Getting to the Super Bowl, the non-violent way

Here's another Super Bowl story, a fun one. If you scroll down, you'll find an overview; coming next is a chronological list: 


For a football journeyman – going from team to team, collision
to collision -- these are worthy goals:

First, have a permanent, Internet place in football history.
Then be part of Super Bowl Sunday.

That’s Terry Crews, even if it happened in round-about ways.
His Super Bowl duty is as an actor on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” one of the
post-game comedies; and his Internet fame?

“You can see it on YouTube,” Crews said with a smile. “Just
Google ‘Terry Crews knocked out.’”

Sure enough, there it is. In the days before the NFL policed
such things, Crews’ helmet crashed into the helmet of a kick-off returner and
then into the leg of a teammate.

The 162-pound returner bounced right back up; the 245-pound
Crews took a moment. “I was out like a light,” he said. “It was the best
feeling I’d ever had; I didn’t have the headaches until later.”

Still, he was in the next play (a new kick-off, due to a
penalty) and kept at his football career. Later, “my wife gave me a wake-up
call. She said, ‘Hey, Terry, you’ve gotta try something different.’”

He’d never been a one-dimensional type, even growing up in
the tough, blue-collar world of Flint, Mich. Crews graduated from Flint Academy,
had an art scholarship to the prestigious Interlochen program, then had a football
scholarship at Western Michigan University.

He was an all-conference defensive end for a team that won
the 1988 conference championship, then was a late-round draftee for the
then-Los Angeles Rams. The rest went mostly unnoticed: “I played seven seasons
for six teams, mostly on special teams,” doing kick-offs and other messy duty.

That’s when his wife (gospel singer Rebecca King-Crews) urged
a new career. For two years, Crews was T-Money on “Battle Dome,” a reality show.
“It was brutal; we were sending people to the hospital.”

Some of his acting roles involved football (“Benchwarmers,” “Longest
Yard”) or massiveness, but subtler things followed, including three shows
praised by critics: Crews – a father of five in real life -- was the dad on “Everybody
Hates Chris,” the bodyguard and life coach on “The Newsroom” and now the police
sergeant on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”

This is an evolving show, Andy Samberg said. “The characters
get to be versions of who plays them.”

Samberg, logically, plays a wise guy. And Crews? “He’s a
very sweet, but terrifying man,” Samberg said.

More terrifying was the moment at the Golden Globes. Samberg
had gone there in a festive mood; “I was 100 percent confident I wasn’t going
to win anything.”

Then he won for best actor in a comedy – “I thought, ‘Oh no,
I have to go up there and say something’” – and the show won for best comedy.
It’s a little like winning the Super Bowl, only without the collisions.

On Sunday, Fox airs “New Girl” and “Brooklyn
Nine-Nine” after the Super Bowl post-game show; they’re listed at 10:30 and 11
p.m. ET, but could be later.

Also, Tuesdays: On Feb. 4, “Nine-Nine” is 8:30
and 9:30 p.m.; on Feb. 11, it’s 9:30 p.m. only.