The first season of Celebrity Big Brother comes out Wednesday, Feb. 7 at 8pm ET. on CBS, but the names of the participating celebrities didn’t really cause much of a stir. Speaking for myself, I only knew about half of the names, as some of them came from Real Housewives, etc. So it got me thinking that we should have an athlete version of this game. We want a Sports Celebrity Big Brother show!
I say let’s get 12 former athletes together, put them in the Big Brother house (a set in Los Angeles), set them up with some awesome competitions, and let’s see who can win Sports Celebrity Big Brother!
We can keep most of the competitions the same. The athletes can show off their athletic ability during some of the athletic competitions. We can find out which athletes are as dumb as we assumed with the puzzle competitions. And they can prove how competitive they are with their social strategies and their abilities in endurance competitions!
Much like other “celebrity” reality show competitions, the players can play for a charity or another worthy cause, like helping former NFL players dealing with CTE.
Someone needs to make Sports Celebrity Big Brother – and get it produced for the CBS Sports channel!
Sports Celebrity Big Brother: 12 Perfect Cast Members
One of my only requirements is that these cast members must be retired or inactive from the major sports leagues or major competition. Since there are more famous male athletes than female athletes, we have a 7-to-5 ratio of men to women. Relax, I didn’t make the “who can be famous” rules from the past 50 years.
Chad Ochocinco – NFL Wide Receiver
He has to repair that image from the domestic abuse charges that chased him out of the limelight (and the NFL), but nobody was better at creating controversy (outside of Jim McMahon) in the NFL than the artist formerly known as Chad Johnson. He’s smart, he’s hilarious and he’s a reality show veteran!
You have to dunk on your kids, it builds character… pic.twitter.com/ohxfvfpd6a
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) December 14, 2014
Dale Earnhardt Jr. – NASCAR Driver
This newly retired stock car driver would bring millions of fans to this show — he was voted the “Most Popular Driver” in NASCAR for 14 consecutive years! Plus, he’s fun!
Johnny Manziel – NFL Quarterback
You must have a villain or two in this show, and who better than Johnny Football? His ultra-selfish ways, combined with an uncanny ability to convince people to follow him, makes him a Sports Celebrity Big Brother choice!
We could invite Tim Tebow, too, just to make a great yin-yang, angel-devil kinda thing! But I think Tebow might be a little too vanilla for this show. We need controversy!
Alex Rodriguez – MLB Shortstop
A-Rod might not have the personality of Chad Ochocinco, and it’s quite possible he’ll be ultra boring, but let’s not forget this guy can be convinced to do weird stuff.
Happy with ARod's decision to retire if he is. In the end we all gotta be able to look at ourselves in the mirror. pic.twitter.com/rOpCR6vsJI
— тony lewιѕ (@TeeJayLew) March 23, 2016
Peyton Manning – NFL Quarterback
Manning is a leader with a great personality – and awesome sense of humor – and we’d love to see him deal with nominating two housemates for eviction as the Head of Household. Plus, his practical jokes and shenanigans will make for some great TV. Imagine Ochocinco baiting Manning into saying if he thinks he’s better than Tom Brady or not!
David Ortiz – MLB Designated Hitter
Big Papi brings a fun personality and hardcore competitive spirit into the house, and we’d love to see him room with A-Rod for a couple weeks. If Papi is busy, we’ll take Manny Ramirez in a heartbeat. His selfishness and inability to have people understand just what “Manny Being Manny” means will be great TV dramedy!
Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards – Olympic Skier
Every Big Brother cast must have a nerd of sorts, and who better than British Olympic ski-jumper Eddie Edwards, complete with bottle-bottom glasses and a British accent!?!
Laila Ali – Boxer
Ali proved on The Celebrity Apprentice that she’s smart, in control of her emotions and one tough cookie to beat in a debate or in a competition. I’d love to see her get into a battle with Manziel about him
Anna Kournikova – Tennis Player
The Russian former tennis player ranks as one of the most beautiful athletes in history, but she’s also a reality show veteran from her time as a trainer on The Biggest Loser. She famously told it how it is, with little care for people’s reactions or emotions, which makes her an absolutely awesome choice for Sports Celebrity Big Brother!
Abby Wambach – USWNT Soccer Player
We’d love to cast Hope Solo, for her unpredictability, but she’s still playing for the U.S. Women’s National Team. Abby has a little more edge to her than Mia Hamm, although, Brandi Chastain is a good option, too.
Jillian Barberie – Fox NFL Sunday Weatherperson
Currently, Fox NFL Sunday is the best Sunday morning network pregame show not on the NFL Network, but back in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, it was even better! Having Jimmy Kimmel on every week helped, but so did having Barberie on talking about weather where games were going to be played. She’s awesome, and we love her.
Lisa Leslie – WNBA Player
The WNBA legend – and the first woman to every dunk a basketball during a WNBA game – went far in the most recent version of The Celebrity Apprentice, finishing fifth behind Boy George and eventual winner and American Ninja Warrior host, Matt Iseman. (Nothing in the previous sentence would make sense in 1985.)
Do you have some athletes you’d like to add to our Sports Celebrity Big Brother cast? Tweet me @DavidGonos and let me know – then let’s make this baby happen! Speaking of athletes, here are 10 fake tweets from real athletes over the past century that might have happened if Twitter was around earlier!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.