In the olden, pre-internet, everything is for sale world, the only way to meet a professional athlete was to get to the stadium early for batting practice to maybe get an autograph or if you lived in a more urban area, you could catch a player at the grand opening of a hardware store. I still have my autographed Roy White baseball, thank you very much, True Value Hardware of Maplewood, New Jersey. But, oh, have things changed.
Now, for a mere $8,125, Pete Rose will go out to dinner with you and up to four friends. One can only hope that with that kind of price tag, Charlie Hustle picks up the check. The “Hit King” is not the only athlete that does this. Not by a long shot. In fact, there’s an entire website called Thuzio.com that’s solely dedicated to selling athlete experiences to fans. For example, for $1,875, former World Series MVP, Ray Knight will play a round of golf with you. For $1,500, three time Olympic gold medalist Janet Evans will attend a swim meet with you. Greg “The Bull” Luzinski will personally coach you for $250, etc.
Since every athlete has a price, here’s the top ten crazy things we’d like to pay athletes to do.
10. Have Steve Garvey Break-up With Your Girlfriend
Ten time All-Star and 1974 National League MVP, Steve Garvey is a rock solid family man and a staunch Republican. He also hold the National League record for most consecutive games played. Most importantly, he knows women having been married twice, engaged four times and is apparently the father of at least two illegitimate children. Who better to cushion the blow to your soon to be ex-girlfriend then the man former teammates called “senator” because when he says, “it’s not you, it’s him,” you might even believe it.
Mr. Garvey, will show up at her doorstep in a dark blue suit with flowers, Mylar balloons and assorted Dodger souvenirs. He’ll be punctual and sensitive when he sits your girlfriend down for “the talk” and be at the ready with a monogrammed handkerchief should tears start to flow. In certain cases, for a nominal fee, Steve Garvey will sleep with your ex to give her the confidence she needs to re-enter the dating world.
9. Verbally Assault Bucky Dent
Bucky Dent. Bucky “Freakin’” Dent as he’s known throughout New England for that fluke home run during that one game playoff with the Red Sox back in 1978. The man who almost singlehandedly ruined what should’ve been a dream season for the Sox is now available for that verbal tongue lashing we all know he deserves.
That’s right, for a very reasonable price, you and your buddies can scream at, insult and mock Bucky Dent. Nothing is off limits. Feel free to bring his mother into it. Chastise his faith. Call his kids ugly. No, you cannot hit him, at least for now, but practically anything else goes.
Note: For extra special catharsis, you can hire Bill Buckner and Bucky together.
8. Ray Lewis Attends Your Daughter’s Dance Recital
Okay, we get it. The only reason anyone goes to a dance recital is to see their own kid. The rest is just excruciating torture. But that doesn’t give the other parents the right to keep yakking while your little princess is up there dancing her little heart out.
That’s where Super Bowl XXXV MVP, Ray Lewis comes in. You really think you’re going to continue talking when he glares at you? Look at the above picture. I highly doubt it. The only voice you’ll hear is the future Hall of Famer exhorting your daughter to grand jete like crazy!
7. Have Larry Bowa and Scott Rolen Fight To The Death
For the seven years that Larry Bowa managed Scott Rolen, the two did not get along. Okay, so maybe they hated each other. Rolen thought Bowa was an obnoxious bore who only knew one way to get to players and that’s by screaming at them. Bowa thought Rolen didn’t play with enough passion and didn’t seem to care enough about winning. Who’s right? Let’s let might decide. Both men, armed with only bats, enter the octagon and only one comes out.
6. Have Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson Join Fleetwood Mac
Just because it might be musically interesting.
5. Derek Jeter Plays Hamlet In Your Community Theater’s Production
Among all the New York Yankee greats (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, etc.) there can be endless debates about who’s the best player. But one thing no one can dispute is that Derek Jeter is the best dramatic actor. All you have to do is watch that scene in “The Other Guys” where he plays Derek Jeter getting shot or in “Anger Management” when he plays an angry Derek Jeter. And anyone who’s seen the Yankee captain’s one man show “Derek Jeter is Mark Twain” knows this cat has chops.
Derek Jeter is the kind of guy who makes everyone around them play better and he’s the same with actors. His notes to Kenneth Branagh on how to play the “Melancholy Dane” were turned into a series of lectures still taught in some of this country’s finest academic institutions. Plus, the fact that the guy dates some of the hottest actresses around who, hopefully, will show up opening night doesn’t hurt either.
4. MMA Star, Cain Velasquez Collects A Debt For You
Most of us are not tough guys and most of us feel awkward asking a friend to pay you back. MMA Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez does not suffer from either one of those compunctions. So, that “friend” of yours who borrowed $100 from you in college and conveniently forgets to bring it whenever the old gang gets together, about to have his world change. Cain Velasquez will get you your hundred dollars plus interest and interest can be a b*tch.
3. Watch the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” With Charles Barkley
Sir Charles Barkley has never been afraid to say what he thinks, consequences be damned, so this 10-time NBA All-Star would teach those 90210 ladies a lesson or two. No way he doesn’t call out crazy Wiccan, Carlton, on her general insanity and substandard boob job. Or see that former two time Miss Puerto Rico, Joyce, is dumber then Kwame Brown. Don’t get too smug, Kyle, because Charles will wield his rod of ridicule on you when the time is right. Probably when they shoot a scene in your store.
2. Have Coach Bobby Knight Coach Eight-Year-Olds
Coach Knight is a stickler for fundamentals and can’t stand mental miscues. So the first second grader that doesn’t guard his man in the post is going to have the whole team running laps. How great would it be the first time when one of the little tyke’s parents asks how come their little Johnny doesn’t get enough playing time to hear the “general’s reply, “Because little Johnny sucks. That’s why!”
Coach Knight is also big on pointing out how great the players he has coming in are so much better then the players he currently has. So, when a player takes a shot before at least three passes are made, we could look forward to hearing, “Pee-Wee, when Zachary Williams gets here, you’re ass will be so far down buried on the bench, no one will ever hear from you again. That six-year-old can do so many things on the basketball court that you can’t, it isn’t even funny!”
1. A-Rod Allows You To Punch Him In The Face
Does this one really need an explanation about why this would be amazing?
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