@GamecockRadio: Frank Martin told me tonight that he played the offensive line coach in the movie "Any Given Sunday."
That's right. "Any Given Sunday," the Oliver Stone-directed, Al Pacino-starring, 1999 film-turned-basic-cable staple about the fictitious Miami Sharks. Before he rose to small-screen stardom as a successful college basketball coach, Frank Martin played an extra in the film when it shot on location in Homestead, Fla.
Not all stories - especially one as far-fetched as this - can be explained in 140 characters. So here's the backstory from Coach Martin himself:
At the time, Martin was working as a high school coach in his native Miami. His athletic trainer, who had signed up to play a referee in the movie, approached him in school one day. The football players in the movie - all of whom were actual ex-football players - were grumbling. They hated the actors who had been cast as coaches, believing they were inauthentic.
The directors asked Martin's athletic trainer if he knew any real coaches who could fill the roles.
"He said, 'Hey, they want new coaches. Are you interested?'" Martin said.
It was after basketball season, so Martin figured why not. He ended up spending eight days on set, playing the Sharks' offensive line coach during the film's game scenes. (No word on whether this makes Martin part of Al Pacino's coaching tree, too.) The days lasted from 6:30 in the morning until 8 o'clock at night, and Martin remembers them mostly for standing around between scenes. He recalls earning somewhere betwen $100 and $200 per day. He didn't receive a credited role, either, which explains why he doesn't appear on any IMDb.com page.
Incidentally, the man who choreographed the football scenes in "Any Given Sunday," Mark Ellis, is the brother of Gamecock football radio voice Todd Ellis. The two re-united at Thursday's edition of "Carolina Calls."
Now for the second-most popular question: can you see Martin in the film?
Good luck. The final cut melded him into the background of most shots. He says his staff has tried to spot him for ages, to no avail.
Although it might require a change to the movie poster. -Andy Demetra