Road to the NFL
Will Ferrell produces a Pro Bowler out of USC’s BIG man, Ryan Kalil
The USC Walk On of 1973. The Mystery. Legendary strength coach, Chuck Berry, formerly known as Will Ferrell, has embarked on leading an intensive training regimen aiming to prepare Ryan Kalil for the NFL Combine in March. Ryan Kalil stands at six feet, two inches tall and weighs over three hundred pounds. Kalil was the center for USC, and was described as the “heart and soul of the offensive line” by Coach Chuck Berry. As the skit begins, Pete Carrol explains the importance of fully preparing his athletes for the next level of play. ‘The legend of ’73’, Coach Chuck Berry, has begun a program like no other to accomplish just that.
“He is a big believer in massage therapy.. Only it was YOU giving HIM the massage” -Former participant of Chuck Berry’s training
In reality, Will Ferrel lives by the motto, “Process over Product.” Of course his methods of training in real life differ from Chuck’s NFL Combine training, Will Ferrell still works hard in his every day acting career to produce a quality finished product.
Despite Chuck’s wacky ways, he has produced numerous NFL superstars. As the video progresses, USC’s head coach at the time, Pete Carrol, describes Chuck’s training methods as “innovative, but nobody sees how the things are supposed to work”. Every single thing Chuck does is questionable. This is not surprising, considering Will Ferrell is known for taking things to the extreme and going all out when playing the role of a sports trainer. He did nothing less of that in this video.
First of all, the appearance of Chuck is absolutely absurd. We first meet the legend, as the camera is zoomed in on his feet then tilts up, zooming out to an upper body medium shot. As he walks forward, he rocks the classic all white striped high knee socks, slick yellow spandex booty shorts, a halfway zipped up jacket portraying his manly chest hair, dark sunglasses, and a coach’s whistle. He intensely walks up to the camera while motivational music resembling the film, Rocky, and shouts, “Let’s go Kalil! Move your ass!”. Once again, Will Ferrell sports another hilarious, stereotypical wardrobe filling the role as a ridiculous sports trainer.
One of my all time favorite things having to do with Will Ferrell, is his ability to keep a straight and serious face in the presence of comedy. He is professionally able to assume the role of Coach Chuck Berry like no other.
Will Ferrell is comedy.
It is training time in Southern California, and as usual, Chuck is not happy. The agreed on times of training for Chuck and Ryan are typically scheduled to be once a week, despite Chuck showing up at random times without notice to get in extra work. Throughout the video, Ryan is unable to please Chuck with any of his unorthodox training methods. In fact, after every drill they complete together, crazy Coach Chuck Berry is sent into an unpleasing state of outrage.
“Are you trying not to get drafted cause thats exactly how to not get drafted!?” -The Infamous Chuck Berry
Despite the entire world recognizing the ridiculousness and absurdness of Chuck’s training, Ryan still keeps his faith in his training methods. He hopes to one day understand his teachings and become the phenom he is meant to be. However, one guy in particular does not agree with Chuck whatsoever and makes that very clear to the rest of the USC coaching staff.
Meet Coach Carlisle- Ryan’s former offensive line coach for the past four years and Coach Chuck’s arch nemesis. But what is a Will Ferrell comedic movie or skit without someone disagreeing with him completely about everything? It just would not be the same. No matter what Ryan does, he knows NOT to bring up Coach Carlisle. “He means nothing to you!”, screams Chuck as Ryan begins to bring him up during a blocking drill. With this being so, the skit would not be complete if it did not give the audience a piece of the footage when Carlisle and Chuck crossed paths in the hallway… Long story short- nothing good came from the hostility they shared between each other. In fact, the altercation resulted in Will Ferrell giving us a childish screaming and fighting scene reflecting scenes from the movie, Step Brothers, featuring John C. Reilly.
“Your job as the center is to protect the quarterback, right?”
- Coach Chuck
- Ryan while listening on one knee
“So, you gotta think about something in your mind, that you care about more than anything, that you really want to protect. What would that be? Cause it sure as hell would not be a quarterback.”
Ryan replied to Chuck with answers that any average caring person would think of as well. “My family”, replied Ryan with uncertainty of that being the answer Chuck wanted to hear. Of course that was not what Coach Chuck wanted to hear.
“For me, it’s a Twinkie. Delicious. I eat about 1,200 of these a month.”, Chuck explains, as he whips a Twinkie out of his pocket like Napoleon Dynamite reaching for some pocket tots.
Coach Chuck goes on to place a wrapped up Twinkie behind Ryan, symbolizing it was the quarterback, implying it was of much more importance to their lives than anything else.
In 2009, the same year this video was posted, Will Ferrell made a guest appearance on Man Vs Wild with hopes to survive in the northern regions of the Arctic Circle. At the exact time the survivalists were going through their food supplies, Will Ferrell whipped out a Twinkie from his jacket on top of the snowy mountain.
As noticed in Will Ferrell’s former role as ‘Ron Burgandy’ in the comedy film Anchorman, he tends to give himself many nicknames. This becomes very apparent later on in the video as well. One of these being “Hurricane Chuck”, as he gets ready to go head to head with Ryan to pursue the Twinkie quarterback. The play begins, and Chuck is thrown to the ground with ease by the big man, Ryan Kalil. However, Chuck does not give up there. The six foot three, 185 pound ‘Hurricane Chuck’ continues to crawl on the ground army man style in pursuit of his holy Twinkie. “Sacked andddd Delicious” -Chuck Berry
The video wraps up, and ‘Legendary Strength Coach, Chuck Berry’ and Ryan Kalil are filmed in a medium shot voicing their last words after their training. Through all of the absurdity of Chuck’s training, it appears that all of the hard work and dedication has ultimately paid off. Ryan Kalil has never been more prepared for the NFL Combine than he is today.
“As weird it sounds, I really don’t know where I would be without the help of my trainer, Chuck Berry.”
Chuck Berry would go on to watch Ryan Kalil get drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the second round of the NFL draft. Not only did Ryan earn a starting position at center under Cam Newton’s successful offense, but he earned five ‘Pro Bowl’ selections over the years. This was ultimately made possible by the training he received from one of the greatest of all time back at USC: Legendary Strength Coach, Chuck Berry. Chuck lifted 225 pounds a whopping 34 times, ran a 4.96s forty yard dash as a big guy, and had a 104in long broad jump which projected him to be one of the top NFL prospects at the NFL Combine.