Invite Fulton Allem to your kid's bar mitzvah for $500, or better yet play golf with "Fulty" for $2,000. You can also tee it up with son-of-legend Robert Floyd ($1,500) or Nationwide Tour player Kyle Reifers ($5,000), or pony up $18,000 to join Jeff Overton [right] on the links. If you're lucky, you just might hear tales from his "Boom, baby" moment at the 2010 Ryder Cup. Grantland has a little fun with Tiki Barber's athlete-for-hire website, shining a light on the full array of options available to the discriminating fan. (Phone call from retired NBA great Cedric Cebalos: $99.)
The website is Thuzio.com. On the surface, it's a service for people to pay for personal experiences involving an athlete of their choosing. Cofounded by retired Giants running back Tiki Barber, it promises to be a sports-nostalgia junkie's dream.Only 7 percent of the 340 "Thuzio pros" are identified as pro golfers, but playing golf is an option with most of the athletes. Three-fourths of the names offer a round on the links as a prospective buy.
If you're the type who watches the MSG channel's 1994 Road to the Finals, there's John Starks. If you miss the good old days of boxing, next to him is Larry Holmes. You say the era of '90s point guards is your thing? Well, both Tim Hardaway and Gary Payton are homepage selling points. For those looking for a more recent superstar, Cy Young knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is available.
Whether you want to pay a Thuzio Pro to crash your corporate outing or be a fourth in your Sunday round, it all seems to come back to golf. Almost 250 names list a round as an option, ranging from $300 for Miss New York Elizabeth Tam, to $18,000 for PGA tour pro Jeff Overton.Photo: Jeff Overton at the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii (Getty Images).
There are two caveats. There's no guarantee they can actually play worth a lick, and you'll want to live near the athlete in question. For example, retired NFL placekicker Morten "The Great Dane" Andersen ($1,250 per round) has an Atlanta "booking area."
Outside of the pro golfers on offer, only one professional athlete—current New York Giants player Zak DeOssie—gives the buyer hope that they're purchasing someone who has their own set of clubs. The final bullet point of his LinkedIn-esque résumé is a dead giveaway that he'll have his own set: "excellent golfer (5 handicap)."