Athlete Cameos From Nickelback's "Rockstar" Music Video, Ranked


Kirk Cousins made this possible. Cousins and his Washington teammates lifted weights while listening to Creed’s Greatest Hits on Thursday. This resulted in me clicking on various tracks on YouTube because, honestly, My Own Prison was an album which I owned and greatly enjoyed as a teenager.* While listening to One (The best song on that album in my opinion.) I saw this:

This sent me down a little Nickelback YouTube wormhole because, well, I’ve heard all those songs. I remember the dark days of Nickelback’s popularity. I know the words to a disturbing number of Nickelback songs. I’m not a Nickelback fan, but if I ever did anything where people made signs to disparage me, one would read “Stephen Douglas listens to Nickelback” and I’d just shake my head and say, “That is not entirely inaccurate.”

I bought “The State.” I might have even come across a burned copy of “Silver Side Up” during my freshman year of college. I was a young adult during the first decade of the millennium, so I know Nickelback well. I don’t usually brag about it and most of this knowledge has been locked in the deep, dark recesses of my brain. So when I watched the video for “Rockstar,” it was completely new to me, even if I had seen it one or more times a decade ago.

Here are some things I now know about this song, thanks to Wikipedia. Rockstar was the final track on Nickelback’s September 28, 2005** release “All the Right Reasons.” It was released as a single in 2006 without a video. It was then re-released a year later on June 6, 2007 and became a hit on adult top 40 and pop radio. Finally, in February 2008 it was named the 100th best song of 2007 by Rolling Stone.***

You may also recall that “Photograph” was the first single off that album. This cover is one of the great early YouTube videos.

The Rockstar video was uploaded to YouTube in August 2007 and the final shot of the video was filmed in July 2007. With that in mind, we’ll assume most, if not all, of the video was filmed in the summer of 2007. The video features fans and celebrities lip syncing the words that everyone undoubtedly still knows in 2016. (“I’ll have a quesadilla!”)

So because Kirk Cousins likes Creed, here is a comprehensive list of the athletes featured in the “Rockstar” video. The are ranked by how embarrassed they should be that they appeared in a Nickelback video nearly a decade ago.

This Fall marks the 5-year anniversary of Big & Rich performing the theme to ESPN’s College GameDay. Comin’ to Your City – the album and the song – were released in 2005. This is as close to a sports connection as Mr. Rich gets. The good news is that his personal and/or professional life did not fall apart after the “Rockstar” video was released. He is the exception.

Honorable Mention #2: Connor Cook’s Dad?

No wonder he slipped in the draft.

When this video was shot, Chuck Liddell had won 7 straight fights and was the 5-time defending UFC Light Heavyweight champion. Liddell was knocked out by Rampage Jackson at UFC 71 in May 26, 2007. Did he shoot his cameo before or after that fight? Maybe! All we know for sure is that Liddell was 20-3 when he shot this video. He proceeded to lose his title and 5 of the final 6 fights of his career.

Of course, he also appeared in an episode of Entourage in April 2007, so there’s plenty of blame to go around.

Look, I tried. I really did. I wanted to get through this entire list only using real athletes. Or at least real fake athletes. Wikipedia claims that “Erik Rowan” is in the video. Google told me that is most likely a wrestler named “Erick Rowan,” but I couldn’t locate him. Can you!? (Stop fighting it. You’re going to watch that video today.)

So instead, you’re getting another real fake athlete – Missy Pantone. Not only was Dushku a cheerleader in “Bring It On,” she was also married to Rick Fox. So she’s a WAG and a fake cheerleader. That’s close enough for a listicle.

Honestly, Nickelback and NASCAR make so much sense. That’s why there are two NASCAR-themed “Rockstar” parodies. Seriously. Google it. I’ll wait.

Yeah. What’s up now?

Look, Earnhardt appeared in this video. It happened. Rumors that he was forced out of Dale Earnhardt, Inc because he appeared in a Nickelback video are completely unfounded.

Sure, if you look at his career timeline, it makes complete sense that he joined Hendrick Motorsports because of Nickelback, but… Nope. No buts. That’s exactly how it happened.

Some people credit the Phoenix Suns training staff with reviving Grant Hill’s career. Others credit Nickelback’s “Rock Star” music video. What cannot be debated is the fact that the Phoenix Suns saw something they liked from Hill in this music video that directly convinced team management to sign him in the summer of 2007.

Perhaps it was the confidence he showed in delivering his lines about signing autographs while he autographed a basketball. Or maybe it was the fact that Hill was so clearly dedicated to his sport that he even refused to leave the court to shoot a major music video. The only thing we can be certain about is the fact that Hill eats his meals for free.

The Great One was head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005 to 2009. Over those four seasons his teams amassed a total record of 143-161 and never once made the playoffs. In 2009 the team went bankrupt and Gretzky was forced out. Soon after, his daughter discovered social media. Do you need more proof that a Canadian rock band can be directly tied to the most embarrassing chapter of Wayne Gretzky’s life? It is as sad as it is surprising. I think it is safe to say that Gretzky’s time with the Coyotes could not have turned out quite the way he wanted it to be.

*I liked “My Own Prison” so much that I not only bought, but actually plunked down a $3 preorder of “Human Clay” at Sam Goody to make sure I got a copy the day it was released. So if a crime was committed right after school on Tuesday September 28, 1999, I have an alibi. Assuming we can track down a 17-year old Sam Goody employee schedule and contact information.

**Exactly 6 years after Human Clay! This post was meant to be!

***The #1 song on the list of best songs of 2007 was Jay Z’s “Roc Boys” which I complete agree with. Speech!