This story is not real. All names are made up, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. All quotes are fictional and any similarity to actual quotes is coincidental.
NEW YORK--The New York Red Bulls, desperate to attract interest from America sports fans, have offered golfer Tiger Woods $250 million to play for them for the next five years. Though Woods has never played soccer on any level, the Red Bulls are confident he can learn the game well enough to avoid getting himself killed.
Head coach and GM Bruce Arena believes the signing of Woods would propel the Red Bulls to the top of the MLS.
"Obviously when you sign a player of Tiger Woods' caliber, it's going to have a huge impact on your whole franchise," said Arena, who took over as head coach and sporting director last year. "We feel that he will bring in so much revenue from a marketing perspective that it won't really matter if he can play or not. He just has to stand there and wave to the crowd, talk on his cell phone, read a book, whatever. As long as he stays out of the way he should be fine. I know this sounds like a crazy idea, but it's no crazier than the Galaxy hiring David Beckham. The only difference is, at this point, Tiger is probably the better soccer player."
The Los Angeles Galaxy made a big splash recently when they signed Beckham, an international soccer superstar, to a 5-year deal worth up to $250 million. Though Beckham's skills have seriously eroded over the years, the Galaxy feel he will earn his money through endorsements and merchandise sales.
Red Bull New York is attempting to take that concept a step further by signing a non-soccer player to join their squad.
"Okay, so he doesn't play soccer. Big deal," said Arena. "A lot of people in America don't play soccer. The point is that he's famous as hell and we want him associated with our team. If he doesn't accept our offer, believe me, it's going to get a lot worse. I won't divulge our entire list of options, but let's just say it starts with Brett Favre and it ends with...Beyonce? Wow, even I think that's stupid. Whatever. She has a nice ass. That's got to be worth a few mil."
It is not known whether Woods plans to accept the deal, but $250 million may be too hard to pass up, even for one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. When reached for comment, Woods said he was "intrigued" by the offer.
"It's certainly intriguing," Woods told the New York Post. "I've always enjoyed watching soccer and I've always enjoyed millions of dollars. That being said, I'm not really sure I'm cut out for it. All the running around, the kicking of balls, the head butting of balls, the gasping for breath -- it's a far cry from golf. If we can work out some kind of deal where I don't have to actually play, I might be interested. I don't want to do any merchandising either, or personal appearances or TV ads or anything. Basically what I'm saying is if they send me a check for $250 million with no strings attached I'll cash it."
However, the Red Bulls would require Woods to take the field for at least five minutes per game to maintain the illusion that he actually plays for the team. The Galaxy have a similar arrangement with Beckham, who will be required to kick the ball a few times until he gets tired.
"We'd like an arrangement similar to the Galaxy's," said Arena. "David is just going to make a few cameo appearances for them and then take off and go hang out at a night club or whatever. But his face is going to be plastered all over everything from shirts to hats to soccer balls to underpants, and they're going to make a killing off that shit, because they're going to sell it to people in England who are still ga-ga over the guy. It's a really ingenious plan, other than the fact that it's not going to work."
But will Red Bull players accept a hired gun on their team? Probably, says assistant coach Richie Williams.
"I can't see anybody complaining too much about it," Williams said. "After all, the money Tiger could make for this team could trickle down to the rest of the players. And we all know what that means: paychecks every week, a team bus, one complimentary ticket to each game, and no more bringing your own soccer balls to the game. We'll have three or four of them stored in the locker room just for our team. Of course, we'll have to be careful not to kick them over the fence or anything, because those things aren't cheap."
Dave Saraiva is the author of thebrushback.com. Click here to buy his book, The Brushback Report: All the Sports News That's Unfit to Print.