If Celebrities Ran Their Favorite Sports Teams

Laura Depta@lauradeptaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2017

If Celebrities Ran Their Favorite Sports Teams

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    Mark Wahlberg wants to see his Super Bowl champion New England Patriots sign veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

    Now, that doesn't appear even remotely likely, but the idea does remind one of the fun that is hypotheticals. For instance, what if celebrities ran their favorite sports teams? What would change? What would stay the same?

    Often, celebrity fans are just as vocal about their teams as us non-famous supporters. Based on their quotes and tweets, here are 10 things they might have done over the past few years.

    (The Raiders would absolutely be staying in Oakland, for one thing.)

Spike Lee: Ray Allen to the Knicks

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    Director Spike Lee is to the New York Knicks what actor Jack Nicholson is to the Los Angeles Lakers. Together, they are two of sports' biggest celebrity fans, ever.

    And if Lee had his way, Ray Allen might be wearing a Knicks uniform instead of basking in retirement.

    Allen hasn't played in the NBA since 2014 and officially announced his retirement in November. There was a period of time, however, when the all-time three-point leader considered a comeback, per ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.

    He even talked to Lee, his director in He Got Game, about it. Allen told Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant in August, "Spike Lee has been trying to recruit me. We've been texting."

Matthew McConaughey: Charlie Strong Might Still Be at Texas

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    Charlie Strong served as the Texas head football coach for three seasons, compiling a 16-21 record. He was officially fired in November after three straight losses to end the 2016 season.

    Just days before the final game, Fox 7 caught up with Texas native Matthew McConaughey. The actor and big-time Longhorns fan defended Strong, saying, per Ashley Paredez and Dennis de la Pena of Fox 7, "For his entire three years here, he's had one goal in mind—what's best for these young men. That's been his goal and that's the message that we'll take forward."

    He added, "For three years he's been about what's best for these young men and who they are for the rest of their life. That's going to be the legacy of Charlie Strong, and that is a great thing. That's why we're going to go out and whoop TCU's ass Friday."

    Now, in the hypothetical world where McConaughey runs the Texas Athletic Department, it's impossible to tell what he ultimately would have done regarding Strong. He sure sounded like a fan of the guy, though.

    (He apparently likes the new guy, too, though. Alright, alright, alright.)

Kevin Connolly: Vesey to the Islanders

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    Jimmy Vesey was one of the hottest free agents of the NHL offseason. The Nashville Predators drafted the left winger in 2012, but those rights expired upon his graduation from Harvard in 2016.

    Vesey eventually signed with the New York Rangers, to the delight of the team's many celebrity fans.

    Beforehand, Entourage actor Jerry Ferrara tweeted, ".@19Vesey, on behalf of all @NYRangers fans and all New Yorkers, we would love nothing more than to see you in a #NYR jersey! #JVtoNYR."

    Meanwhile, Ferrara's Entourage castmate Kevin Connolly expressed a desire for Vesey to join the New York Islanders. He tweeted, "Jerry? Really bro? Who put you up to that? I know you can care less about the Rangers... .@19Vesey @NYIslanders."

    Of course, free-agent decisions aren't made by front offices, but it sure seems Connolly would have fought to get Vesey on the other New York team.

Michael Rapaport: Knicks Don't Draft Kristaps Porzingis

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    Actor Michael Rapaport was not the only New York Knicks fan upset with his team's decision to draft Kristaps Porzingis at No. 4 in 2015.

    Seriously, it was almost as unpopular as Roger Goodell's mere presence at the NFL draft.

    Rapaport, a longtime Knicks fan, posted an incredibly NSFW video ranting against the pick. He also appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and said, "We don't know anything about him."

    Obviously, Porzingis proved many of his doubters wrong. The power forward started 72 games and averaged 14.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 2015-16 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting. Still, if Rapaport were in charge, he likely never would have donned a Knicks uniform.

Flea: Lakers Fire Mike D'Antoni

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    Jack Nicholson isn't the only famous Los Angeles Lakers fan. Longtime Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea has been a regular at Staples Center for years.

    And he had plenty to say about former coach Mike D'Antoni, who went 67-87 in less than two full seasons as head coach.

    Flea expressed disapproval for D'Antoni on KROQ in August 2013, and in December of that year, he tweeted, per Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie, "I know he's got a depleted roster. But even with a loaded one, his coaching concept is unsustainable and cannot win. Ever. Fire dantoni."

    D'Antoni resigned in May 2014, but had Flea been in charge, he might have been gone months earlier. 

James Hetfield: Raiders Stay in Oakland

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    The Oakland Raiders might move to Las Vegas, but if James Hetfield had anything to say about it, the team would stay right where it is.

    The Metallica frontman is a longtime Raiders fan. In December, he announced his support for a plan led by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott to build a new stadium in Oakland.

    Hetfield said in a statement, per Brendan Weber of NBC Bay Area:

    I fully support the Lott Group and Another Planet Entertainment in their pursuit of keeping the team here in the Bay Area. From the heart of a true lifelong Oakland Raider fan, this team needs Oakland, and Oakland needs the Raiders. You will not find a more loyal and intense fan base than the Oakland 'Raider Nation.' Do the right thing here and help each other to make it work.

    Meanwhile, rapper Ice Cube said he'll support the Raiders even if they move to Vegas, per TMZ Sports.

Jeremy Piven: Derrick Rose Stays in Chicago

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    The Chicago Bulls traded hometown hero Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in June after years of injury struggles for the point guard.

    Several Chicago fans might have made a different call, however.

    In 2015, President Barack Obama told Bill Simmons in an interview for GQ, "I've not given up on him. Sadly, I think it's hard to imagine, after that many injuries, him getting back to his MVP-season performance. But he can still be a top-10 point guard."

    As recently as March, Entourage actor Jeremy Piven told TMZ Sports, "Never give up on Derrick Rose." And, "He was an All-Star, and he will be again."

Eddie Vedder: Aaron Rodgers to the Bears

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    Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder is an Illinois native and Chicago sports fan. He was one of the Chicago Cubs' biggest celebrity supporters during the 2016 World Series run.

    Back in 2014, however, Vedder showed some love to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at a concert in Milwaukee. Per Piet Levy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Vedder shouted out the QB from stage and called him "royalty."

    Per Levy, Vedder "also told the audience he asked Rodgers backstage if he'd be interested in a trade with Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. 'I've never seen a grown man laugh so hard in my life,' Vedder said."

    Even a Chicago Bears fan can recognize a superior QB when he sees one. 

Jerry Seinfeld: Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets

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    That's right. In this case, the celebrity fan would have done the exact same thing the front office did.

    Longtime New York Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld was stoked when his team traded for All-Star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in 2015.

    He tweeted, "Oh my god. @Mets I can't believe I can actually say this, but is it true that there is now 'A Cespedis for the rest of us'? #mets #T7L."

    Any Seinfeld fan should be tickled by that one.

    The comedian and outfielder have also shared some Twitter love over Cuban sandwiches.

Mark Wahlberg: Larry Fitzgerald to the Patriots

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    Actor Mark Wahlberg is a Massachusetts native and big-time New England Patriots fan.

    Before he headed to Houston for Super Bowl LI, Wahlberg participated in the Annexus Pro-Am at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and took a moment to talk about recruiting Arizona Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to the Pats.

    He said, per Des Bieler of the Washington Post, "I apologize to the people of Arizona, but I'll try to recruit him for the Patriots for one year. He'll get a ring and retire a champion."

    Unfortunately for Wahlberg, the 33-year-old Fitzgerald committed to playing out his contract with the Cardinals in 2017, per ESPN's Jim Trotter.


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