than the NFL veteran he is. As for Cromartie, Farah was told the cornerback was funny, but he gets that a lot from people looking to get their guy a part. That said, Cromartie really was funny. During the behind the scenes segment, the father-of-many laughs at how he put the moves on Lautner’s movie wife.

“Looks like you’ve done this before,” someone off-camera quips.

“Just being myself,” Cromartie said with the kind of smile that could spark a paternity suit.

The actual video, a fake trailer for a movie, is amusing, but even better are the two other videos using footage shot then, a deleted scenes trailer and behind the scenes clip.

A highlight moment comes in the behind the scenes clip. One theme of the video is that Lewis keeps popping out of no where and slamming into Lautner. Later, when Lewis is doing a Q&A on camera, Lautner tries to turn the tables and take out the Ravens linebacker.

Not happening. Instead, the high-demand actor slams his face into Lewis, who barely budges.

“It’s OK listen, everybody tries to do other people’s jobs,” Lewis says as Lautner lies on the ground.

For Farah, that was the diciest moment of the two-day shoot.

“That was the scariest part because I thought he had broken his chin on Ray Lewis,” Farah said.

The actors and players were not paid. Farah said that a lot of the NFL players who took part were from around the Southern California location and are eyeing potential media jobs in the future.

In the last of the deleted scenes, Kevin Costner as Lautner’s dad tells him to go out long. If he makes catch, the lockout is over and everyone can go back to work.

“You drop it, you might as well go back to that Twilight thang,” Costner said.

Now go see it for yourself.