If you want the best athlete cameos in all of TV and movie history, there's only one place to go.
There's only one place where you'll see NBA players and former UCLA Bruins Kevin Love and Jordan Farmar breaking up a fight involving rapper Eminem. There's only one place where you'll find former NBA star Lamar Odom getting compliments for his calf muscles. The same goes for Jim Edmonds and LeBron James helping out Matt Damon and his charity to help children in need, and Adrian Peterson auctioning off a dinosaur skull, and Ryan Howard, Drew Brees and several others as potential investors in a tequila company.
That place, of course, is HBO's "Entourage," one of my favorite shows of all time. I watched it in high school, I watched it again in college, and I've watched it two more times through since then. Any time an athlete appeared on the show, even if only for a few seconds (like Michael Phelps), it just reinforced the "cool" factor of the eight-season masterpiece. An athlete's cameo appearance on "Entourage," I imagine, was as cool for the sports star as it was for the audience, like an All-Star nod in his/her respective sport.
Though Derek Jeter never made a cameo on "Entourage," unlike his former teammates Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, he was definitely a fan of the show. In fact, he was such a fan that he used fan-favorite character, Johnny "Drama" Chase, as an alias at hotels, according to actors Kevin Dillon and Kevin Connolly.
Dillon, who played "Drama" on the show, shared the story of Jeter's hotel alias during an episode of "Victory The Podcast" alongside Connolly and show creator Doug Ellin.
"Derek Jeter... I believe his codename was Johnny Chase," Dillon said. "Like when he stayed in a hotel, he went under the name Johnny Chase."
Connolly, who is friends with Jeter, was asked to confirm this awesome tidbit. And just about ten minutes later, Connolly received a text from the near-unanimous Hall of Famer with good news.
"Update... I said, 'So, okay, I'm doing a podcast with Kevin Dillon right now and he claims when you were on road trips, you would use the alias "Johnny Drama." This can't be true, I hate to break his heart live on the air,' " Connolly said. "To which Derek Jeter responds, 'It is very true' -- with all exclamation points -- 'Hahaha.' "
Ellin reminded the audience and Jeter that Dillon was in fact a Mets fan, and that he should have gone with "E," the character played by Yankees fan Connolly.
At the peak of the show's popularity, I'm not sure which name on a hotel register would draw more excitement from college-age, party-loving vacationers: Derek Jeter or Johnny Drama. Either way, it's an awesome tribute to an awesome character from a truly amazing show.