Becoming a pro athlete used to be a career goal. Now, it's now merely a steppingstone toward the ultimate prize -- a reality show featuring your every "unscripted" move.
Of course, getting the chance to air your personal life on cable is not as easy as it used to be. The homemade video of yourself doing wacky things has been replaced by a prerequisite highlight reel, and even that isn't always enough.
So what does it take? Here's a primer for those looking to cash in on the prime time in prime-time player.
Get drafted. This used to be the hard part. But hundreds of athletes get their names called each year in NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL drafts, and the vast majority of them will never become a household name. However, this is the first step toward earning a place in the lineup -- the new fall cable lineup, that is.
Come up with witty touchdown celebrations. Change your name to something that makes no sense. Complain a lot. It used to be all about building a team, but teams don't get reality shows. Individuals do. (See VH1's new Sunday block of "Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch" and "The T.O. Show." )
Date a Kardashian. This has proven to lead not only to tabloid (ergo reality) stardom, but both Reggie Bush and Lamar Odom also concluded their recent seasons hoisting championship trophies. That's promising news for Cowboys fans.
Get married. When Carmelo Anthony tied the knot this past weekend, cameras were rolling -- and not just to provide the Denver Nuggets' forward and his bride a memento of their special day. Don't believe this works? Who'd heard of Hank Baskett before his wedding at the Playboy Mansion? Double points -- and possibly a spinoff -- if you happen to marry a Kardashian. (See Odom above.)
But remember, while there's nothing like seeing yourself splashed across the cover of US Weekly, reality TV fame is especially fickle. Remember "Committed: The Christies"? No one else does either.