10 Athletes I’d Pay $100,000 to Spend a Day With…

This past weekend, an apparently wealthy couple in Florida bid $100,000 to spend a day with Tim Tebow and plans to share the access with disadvantaged children:

Erik Dellenback, the executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation, said there was some initial disbelief when the bid was made, then suspicion — until he found out who had made the bid. Even though it’s a couple that has donated to the Foundation before, Dellenback was still a little confused until they told he and Tebow of their plans.

“They live in a part of town that has a lot of people in need and a lot of people with a lot of wealth, and she felt like bringing Timmy to her town down there would maybe change the town,” Dellenback said. “It sounds like she’s going to have a little event where she brings over some of the kids who are in need and some of the kids who are pretty deserving.

It’s a very generous gesture on the part of the couple but it got me thinking: if I had the disposable income to drop 100 G’s on a day with a current or former athlete, who would make the cut? (When I originally thought about making this list, almost all of the people I would bid on were writers who would command at most 10% the price for their time.)

Certainly not Tebow. While I root for Tebow for the same reason I root for LeBron–I like seeing people, even and perhaps especially if they aren’t true underdogs, prove the haters wrong–a day with Tebow wouldn’t be particularly fun or enlightening. He seems like a pretty nice guy but he’s also certain that, if I continue on my current life path (sort of Jewish, mostly a-religious), I’m going to hell. Pitchforks, unbearable heat–the works. The best case scenario is that he’d spend the whole day wanting to tell me to change my ways before it’s too late and openly struggle to hold back. And what would we do? Get ice cream? He probably wouldn’t want to drink, gamble, or grill excessive amounts of red meat and I have no burning desire to circumcise babies in the Philippines. So a day with Tebow would be sort of a non-starter.

Since I’d theoretically have enough money to bid an obscene amount of it on the access, I imagine I’d be able to afford to do whatever I want for the rest of it (not that any of my choices of how to spend a day ended up being all that frivolous). In this made up fantasy, I draw the line at their needing to be alive–I’m not trying to spend the day with a hologram. I’ve rambled long enough, here’s my 10:

10. Mark Titus 

If you’re keeping track, it took me all of one pick to violate the spirit of my made up rules and pick somebody who wouldn’t cost anywhere near $100k to spend a day with–this is sort of cheating because he’s much more known for his work writing for Club Trillion (his title for having 1 minute of play followed by 12 0’s in the box score stat sheet) and Grantland than for his athletic prowess. We’d spend the day drinking beer and playing Super Nintendo (I’d feel more confident in my ability to beat him in Super Mario Kart if my girlfriend didn’t utterly dominate me in it a few weeks ago…emasculating!) and I’d try to learn everything I could about being a funnier writer. (Is that something that can be taught?) At night we’d attend a WWE pay-per-view and discuss its unintentional comedy like Bill Simmons and Adam Carolla analyzing Fast Five.

9. Ozzie Guillen

While it’d be a constant struggle to understand a word he says, he’s never boring. I’d spend the day drinking beer and fishing and the night drinking beer and watching baseball. I’d ask him how he really feels about Jay Mariotti and shy away from conversation about Communist dictators since he no longer dabbles in politics.

8. Ryan Clark

Watch him eloquently eviscerate Skip Bayless. This is the first and hopefully last time I violate my don’t-feed-that-bridge-troll-by-giving-him-attention ethos. No clue how we’d spend the day–maybe egging Roger Goodell’s house?–but I’d definitely gain some new perspectives.

7. Marcellus Wiley

Columbia-educated, very insightful, and sort of a shady way to get me closer to one of my sports media man crushes, Max Kellerman (the others, in no particular order: Wright Thompson, Clay Travis, Bill Simmons, Dan LeBatard, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, Drew Magary, and Will Leitch). I’d  spend an ENTIRE NFL Sunday watching all the games with him in the ESPN war room and try to see what he sees in real time–that and try to meet Max Kellerman.

6. Alex Morgan

I’d spend the day at the beach, playing volleyball and, uh, talking about the nuances of international politics or other enlightening topics.

5. Barry Melrose

I’d sit with him during a full night of the NHL Playoffs, drink some beers, and learn how to rock a mullet so hard that it’s fresh, not trashy. I don’t imagine I’d get a word in the entire night but the mullet intel alone would be worth it.

4. Jose Canseco

We’re getting to the point where making fun of him is so played out that it’s not funny anymore but that’s only because his tweets are SO off-kilter that they’re fascinating. I’d want to also hire some professional pitcher to throw a simulated game to him so he’d shut the f— up about still having the skill to be a major leaguer. I would say that I’d try to figure out what proportion of his tweets are delusional versus calculated but this excellent Pat Jordan profile makes it pretty clear that he has absolutely zero self-awareness.

3. Chris Kluwe

As the Vikings punter, Kluwe is sort of an obscure choice but his writing and Twitter show that he’s immensely interesting. I’d try to get him to spill the beans about the dark side of Brett Favre and spend most of the day trying to figure out ways to hypnotize him into subconsciously subverting the Vikings’ season. I’d also try to figure out if my theory that Brad Childress abducted and murdered a highway drifter in the mid-1980s is possible or not. (I’m not saying it DEFINITELY happened but I don’t think that we can rule it out.)

No clue what we’d do. He’d kill me in any new video games. I’m sure we could figure something out. Maybe I could interview him for a story?

2. Aaron Rodgers

You thought he was going to be #1, didn’t you? Had to throw a curve ball in there. I’d try to get him to invite BJ Raji, Donald Driver, Charles Woodson, and whoever else would be down to spend the day watching Heavyweights, The Princess Bride, and Super Bowl XLV. I’d do my best to get him to speak honestly about how much he LOVED proving the Favre jihadists wrong (nobody remembers them now but read Life After Favre for an account at how viciously a large, vocal group of Packers fans did NOT want Rodgers at quarterback). I may or may not sneak a few stares into his strikingly beautiful eyes.

1. Charles Barkley

As much as I love A-Rodg, he just couldn’t provide me with the entertainment that Sir Charles would. I’d want to be in Vegas, spending the entire day drinking, gambling, EATING, drinking, and gambling. 24 hours with no regard for health or decency. I’d ask him about his opinion on everything from whether LeBron James will ever win an NBA championship to who started the Chicago Fire. Did Michael Jordan get secretly banned from the NBA for 18 months by David Stern for consorting with shady gamblers? How much does it SUCK having Shaq on the Inside the NBA set, stealing valuable airtime and oxygen from people who actually contribute? What is your stance on tax policy? Please elaborate…

Seriously, though, is there anybody–sports or not–that would be more fun to spend a day with than Charles Barkley? Who would you bid $100k to spend a day with if money was no object?


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