A sports fans' guide to how to get on TV

Vancouver's Green Men are adept at not-so-subtly distracting opposing players. Jeff Vinnick/NHLI/Getty Images

If you’re reading this, chances are you like sports and grew up dreaming of becoming a famous star athlete.

Unfortunately, that didn’t quite work out for us.

We’re stuck watching in the stands while the famous star athletes are out on the field. Yet the desire to get on TV still burns for many sports fans, and just because you’re not in the pros doesn’t mean you can’t get your 15 minutes of fame.

There are 13 ways we fans can get our faces on TV during a game. Here they are.

Make a sign using the network’s name

It’s the tried and true method of getting your face on TV during a game. Be it ESPN, ABC, NBC, CBS or FOX, if you have a sign promoting the network that is even vaguely related to the game being broadcast and rated PG-13 or lower, you will be televised.

Should you do this? Yes, but pulling it off is harder than you think. Some network names are hard to make into a sign, leaving you with something like this:


Says we

Play like a … uhh …

Nuts, I can’t think of anything.

2 bad.

Be a celebrity

Famous people always get on camera at sporting events, for better or worse.

Should you do this? Should you be a celebrity? Oh, definitely. The hours are great and the pay is even better. You really should have done this before, though. You’ve been missing out.

Be an attractive woman

If you are an attractive woman, the camera will find you in the crowd. Facts are facts.

Should you do this? Your call. Only 51 percent of the population is female, and only a percentage of that percentage is true camera bait. That means a large percentage of us would need to undergo surgery ranging from minor cosmetic work to a major sex change procedure followed by cosmetic work. Is it worth all that when you can just spend five minutes making a sign that uses a network’s letters in it? Again: your call.

Be a cute baby

The camera loves a cute baby. Awww, look at the ice cream smeared all over its face. Who’s the baby? Who is? You are! You’re the baby!

The best part about putting babies on camera: No one can smell a baby through a television.

Should you do this? Sure, if possible. But there is a very slim chance that any babies are able to read this. And if a baby is super-smart and can read, it’s probably not all that cute. It’s just how life works. Few Nobel Prize winners have found their way into People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” issue.

Of course, if you are an adult, you can dress up as a giant baby and that will probably get you on camera. But you won’t be cute and the camera time may come on TLC.

Humiliate yourself

Along the lines of an adult baby, if you look absolutely ridiculous -- think everyone at a Raiders game or every reality TV show contestant -- you’ll probably get on camera. Congratulations?

Should you do this? It depends. Are your parents still living? Do you have children? Do you ever hope to gain employment? If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you should avoid humiliating yourself just to get on television.

Go shirtless at a cold-weather game

This one is football-specific for December and January games, but if you don’t have a shirt on and it’s below freezing, you will get on camera. It’s guaranteed.

Check that. It’s guaranteed if you’re male. If you’re female, you will not get on camera. You will get in jail.

Should you do this? How drunk are you? And how upset would you be after sobering up to find that your nipples fell off because of frostbite? Both important questions to ponder.

Fall asleep

Sleeping babies always make it on TV, but we’ve already covered babies. Sleeping adults are usually only shown in extra innings or overtime. Showing them in regulation conveys the message that the game is boring or that all the fans are drunk and passed out, and most networks don’t want to do that.

Should you do this? You don’t have a choice. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen. You’ll know it happened when you are awakened by your cell phone ringing. “Dad, it’s me! I just saw you asleep on TV!”

Skillfully mock a player or coach

Mean-spirited taunting or mocking that simply isn’t all that clever is unlikely to make it on the air. But if you do something like this? You’ve won at life.

Should you do this? What kind of question is that? Of course you should! Go! Go! Go! Do it now! Entertain us, you witty jester of sport!

Make a skilled catch

A one-handed grab on a foul ball or home run will get you noticed. Same with snagging a puck or errant field goal attempt out of the air.

Should you do this? Definitely. But if you’re so skilled, why are you sitting in the crowd with the rest of us schmoes? You should be out their playing. You really messed up, man. Your high school guidance counselor steered you down the wrong path.

Make a skilled catch with your beer

Now we’re raising the difficulty level. Not every fan grab of a foul ball will make it on TV. But every fan grab of a foul ball caught with a cup of beer will. It’s a sports broadcasting law.

Should you do this? 100 percent yes. Not only will you get on TV, but everyone in your section will treat you to replacement beers for the rest of the game.

Hilariously fail at making a catch

So you’ve chosen to catch a ball or puck but it all went horribly wrong. Have you missed your chance to make it on TV? Not at all, as long as you fell down some steps!

Should you do this? Yes! As long as you have health insurance.

Attempt to make a catch while violating laws of a civil society

So you’ve chosen to catch a ball or puck but there is a kid, pregnant lady or elderly person in your way. Pushing them to the ground might be wrong, but it will earn you two rights: a souvenir and your face on TV.

Should you do this? If you’re even considering it, you’re a terrible person, so you may as well just go ahead with it.

Run onto the field

All the action is out on the field or court, right? So the best way to get on TV is to go where the action is! No, you drunken moron. Networks don’t show streakers. At best you’ll be seen for a split-second before the cameras pan up and away from you and your various flopping body parts. The only way you’ll ever really be seen is if the world’s greatest photojournalist happens to be at the game. (That photo not winning a Pulitzer remains one of the greatest injustices of our time.)

Should you do this? Do you want to get tased, bro?