OK, we know the sports world can get a little crazy. With athletes getting paid millions to play a game, fans rioting – whether their team wins or loses – and corporate names attached to stadiums everywhere, it is obvious people can get a little carried away. I really thought nothing could surprise me anymore until I read about a man named Curt Mueller.
On Monday, Mr. Mueller made a big purchase. So big in fact, that he shelled out $10,000. For what, you ask? A piece of chewed Bazooka bubble gum. That’s right; Mueller dropped $10,000 for used gum. But he would tell you it wasn’t just any chewed piece of gum. It happened to have been chewed by last year’s World Series hero, Luis Gonzalez, in a spring training game. Somebody pinch me and tell me I didn’t just write that.
The underlying motive behind Mueller’s purchase is promotion for his company, Mueller Sports Medicine, which manufactures and distributes Quench, another brand of bubble gum. In his eyes, the move would be great PR, but in the end, he has to live with the fact that he paid 10 Gs for someone else’s waste.
This recent auction of Gonzalez’s piece of gum follows a trend of ludicrous happenings in the world of sports. A few examples:
/_/On a recent eBay auction, an unidentified bidder shelled out $425,000 for the chance to play a round of golf with Tiger Woods. The deal also included a lunch with the current Masters champion and some autographed memorabilia. I could make the assumption that this will be the most expensive round of golf in the history of the game. At least the bidder gets the signed Tiger stuff, right?
/_/Last season, Charles Murphy was the lucky man to catch Barry Bonds’ 70th homerun, the blast that tied Mark McGuire’s single-season record. Initially Murphy rejected a $100,000 offer for the ball, calling it “ridiculous.” He decided he could get more money by auctioning the ball. Well, the auction took place, only two bids were made, and Murphy had to settle for $52,500 instead. I guess greed doesn’t pay off all the time.
/_/ In another example of insanity, Bonds’ 73rd homerun ball has created a whole different kind of craziness. In the scuffle that ensued after the ball landed in the stands last season, a fan claimed that he had possession of the ball before another fan ripped it from his hands. The two are now involved in a custody dispute still in the courts.
/_/Finally, to show how insanity can strike close to home, the University of Colorado just announced that alcohol would be sold at Folsom Field next season. However, the sale will be limited to the luxury boxes and club level seats that cost $2,250 to $50,000 a year. So what’s the message? Let the rich booze it up while the thirsty masses are forced to consume all their alcohol before the game. Or better yet, come to CSU, where anyone over 21 can enjoy their legal right to drink in Hughes Stadium!
These events typify the fanatical behavior now associated with professional and collegiate sports. It seems when it comes down to something as trivial as memorabilia and alcohol, logic and reason go right out the window.