Sports Investments for 2012

All the attention was on Tebow this season. (Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

Using some Christmas money, I bought stocks for the first time. I chose proven blue-chippers—Disney and Pepsico—and gambled on some companies I use, like Domino’s Pizza and the company that owns Miller Lite. I know very little about finances and the stock market, and realized that buying and selling stocks would be much easier if you could invest in athletes, coaches, and teams.

In some cases, you can. The Green Bay Packers are publicly-owned, though purchasing stock in the team gets you no tangible rewards. You could indirectly invest in ESPN by buying Disney stock. But you can’t invest in Tim Tebow, whose stock skyrocketed these past few months.

Here’s who/what I’d buy and sell if the stock market was a truly open market.

Buy: Stories about Eli Manning that are really about Peyton Manning
This is a very specific stock, but as we prepare for Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis much of the talk will include Peyton: Eli’s future potential compared to his old brother; whether Peyton will ever get another Super Bowl ring; if Mr. and Mrs. Manning’s love for their sons is based on playoff victories. I plan to sell my shares as soon as the game ends.

Sell: Super Bowl commercials
When was the last year they were entertaining? I remember a funny commercial in SB XXXVIII, in 2004, because we teased my friend who was in the bathroom and missed it (this was before DVR). But lately they have been awful, and the Internet makes it pointless to pay much attention during breaks from the game.

Sell: Jim Harbaugh
I’m selling on the NFL’s likely coach of the year because there are no genius coaches, just great quarterbacks and schedule-assisted turnarounds. Harbaugh did a fine job this year, but this was the ninth straight season where a team went from worst to first. The 49ers’ rise from 6-10 to playoff team is impressive, but four other teams had equally bad or worse seasons in 2011 and made the playoffs this year. I’m selling while Harbaugh’s stock is high.

Buy: Cinderellas at the dance
Last year’s NCAA Tournament was as wild as any in history, with two non-majors (Butler and VCU) reaching the Final Four. With no clear favorite and plenty of mediocrity outside of the top-5, I’m thinking this year’s Tourney could be similarly wild.

Sell: 68-team field
Sadly, I’m worried about the future of the Big Dance. Last year’s increase to 68 teams was manageable, and gave us VCU’s improbable run to the Final Four. I just think the people in charge are too dumb not to ruin the awesomeness of the Tournament by expanding the field again.

Sell: Los Angeles Clippers
I realize the Clips made the biggest offseason splash in the NBA but I still can’t picture this franchise in the Western Conference Finals. I’m selling high on the first place team in the Pacific Division.

Buy: College football coaches salaries
This is the easiest fake stock decision ever. The salaries for college football coaches increased again this year; they have increased 55% in six seasons. This is the Google of fake stocks. The price is high, but it’s only going up.

Buy: College football playoff
Once the current BCS contract ends (only two more seasons!), fans will get what they’ve been clamoring for…sort of. We won’t have a full six- or eight-team playoff, but we’ll see at least a plus-one format.

Sell: New York Mets
The irony is, you can actually buy a piece of this team. Of course, fake selling it is the far better decision.

Buy: Roberto Hernandez Heredia and Juan Carlos Oviedo
You may know them as Fausto Carmona and Leo Nunez, pitchers for the Cleveland Indians and Florida Marlins, respectively. These two players are in some legal trouble for using false identities, but I’m thinking savvy fantasy baseball owners can steal the unknown Heredia and Oviedo in next season’s draft.

Sell: Baseball cards
I am selling both the value of baseball cards in general and my personal collection. Same goes for my Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons jersey. You know my email.

Buy: Instant replay
I’m specifically thinking about baseball here, as I have a bad feeling it will sneak into the game in the very near future.

Sell: Albert Pujols
The Angels first baseman, signee of a 10-year, $250-million contract, is at least 32 years old. That means he will be at least 41 years old in the last year of his contract, when he is making $30 million. The era of steroids is (hopefully) over, meaning Pujols will experience a decline like the ballplayers of old. I’m selling.

I'm betting on an old-fashioned decline for Pujols. (Herkie/Flickr)

Buy: Ultimate Fighting Championship
I asked around trying to figure out UFC’s fake value and the consensus was that I would have been better off fake purchasing this a few years ago. Even so, I think it is a wise investment.

Buy: NBC Sports Network
This may be wishful thinking, but more channels showing sports is a good thing. I sold Versus but I’m buying NBC Sports!

What do you think of my fake investments? What sports-related “stocks” are you buying and selling for 2012. Let me know in the comments section.

10 thoughts on “Sports Investments for 2012”

  1. Are you offering predictions on those Cinderellas? And on Pujols I agree with your sell rating, but I’m not convinced he wasn’t a juicer. I’d like to believe he’s clean and will end up falling asleep in the dugout in a few years like Griffey, Jr., but I have trouble trusting anyone from this era with his power.

    1. No, I grabbed the more expensive “Cinderella: General” stock as opposed to stock in a specific team.

      And I’m not saying Pujols used steroids. I’m saying that players were able to extend their careers with PEDs, and with that hopefully out of the game, we are going to see a performance dip when players hit 32, 33, as they did in the old days. Pujols is a stud, but nobody is worth that much money.

  2. I’d buy Women’s College Basketball. With Uconn finally being dethroned and multiple power houses arising (Baylor and ND to name two), the media coverage can only grow. I’d also buy stock in the University of Baylor- their two basketball teams and football team have been extremely successful as of late and really put them on the map for good, athletic universities. Big time recruits will be much easier to get in the future. The Heisman Trophy didn’t hurt, either.

    1. Yeah, I’m probably too late to the Baylor bandwagon — the price is too high for me at this point. But women’s hoops in general? That’s a stock I like. I think parity (even if it is spread only among a few teams right now) is key. It wasn’t as fun when UConn dominated everyone.

  3. I’m gonna disagree with selling the 49ers. I understand with the strength of schedule argument, but I think their performance against the Saints, defensive performance against the G-men and performances against the Steelers and Giants in the regular season showed that they are one of the best home teams in the NFL. I think with an offseason to improve a now confident Alex Smith should allow the 49ers to return to the playoffs next season. All of this due to Coach Harbaugh

    1. I’ll admit my selling of the John Harbaugh fake stock could be fueled by his meanness towards the University of Michigan. Harbaugh no doubt did a great job this season, and with the NFC West being so weak he has a better chance than some of his peers to repeat his success. But I’m banking on the constant turnover in the NFL standings bringing JH and the 49ers back towards the mean. If it doesn’t happen, I’ll know I can turn to you for some fake investment money.

    1. Even better! Now you are stuck with a horrible investment. And don’t worry, I don’t plan on selling any of the baseball cards you recently gave me, only the old ones I’ve had for 15 years.

  4. I hope that you are not contemplating selling a certain rookie card showcasing a couple of legendary talents in Met uniforms. Talk about your all time bad trades….(for both one of the players on the card, as well as the actual card transaction itself).

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