Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson gives a speech ahead of the XFL kickoff game on Feb. 18, 2023. Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Schlereth is a famous football player with a minor acting career. The Rock is a famous actor with a minor football career.

While Schlereth seems content with his small acting roles, the three-time Super Bowl champion knows Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is still bothered by not making it in the NFL. Schlereth joined the latest episode of the Awful Announcing Podcast, and during the interview, he was asked about working alongside Johnson.

In addition to his long media career, which includes stops at ESPN, Fox Sports and 104.3 The Fan in Denver, Schlereth had recurring roles on the soap opera Guiding Light, along with Johnson’s HBO series Ballers.

“I suck at that,” Schlereth admitted with a chuckle. “But if people are gonna pay me to do it, I’ll continue to do it. I’m not above that, but I’m no one’s professional actor.”

His acting career has been fortunate to garner multiple residual checks for zero dollars and zero cents. But it also came with the chance to witness The Rock’s authenticity and humility while working alongside him on Ballers, an opportunity Schlereth said he loved.

“The funny thing about DJ is, when I’m around him, the only thing he wants to talk about is football. The only thing he wants to talk about is the guys that played during our era because he didn’t make it,” Schlereth explained of Johnson. “When he says that he had this desperate desire to play football and it didn’t work out. I’m telling you, with firsthand knowledge, it still eats him to his core, it eats him that he couldn’t make it in the NFL. And it’s one of those things that motivated him to have great success everywhere else he’s ever been. But still, to this day, that’s what he wants to talk about.”

Johnson earned a full scholarship to the University of Miami, where he played defensive tackle behind Warren Sapp. He was not selected in the 1995 NFL Draft and briefly signed with the Calgary Stampeders before landing a contract with the WWF in 1996. Currently, Johnson operates the XFL, attempting to give undrafted football players a chance at building their case for the NFL.

It’s hard to criticize the way Johnson’s career turned out considering his massive acting career and net worth. But it seems like Johnson still wonders what may have happened if he wasn’t stuck behind Warren Sapp in college, or if he seriously pursued a professional football career instead of jumping to wrestling.

[Awful Announcing Podcast]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com