The internet is a wasteland of garbage. Just an absolute wasteland of garbage. A post-apocalyptic carnival of depravity. The newest room in this toxic funhouse is called Cameo. If you’re not familiar yet, Cameo is a website where you can pay a celebrity to record a personalized message. That might sound fine but like most things on the internet, the reality is a bizarrely distorted version of the pitch. The purest distillation of the site is Pauly Shore recording surreal improvised birthday greetings from in front of a stock laptop webcam in a sad poorly lit apartment for $150 a pop.
But fortunately for us, Cameo has a “sports” category and within that a “hockey” category consisting of seventeen people we could pay to record miniature commercials. Let’s go through all seventeen and consider what we might have them say.
Joe Pace - $3
Joe Pace is a 34 year old journeyman professional hockey player currently playing with the Port Huron Prowlers of the FHL. If I was going to pay him the cost of a cup of coffee to record a Cameo, I would ask him to tell me what the FHL is because I have no idea. Make fun of me for not being a real hockey fan if you want. I don’t care. I don’t know what the FHL is and I need Joe Pace to tell me.
Harrison Browne - $9
Ok. This one is actually good. Harrison is the first transgender professional hockey player. He played in the NWHL for three seasons and is an important leader for the LGBTQ+ community in hockey. I would happily pay him $9 to give encouragement and motivation to any young player feeling excluded from the game. But more importantly, a professional hockey organization should pay him much more than $9 to join their team and help build a successful program around inclusion in hockey. Because we need that.
Evan Cowley - $15
Evan is the first person to charge double digits for his services and I respect that. He’s a 23 year old goalie with NCAA, AHL, ECHL, and international experience. He played last season in Poland and according to Elite Prospects, he’s headed to Denmark next year. I would like Evan to record a message telling me his weirdest goalie story. All goalies are weird and they have weird stories and I would like to hear Evan’s. He probably feeds a ferret a piece of pumpkin pie before every game or something. Who knows. He’s a goalie.
Akil Thomas - $15
Akil Thomas is the first person on this with recent NHL ties. He was a 2nd round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings last summer. As the second round progressed, he was a player I hoped might fall all the way to the Lightning but alas, he did not. I would like for him to do a video telling me how much he would have rather been drafted by the Lightning than the Kings. Good lord that team is a nightmare. No one should watch another LA Kings game until like 2023. Maybe they’ll be good again by then.
Nic Kerdiles - $17
Nic was a 2nd round draft pick of the Ducks in 2012. He received a two-way deal with the Jets and played three games in the AHL last year. He has three NHL appearances to his name. In his bio, Nic lists himself in the “influencer” category in addition to “hockey.” For $17, I would like Nic to tell me what he influences. I’m tired of that word and the people who use it should have to explain themselves. [He clearly just influenced you, loserpoints! - Acha]
Ian McCoshen - $22
Ian played 19 games with the Florida Panthers last year. He accumulated -0.5 WAR in those 19 games, which, let’s be honest, isn’t great. But he’s the most bonafide NHLer on this list so far and I’m sure there’s some McCoshen fans somewhere who would be thrilled to get holiday wishes from him for $22. Since he plays for the Panthers, I would like him to tell me what he’ll be doing this summer to help recruit Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky. Sure, he’s a borderline NHLer who might not even play next year but everyone has to do their part. Maybe he’s gonna send them an edible arrangements or something.
Bobby Robbins - $32
Bobby Robbins is currently a head coach in Spain, which is a country I did not know played hockey. He played three NHL games with the Bruins in 2014-2015 during a long professional career spent mostly in the AHL and ECHL. The content request here obvious. Tell me about hockey in Spain! That sounds great! Nothing sounds better to me than spending a day gorging myself on authentic Spanish cuisine and then going to a hockey game to drink more and eventually pass out in the stands probably.
Patrick O’Brien Dempsey - $40
Listen, Patrick O’Brien Dempsey. Yes, you were in the movie Miracle. And yes, you played college hockey at Fitchberg State but listing yourself in the hockey category on Cameo is a bit presumptuous. But then again, what is the internet for if not presumption. So I respect your decision to charge me $40 to hear you tell me about what it was like to reenact one of the great moments in American sports history.
Jamal Mayers - $50
From here on in, legit NHL players only on the list. For $50, you can get a video from a guy who played 912 career games, racked up 1200 penalty minutes, and won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2013. That’s pretty cool. For his video, I would like him to tell me what it was like to win the Cup after waiting so long and then retiring immediately after. See, not all of these have to be jokes. This is one is wholesome.
Marcus Foligno - $50
One of the Foligno brothers for $50? Can’t beat that with a stick. And I don’t need to waste any time debating what I want Marcus Foligno to do. I want him to conduct a mock NHL Awards Ceremony where he receives the Selke Trophy for his excellent defensive play this season. My message making the request will be approximately 2000 words describing the latest in hockey analytics and a slideshow presentation on how good he was this year.
Josh Gorges - $50
Josh Gorges? Fine. But you’re no Marcus Foligno, bud. Even so, I will still get my money’s worth out of this. I want Josh Gorges to describe the feeling of playing on the 2014-2015 Sabres. They were the worst team of the modern era and a grievous offense to the sport of hockey as a concept. He was a critical part of how much that team sucked I want to know all about it.
Mikhail Sergachev -$80
Eyyyyyyyy, look who it is. One of the seventeen players on Cameo is a Lightning player. What I would like Mikhail Sergachev to tell me is how fun it was to be on such a great team this season. What’s that? Playoffs? Never heard of it. Hockey has 82 games and nothing happens after that. Moving on.
John Scott - $100
John Scott is complicated. He’s a goon. But he was also the tool used to subvert the NHL All Star Game. And then he embraced it and that was fun. So maybe I’d ask him to record a video about that. But to be honest, I think I’ve had enough of John Scott for a while and could find better ways to spend $100.
Darren McCarty - $100
Darren McCarty played on some of the best teams of all time and played with one of the most underrated players. I want him to tell me about peak Sergei Fedorov. Just as many of the most impressive things Fedorov ever did as he could remember. In fact, I might actually do that. Where’s my credit card?
Bobby Hull - $175
Jeremy Roenick - $200
I have heard Jeremy Roenick talk more than I could have possibly ever wanted. More than anyone anywhere could have possibly ever wanted. He has so much to say and he is so wrong all the time. I miss the days when my most vivid memories of him were as a 16 bit superstar in NHL ‘94. Now, I will gladly pay him $200 to sit there in his webcam and be quiet for once in his life. Just sit in silence for two minutes. What a blessing that would be. Can I also pay Mike Milbury to not talk while I’m at it?
Mark Messier - $300
I will pay him $300 say whatever he wants for two minutes but he has to do it while wearing a Wayne Maki jersey.
Well, that was a journey. I absolutely should not have written this article and you absolutely should not have read it. But I did and you did and we have no one to blame but ourselves. As with all bad decisions stemming from being too online, let’s get on with our lives and forget this ever happened.