It you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the midst of a pandemic. A global pandemic. It’s.... not great out there. We’ve seen our daily lives turned upside down. There’s record levels of people losing their job. Those that still are employed are working from home. Stores, restaurants, bars and just about everything else are closed. There are no sports. We’re all stuck at home and there’s nothing to do with our newfound time. That’s to say nothing of the obvious toll the virus has taken on the health of millions.
But as bad as this entire ordeal has been, there’s also been an incredible amount of good to come from it. I’ve met neighbors I’ve never seen before in my four years in our neighborhood as everyone is now out walking. I’ve witnessed my son learn to ride a bike. I saw our baby crawl for the first time. People are banding together to make personal protective equipment across the country. Entire cities are stepping outside to thank our healthcare workers collectively. There is some genuine goodness out there.
That includes the All-In Challenge. If you aren’t familiar, head over to Fanatics where you can see a slew of incredible items and experiences being auctioned off to benefit some great charities during this pandemic. But it’s not just an auction. There are also a number of great things you can simply buy entries for and a winner will be drawn at a specified date. We’re talking about things like $100,000 in fan gear (even I may have a hard time spending all that) or tickets to the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series and NHL Stanley Cup - all in one. Or a one day contract with the Dallas Mavericks where you’ll be subbed in to shoot a free throw. Or a role in a Kevin Hart movie. Or a round of golf with Bill Murray. Or an ultimate Texas fan experience with Matthew McConaughey. Like I said, some pretty incredible stuff.
Noticeably absent for this community, however, is anything having to do with our beloved Hawkeyes. That had me thinking - what could they include in the All-In Challenge that would make me hand over all my money? Here’s the top ten.
10. A Round of Golf With Sherm Dillard
Everyone knows Coach Dillard loves to hit the links, now you can join him for 18 holes. Talk hoops, talk golf, talk fashion advice - you’ve got a few hours to cover as much ground as you can.
9. Shooting Lessons from Kirk Speraw
Coach Speraw is widely regarded as the shot doctor. Now he can fix your jumper. Or your kid’s. Either way, someone’s going to be killing it in HORSE during the next quarantine.
8. Coffee With Kirk Ferentz
Coach Ferentz starts his days early, but they always start with a pit stop at Starbucks on the way to the office. You get a ride along to North Dodge Hy-Vee (where you’ll get a coffee) and as much conversation as you can squeeze in before that venti is bye-bye. Just refrain from talking about chop blocks if you’re not a fan of third degree burns.
7. Call Timeout in Iowa Basketball’s Season Opener
One of the primary criticisms of head coach Fran McCaffery has been his timeout usage. He’s notorious for letting runs go on without calling a TO to slow them down. Now is your chance to be proven right. In Iowa basketball’s season opener, you’ll be sitting courtside with the ability to call a single timeout at any point you wish. Surely the coaching job offers will flow once your genius is put on full display.
6. Personalized Workout Plan from Coach Doyle
The heart and soul of Iowa football is player development. That comes down to one man: Chris Doyle. Now, Doyle is working with you to achieve whatever goals you may have. Want to lose weight? You’ll be as lean as you’ve ever been. Looking to bulk up? Doyle will get 30 pounds of muscle on you in the next year. Staying in shape will be up to you.
5. Call the First Play of Iowa Football’s Season Opener
Outside zone to the boundary. That’s it. That’s the play. Unless you change it. You can call whatever you want. Want to punt on first down? Kirk Ferentz might just adopt you. Ready for the annexation of Puerto Rico? Kirk will blow through 4 packs of gum, but you’re getting your play. It’s just like Madden, except it probably won’t work.
4. Ultimate Wrestling Fan Experience
Now we’re talking. You’re getting to sit mat-side with the Brands Bros for an entire season. You’ll get access to three practices and travel with the team to all duals, including the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. Giddy up.
3. Ultimate Basketball Fan Experience
Maybe hoops is more your thing? Take your fandom court-side for every game of the season. You’ll also get access to three practices and travel with the team to all road events.
2. Ultimate Football Fan Experience
Who isn’t a football fan? Same deal here, except you’re on the sidelines. Same three practices, same travel arrangements. This one gets sweet when you’re in Tampa in early January.
1. Ultimate Iowa Fan Experience
Really though, who wants to choose between football, basketball or wrestling? Take all three!
Other items available to bid on include:
- One day of parenting from Phil Parker - learn to swear, discipline and teach your kids for a lifetime of success
- Sales Tips from Kelvin Bell - if you’re in sales for a living, this is your ticket to retire early, provided you want to retire in Indy
- Body transformation from Frank Garza - if you’re not getting the Doyle treatment, who better than Frank to trim 30 pounds off that gut?
- Bully defense from Spencer Lee - you’ll get your choice of a single person to get their a$$ kicked by Spencer Lee, let’s see if they try picking on you ever again
- Career Coaching from Gary Barta - ready to take your career to the next level? Why not take it to the College Football Playoff Committee?
Bid early and bid often folks, this is for a good cause! Best of health and best of luck to you all. May the odds ever be in your favor!
**NOTE: These are not real auction items. While it would certainly be fantastic if the University of Iowa or any of its employees donated an incredible Hawkeye experience to the causes being supported by Fanatics and dozens of celebrities, these were only suggestions and attempts at humor. Please genuinely consider looking to help in any way you can during this time of crisis, whether that be through the Fanatics fundraiser (no affiliation to BHGP) or any other means.