We at FCL loves us some “The Wire”.  It’s the best show in the history of television, and we feel qualified to make this assessment because the four of us all spent significant portions of our early careers working in the television industry (note: absolutely not true). 

The fifth and final season gets underway in January, and to say that we are all a-titter would be an understatement.  So it got us to thinking: if we somehow were put in charge of the show, and wanted to make it terrible by replacing its outstanding cast with professional athletes/sports personalities, who would we select to minimize the damage?  The list is below.  Omar’s at the end.

We think you will agree that the similarities, both in character and, in some cases, physical appearance, are striking.

1. Randy Wagstaff


Profile: Charismatic and intelligent, people are immediately drawn to Randy’s friendly demeanour and megawatt smile.  Unfortunately, and ultimately to his own detriment, he is not above selling someone out if it is in his own best interests.

 Played by:


Tiki Barber

Doppelganger rating: The smile is the same.  And as an old saying probably goes, “keep smilin’, stop snitchin’!”

2. Thomas “Herc” Hauk


Profile: Herc’s arrogance and sense of entitlement far exceed his limited abilities.  Quite simply, he wants the respect and admiration his more high-profile peers get, without actually possessing the work ethic or talent to earn it.  It looks like we’ve seen the last of Herc.  Good riddance.

Played by:



Freddie Mitchell 

Doppelganger rating: Schwarzenegger and DeVito. 


3. Chris Partlow


Profile: Stoic, loyal and perceptive, Chris is the enforcer and right-hand man to the king, Marlo Stanfield.  One more thing: he is the absolute last guy you would ever, EVER want to fuck with.

Played by:


Charles Oakley

Doppelganger rating: Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison.  


4. Clarence Royce


Profile: Arrogant and quick to anger, the (now-former) mayor of Baltimore took over the already crumbling remains of a once proud entity, and through incompetence and baffling short-sightedness, somehow made the situation much, much worse.  He is also no stranger to being caught in, shall we say, embarrassing sexual predicaments.

Played by:


Isiah Thomas

Doppelganger rating: No make-up required.


5. Bubbles


Profile: Bubs is the quintessential and perennial underdog.  He is the guy that everyone loves to root for and desperately wants to see pull through and set himself straight.  But ultimately, he is forever trapped by his own self-destructive and addictive nature, of which he is heart-breakingly self-aware.

Played by:



Theo Fleury 

Doppelganger rating: Zero.  But oh, the stories!


6. Melvin “Cheese” Wagstaff


Profile: He kills dogs.

Played by: (three guesses)



Ron Mexico 

Doppelganger rating: A stretch, but close enough to avoid being called racist.


7. Jimmy McNulty


Profile: Extremely talented.  Loves doing his job more than anything else in the world.  Newly sober.  His confidence-bordering-on-arrogance can sometimes lead him to make ill-advised decisions that are not in his or his department’s best interests, but attempts by authority figures to curtail this behaviour have not, and will never, work.  Yet despite all the stuff others might say about him, deep down, you can’t help but love Jimmy McNulty.

Played by:


Brett Fav-re 

Doppelganger rating: With a little make-up, we’re talking Will Smith as Ali.


8. Deputy Ops. William Rawls


Profile: As big a dick as this guy is, you can’t take away from him the fact that he got to the top by being exceptional at his job.  But the hard-ass, macho exterior he tries to project is simply a beard to cover up his own dark secret, one that was only revealed through voyeuristic opportunism and that we were never meant to see…

Played by:


Alex Rodriguez 

Doppelganger rating: Too big a “litheness” discrepancy.


9. Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski


Profile: In most respects, Prez is a likeable, mild-mannered guy, who goes about his job quietly and is border-line boring.  But no matter how hard he may work to rehabilitate his reputation, he’ll always have that one incident in his past that, every once in a while, reminds you that, oh yeah, Prez is FUCKED UP!

Played by:


Marv Albert 

Doppelganger rating: No! And it doesn’t count!


10. Major Cedric Daniels


Profile: Calling Daniels “serious” or “intense” would be a massive understatement.  Also, no two ways about it, the Major is a god damn physical specimen; it would probably take two or three bullets just to make him break stride.  Beneath it all, though, Daniels’s heart is in the right place, and there is no questioning his loyalty or his desire for his unit as a whole to succeed.

Played by:



Kevin Garnett

Doppelganger rating: Separated at birth.


11. Omar


Profile: Best described in two words: “bad” and  “ass”.  When Omar wants something, he just goes right up and takes it.  There is no mistaking that he is a bad, bad man.  But as twisted as it may seem, the guy lives by his own code, and his greatest motivation isn’t money, but the thrill of the chase and the next big score.  Oh, and Omar is most happy when in close proximity to a gorgeous hunk of man meat.

Played by:


Randy Moss

Doppelganger rating: A scar away from “oh, indeed”.  And just to get you pumped, the best showdown since the O.K. Corral…