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Posted on Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 11:44 a.m.

Could Jamie Foxx come to a University of Michigan football game? It's not impossible after Monday

By Michael Rothstein

Lloyd Carr had Russell Crowe. After Monday night, Rich Rodriguez might have Jamie Foxx.

It's not every day Foxx, one of the most famous entertainers in the world and an Academy Award winner, walks into the same restaurant and sits down at the table next to you. Yet that was exactly what happened to Rodriguez and Co. last night at Gibson's in Chicago.

"He's a great guy," Rodriguez said Tuesday morning. "He's obviously extremely talented. I've seen some of his work ethic and he's one of the most talented entertainers in the country. So, it was neat.

"...Hopefully, we can get up to a ball game. I'd love to see him again."

Rodriguez said Foxx's father was a football coach and Foxx, who was born Eric Bishop, played quarterback for Terrell High School in Texas. The pair talked for almost an hour.

Word spread fast about the experience as Michigan's players attending media days received text messages about the meeting.

And the players tried to show up.

"We wanted to come," offensive lineman Mark Ortmann said. "But they gave us the excuse that they were already leaving or something like that. I think it's a cool experience for him and the other guys to meet Jamie Foxx.

"That's pretty cool."

Ortmann even joked that Foxx, who played quarterback Willie Beamen in the movie 'Any Given Sunday,' could come out and teach Michigan's players a few things. Foxx would have experience, too. His cousin is former Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop.

Hearing about Foxx brought up other memories for punter Zoltan Mesko on Tuesday. He remembered his encounter with Crowe during the Michigan-Notre Dame game in 2007 when Crowe showed up as a guest of Carr.

It ended up being one of the most embarrassing moments he's had.

"It was the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game and we were winning 35-0, I think," Mesko said. "He's walking the sideline and usually I'm pretty focused but Russell Crowe, there's like four minutes to go in the game and I'm like 'Ahh, I'm probably not going to punt again.' I go up to him and thinking 'Russell, Russell' and Kurt Russell pops into my mind.

"So I go 'What's up, Kurt?' So I called him Kurt. He's like 'What did you say?' I was like 'Oh, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.' I ended up chatting with him for a couple minutes. It was one of my more embarrassing moments."

If Foxx shows up, Mesko likely won't make that mistake again.

Foxx as Willie Beamen talking about 'Invisible Juice' in 'Any Given Sunday:'

Michael Rothstein covers University of Michigan basketball for He can be reached at (734) 623-2558 or by e-mail at



Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 8:44 p.m.

Willie Beamen would have been the perfect spread offense QB.


Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 1:14 p.m.

Great story. Good to see that RR has some "juice" in the entertainment world, despite what some around here seem to think. RR will be even more popular when UM brings home the NC in a couple of years.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Jul 28, 2009 : 1:02 p.m.

I remember the Russell Crowe stories. Pretty much the beginning of the end for poor Lloyd. Less celebrity, more recruiting trail, please.