Athletes Who Need Their Own Reality Shows
Sometimes, structuring a reality TV show around a superstar athlete backfires.
See Ryan Lochte, for example. Colorful personality, big hype, not such a good reality show. (No, but really—it was canceled after one season.)
But just because one show failed doesn't mean that the networks should stop trying, does it? No, it does not. Plenty of athletes out there deserve their own reality shows just as much as Lochte did.
For the guys on this list, every day is an adventure, and something tells me they wouldn't be averse to having cameras follow their every move.
And you have to admit you'd watch.
He's interesting and irascible and plays for a team that seems to be in a constant battle to prove itself. Is there a better recipe for a reality show?
Joakim Noah is known for many things. His hair is one of them. His tendency to do verbal battle with his opponents on the hardwood is another. Most recently, Noah was ejected from a game for issuing an expletive-laced tirade at the officials and fined $15,000.
Now that he's become the de facto leader of the Derrick Rose-less Bulls—who are in the midst of a battle to remain in the playoff picture—it's the perfect time to pitch something to E!.
The fact that there hasn't yet been a reality show that details the lives of the Brothers Manning is mind-blowing, especially in light of their spectacular ESPN special.
Now that Peyton and his prolific offense didn't fare so well in the Super Bowl, though, it's time to take the cameras behind the scenes.
Love him or not, you have to admit that he is nothing if not interesting. He's always one to offer up a colorful sound byte, he loves his Bud Light, and he enjoys soaking his feet in pools while wearing his helmet and studying game film. Plus, you know you want to see what he said during halftime of last Sunday's debacle.
The reason Ryan Lochte got his own reality show is most likely because producers saw him as a person who would remain uninhibited in the presence of constant surveillance. It's fair to say that Hope Solo might also offer the same perk.
She is an enigma. She is an elite athlete who should probably be known for being the goalkeeper on the U.S. women's national soccer team and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, but instead, she's mostly known for doing things like going on The Today Show while inebriated, as she admitted to ESPN The Magazine. Or for starting beef with Brandi Chastain on Twitter.
Hey, she has a lot of opinions, and she's not afraid to share them. Get her a reality show.
They are twins who play hockey for one of the most colorful coaches in the NHL (John Tortorella) in one of the most hockey-crazed cities in the world. What more could you possibly need to know?
Henrik and Daniel Sedin play for the Vancouver Canucks. Though they are identical twins, you can tell them apart because Henrik has a C on his sweater and Daniel only has an A. Henrik is the playmaker, and Daniel is the goal scorer and a former Art Ross Trophy winner. In November, each of them agreed to identical four-year extensions that will pay them about $7 million per year.
They are living the life. And they're twins!
Obviously, this makes sense. It probably would have made more sense over the last two years, when he was trying to make it work with the Jets before setting off for greener pastures in Foxboro, only to get cut and then try to find work with another NFL team before settling for analyst work with ESPN.
But you can't convince me that Tim Tebow won't still give it a shot if another team comes calling.
He leads a very intriguing life. He works hard. He's close with his family. He likes making commercials. Sometimes, according to the tabloids, he dates famous people. And most importantly, no matter what he's doing, people are really, really interested in him.
Basically, he is a producer's dream.
Last summer, when Matt Harvey paraded around New York City before the All-Star Game to try to figure out if any of his fans could recognize him out of context, we realized something: He has charisma.
He is a bona fide good guy. In 2013, he came out of nowhere to be named the National League's starter for the All-Star Game in his first full season in the majors. Before the All-Star break, he ranked first in the NL in strikeouts and third in ERA and opponent batting average.
Yet when he walked around his own city asking people how much they liked Matt Harvey, he found that nobody even recognized him—which made him all the more likable. Everyone loves an under-the-radar superstar.
Now that Harvey is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, it's the perfect time to start chronicling his comeback.
Some of the best reality TV stars are complicated. Kristin Cavallari… Justin Bobby…the Real Housewives… you get my drift.
Doesn't Floyd Mayweather fit the mold perfectly?
Mayweather is rare in the sense that he's one of the true elites in his profession and yet still an incredibly interesting, unpredictable individual. He's definitely conceited, but he sort of has the right to be, considering he has eight world titles and an undefeated record to his name.
When he's not working on being the best boxer in the world, you can often find him on the sidelines of NBA games, making bets on Johnny Manziel or tweeting about how he is the best ever.
The best thing about him is that no matter how big a game he talks, he always backs it up. Those are the best kinds of athletes—and, incidentally, the best kinds of reality stars.
Robert Griffin III
Once upon a time, we may not have thought that Robert Griffin III was all that reality show-worthy. He was simply a terrific quarterback who was always in a good mood and beloved by his teammates and fans.
But is that the true picture of RGIII?
Not exactly. The Washington Redskins' unfortunate 2013 season taught us all that despite his magical rookie season, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for him. He may be one of the most objectively likable players in the NFL, but that doesn't mean he's immune to controversy. And watching him conquer that controversy—now that would make an excellent reality show.
Caroline and Rory
Caroline and Rory—doesn't it already sound like the perfect name for a reality show?
You could pitch this to just about any network on TV—MTV, ESPN, E!, Oxygen—and it would work in all formats. Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki are sort of the golden couple of sports. They're young and adorable, and they really like to tweet pictures of themselves showing off just how adorable they are. They're kind of like old-school Nick and Jessica, except way cooler.
And plus, McIlroy is one of the best golfers on the planet. Wozniacki has had her struggles, but she's still a top-10 tennis player. And—best part—they're engaged.
Rory and Caroline Plan Their Wedding. You know you'd watch.
The Brooklyn Nets
Everyone loves a rhetoric-of-redemption story. Look at Miracle. Best story of all time, right?
No, the Brooklyn Nets aren't quite on that level, but they still have the whole rising-from-the-ashes thing going for them. When this season started, they were going nowhere. They had a coach who seemed to have no idea what he was doing and a bunch of aging superstars who didn't seem like they had much left in the tank.
But after getting out to a terrible start that put them on pace to win just 25 games in 2013-14, look at them: They're 21-25. They've crawled back into the playoff picture. They won 10 of 13 games in the month of January. They're playing with heart and playing together.
It's time to break out the cameras and follow them as they work their way to an unlikely NBA title. Maybe.
He's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL for starters, so that already gives him a leg up.
But it's a given that any time a superstar athlete is dating a celebrity, he automatically should be considered for a reality show.
NFL meets Hollywood. You can't go wrong.
At this very moment, there are few people in the NBA who inspire as much discussion as Andrew Bynum.
Nobody knows what he's thinking, and that's what makes him the perfect subject for a show (but probably one that would be better suited for an ESPN all-access type of situation than something that would be on E!).
Ever since being traded away from LA during the Summer of Dwight, Bynum has experienced many ups and many downs. He spent a year rehabbing a knee injury and sitting on the Sixers bench. He had a couple of ill-fated months in Cleveland. There was a trade to Chicago and an immediate release.
And now, his NBA career has been given new life, courtesy of the Pacers. You know you're watching to see how it turns out.
Anytime you have a young quarterback with as much early success—and as much potential—as Colin Kaepernick, you have to consider the possibilities.
In his first season as the starter for the Niners, Kaepernick took the team to the Super Bowl. In his next season, he almost accomplished the same feat but couldn't quite get the job done, due to San Francisco finally meeting its match in the eventual-champion Seahawks.
Bonus: Kaepernick is also 26 and has many interesting tattoos.
And to top it all off, Jim Harbaugh is Kaepernick's coach. Nobody is made for reality TV quite like Harbaugh.
If she had been healthy enough to compete in Sochi this month, Lindsey Vonn would have been the biggest story in the nation.
Now that she can't compete, though, don't you want to know what she's doing instead?
Many American spirits were crushed early this year when she announced that she wouldn't be competing in the Olympics due to a right knee injury, per ESPN, and there has to be some way to make up for it.
A reality show documenting her rehabilitation is the perfect compromise, no?
Plus, when she's not rehabbing, she's probably watching Tiger hit the links. Added incentive.
Considering he and his family have reportedly already pitched a potential reality show, this just makes too much sense.
Whether or not you're a Patriots fan, it's likely that you're willing to admit that Rob Gronkowski is one of the more likable figures in the NFL. He competes hard. He knows how to have a good time. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be the greatest tight end who ever lived.
And his family really wants him to have his own reality show, according to Deadspin.
Gronk is the man, and people love hearing about his endless adventures. He and reality TV were meant to be.
There's someone in this equation who is already a reality TV pro. And like Caroline and Rory, there is a couple in this equation who would be perfect for network television.
Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari were off-and-on dating until they finally decided to have a baby and tie the knot last year. Since then, he has signed a big, new contract, and the two of them are getting ready to welcome baby No. 2. They're glamorous and already have an affinity for making the front pages of the tabloids.
Basically, they're Chicago's Tom and Gisele. MTV, get your proposal ready.
Two-time NBA champion. Four-time league MVP. Ten-time NBA All-Star. There are plenty of reasons to suggest that LeBron James would make a pretty good reality star, the first being that he's sort of the best player in the NBA.
And some like to claim he's the best in the history of the sport, but we won't open that can of worms.
Things could not be going better for King James right now. His Heat are coming off their second straight NBA title, and given the current state of the Eastern Conference, it's safe to say that they have a pretty good shot at earning their third. He's going to be a free agent soon. He just got married.
A reality show about his free agency would be the natural next step, following The Decision.
Any time you can reel in a bounty of endorsements following one fateful postgame interview, you know that you have power. Serious power.
Richard Sherman catapulted himself into the role of the most talked-about player in sports after his post-NFC Championship Game chat with Erin Andrews, and the dialogue hasn't stopped since. Yeah, maybe he's a bit conceited, but he can back it up—he did just win a Super Bowl. Plus, he's Stanford-educated, and it's possible that he is the best corner in the game.
And in case you haven't noticed, people are really interested in what he has to say.
People have a lot of opinions about Johnny Manziel. He's one of the most polarizing athletes in sports.
But aren't reality stars polarizing, too?
Manziel is exciting, and he's really, really good at playing football. He doesn't ask for the attention—it just comes naturally, partly because he's one of the most exciting college players to come around in years, he won the Heisman Trophy a year ago and nothing seems to bring him down. You can say whatever you want about him, and he'll just shrug and keep doing his thing.
Let's all face it: Johnny Football was made for reality TV.
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