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Former Wrestler and Tooth Fairy The Rock Going to Star in an HBO Show Called "Ballers" About Football

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AA - It’s been awhile since we’ve seen a “realistic” football-themed show on television. The wait appears to be over – HBO has ordered the pilot of Ballers, starring Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), and it’ll be interesting how this compares to ESPN’s critically-acclaimed, short-lived Playmakers series. Here are the details of the show from Deadline.

Ballers is exploring the lives of a group of former and current football players. Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a retired athlete. The cast includes Omar Benson Miller as Charles, an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career; Denzel Washington’s son John David Washington as Ricky, a highly competitive and highly spiritual pro athlete; Rob Corddry as Joe, a financial advisor who tries really hard to fit in; Troy Garity as Jason, a top-tier sports agent; Donovan Carter as Vernon, a deeply family-oriented pro athlete; Jazmyn Simon as Julie, wife of an ex-pro athlete; Taylor Cole as Michaels, an ESPN sideline reporter who is romantically involved with Spencer; and LeToya Luckett as Tina, widow to one of Spencer’s closest friends.

OK, so maybe it’s not going to be the next Playmakers. But then again, Johnson is just one of several executive producers of the show, along with Mark Wahlberg, Steve Levinson, Evan Reilly, and Peter Berg – that’s a pretty loaded crew. The pilot was written by Levinson, and directed by Berg, which should raise expectations. Production will start later this year. Hopefully, Ballers ends up being more like Playmakers instead of an Entourage-type show with football just thrown in there for the hell of it.

First, I’m fairly sure The Rock lifts weights on occasion. Not certain, but using my best context clues skills, gun to my head, life or death, I’m going to say he does hit the weight room on occasion. Second, HBO makes really good TV shows. Really really good. So I’m not concerned about the show sucking. But I’m interested in how much input Czar Goodell will have on this project. There’s no chance he will be okay with them showing a football player do a drug. No way he will be happy with them showing agents doing agent things. The girls, the money, the real stuff. ESPN had to cancel Playmakers, which was a great show, because it showed the NFL for what it really is. So will the same shit happen here? My hopes for the show is we see both the awesome lifestyle stuff and the Playmakers realism which made that show so cool. And maybe we’ll figure out if the Rock lifts weights along the way.


PS: Can’t wait to see this show launch just in time for next year’s Wrestlemania. Cena vs the Rock 3, kill me.