Crunch time is here, folks. Christmas is just a few days away, and any shot at ordering something online and having it arrive by the big day disappeared at some point last week.
Brick-and-mortar stores aren’t the greatest ideas this year. If you still need something for the sports fan in your life, Cameo is an option. It’s the site where you can give celebrities and athletes your money in exchange for personalized videos.
I was strolling through the site last week, looking for options for a certain brother who wasn’t super helpful with a list, and happened to look through the athletes. Each page has a few options of actual Cameos recorded, and it’s pretty revealing. Given my love of baseball, I found a couple of players who really deliver, so I asked one of them — Cliff Floyd, a 17-year MLB player who is an analyst at MLB Network now — what the experience was like from his perspective.
“For me, the biggest excitement has been just being able to get back to the fans who have shown love for 20 years of my career. You never know where they’re coming from,” Floyd said. “Some weeks, you might do one but you can tell that one got back to a pack of moms or whatever, and they’re like, ‘We’re doing this for our son or our daughter,’ because then you’ll get three or four in a row, and that’s cool.”
Suddenly, they’re not just “fans in the stands.”
“The ones that touch you are the ones for the people who are recovering in the hospital, but they’re Cliff Floyd fans or Mets fans,” he said. “And they’ve had surgery or whatever and they’re still in the hospital, and you want to help boost them to get them out of that bed. Those are the ones that are touching. You want to be authentic but not over the top. Have fun with it, but those are the ones where you’re like, ‘Let’s help get this man back on his feet or this woman back on her feet,’ and that means a lot.”
As a point of note: The people on Cameo set their own prices; they get part and Cameo gets part. Floyd’s price is $70.
“When I say it’s $70, it’s never ‘only’ $70. It’s a ‘grateful’ $70, you know what I mean?” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity. Look, it is me and my time and I did play a sport, but that’s not who I am. I’m just grateful for a chance to have some fun with this thing. It’s something special, and it’s fun.”
With that in mind, and Christmas Day drawing ever closer, here are five scenarios you might be facing as a gift-giver, and five perfect solutions. Everyone listed here either has an average response time of one day or less, or is part of the “1-day delivery” promise on the site.
Sports people with quick response times on Cameo
Let’s say your family is meeting for a masked-up, socially distant gathering in the evening of the 23rd, and your plan was to stop by Home Depot that morning to pick up a stool/kneeling pad combo for your parents to use when they’re gardening. But you get to Home Depot and find out they don’t actually sell anything like that. What are your slacker-friendly alternative options? Here are athlete options when hours matter, not days.
John Randle ($120): You won’t find a bigger thrill for a football fan in less than two hours. He’ll inspire, motivate and entertain. The full package.
Keith Hernandez ($117): The topics are endless! Ask about Seinfeld! Ask about the Mets! Ask about winning a World Series — 1982 or 1986! And, do me a favor: Ask about the poop emoji shirt he’s wearing in his Cameo profile pic, because I want to know the story behind that. Unless he’s busy at the moment, you’ll get your video within three hours.
LaVar Ball ($133): Think what you want about Ball or the price he charges, but the BBB guru will deliver an enthusiastic video, and quickly: His average response time is less than an hour.
Dave Winfield ($283): I watched a couple of Winfield videos on his page and I feel like we’re best friends, and he wasn’t even talking to me. You won’t find a warmer smile or friendlier face. His average response time is less than six hours.
Heidi Watney ($50): Few know baseball better than Watney, an MLB Network superstar. Her average response time is around nine hours, but if you ask nicely and explain your situation, I’m sure she’ll help you out — with a video, and with an insight into the game.
Sports Cameos for $25 or less
Think of these as the stocking stuffers. They might not break the bank, but they’re pretty much guaranteed to break out smiles.
Liam Cote ($15): If you just binged “Ted Lasso” — and if not, you should — and want to hear an English soccer player wish your bestie happy holidays, you cannot do better than Cote, who’s a bargain at $15.
Mickey Morandini ($25): Good stuff here. Starts off at least some of the videos with his impression of Harry Caray saying his name. Worth it just for that. And, I’ll just say this: His words-per-minute cost has to be the lowest on Cameo.
Don Bebee ($25): How many 5-11 receivers played in four Super Bowls? Beebe’s got stories, and he’s got fantasy football advice. You’ll probably get a “Go Bills!” thrown in there whether you like the Bills or not, though.
Dustin Connell ($25): He’s a professional bass fisherman, and I know there are lots of people in your life who would enjoy a bit of advice — and maybe a spot of humor — from one of Major League Fishing’s best personalities.
Skye Bolt ($8): Skip the sandwich and use the $8 to ask how his parents came up with that amazing name.
Sports Cameos for $75 or less
We’re starting to get into actual cash expenditures here, but worth the money.
Antonio Freeman ($40): A walk-and-talk specialist. Tell him how he helped you win your fantasy football league back in the day! What a great laugh.
Jewell Loyd ($30): A star at Notre Dame and for the Seattle Storm, Loyd’s knack for offering words of encouragement and positivity is something we all need these days.
Fred Lynn ($65): Lynn has stories about Ted Williams in spring training. Yes, please.
Corbin Bernson ($75): It’s Roger Dorn from “Major League!” He’s in his pajamas for most of the Cameo examples on his page, which is a bit unusual.
Bomani Jones ($70): He’s one of the best sports journalists out there, and he’s just as good on Cameo as he is on the television.
Sports Cameos for $150 or less
At this level, we’re dipping heavy into a bit of nostalgia, with current star power and Cameo greatness mixed in. Also, there is a certain athlete at this level ($76 to $150) who gives out a home address in one of the sample videos (to send an item to be autographed), but I’m not saying who. Just shows how open and honest some of these folks are.
Rollie Fingers ($100): Yes, he still has that signature mustache. Just an engaging personality, and a friendliness that comes through on the videos.
Ahmad Rashad ($100): There might not be a single person in sports with more stories than Rashad, and he’s EXACTLY as friendly as you would imagine he would be. Rashad played in the NFL and became the most identifiable NBA reporter maybe of all time. He’s a damn bargain at $100, people.
Brian Bosworth ($150): Because he’s the Boz, that’s why. And his Cameo bio lists his movie, “Stone Cold” first, so you gotta ask about that.
Christian Okoye ($95): There was no more bruising, intimidating running back in his day than Okoye. He’s still a big Cheifs fan, and just a genuinely nice guy with a great laugh.
Ryan Reaves ($100): He’s an enforcer on the ice — for the Blues and Penguins previously, for the Golden Knights now — but the man knows how to encourage folks at the end of what’s been a difficult year for pretty much everybody.
Sports Cameos for $150 and up
When you really want to make a splash with your Cameo present.
John Daly ($750): I’m not sure there’s anything Daly won’t say on his Cameo videos. Just make sure the recipient doesn’t watch the video for the first time in public, with the volume up, because he’s probably going to sprinkle in at least a few colorful words. And, he’s quick, with an average response time of less than an hour.
Mariano Rivera ($750): Rivera is the only person who can offer words of encouragement, congratulations or advice as a player who was unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe he’ll show you how to throw a cutter.
Bo Jackson ($400): If you have $400 to spend on this website and don’t use it for Bo Jackson, I’m not sure we can be friends. Bo knows Cameo.
Sugar Ray Leonard ($300): He starts every video with a right-left combo on his punching bag! Few are better with the words of encouragement. “I’m in your corner.” And, OK, so his average response time is four days, but he’s listed in the “1-day delivery” section and his videos are so great that I think you should probably ask anyway and see if he’ll speed things up.
Chuck Norris ($400): He counts as an athlete, right? From what I can tell by the example videos, he includes Chuck Norris facts in every video and even personalizes them! Seriously, not sure how you beat that. He’s part of the “1-day delivery” program.
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