There is just something about Kent

Brock Harrington

If Kent State football was a living, breathing, Sour Patch Kid-eating human being, they would be named Gaylord Focker.

Why? Since 1972, the Kent State football program has been a 36-year-long Ben Stiller movie.

They don’t just lose games, they get kicked in the nuts 15 times before Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz or any other of Charlie’s Angels – who want to be in a romantic comedy – decide to fall in love with Stiller’s characters, then leave them at the altar in the end.

When Kent State missed the first extra point against Ohio on Saturday, didn’t it remind you of Stiller zipping up his pants too fast in “There’s Something About Mary”?

When Kent State has more yards than Ohio and Akron but still loses in the end, doesn’t it remind you of the end of “There’s Something about Mary,” when moviegoers discover Stiller’s competition is freaking Brett Favre? He simply can’t win.

When Derek Zoolander is unable to turn left, doesn’t it remind you of the Flashes’ inability to stay healthy all year?

Since 1972, before anyone knew of Ben Stiller (I mean he was only 7 years old), the Kent State football team has been one mildly good comedy after another. From the 1980s to the ’90s, this has been one of the most frustrating football programs in the history of the sport to watch.

Basically, it’s the equivalent of watching “The Heartbreak Kid,” knowing that the Farrelly brothers were trying to ruin their once prominent standing in the comedy world for some cheap movie the Kent State coaching staff could have written. That’s when you know a movie isn’t creative, daring or original.

The sad thing is, as bad as some of Stiller’s movies are – such as “Along Came Polly”- there are some tremendous individual performances. In “Along Came Polly,” the movie is carried by Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. This season, Julian Edelman plays the self-obsessed former child star who steals scenes from Stiller and makes Stiller about as funny as Ralph Fiennes in “The English Patient.”

Throughout Ben Stiller’s career, there have been terrific performances from brilliant actors, such as Robert DeNiro (“Meet the Parents”), Robert Downey Jr. (“Tropic Thunder”), Owen Wilson (Uh, uh, uh, pick any movie he is in with Stiller, and he overshadows the lead character) and, of course, Hoffman.

For Kent State, the program has seen some great players – Jack Lambert, Nick Saban, Josh Cribbs and Antonio Gates (Oh, yeah that’s right, he didn’t play football: It’s like reminding yourself that Stiller wasn’t in “Wedding Crashers”).

Yes, the similarities are there. The only problem is Stiller can stop making comedies about pain, groin-hitting and bad first impressions in front of the in-laws and start making unrealistic and clichéd movies about a guard who works in a museum where things come alive.

Essentially, Ben Stiller can start making nothing but Christmas movies – like Tim Allen – or he can star in whatever terrible children’s movie Eddie Murphy is working on. Eddie Murphy went from “48 Hours” and “Raw” to “Daddy Day Care.”

The Kent State football team can’t do that. They can’t even co-star as an Ohio State national championship victim because the Buckeyes fail to get Jennifer Aniston at the end of the movie.

But you know what? I don’t care. I still laugh at “Meet the Parents.” I still enjoy Stiller in roles of the bad guy, such as “Happy Gilmore,” “Heavy Weights” and “Dodgeball.” The Kent State football team is getting some bad reviews, but so did “Tropic Thunder,” and that movie topped the box office on its opening weekend.

Yes, the Kent State football team would be Gaylord Focker if it was a human being, and his father-in-law would believe he’s a pothead.

But maybe in the future, Kent State can turn around this disaster of a 2008 season (which is beginning to be as bad as “Duplex,” which, if you’ve never seen, you’re not missing much), and finally top the box office. Hopefully this happens before Doug Martin gets the fishing hook caught in his mouth as he goes in for the make-out scene with Cameron Diaz.

Contact sports editor Brock Harrington at [email protected].