It was recently reported that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was part of the "pitch meeting" organized by the Boston Celtics to lure free agent NBA superstar Kevin Durant to Beantown. There have even been reports that Hollywood-types, and Boston sports fans, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were also enlisted for help in trying to land Durant.
So that got me to thinking. Who would be at every Mid-Conference school's pitch meeting if they were trying to land a hi-profile, high school athlete? It could be in any sport, men's or women's. Who would the three or four people you'd put in the room to impress that prized recruit?
Here is my shot at each MAC school's list. Chime in with your picks because I've undoubtedly overlooked some people.
I have to admit that my first thought was Zippy. Didn't she win a national mascot challenge a few years ago? But I am ruling out using mascots, so Zippy is not at the meeting.
My next thought would be LeBron James. I know he didn't actually graduate from here, but he is Mr. Akron, so you have to include him. A couple of his boys, Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis did play for the Zips, and Keith Dambrot was his high school coach his freshman year. So King James deserves a place at the meeting and immediately makes the Zips a tough hand to beat.
Next would be Jim Tressel. Again, I know he's more associated with Ohio State and Youngstown State, but he did spend some time at Akron after he resigned from the Buckeyes. Zips should use their leverage and get Tressel to this meeting. He and LeBron would make for a great 1-2 punch.
Lastly, I would invite former Zip and NFL player Jason Taylor to the meeting. Taylor had a 15-year NFL career and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2006. Not a bad third option.
Ball State Cardinals
Ball State alum David Letterman would lead this team and make it fun, if nothing else. Thirty years of stories from late night television should come in handy.
Joyce Dewitt of Three's Company sitcom fame would be my next choice. She's a Ball State alum and I would love to hear her stories about Suzanne Somers and herself in their heyday.
I would also include another Cardinal alum, John Schnatter. Who's that you ask? He is the one and only Papa John! You remember him from thoseselling pizza with Peyton Manning. He could talk about future endorsements for the recruit, once he goes pro.
Bowling Green Falcons
If I were the Falcons, I would lead off with 1972 Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters, Dave Wottle. Who could forget the images of him embarrassed when he forgot to remove his hat during the National Anthem as he received his medal. Accomplished, humble and a great person at the meeting.
And speaking of Olympics, take your pick from among Ken Morrow and Mark Wells, members of the "1980 Miracle on Ice" Olympic gold medal hockey team, or Scott Hamilton, Olympics gold medalist in figure skating.
Finally, you'd have to invite Falcon and NBA great Nate Thurmond to the meeting. How do you leave one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players out of this meeting?
The Buffalo meeting starts and ends with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Wolf would be the perfect host at the meeting and he might even get the network to carry the meeting live...in the Situation Room!
Next would come the Hollywood contingent of Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures and Harvey Weinstein, founder of Miramax Films. Maybe some pitching of movie scripts to the young athlete?
Finally, let's throw in NFL linebacker and 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Khalil Mack of the Oakland Raiders. With the others being in media and movies, Khali's job at the meeting would be to "keep it real."
Central Michigan Chippewas
Feature film star and CMU alum Jeff Daniels would be the first invite for the Chippewas. He would get added bonus points if he came dressed in his tuxedo from "Dumb and Dumber," riding that famous mini bike.
Professional wrestling great and Chip alum George "The Animal" Steele would also be invited to the meeting. If the recruit balked at signing with the Chips, George could come off the top rope...if you know what I mean?
Finally, former Central Michigan greats, NBA player Dan Majerle, and 2013 NFL Draft overall #1 pick Eric Fisher of the Kansas City Chiefs would have seats at the table.
Eastern Michigan Eagles
The Eagles would be the first meeting here with all athletic ties. Former Eastern Michigan and NBA/ABA legend George Gervin would be the first person invited to the Eagles pitch meeting. It would be really cool if George was sitting on ice and wearing that silver jumpsuit he wore in the Gatorade commercial with Dwayne Wade.
Former Eagle and current New York Mets manager, Terry Collins would be the next person invited to the Eastern Michigan meeting.
Lastly, I would invite former Eagle quarterback and Super Bowl winner Charlie Batch to the meeting. Charlie could talk about his 15 year NFL career and his two Super Bowl rings won while backing up Ben Roethlisberger with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State actually has one of the harder meetings to decide upon. They have a ton of off-the-field personalities that could turn the head of a recruit. Take your pick from among comedian Drew Carry, actor Michael Keaton, talk show host Arsenio Hall, boxing promoter Don King (Only in America), and Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh.
When switching to the athletic side, two names jump out as people who absolutely have to be at the meeting. Former Golden Flashes, Jack Lambert (NFL Hall of Famer with Pittsburgh Steelers), and Antonio Gates, tight end with the San Diego Chargers and soon-to-be NFL Hall of Famer.
The Miami Redhawks meeting would have some championship rings to show off. Former Miami great and five-time NBA champion, Ron Harper could wax poetic about his years in Chicago with Michael Jordan.
Former Redhawk and two-time NFL Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger could talk about his years as the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The wildcard at this meeting would be Miami alum and actress Tina Louise. Tina could talk about how she survived four years and 98 episodes on Gilligan's Island as Ginger...and it was only supposed to be a three hour cruise.
Northern Illinois Huskies
The Northern Illinois Huskies meeting might be one of the most diverse. The first name, Dan Castellaneta, might not be recognizable. But I bet you've heard his voice. The Huskie alum is the voice of Homer Simpson on the popular "The Simpsons." Couldn't you just see him saying his classic "D'Oh" on cue of the meeting goes off the rails?
The next seat at the table is also another name you might not be familiar with, Cindy Morgan. She portrayed the immortal Lacy Underall in the comedy classic Caddyshack.
On the athletic side, it would all be guests from the Huskies highly successful football program. You can start with Jordan Lynch, who finished third in the 2013 Heisman Trophy voting. Doug Free has played on the offensive line for the Dallas Cowboys since 2007. And, Linebacker Larry English was the highest Huskie ever selected in the NFL draft at #16 in 2009 by the San Diego Chargers.
Having a noted journalism school, it's not surprising that Ohio University has a few media members that would headline their pitch meeting. Bobcat alum Matt Lauer of NBC's "Today Show" would be the perfect meeting host.
Former Bobcat women's basketball player Allie LaForce would get a spot in the meeting. She is a former Miss Teen USA and currently does sideline reporting for CBS Sports.
Actor Ed O'Neil of "Married...With Children" and "Modern Family" would be at the meeting and he wouldn't even need to say anything. He could just sit there with that frown on his face. Perfect!
The Rockets are another school with an all athletic meeting composition. The first seat would go to former Rocket quarterback Chuck Ealey who led Toledo to a record 35 straight wins from 1969-1971.
The next spot would belong to former Rocket wide Receiver Lance Moore. Moore had an outstanding 11-year career, including and NFL Super Bowl Championship with the New Orleans Saints in 2010.
The last spot would got to former Rocket basketball great Steve Mix. Mix played in the NBA for 13 seasons and was sixth man on the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers from 1973 to 1982.
Western Michigan Broncos
The Broncos of Western Michigan would have a fun pitch meeting because alum and actor Tim Allen would be leading the festivities. "The Tool Man" would keep the meeting light and everyone's spirits up. You know he'd show up in his Broncos "Row the Boat" sweatshirt.
The next person at the meeting would be former Bronco pitcher and major leaguer Jim Bouton. Bouton played 16 years in the major leagues but is best known for his best-selling book, Ball Four, which blew the lid off life on the road in major league baseball. I'd love to hear what didn't make the book.
Former Bronco and NFL wide receiver Greg Jennings would round out the pitch meeting guest list for Western Michigan. Jennings will be in his 11th NFL season this fall and he has a NFL Super Bowl Championship with the Green Bay Packers in 2011 to his credit.