DIBIASE: TV’s newest lineup featuring your favorite athletes

Justin Dibiase

Olympic hero Michael Phelps kicked off Saturday Night Live’s 34th season on Sept. 13. Phelps followed in the footsteps of fellow athletes LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning in hosting the live comedy show from 30 Rockefeller Center. Professional athletes across the country are diving head first into America’s small and big screens. Some have had success (Ray Allen, “He Got Game”). Others have had their troubles (Shaquille O’Neal, “Kazaam”).

With fall TV shows premiering every day, let’s take a look at a few shows that could use professional athletes to showcase their talents in front of a camera.

“Extreme Makeover:

Miami Dolphins Edition”

Bill Parcells and your favorite bunch of extreme makeover workers try to do the impossible: fix the Miami Dolphins. Watch as the team attempts to patch up the Dolphins’ leaky run defense. Also, you don’t want to miss the design team attempting to make a half-full stadium look packed to the gills. And finally, catch the cleaning team attempting to get Ricky Williams clean for the first time in years!

“Dancing with the (NFL) Stars”

Tune in for a special season of “Dancing with the Stars.” This season will feature grown men in helmets and shoulder pads dancing in a 10-by-53-yard endzone. You will see unforgettable traditional dances including the High-Stepper, the Dirty Bird and the Funky Chicken. This season’s dancers include Randy Moss, Chad Ocho Cinco, Terrell Owens, Deion Sanders and Steve Smith.

“The Biggest Loser”

This season of “The Biggest Loser” chronicles five NBA franchises in their quest to be “The Biggest Loser.” Duping season ticket holders. Trading proven stars. It’s all part of being “The Biggest Loser.” The winner will receive the best chance for a No. 1 pick in the summer’s NBA Draft. The New York Knicks are this season’s favorites to take home the crown.

“Survivor: NFC East”

Host Jeff Probst takes this season of “Survivor” to the most treacherous locale on the globe: the NFC East. Four teams will battle, but only one team will be able to survive this division. Team leaders Eli Manning, Owens, Clinton Portis and Brian Westbrook will battle for immunity each week, as injuries and the unthinkable occur throughout the season.


This season of the hit show “Numb3rs” will star Ocho Cinco, who knows so much about numbers that he decided to change his last name into one. Watch Ocho Cinco and fellow FBI agent Carson Palmer as they fight crime within the Cinnicinati Bengals locker room. Ocho Cinco will solve mysteries using his vast knowledge of numbers. Ocho Cinco equals 85, doesn’t it?

“Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? – Quarterback’s Girlfriend Edition”

Jessica Simpson? No.

“American Idle”

Paula, Randy and Simon reunite this season to help crown the “American Idle” by critiquing the nation’s most idle athletes. These men and women collect their paychecks and sign autographs but do little else. This year’s top contestants include Gilbert Arenas, Andruw Jones and Carl Pavano.

“Deal or No Deal”

Drew Rosenhaus and his clients step into Howie Mandel’s “Deal or No Deal” arena with the hope of getting new contracts. The banker will be played by stubborn NFL general managers. Don’t expect to hear too many “deals” from Rosenhaus. This game show is one you don’t want to miss.


This season, the old heroes are replaced with the heroes of the sports world. With LeBron James’ superhuman jumping ability, Michael Phelps’ supersonic swimming speed, Peyton Manning’s bionic arm and Ryan Howard’s unbelievable strength, they fight evil and try to save the world.


A plane full of washed-up pro-athletes crash lands on a deserted island where they must find their lost skills in order to escape the island. Watch Nomar Garciaparra search for his defense and Eric Gagne hunt for his fastball on this season of “Lost.” Also look out for the Atlanta Falcons and Braves searching for their diminishing fan base.

“Trading Coaches: Meet Your New Boss”

In this “Trading Spaces” spinoff, college basketball teams swap head coaches for a week. “Trading Coaches” follows the teams throughout their week, highlighting the laughs, gaffes and the coaches’ wrath. What will happen when Jay Wright and Phil Martelli swap jobs for a week? Will there be any tension when the Tar Heels welcome Mike Krzyzewski to campus? Find out on the new season.

“That’s So Raven”

The Baltimore Ravens and first-year Head Coach John Harbaugh discover their psychic powers that allow them to read the other team’s defenses but usually come up short against AFC East opponents anyway. Oddly enough, it seems that the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick have also received psychic powers.

“The Office”

“The Office” follows aging owner George Steinbrenner and his employees in the Yankee front office in this mock-umentary. Steinbrenner’s overpaid workers do little at the workplace, as they spend most of their day fooling around the office. One hot office romance between salesman Alex Rodriguez and secretary Madonna develops, leading to intense drama. Quirky mustached salesman Jason Giambi plays the part of Dwight Schrute.


Justin DiBiase is a senior civil engineering major from Franklinville, N.J. He can be reached at [email protected].