If athletic competitions were part of the process of purchasing a sports team, the group headed by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez would stand heads and shoulders above the rest of the competition.
According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, several high-profile athletes are now investors in this group's $1.7 billion bid for the Mets, and Rodriguez and Lopez "couldn't be more excited" to have them on board.
Home run derby? You've got A-Rod on your side, who ranks fourth all-time in home runs with 696 and who could probably still do some serious damage at age 44 (45 on July 27!). Two-on-two basketball? You've got the Wizards' Bradley Beal, a two-time All-Star who will finish his 2019-20 campaign with a stat line of 30.5 points, 6.1 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game after deciding to opt out of the bubble, and the Nuggets' Mason Plumlee, an eight-year veteran who was a national champion at Duke, a Slam Dunk Contest participant, and a regular starter for the Nets and Blazers before coming to Denver.
But the sport where this group would flourish most would be football, as NFL Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, five-time Pro Bowler Travis Kelce, former Offensive Player of the Year DeMarco Murray, and retired 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas have all contributed to the bid.
Just as Rodriguez and Lopez were extremely enthused to have such a great group of athletes on their side, the NFL stars shared a similar sentiment. Kelce lauds how the power couple got to their current position by "work(ing) their tails off" and said that he "couldn't think of a more unique set of people" to head this effort. Urlacher agreed, emphasizing that Rodriguez is "the man" and that it's cool to be a former athlete in a position to buy a team.
Unfortunately, athletic competitions don't play a part in who Mets COO Jeff Wilpon selects. Money is understandably the primary determinant and, for that reason, Steve Cohen and his $2 billion bid remain the frontrunner (according to CBS New York). However, McClure also notes that "Wilpon would prefer to sell to the Rodriguez-Lopez group" if they can make an offer close enough to the highest bid.
McClure reported that the group is currently waiting on Rob Manfred to instruct them on further steps.
It's not unheard of for athletes to own pro sports teams, though it's usually only the highest tier of sports figures who are able to do so. Michael Jordan notably has controlling interest of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets, while LeBron James owns a two percent stake in the Premier League's Liverpool FC after a $6.5 million investment that has since paid off in a big way. Kevin Durant made news this year when he joined the ownership group of the Philadelphia Union, taking a five percent stake.
Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Venus and Serena Williams and Nolan Ryan are other athletes who are currently or have been owners of professional sports teams.