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Let’s Draft The Best Fanatics Sports Experiences We Can Bid On

No one is happy about the fact that sports are on pause for the time being. It’s a necessity, of course, but that does not necessarily mean that people have to, you know, like it. The good news is the first games back are going to feel like a godsend, while the first normal season — regardless of when it will happen — is something every fan will appreciate a touch more than usual.

To take advantage of that and to raise cash for charities that can really need it right now, the folks at Fanatics are doing a gigantic fundraiser that gets people bidding on the chance to win major sports experiences. On Thursday, while we were looking for stuff to do, we learned about this and spent a solid 20 minutes going through some of the available things. That’s when it hit us: we should fantasy draft the best sports ones. (As a note, while this was suggested by someone who does not listen to All Fantasy Pod, that is a very good podcast, and you should listen to it.)

The rules: Our three names were dropped into a list randomizer I found on the internet. I then pressed the button 10 times and got the order used to draft. Regular snake draft rules apply. After going through 11 rounds, we noticed there was an entirely different page with stuff on it, so we broke this into two parts — for the sake of clarity, “Ultimate Miami Hurricanes Fan Experience” marks the beginning of our second half of drafting — and more information about every item can be found at the aforementioned links. While some are auctions and others are lotteries, we packaged them all together.

I believe that is everything. The entire draft was very silly, and we hope you enjoy it.

Bill: Ultimate sports fan experience

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Let’s be clear: this includes two tickets and flights and hotels for everything (NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, World Series, CFB national title, Daytona 500, Masters, U.S. Open, Final Four and national title game, the Olympics, along with a suite at the Super Bowl) and a $100,000 Fanatics gift card. Easy pick. The Zion Williamson of this draft.

Katie: Get drafted by an NBA Team in front of global audience

I picked this so I could face my greatest fear, which is when rookies get drafted by a team and they get the one size fits all hat of that team slapped on their head, only to have the first team confer with another team before the guy gets off the podium, not realizing he’s been traded as he thanks his family and shows the waiting commentator the special, custom lining of his suit jacket he had put in. Plus I love that spooky Halloween music they blast before every pick — to think it would be for my own ghoulish debut!

(Ed. note — this was something you could bid on, but it got taken off after we drafted. We are leaving it on, however, because it took us 2+ hours to do this and restarting from the second pick is hell.)

Robby: Golf at Pebble Beach with Justin Timberlake and Bill Murray

My entire draft strategy was to take cool experiences and do things with people that I find interesting or cool. As a golfer, this one’s pretty hard to top. It’s Pebble, it’s Bill Murray (and Justin Timberlake, but mostly Bill Murray) and, unlike some of the others, travel’s included.

R: The ultimate AI experience

Speaking of doing things with people I find cool, I can think of few things I’d rather do than spend a day with Allen Iverson. There are a lot of Sixers opportunities on the list, which makes sense since this was all brought together by co-owner Michael Rubin, but this should be at the top.

K: Design, call a play at Philadelphia Eagles preseason game

Can’t tell you I have the slightest clue about which direction these guys should run but we’re all gonna do this one I call THE FOREVER HUG on three! My breath would come out in a cold little puff, just like all the players on the field who I instructed to go “AWWW” in unison as soon as they gripped their opposing player and embraced him for a good long while. I’d be saying it quietly too into my coach’s headset.

B: Play HORSE and sit courtside for the Lakers with Magic Johnson

I was gunning for the AI one, so I am very upset I will not get to hang out with Allen Iverson. Instead, I will hang out with Magic Johnson because despite how his tenure went with the team, he seems lovely.

B: Texas football experience with Matthew McConaughey

Easy pick. Don’t need to explain, because it is hanging out with Matthew McConaughey at a Texas football game. Gonna move on now.

K: Assistant coach with Doc Rivers

Doc is really funny. He makes a lot of one liners sort of under his breath. It would be one of my life’s great pleasures to tell Steve Ballmer to mind his own business when he asked what we had cooking for tonight.

R: Mark Cuban, one day contract to play with the Mavs

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I picked this because I really, really want to know how they are going to follow through on the promise of me getting subbed into the game to take a free throw. Do I get in the game and they have someone on the opposing team flagrantly foul me? Does someone fake an injury and then I am, naturally, the selection of the other team to take his foul shots? How does this work? I can’t wait to find out, and also become close personal friends with Luka Doncic.

R: Sit in draft war room with Allan Houston and the Knicks

A few things about this one. First, I love the disclaimer “legends subject to change” when it says you play HORSE with John Starks and Allan Houston. I hope they pull a switcheroo and I’m playing HORSE with Renaldo Balkman and Ronnie Turiaf. Second, there’s a non-zero chance I can parlay this into a high-paying front office role with the Knicks by convincing them to make a good pick for once. Third, if that doesn’t work, I could try starting a “Sell The Team” chant inside the war room and see who joins in. Sadly, travel is not included.

K: Throw out the first pitch at the next World Series

There’s nothing in the rules that says the first pitch at the World Series can’t be made two-handed with a basketball.

B: Sit in the LAFC owners box with Will Ferrell

LAFC is the most fun and exciting team in Major League Soccer and Ferrell is part of its ownership group. It seems like he is legitimately invested in LAFC being good and not the normal celeb owner who hopped on board with the club so he could have something to talk about with other celebs at their various celeb gatherings. Also, like every teen in the 00s, I quoted Anchorman a disturbing amount.

B: Batting lesson from A-Rod and take home his World Series trophy

I am a Yankee fan so my plan here is to attend this, really turn up my northern New Jersey, get Alex Rodriguez to become my best friend, and keep his World Series trophy forever because I share a Sunday gravy recipe with him.

K: Travel with the 49ers for an away game

Couldn’t tell you a single person on this team but what a thrill it will be to get to know them, their smells, on our private charter to take on whoever!

R: Giants game, Rao’s and workout with Saquon Barkley

Dinner at Rao’s would be incredible, and on top of that, it’d be hilarious trying to keep up with Saquon Barkley in a workout. My quads might explode.

R: Wine and dine at Villa Joe Montana

Another “travel not included” trip, but one of the things you get to do is take ATVs out to a bluff to have wine and hors d’oeuvres with Joe Montana and that sounds spectacular.

K: Glamping at Wrigley Field

Even though you have to pay for travel, I picked this so I could make a bonfire on the field and desecrate baseball.

B: Eli Manning’s 2011 Super Bowl MVP Corvette convertible

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“Hi Bill.”

“Hi, Eli Manning.”

“Well, here’s my car, it’s yours now.”

“Thanks man.”

“Ok see ya later.”

B: Own Peter Guber’s 2015 Golden State Warriors championship ring

With this, I will officially have more rings than this version of the Houston Rockets. If you are a Rockets fan who is upset at this joke, I swear to god I enjoy your basketball team.

K: The Trae Young ATL Experience

I mostly picked this because the prize conditions explicitly state that Trae Young picks you up from the airport. So he pays for parking or he waits idling and you have to call him and be like, “Where are you? I’m at Domestic!” and he’s like, “Oh no! I went to International!” Then he drops you at your hotel and says, “Ok, nice to meet you, see you at the game later where we’ll continue this ATL Experience!”

R: Golf, Daytona ridealong with Denny and Bubba’s Richard Mille 39-01 Watch

There is nothing in here that says I can’t sell this wildly expensive watch — although the donation is already over $100,000 so likely not a ton of value coming back here. Still, again, I’m racking up golf all over the country and the Daytona ridealong could be fun or terrifying or both!

R: Ultimate fan experience with All-Star Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers

I guess I’m going back to more Sixers games to sit courtside. This is a value play because you get first-class flights to Philly and courtside tickets to two games, which, along with rebounding for Embiid, makes it a pretty cool package.

K: Be on the cover of Sports Illustrated

This came as a real upset in our draft, mainly that it was picked at all, but if I had any input on art direction I’m seeing a horse on the beach at dusk, P.J. Tucker is there, holding a beachcombing metal detector, and I’m sitting on the horse, and we’re all wearing one of Tucker’s big, soft felt bolero hats looking soberly into the surf.

B: Field passes for batting practice + dinner with Aaron Judge

Again, lifelong Yankee fan here. Will use the advice I gleaned from Alex Rodriguez and my time as a junior varsity baseball player as a high school sophomore to impress Aaron Judge, who will let me take batting practice based on my telling him I got lessons from A-Rod. I will then become a Yankee. This entire exercise is unhinged please let me enjoy this.

B: Golf and dinner with Peyton Manning in your hometown

Me and Peyton Manning are gonna go golf (which I am horrible at) in lovely Parsippany, New Jersey. There used to be a chicken restaurant called Cluck U there, I would have loved to take him. Instead, we will go to Fuddruckers. There also was a Moe’s and Moe’s is the best chain burrito place so maybe we’ll go there.

K: Candace Parker game-worn sneakers

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She has great style. I have no idea where I would put them.

R: Chicago Cubs gameday experience with Anthony Rizzo

Again, we’re going for value here. This one comes with tickets behind the plate, suite access, dinner, and all kinds of other perks. Seems like a lovely trip to Chicago.

R: Coin toss at NY Giants game and dinner with Eli Manning

Apparently I’ll be going to a few Giants games, but at this point we didn’t know there were a ton of other things to pick from so I took the free trip to New York and what will surely be another lovely dinner

K: Talk football with Jerry Rice and own his 1988 game ball

Granted there are too many opportunities to “talk football” with Jerry Rice in this for someone who doesn’t talk football with anybody, “Hear stories, see old pictures, and ask questions,” doesn’t specify that it has to be football related. Rice seems like a nice guy, like there are worse people to talk to, and I’m curious to see what he’d make for brunch on our Zoom call.

B: Play in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Honestly this is 100 percent about practicality. We here at Dime pride ourselves on going to the NBA All-Star Weekend every year and work very hard to provide the best coverage. This is a trip there, plus hotel, plus tickets to everything, and I would get content (and the thrill of a lifetime) out of absolutely giving Dr. Oz the blues during the game. It would save Dime plenty of money to allocate elsewhere this weekend. I am a team player.

B: Experience a day in the offseason with Kyle Allen

Kyle Allen seems very nice and you get to drink wine with him while watching football, let’s cook.

K: Sit courtside and play 5-on-5 with Ben Simmons

You have to understand that this was my LAST CHOICE before we realized we missed a whole bunch of options. Basically I picked this for decent seats and a chance to smile at Kyle O’Quinn again.

R: Softball game for 50 at Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers have far too much confidence in me, here. First I have to find 50 friends to fill out softball rosters. Second, I then have to find up to 500 people to come watch this game. There will be, at most, 30 people playing and a few watching and that’s OK.

R: Ultimate Miami Hurricanes Fan Experience

I was skeptical on this until I learned you GET ONE OF THE ORIGINAL TURNOVER CHAINS. It’s worth every penny.

K: Winemaking with Dwyane Wade

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Airfare seems a small price to pay to join Dwyane Wade “during the October wine-harvesting season” and revel in the harvest. You’re gonna be tasting, you’re gonna have big straw hats on, you’re gonna be dancing among the vines, you’re gonna be gently poured into a golf cart and fall asleep at your planned dinner with the Wade family.

B: Penn State Tailgating and Game with Allen Robinson

Some things: 1. I went to Penn State, 2. I went to Penn State when Allen Robinson was there, 3. I had a class with Allen Robinson while both of us were at Penn State (English 297A: Sports/Ethics/Literature) where I never interacted with him but I did interact with a few other football players in the class and they were all very nice guys, 4. This gives me an opportunity to get real reckless at a tailgate, presumably around people I know who would be mystified at the flex that is me tailgating with A-Rob. I might try to win this regardless of this silly exercise.

B: Skate And Play With The 1994 Stanley Cup NY Rangers

Don’t really care for hockey or the Rangers but playing hockey with the 1994 New York Rangers would be kinda rad.

K: Dinner And A One-Of-A-Kind Gift From WrestleMania Legend The Undertaker

Look, my game plan for the Hail Mary round was to lean the hell into experiential drafting. I’ve got no favourite matches or memories to reminisce on with the Undertaker, but I figure we could throw on some Motorhead and have a good time, talk about resiliency. End the night popping up out of garbage cans like some giggling Draculas.

R: Turks & Caicos Vacation With DeSean Jackson

Value play, as this is currently under $7,000 for a weekend trip with the family to Turks & Caicos, all expenses paid. Let’s rock.

R: Play 18 Holes With ‘The Shark’ Greg Norman

Again, I’m thrilled to take all of these golf offerings, and this one includes a round with The Shark, lessons and more.

K: Private Ice Skating Lesson with Michelle Kwan

A good opportunity to finally learn how to stop on skates, and, unfortunately, waste the time of one of the greatest athletes in the world.

B: Be a Part of Donovan Mitchell’s D.O.N. #2 Adidas Shoe Release


Donovan Mitchell is very nice!

B: Double Date With Zach And Julie Ertz – Dinner And Courtside At Sixers

This would be less of a double date and more of me, a single guy who gets way too nervous during international footy matches, picking Julie Ertz’s brain about being a world-class holding midfielder while Zach Ertz, like, eats mozz sticks or something. The Sixers game would be cool, too.

K: Private Fishing Charter With Rookie Of The Year Pete Alonso

Who is this guy? No clue. But he wants to take me fishing.

R: Las Vegas Raiders Game with CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia seems like an incredibly fun person to spend a weekend with in Las Vegas, so this is an easy choice.

R: Jarvis Landry’s Dream Season For Cleveland Browns Fans

As a Browns fan I cannot figure out if this will be incredible or absolute torture, but then again, that’s Browns fandom. It’s an incredible package, especially if the Browns are actually good for once, but if they’re like 4-7 going into Week 13 then this will be miserable. Go Browns.

K: Private Skateboarding Lesson With Tony Hawk

Gotta cross all the kinds of skating one can do off the list. Depending on what bones I’ve broken skating with Michelle Kwan, I’ll do some gnarly kick flips and push mongo into a couple more fractures.

B: TD Garden Experience With Jayson Tatum

Honestly a lot of stuff here to get flown to a place to sit courtside and watch an NBA game is all I really need. I am doing what I can to avoid experiences where travel is not included, so baby, let’s go to Boston and eat food from everything that is open in Boston after 11 p.m. (a few 7/11s and that is it).

B: Choice Of Center Ice Seats Or Suite And Auston Matthews’ Game-Used Jersey

My last time in Toronto was Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, where I stood in Jurassic Park (it was nice!). You might remember it as the night Kevin Durant ruptured his achilles. I remember it as the night I went to a bar called Toby’s and saw a dude get annihilated in a fight, then he stood there after everyone left and he told passersby that he won the fight despite his mouth being filled with blood. Anyway, I forgot what I’m talking about.

K: Double Date With Russell Wilson And Ciara

One secret you can know about me is that when I hear ‘Ride’ I feel incredibly powerful and also start to cry. Ciara won’t be able to teach me those moves, because no one can move like her, but we can have a lovely dinner and talk about what it’s like to strike primal fear into the hearts of everyone who watches you dance.

R: Run Out with the LA Chargers and Play in the Annual Chargers Golf Invitational

I’m just here for the golf at Riviera.

R: Georgia Tailgate And Game Day With Todd Gurley

Todd Gurley is a very cool person and he is treated, appropriately, as a god at Georgia, so this would be incredibly fun. Also, I’m from Atlanta, so it’s a flight home.

K: Suite at SoFi Stadium and Run Out with the Los Angeles Rams

Once more, don’t know these guys, but would love the rush of running en masse down a dark tunnel together toward vibrating light and confetti and the lustful cries of thousands. Like going to heaven?

B: 1986 Team-Signed World Series Mets Jersey and NYC Baseball Games with Darryl Strawberry
B: Co-Host On CBS Sports With Tiki Barber

These two go together. Strawberry’s trip requires me lugging myself to NYC. Tiki, on the other, is paid for. So my plan is to go be A Newsman (which, potentially, could be parlayed into a career move if it goes well), then go chill with Darryl Strawberry for a while at a few baseball games and get a jersey out of it that I could sell to someone named Tony who lives in Queens and would pay $50,000 for a signed ‘86 Mets jersey.

K: Play a 3-on-3 Pick Up Game with Shaq and 4 of Your Friends

You know there’s some kind of racket involved if Shaq is, and you really do have to pay for the chance to run around with him here, but having him hoist me up to dunk in front of three of the tallest friends I’ll choose to accompany me will be great revenge.

R: Private Texas Hold ‘Em Lesson with Phil Hellmuth

Not sure I care too much about the lesson with Hellmuth, but it might be educational. Mostly, I’m always in on a Vegas trip to Aria.

R: Sideline Experience At Tennessee: Vol Walk and Lead Rocky Top

Options are dwindling at this point, so I’ll check off another SEC stadium off my list by going to a Vols game.

K: Henrik Lundqvist’s One-Of-A-Kind, Game-Used Mask

I don’t know. It was getting rough out there and if I couldn’t sell this I could make a fruit basket out of it.

B: Shane Battier Shares His Playbook For Success With Your Team Or Company

It was this or pay for a trip to Tampa to hang out with Tom Brady and I would rather do this entire exercise again than pay to go to Tampa.