Two funny Wills—Ferrell and Arnett—are currently filming Semi-Pro, a basketball comedy, due for release next year. In the past two years Ferrell has starred in Kicking & Screaming, a 2005 soccer comedy (he first played a kids' soccer coach on a King of the Hill episode in 1999); Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, last summer's NASCAR comedy; and Blades of Glory, an ice-skating comedy that opens next week and also stars Arnett.
If Ferrell wants to keep making sports comedies and is interested in adding some realism to his characters, it wouldn't hurt for him to team up with Ron Shelton, the writer-director behind Bull Durham (1988), White Men Can't Jump (1992), and Tin Cup (1996). Shelton could use a hit after 2003's Dark Blue and Hollywood Homicide, both of which flopped, but his sports comedies—which also include the poorly received Play It to the Bone and The Great White Hype, although he only wrote the latter—aren't cut from the same cloth as Ferrell's. And if Ferrell is looking to do character-based comedy that isn't so joke-driven, the way Kevin Costner did in Bull Durham and Tin Cup and Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson did in White Men Can't Jump, then Shelton's the man for the job.
I'm not offering career advice here, even though I know you read this blog, Mr. Ferrell. However, I would like to see Shelton direct again, and he's pretty great when it comes to sports comedies (one more I haven't mentioned yet, and still haven't seen—1986's The Best of Times, which he wrote). However, his films usually feature lead characters who are past their athletic prime, who had their shot at something greater but either blew it or never took it. They also never quite learned how to be responsible adults; they're their own worst enemy. Not exactly Talladega Nights territory, but Ferrell seems to want to stretch and has the range to do it.
Before you make more Oscar bait like Stranger Than Fiction, Mr. Ferrell, make a Ron Shelton sports comedy. (Okay, so I am offering career advice.)