Former NFL Player Finds Success in Franchising & Television

From the gridiron to the grill, Frank Rice tackles the restaurant business and Hollywood

"Fresh Frank"


Given all your success, why did you decide to go to reality TV with The Ultimate Merger?

When the opportunity came to me, I said, “Why not,” just to see what would happen. Growing up in California, one of the things I’ve always wanted to do was be in the entertainment industry and work in Hollywood; nonetheless, I had to put all those things aside because of my football career and the family business.

When I got back to LA, I connected with a friend, a casting director and former NFL player, who helped place me in football commercials. After getting a couple of checks, I thought, “Man, I can really do this.” I then had some pictures taken, started sending them out, and started to get calls back. Two of the calls that I received were for roles in The Ultimate Merger and 1,000 Ways to Die. With both shows being nationally televised, things just steam rolled from there… It’s kind of surreal because all these things I wanted to do growing up are happening and I’m truly living my dreams.

Because of your appearance on the show you got dubbed “Fresh Frank.” What are your strategies and plans for this newfound brand?

I’m currently working on building the brand by getting my logo together and I am also working on a concept for a reality show called, Fresh World. It will follow me and show viewers what I go through in the store, dealing with customers, family, etc. Some of it is comical, but some light needs to be shed on some of the things that go on in the neighborhood in regards to crime and poverty issues. It will also show how I’m trying to pursue acting as a career and manage my business at the same time.

I think it will be interesting because people have known me in the Watts community for over 20 years now. My mother is a teacher and had some of our customers’ kids as her students so it’s like a family there. My dad has done a lot to make the community better as well. The people love him there and we love them so I think there is an interesting story to tell.

What else do you have on the horizon?

I was talking to my publicist about doing some work with The Game on BET because it reminds me of my past life. For example, being married while in the NFL. I’m also currently taking acting classes in order to become a more versatile actor. I’m trying not to just leave myself in that reality role but show people that I am more dynamic.

Do you have any advice for other players looking to travel down a similar path once they retire?

NFL players take for granted the amount of money we have while we’re in the NFL and that’s what I would like to teach some of the younger guys. I think that four or five guys who make the league minimum can get together and start a business. They can then expand from there and have something to sustain them once their football career ends. All athletes, not just football players, should invest in a business that they believe in while playing. They need something that will prepare them for their future.

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  • Diane

    Frank, the is an AWESOME article every thing that is happening for you couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. Keep doing you!! You are so #Fresh!

  • Towanda

    I think Fresh World is good idea. The world needs to see more black men doing ppositive things. Frank and his dad are role models to our young men. With all that is going on in the world, even the negativity surrounding our athletes and celebs, they need to see that there are other options. This is a show concept that hasn’t been done before. We almost came close with Taye Diggs short stint as a professional businessman with an adoptive daughter but the world wasn’t ready for it. It’s time NOW!

    • Jouse

      What do you think it will take to sign Joseph, about 9 Mil per year? And Benson about 5 Mil per? Not sure what their 2010 salaries were, but that’s plrbaboy a 12 Mil increase.We assume they cut Chad and save 6 Mil, and Carson is traded or retired saving 11.5 Mil in 2011. If they don’t trade Carson, even if he is considered retired, they will approach it like he’s going to play and get paid, so the Budget will plan for 11.5 Mil being spent on Carson. This may hurt them even more because they will have to sign Dalton (about 2 Mil) plus bring in another FA QB. Figure they will spend anywhere from $500,000 to 2 Mil for another QB, so total budget allocated for Bengals QBs will be between 14 16 Mil in 2011. They also have to pay big money to A.J. Green, which will more than eat up the money freed from letting TO walk and releasing Chad.

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  • alain smithee

    It makes one wonder if the contracts shouldn’t pay significant amounts of money into an annuity so that the players have a cushion when they stop playing for any reason, as well as establishing trust funds for their children so that the aren’t impoverished by paying child support based on the income they made while playing instead of their current income.

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