Athletes for sale, but I’m not buying

Meeting professional athletes is always a fun and spontaneous experience, but imagine that instead of going to a game to meet a home team’s hero, he came to you.

For a minimum price of $300, anyone can rent an athlete for a day and be the cool kid on the playground by booking a local athlete at thuzio.com.

The idea seems to be a good one, but it actually takes away from the experience of going to a live game and makes the athletes seem like products, not to mention that only B-list athletes are available.

Former all-pro running back for the New York Giants, Tiki Barber, recently co-founded Thuzio, an online site that allows people to enter an auction for the opportunity to hang out with former professional athletes.

The website allows customers to select the type of event that they would like the athlete to attend. The categories range from sports to fully customizable events such as birthday parties, Bar Mitzvahs or even fantasy draft nights.

Showcased athletes include former New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey, former Miami Heat point guard Tim Hardaway and even Barber himself.

Auctions start at $300; they can reach as much as $5,000, depending on the extravagance of the event.

I find it sad that Barber has to depend on the success of this business, as he has been unable to find his calling after retiring from the NFL six years ago.

Barber found himself with a short-lived television career on NBC’s “Today” before attempting to return to the NFL unsuccessfully.

His company’s tag line, “Book An Unforgettable Experience,” seems to describe the athletes’ experience rather than the fans’, as they will never forget the day they became a jester for hire after once living a rock star-esque life as a professional athlete.

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