- Celebrities who
aren’t just fair weather fans
who aren’t just fair weather fans
When there’s a big
sporting event such as the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup, you often
get lots of so called sports-mad celebrities coming out of the
woodwork. They may never have shown any interest in sport, but suddenly
they’re all over it! You can’t help but wonder whether there’s an
ulterior motive in their sudden and intense interest in the 100m
sprint, or the Decathlon. Are they on camera to talk about the sport or
creating a little more interest in themselves?
Yet it would be unfair to tar all celebrities and movie stars that show
an interest in sport with the same brush. There are definitely some
famous people who are absolutely passionate fans of a particular sport
or team that plays their favourite sport.
Top of the tree has to be actor Jack Nicholson. He’s
had a stunning career in acting, with twelve nominations for an Oscar
and having three of them at home on his mantelpiece. But Jack sometimes
seems to put even more of his energy into supporting the Lakers
basketball team than into his acting. Nicholson has been sitting
courtside at the Lakers’ games for more than thirty years and the fact
that he’s an almost constant presence has made some commentators
question whether he works his acting schedule to fit around the Laker
fixtures. However, there’s been no official confirmation of this being
the case. His two courtside seats that he has every season cost well
over €100,000, but this must be a drop in the ocean for a man as
wealthy as he is.
Nicholson has been known to get very passionate
during the games, supporting the team, arguing with the referees on
occasion as well as shouting at the opposition. It’s not known whether
he has bets riding on the outcome, but the obvious choice for a celeb
wanting to place bets these days is to do what most people do and use
an online sports book such as 32red or bet365. That way, their wins and
losses are kept discreet! For anyone who doesn’t have a celeb’s salary,
it’s always worth joining a new site if you want to get a bet on as you
can qualify for a free bet.
Billy Crystal is another actor who takes his sport seriously. His interest doesn’t lie in basketball, but
baseball. He’s a passionate supporter of the New York Yankees, and his
favourite player when he was a child was Mickey Mantle. He once got
Mantle to autograph his programme at a Yankees game. Decades on from
that moment, he met Mantle on a talk show and asked him to re-autograph
the same programme and the pair became firm friends. So much so, in
fact, that Crystal co-wrote a eulogy for Mantle’s funeral. Crystal is
often seen supporting the Yankees and in 2008 even spent a day playing
for the Yankees on a one-day minor league contract. He played in the
Yankees’ spring training game and faced the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Canadian singer and actor Drake got his first major
acting break playing a disabled former high school basketball champ in
the Degrassi: The Next Generation TV show. Since then he’s carved out a
successful musical career, but Drake still makes time for basketball.
He remains loyal to his home town team, the Raptors and in September
last year, Drake was named as the Toronto Raptors’ global ambassador.
Toronto will host the 2016 NBA All-Star Game and Drake
will be a part of the event, supporting and representing his
favourite team. As well as being an ambassador for the team, Drake has
also been part of the design team for the Raptors’ kit.
You might say it’s easy to be a celebrity fan when you’re loaded with
cash and you don’t have to deal with the everyday of life that the rest
of us need to devote time too, but we have to admire the celebrities
that nail their colours to the mast and get behind their team, rather
than just joining in for those red letter days and events.