15 Sports Jobs We'd Like to Try for a Day
Every kid grows up with the dream of being a professional athlete, but is being a professional athlete really the ultimate sports dream job?
Sure, there's the millionaire lifestyle and a lot of fame and glory when you have success, but it all comes at the price of inconceivable amounts of work and dedication, very little time for your family or personal life, a lack of stability and pressure that can be crippling.
What if there was a way to get all the fun out of sports, and all the perks, without actually playing the game?
What if there was a job that put you right in the middle of the action without the pressure to go along with it?
What if there was a career that put the whole sports world in the palm of your hands?
Well, it turns out there are plenty of these—and sometimes where you'd least expect.
Start dreaming, folks. The following slides offer 15 jobs in sports that we all wish could be ours for even a single day.
It's the dream job for any child growing up in America today.
Sit with your idols. Watch a ballgame from quite literally the best seat in the entire stadium. Hang out with the team as if you're one of the guys.
If the team wins, take a little credit for providing moral support in the clubhouse. If they lose, accept none of the blame. Then, pocket some cash and head home.
Ah, to live in paradise.
NFL Draft Analyst
This would be a fun job to tackle for a day leading up for the NFL draft just to see if you could produce a mock draft more accurate than the dismal predictions put together by "draft experts" like Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.
Being a draft analyst requires two things and two things only: the ability to use a bunch of jargon for hours on end coupled with an ability to assign a letter grade to a draft class selected by a GM who apparently hasn't been enlightened quite like you.
Now that sounds like a task that would be easy to prepare for!
And fear not: The stakes could not possibly be lower. If your mock drafts are inaccurate, chalk it up to a bunch of "bad picks."
And if your insight proves to be flawed, don't fret. They'll be calling you up to do a "redraft" in a few years anyway.
If serving as the bat boy doesn't make you feel like you're really one of the guys, serving as the bullpen catcher might be the job for you.
Throw on your catcher's gear and walk alongside the front row of fans, and you can usually fool enough people to get asked for a few autographs, which cannot harm that ego too much.
Travel the world with a bunch of stars, experience the life of a professional ballplayer, and earn a living wage in the process. Not only do you get to witness all of the action, but you're actually a living, breathing part of it.
Serving as a bullpen catcher for an entire season would prove grueling but to try it for a day?
Hand over the paycheck, the per diem and the chest protector and sign me up.
Keeper of the Cup
You cannot win the Stanley Cup every single year, no matter how great you and your team really are.
Unless, that is, you earned the prestigious title of Keeper of the Cup, currently held by Philip Pritchard.
As Stacy Leasca of the Los Angeles Times explains, Pritchard and three other keepers "ensure the integrity of the Stanley Cup and also act as security and travel agent for the trophy." After the trophy has been won and the players are taking turns traveling with the trophy or taking it home, the keepers stay close at hand to keep track of it.
Basically, as Keeper of the Cup—an intensely majestic title, I might add—you travel around the world hanging out with hockey players on exotic vacations making sure nobody hurts a neat-looking trophy.
As the Keeper of the Cup, you are always, always a winner.
Baseball Stadium Organist
The position of baseball stadium organist gets rarer by the year.
One of the most unique jobs in sports, the organist—employed by only a few teams—serves as a live one-man soundtrack, giving the game a little dose of history that isn't quite as prevalent when blasting hip-hop from a gigantic stereo system.
Control the pulse of the crowd. Perform in front of a packed audience. Become the soundtrack to memorable games and legendary moments.
And all the while, sit back and watch a baseball game. Who can complain with that?
Professional Fantasy Sports Player
Is there any job in the world that the average sports-loving male between the ages of 18 and 65 would rather do than play fantasy sports for a living?
Fantasy sports are already a passion, already an obsession and already a pretty major distraction from legitimate working duties.
Now, for a select few, it's also a six-figure career.
Erik Hafner and others have turned fantasy sports into big money, using various websites to make more than a lot of well-paying jobs. Hafner explained how he does it to Nina Mandell of For The Win: "During the basketball season I’ll play around 500-700 games a day. And because I play NHL as well and it might even be close to 1000.I really try to get off my computer as fast as I can (when the day’s over), because I’m trying not to be obsessed."
Playing 1000 games a day and trying not to be obsessed? Sounds like you may have already failed at that one, Erik.
Minor League Baseball Promotions Director
The very best thing about going to a Minor League Baseball game is experiencing the constantly ridiculous promotions, such as Ted Williams Popsicle Night, Political Correctness Night and Salute to Indoor Plumbing Night.
How fun would it be to be the guy who gets to come up with all of these?
In the ever-bizarre world of the Minor Leagues, working as the promotions director would be a significantly more gratifying job than being the star player on the team.
Exercise your creativity constantly, make up the most ridiculous ideas you can possibly come up with, then sit back and watch how thousands of fans react to whatever goes on in your strange little brain.
Golfing professionally would be pressure packed and miserable. Serving as a caddy for a day, however, would be heaven.
Caddies travel the world, work side by side with the greatest golfers in the world and get thrown right into the middle of the sport's biggest tournaments.
In short, spending a day as a PGA caddy is spending the day as the Robin to Tiger Woods' Batman.
Or now Rory McIlroy's Batman? I cannot even decide which golfers really warrant Batman references these days.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
According to Carrie Muskat of Cubs.com, the responsibilities of a Wrigley Field "fan ambassador" include the grueling tasks of "proactively producing acts of kindness for fans, particularly children, that will give them positive, lasting memories" and "creating exciting and unforgettable moments by executing various gameday-related fan programs."
So basically, the Cubs (and a lot of other teams with similar programs) are hiring for the position of "memory maker." Or maybe, "kindness generator." Or "fun producer."
Or, dare I say, "baseball watcher"?
Somebody, quick, send me an application.
I used to always be really, really kind to my little sisters while growing up. Do I put that on my resume somewhere?
3rd Base Umpire
A home plate umpire might abide by the motto, "With great power comes great responsibility."
A third base umpire might abide by the motto, "With great power comes a decent amount of responsibility, but the home plate umpire can always overrule you, so don't sweat it. Plus, now that there's instant replay, everything should turn out fine as long as you can make a decent guess on a close play."
As a third base umpire, you aren't going to be called on to make an overwhelming number of calls during a game, but when you do, they're usually exceedingly exciting and dramatic, which should keep your heart beating pretty quickly.
For the rest of the game, ignore all of your colleagues getting booed and enjoy a ballgame from an unbeatable angle.
And don't forget to collect your paycheck on the way out the door. According to Ethan Trex of CNN.com, a baseball umpire can make as much as $300,000 per year plus a $340 per diem.
In-Game Entertainment Crew
Oh, to have the ultimate symbol of power at a sporting event: the T-shirt gun.
The one object that captures a fan's attention more than anything that could ever happen on the field. The machine that can dictate the spirit of any given fan and change the course of their life—at least for a few seconds.
But that's not all the in-game entertainment crew does. These folks have the general task of getting fans really pumped up and excited during the game, and they are rewarded with an up-close look at all the action.
New York Yankees General Manager
Video games are filled with cheat codes, and anybody who wants some quick success without much effort knows how to use these cheat codes to pile up ridiculous accomplishments in no time.
Being the general manager of the New York Yankees is sort of like having access to all of the cheat codes.
You're playing the game with the most money, the biggest market and no salary cap, so you essentially have free will to assemble whatever All-Star lineup you want year in and year out.
Become the Yankees' GM for a day and have a lineup of all of your childhood idols within the hour.
Golf Ball Diver
While being a caddy may be sweet, serving as the golf ball diver may be the one job on the course that is even sweeter.
Professional golf ball divers like Eric Parker can make $100,000 in a year. According to ScubaDiving.com, Parker has "been in the business for 14 years, and has dived 2,500 golf courses in 33 states."
Who knew that every frustrating shank that ruined your round was putting food on another guy's table?
I guess whoever said "One man's trash is another man's treasure" wasn't so far off, after all.
In a lot of ways, serving as a team's bench coach is sort of like make-believing you're an actual manager.
You get to wear a uniform just like he does. You get to sit in the dugout just like he does. You get to look grumpy and cynical just like he does.
You just don't make any of the decisions.
I'm sure the best bench coaches in the league offer plenty of invaluable insight and are dearly beloved by the teams for which they work.
That being said, I'm fairly certain I could step into the role for any team, say a few motivational words and lower the team's chances of winning by approximately zero percent.
Social Media Manager
The one great weapon even more powerful than the T-shirt gun: a professional sports team's Twitter account.
Controlling a team's Twitter makes you the voice of the franchise for millions of Internet-savvy fans across the globe. Everything you say, no matter how small, will be seen by all, analyzed by all, discussed by all.
For an example of a social media manager who took the power that comes with his job and ran with it, look no further than Jaryd Wilson, who has transformed the Atlanta Hawks into one of the most hilarious franchises online, as evidenced in the Instagram post above.
Just imagine spending your whole day tweeting instead of working. Although, who am I kidding; most of us do that already, anyway.
Think I'm a genius? An idiot? Let me know on Twitter.