Bubba Smith is hard to miss in any of his acting and athletic roles. The 6 foot 7 inch, 265 pound athlete stands out whether he’s playing defensive end in the NFL or playing Lt. Hightower in the Police Academy movies. His soft-spoken but intense demeanor make him an unforgettable character both on the big screen and on the small screen. On television, Smith made cameos in a number of shows, and had an ongoing role in the ’80s show Blue Thunder. Fans of Married with Children remember Smith appearing in two episodes – All Night Security Dude (Season 5 Ep.16) in which Smith played Spare Tire Dixon, and in Dud Bowl (season 9 Ep.10) where he made a cameo as himself.
In the episode All Night Security Dude, Al realizes that Spare Tire has taken his high school football trophy. Spare Tire insists that the trophy belongs to his high school team because Al never truly made it into the end zone for a touchdown. Spare Tire claims that before Al crossed the goal line, he dropped him “like third-period French”. Spare Tire admits that after the loss he turned to pie for comfort, and when the time came for college football tryouts, he was way too out of shape to make the team. With his glory stolen, Spare Tire developed a lifelong grudge against Al. After comparing who’s life is actually worse, including comparing ugly mothers-in-law and tattered socks, Spare Tire challenges Al to get past him in a reenactment of that fateful day on the grid iron. Hilarity ensues in a slow-motion goal line confrontation with Chariots of Fire playing in the background. Al musters enough might to get past Spare Tire and into the mock end zone, thus winning back his trophy. The two grown men fall to the ground, with Al whimpering that he’s “hurt real bad.”
This was truly one of the (many) greatest moments on MWC.
Bubba Smith passed away in August 2011 and will always remain in married with children fans’ hearts and minds as one of the most lovable athletes and actors.
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