Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tim Tebow, Gronk, Solo need reality shows
By Lynn Hoppes
With the news last week that baseball legend Pete Rose is working with TLC on a reality show, Playbook has decided to look at who else should be doing the same thing.
We've asked former NFL receiver Hank Baskett, who is married to Kendra Wilkinson and co-starring on the WE reality show "Kendra on Top," to give us his thoughts. Baskett also just opened a Los Angeles-based NFL gym with trainer Travelle Gaines.
TIM TEBOW, New York Jets quarterback Why you would watch: With his arrival in the media mecca of New York City this spring, all eyes are on the polarizing quarterback. Where did he eat last night? What designer is he wearing? Who was he with at the movies?
Baskett's case: "Tebow might be the only person that could have a reality show that would be aired in church! He has a following that no athlete has ever imagined and his reputation as a humanitarian would only drive in more viewers. With his divine connections you never know who might make a cameo."
ROB GRONKOWSKI, New England Patriots tight end Why you would watch: Have you seen him dance on the Internet? Have you seen him on the cover of the ESPN the Magazine Body Issue? Have you seen him hang with his brothers and wrestle on the red carpet at the recent ESPYS? Who wouldn't want to watch that?
Baskett's case: "The MTV audience would be choice No. 1 for Gronk! He's an incredible athlete on the field, which people like to see, but because of previous shenanigans that landed him in the media people are going to tune in to see if he gets into something crazy. He's definitely cleaned up as of late, but there's always that chance and that's what people wait for. By day it's all about business but at night, let the shenanigans begin."
BRYCE HARPER, Washington Nationals outfielder Why you would watch: The 19-year-old has raised the ire of some opposing managers and electrified his city of Washington. He has been slumping as of late but fans are still watching.
Baskett's case: "This would be a show that would give people behind the scenes access of what is believed to be the next great thing in baseball. Bryce has hit more home runs in his life than there are episodes of 'Friends!' He's the All-American kid making a name for himself in the All-American city. Who doesn't want to follow a 'National' hero?"
DAVID BECKHAM, L.A. Galaxy midfielder Why you would watch: Even though Beckham is on the downward side of his soccer career, he still captivates an audience with his looks, his personality and his wife, Victoria. Throw in cute-as-a-button kids and you have a TV ratings winner.
Baskett's case: "Beck's signing by the Galaxy almost immediately took soccer from the dungeon to being relevant in the United States. Add the fact that almost every woman would give anything to bottle his sweat from a game and most men would want to be him for a day just to get next to Victoria, and you have a show that reaches all audiences. Plus, he is an amazing father, which only adds value. Trust me, I know how the 'good father' card helps with fans."
SERENA and VENUS WILLIAMS, tennis stars Why you would watch: People have read a lot about the relationship of Serena and Venus with their father, Richard. And they've heard both women talk about how close they are. But it would be interesting to see the sisters go to a restaurant to talk about guys or talk about life away from the tennis court.
Baskett's case: "This dynamic duo is feared by all competitors that line up across from them. It'd be great to go behind the scenes and see how exactly they handle being sisters that dominate a sport -- do they work together off the court like they do during doubles matches? -- and what exactly happens after one defeats the other. With the way their father trained them, they could also inspire families to want to be more involved in their children's lives."
DWIGHT HOWARD, Orlando Magic center Why you would watch: Is Dwight a character in "Batman" -- Two-Face? He tries so hard to be liked but he's making missteps everywhere. What is really going through his psyche? That's what people want to see. And throw in the sometimes kid-like personality and it could be ratings gold.
Baskett's case: "Dwight has reminded me of an old Paula Abdul song. He takes positive steps forward and people get all excited, and then somehow takes more steps back and people quickly turn against him. Either he is acting like Bobby Fischer and strategically waiting to say 'checkmate,' or he has no clue what the heck he's going to say next. People both love and hate this. Why wouldn't people want to tune in to try to figure out what will happen? Each episode would be an extreme cliffhanger."
KURT BUSCH, NASCAR driver Why you would watch: Kurt doesn't like the media. We get that. But he does love his fans. We get that. It's always fascinating to watch a driver who has no filter.
Baskett's case: "No filter sells and it sells good, when the person knows how to use it. Kurt definitely does this. Fans would watch to see whether this no-filter approach is shown when stuck in rush hour or someone cuts him off in a parking lot. And I also feel like athletes that have issues with the media would tune in to hear Kurt say some of the things they want to say themselves."
JIMMER FREDETTE, Sacramento Kings guard Why you would watch: The BYU great had a so-so first year but the fans were still in his corner, calling out his name when he wasn't in the lineup. He recently got married to a former BYU cheerleader and said he's coming back stronger this fall. People will want to watch him improve on the court and balance marriage at the same time.
Baskett's case: "Great love story. However, is BYU ready to be a part of 'Basketball Wives?'"
HOPE SOLO, U.S. women's soccer goalkeeper Why you would watch: From the World Cup to "Dancing with the Stars" to the Olympics, Hope is a perfect name for a U.S. superstar. People don't really get to see the private of her and that's what great television is all about.
Baskett's case: "Hope. The name alone would drive the marketing of the show. She could do a reality show that shows her reaching out and inspiring others, especially girls that need help managing both being that aggressive tomboy on the field yet a woman off. Full of inspiration and this show is definitely driven for the female audience."
REGGIE BUSH/MILES AUSTIN/KRIS HUMPHRIES, Kim Kardashian's exes Why you would watch: Come on. It's three athletes who have dated the reality superstar who now is dating rapper Kanye West. Imagine their conversations.
Baskett's case: "Simply put, this will be a parody of 'Three Men and a Baby.' It'd be funny to just see them in their everyday lives and no matter where they go -- be it at home, work or out and about -- and a picture, magazine or an entertainment show on TV would always pop up. Like a ghost that's haunting them all. People would tune in to see if there was any actual way for these guys to escape their unique 'bond.' I wonder if Kanye will lace the theme song."
D.J. Gallo, Patrick Dorsey and Bill Speros of ESPN.com contributed to this list.