When I was 13, Emmitt Smith was the greatest player in the NFL. The biggest name in high school football that year was Albert Clifford "A.C." Slater. Tonight the three-time Super Bowl champ faces off against the pride of Bayside High in the Dancing with the Stars finale, and the stakes couldn't be higher. The World's Greatest Celebreality Show Dancer trophy has room for only one name.
As a Giants fan, I can't root for Emmitt. And while I always loved Zack and his Crock Pot-sized phone, that's no reason to root against Slater (see the first bullet below). Here's some Mario Lopez/A.C. Slater trivia to tell your friends at tonight's viewing parties.
+Originally, Zack and Slater were written as bitter rivals for Kelly's romantic affections. Off screen however, Mario Lopez and Mark Paul Gosselaar were (and continue to be) very close friends. The writers, sensing the obvious chemistry between the two actors, had the characters re-written as best friends, and the characters remained that way for the rest of the show.
+Mario Lopez was a state placewinner in California at 189 pounds in 1990. Contrary to popular belief, he was not a state champion. He ended up taking 7th Place at the California State High School tournament as a senior.
+His marriage to Ali Landry was annulled.
+Has a younger sister, Marissa, who is married to Houston Texans linebacker Kailee Wong.
+Other actors considered for the original Saved by the Bell included Jaleel White, Jennie Garth and Brian Austin Green (not exactly Mario Lopez trivia, but if you're still reading you probably don't mind).
+Is the subject of a phenomenal web series called 28 Day Slater.