By Paul Gallant, SportsRadio 610By Paul Gallant

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Is there any actor who plays crazy as well as Nicolas Cage?

Think about it.

I’m not talking about actors that are real-life crazy. They don’t count. Although…one could argue that some of the movies Cage has agreed to do would put him in that category…


But that’s besides the main point…which is this: If you’re creating a movie where the lead is a loony (+5 cool points for unintentional rhyming), Cage is your guy. Hollywood seems to realize this. Just look at his upcoming movies, per IMDB.

Left Behind (2014) – “A small group of survivors are left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos and destruction.”

Hot Take: Apocalypses never lead to insanity, bro.

Outcast (2014)“A mysterious warrior teams up with the daughter and son of a deposed Chinese Emperor to defeat their cruel Uncle, who seeks their deaths.”

Hot Take: I think that Tom Cruise took the whole “Random white guy who saves [insert Asian country]” genre as far as it can go.

Rage (2014)“When the daughter of a reformed criminal is kidnapped, he rounds up his old crew and seeks his own brand of justice.”

Hot Take: Could this be Con-Air 2? GASP! Old crew? That means Garland GreenCALL STEVE BUSCEMI. IMMEDIATELY.

The Runner (2015) – “In the aftermath of the 2010 BP oil spill, an idealistic but flawed politician is forced to confront his dysfunctional life after his career is destroyed in a sex scandal.”

Hot Take: I don’t even need to make a snarky comment to assume Cage is psychopath in this.

Pay The Ghost (Filming) – A professor frantically searches for his son who was abducted during a Halloween parade.”

Hot Take: Nic Cage abducts son, spends whole movie in denial. Bam.

And here comes the mediocre transition that ties Nic Cage and the NFL together! The NFL is off to a crazy start – from the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson fiascoes to the Patriots’ and Saints’ early struggles.

BAM. So why not give this week’s rankings the Nicolas Cage treatment?

The Wicker Man: Nic is Edward Malus
73. Oakland Raiders 0-4 (LW: 29)

No matter how many times you watch Nic punch that Kathy Bates look alike or the “Not the bees” scene, you’ll never get the time you spent watching this dumpster fire back.

I’d feel bad for the Raiders if they’d run into bad luck during these past 10+ years of unintentional comedy. But this franchise has gone out of its way to be terrible. They can’t even get firings right, choosing to axe coach Dennis Allen this week instead of GM Reggie McKenzie.

Fun fact: McKenzie paid $14.5 Million for ONE COMBINED START between Matt Flynn and Matt Schaub. Now read that fun fact with the “Autumn Wind” in the background. Commitment to excellence, bro.

PS – I feel like the “Not the bees” scene would be great as the BEFORE part of a Mentos commercial.
PPS – Hurdle the car, Fabio.

Ghost Rider: Nic is Johnny Blaze
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 0-4 (LW: 31)
30. St. Louis Rams 1-2 (LW: 30)

Say a player on the Jaguars or Rams tragically died on the field. And after death, they were given these options: Stay dead…OR…give their soul to the Devil in exchange to play football again/moonlight as a demon policeman…or something. With the way the season has started for these two squads, I think said player would have second thoughts about continuing to lose play.

The only good news out of these two franchises is that Austin Davis is the Rams starting quarterback the Jaguars only took 2.5 games to realize that Chad Henne isn’t good at fooball [when he’s not playing the Texans].

Ghost Rider 2: Nic is…still Johnny Blaze
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-3 (LW: 106)

Still terrible, but this past week they peed fire actually won a game against a decent team.

Deadfall: Nic is Eddie
28. Tennessee Titans 1-3 (LW: 28)
27. New York Jets 1-3 (LW: 24)
26. Washington Redskins 1-3 (LW: 21)
25. Buffalo Bills 2-2 (LW: 19)

Fresh off of winning an Oscar for Best Actor in Leaving Las Vegas, Nic went from being the Aaron Rodgers of Hollywood to a hybrid of Charlie Whitehurst/Geno Smith/Kirk Cousins/E.J. Manuel. Basically, it was Nic’s Medellin. Unfortunately for the non-actors in this comparison, I don’t think any of these awful QBs are going to grow a beard and throw a year long rager in Mexico.

Bangkok Dangerous: Nic is Joe
24. Miami Dolphins 2-2 (LW: 26)
23. Cleveland Browns 1-2 (LW: 23)

I never saw this movie. The title was enough to keep me away. The description? The final nail in the coffin:

“A hitman who’s in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs violates his personal code when he falls for a local woman and bonds with his errand boy.”

1. “Bonds with his errand boy” sounds suspect…
2. Speaking of personal codes, the Dolphins violated their own one by not embarrassing themselves on national TV, just like the Browns did in not suffering a tragic close loss on the bye week.

That last transition…why they pay me the big bucks.

Next: Nic is Cris Johnson
22. Minnesota Vikings 2-2 (LW: 27)

Strong game Nic. Kendall couldn’t bro his way back into Biel’s pants, and you somehow struck up a conversation with someone way out of your league while sporting a questionable hair cut. Hooray Hollywood!

You’d never expect the real life Nic Cage – even if he was a psychic – to be able to pull that upset of the century off. And I’ve gotta say – as much as I like Teddy Bridgewater – I NEVER thought he’d play that well in his first start. Can he keep it up with that slight frame? Especially after that ankle injury that forced him to take a cart to the locker room? We’ll see.

Knowing: Nic is John Koestler
21. Carolina Panthers 2-2 (LW: 11)

My favorite part of this movie: when the Sun exploded and the movie ended. Blouses, bro.

The Panthers – who somehow pulled off two early wins despite all the losses this off-season AND the Greg Hardy distraction – are heading towards that same fate.

Zandalee: Nic is Johnny Collins
20. New England Patriots 2-2 (LW: 14)

Did I do this while the NFL’s greatest franchise this century pooped their pants on national TV?

…No comment.

Vampire’s Kiss: Nic is Peter Loew
19.  New Orleans Saints 1-3 (LW: 15)

If I could lecture my NFC Super Bowl pick like this, I SO would. Not sure who I’d direct more of my ire towards though.

A. Rob Ryan for doing what he does best – having a terrible defense a year after somehow succeeding.
B. Jimmy Graham for dropping passes and fumbling the ball…often.
C. Mark Ingram for getting hurt seconds after finally looking like a competent running back.

Check that, 100% going with option 1.

National Treasure: Nic is Benjamin Franklin Gates
18. Pittsburgh Steelers 2-2 (LW: 10)
17. Houston Texans 3-1 (LW: 20)

Some people actually liked this movie. Not me. But hey, at least it’s better than the other Nic Cage Disney venture: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

I feel the same way about the Steelers and Texans right now. Between Pitt running back Le’Veon Bell and Houston defensive end J.J. Watt, you’re going to get some good moments from time to time. Unfortunately, you’ll see plenty more things that you DON’T like from these two squads.

PS – Only a blowhard names their kid “Benjamin Franklin” anything.
PPS – Watch this.

Gone In Sixty Seconds: Nic is Memphis Raines
16. New York Giants 2-2 (LW: 25)
15. Atlanta Falcons 2-2 (LW: 6)

Gone In Sixty Seconds = SO overrated. Despite a loaded cast featuring the following: Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall, Timothy Olyphant, and Scott Caan, it did nothing for me. Not enough Crazy Cage, except the clip above.

The Giants and Falcons are VERY similar to the two teams – Steelers and Texans – that they’re ahead of. Except for this. Both teams have had two EXTREMELY dominant wins.

Lord of War: Nic is Yuri Orlov
14. Kansas City Chiefs 2-2 (LW: 22)
13. Dallas Cowboys 3-1 (LW: 18)

Lord of War is a MASSIVELY underrated movie. Seriously, you should watch it.

Then ask yourself this question…what are the Chiefs and Cowboys? Are they as good as they looked playing the Patriots and Saints on national TV? Or are they really mediocre teams – which most people assumed was a fact going into the season – that just took advantage of two no longer dominant franchises?

The resumes thus far: The Chiefs somehow lost to Tennessee. But, they were a goal line stand away from upsetting the Broncos. And then stomped out the Dolphins and Pats. Meanwhile, the ‘Boys fell in an early hole against San Fran week 1, blew out the Titans, had a 21 point comeback against the Rams, and then obviously crushed the Saints.

My hot take? They aren’t the cupcakes many expected they’d be, but they still have a lot to prove before being considered legitimate contenders.

Raising Arizona: Nic is H.I. McDunnough
12. Chicago Bears (LW: 7)
11. Indianapolis Colts 2-2 (LW: 13)
10. Philadelphia Eagles 3-1 (LW: 5)

The only INTENTIONAL comedy involving Nicolas Cage on this list. Naturally, there are zero clips – outside of trailers – from the movie on YouTube. Go figure.

Other funny things:

A. The Packers just completely own the Bears.
B. Aaron Rodgers does Jay Cutler memes.
C. Also, Cutler does this all the time.
D. The Colts gave Trent Richardson the ball 20 times last week.
E. And he had 47 yards rushing. GM Ryan Grigson traded a first round pick for him.
F. Also, Grigson gave Robert Mathis – 33 years old, suspended for PED use, and who just tore his achilles – a two year extension. After the injury.
G. Trent Richardson has rushed for 11 more yards than LeSean McCoy
H. Chip Kelly’s “genius” offense scored 0 points against the 49ers
I. People think Nick Foles is one of the NFL’s best QBs

[this will distract EVERYONE from pointing out how bad the Patriots are]

Leaving Las Vegas: Nic is Ben Sanderson
9. San Francisco 49ers 2-2 (LW: 16)
8. Green Bay Packers 2-2 (LW: 17)

Nic’s best movie, Nic’s best performance, and BY FAR Nic’s best showing of on-screen insanity. Not even close.

We know the 49ers and Packers have plenty of talent. But there are just enough issues for both to make you nervous about their championship chances this season.

For San Fran, it’s all on Colin Kaepernick’s inconsistency. His athleticism is worth the big raise he got this offseason. But he is RARELY the destroyer of worlds we saw carve up the Packers in the playoffs two years ago. And for some reason, we keep hearing that everyone on the ‘Niners hates Jim Harbaugh. Management. Players. Etc.

Now to the Pack. More often than not, Aaron Rodgers will obliterate an enemy passing attack. But what the hell has happened to Eddie Lacy…who has been a shell of what he was as a rookie? You can’t expect Rodgers to be perfect all season long. Until Lacy figures it out, I’m hesitant to put the Packers towards the top.

Face/Off: Nic is Castor Troy/Sean Archer
7. Detroit Lions 3-1 (LW: 12)
6. San Diego Chargers 3-1 (LW: 8)
5. Baltimore Ravens 3-1 (LW: 9)

THIS is where we enter the controversy zone. Nic Cage’s two year run of action movies – starting with The Rock in ’96, then followed by Con Air and then Face/Off in ’97 – is one of the great “starred in 3 action movies over 2 years” runs of all time. I have zero clue how many actors would qualify for a run like that of Cage. The only one I can think of was by Ahnuld (’90-’91: Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, Terminator 2).

Of those three movies, Face/Off was my third favorite. It’s nothing personal. Not enough Cage. And too much Travolta. And these three teams have just enough Travolta in them to warrant second thoughts.

A. Jim Caldwell is the Lions coach. Also, they’re the Lions.
B. Philip Rivers might be having an MVP caliber season, but San Diego can’t run the ball…and their D is suspect.
C. Are we really buying into a team led by Joe Flacco?

PS – Harrison Ford had TWO similar runs, but they were never over two years.

The Rock: Nic is Stanley Goodspeed
4. Arizona Cardinals 3-0 (LW: 4)

The role Cage was born for. A snarky, smarmy nerd. Throw in Sean Connery’s accent, Ed Harris as an insane general, THE Vanessa Marcil from Las Vegas the TV show, and of course Michael “EXPLOSIONS, BLARGH” Bay.

The Cardinals have over-achieved thus far. That’s clear. All 3 of their wins – 2 coming with Drew Stanton at quarterback instead of Carson Palmer – were against teams with 2 victories or more (Chargers, Giants, 49ers). And all that despite a rash of injuries/suspensions on defense. Bruce Arians can coach, and if he gets a win against the Broncos this weekend, he BELONGS in the conversation for best coach in the league.

Con Air: Nic is Cameron Poe
3. Cincinnati Bengals 3-0 (LW: 3)
2. Denver Broncos 2-1 (LW: 2)
1. Seattle Seahawks 2-1 (LW: 1)

Don’t mess with Cameron Poe, bro. He’s a reformed con that loves his daughter, damnit!

Why is this movie number 1?
A. Dave Chappelle is in it
B. …and falls out of a plane onto a car
C. Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich! Wait…wrong movie.
D. And the Cusack…who can barely handle Cage’s corny amazing accent.

These are the top three teams in the league. The defending Super Bowl Champs. The defending AFC Champs. And the squad with maybe the most talent…plus Andy Dalton.

PS – Biggest mystery of the movie: How many people died when this plane crashed
PPS – and is “How Do I Live Without You” really the most appropriate song to play after a jumbo Con Jet smashes into the Vegas strip?


Week 4: Liam Neeson’s Fists
Week 3: Star Wars
Week 2: Boardwalk Empire
Week 1: Game of Thrones

Paul Gallant hosts the “B-Straw and Pauly G” show – Tuesdays 9-11 PM, Wednesdays 8-11 PM, and Fridays 8-11 PM – with Brien Straw. Get in contact with Paul on Twitter – @PaulyGSays – or on Facebook – Paul Gallant.

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