Thursday, July 9, 2009

Greatness Probably Tastes Like Butter Pecan

I believe it was Marlon Brando who once said, “Acting is like a 3-gallon vat of ice cream. Sure, you can devour the whole thing in one sitting, but you’ll still want more. Who’s hungry?”

Call him a diva, call him what you will, it’s clear that Favre’s sweet tooth for acting ice cream might never be satisfied. But what is the genesis for such a lifelong obsession of playing the world for his personal stage? Not so much a “what” as a “whom.” That’s right, it was the Minister of Defense himself, Reginald Howard White.

Back in 1997, with the help of a few friends and higher calling, Reggie White created a little moving picture called “Reggie’s Prayer.” With an inspirational plotline and star-studded cameos from the likes of the good M.C. Hammer and the great Pat Morita, this movie seemed destined for Transformers-like box office success. However, audiences didn’t flock to the cineplexes for whatever reasons despite critical success on like this review from “Artist & Author” near Mt. Baker, WA.

“The movie maintains its excitement to the climax when Reggie fights the bad guys and then tracks down a kidnapped team member into the Oregon wilderness to try to rescue the boy.”

(Sidebar: Replace "Reggie" and "boy" with "Arnold" and "daughter" and you have the plot for Commando!)

In this clip, Holmgren, playing the director of custodial arts, is explaining to coach Reggie a play he and his “son” came up with in 1979 called “The Left Coast Special.” Reggie surveys the play and aptly responds, “Looks like the quarterback option.” Both lines are delivered very straightforward and pretty naturally to be honest – I felt like I was watching a documentary at times. However, the next line at the 54 second mark, is arguably the greatest line of all time.

The script calls for Brett, or Burt the idiot custodial sidekick here, to say, “A play can have two names you know.” Now, there are numerous routes an actor might take. A student of the Stanislavski system would have labored over this line for weeks, relentlessly inquiring and pursuing the creative development of the scene in artistic self-reflection. Another performer might travel down Strasberg’s method approach, diving to the greatest depths of his character’s essence, resulting in a psychological embrace where there was no longer any semblance of Brett, only Burt the janitor.

I’m not sure what path Brett took, but he delivers this line with such brilliance, they could’ve made a 10-part Ken Burns fictional documentary about Burt the janitor entitled Awesome and it still wouldn’t have captured the greatness. I’m sorry, the written word is a poor excuse for the excellence of that line. Much like the Matrix, it must be seen. Again, the 54 second mark. Watch it and then watch it again.

You can only imagine the accolades he received after this film was released. Best Supporting Actor in a Faith-based Film. Best Newcomer in a Professional Athlete’s Pet Project (Category: Film). You can only imagine the realization of his special hidden talent – that of acting – dawning on Favre and the hunger for more. Look at us now, over 10 years later, still reflecting on a great debut performance. So while we may not agree with everything he does off the field, at least now we can understand it.

Somewhere, Brando is tipping his spoon to Brett.


  1. "Finish the sweepin'. I gotta go change the urinal mints."

    Holmgren knew how to deliver a line.

  2. Amazing! Cinematic genius! If only the x-men origins flick had Holmgren it wouldn't have sucked.

  3. His mustache is a mutant ability itself.


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