As reported on by the Inquisitr, comedian Will Ferrell played in five Cactus League games for ten teams playing in ten different positions to raise money for two different cancer charities as part of a Funny or Die special for HBO. CBS News sent out the following tweet after Ferrell’s baseball day-long marathon was completed.
Ferrell says he’s raised $1 million today for Cancer for College through his Catcus League odyssey
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) March 13, 2015
However, not everyone was a fan of Ferrell’s charity fundraising efforts. John Madden, the Hall of Fame Coach and former NFL broadcaster, absolutely blasted Ferrell for his stunt on KCBS Morning Newswatch according to the Sporting News.
“I hate it.”
But Madden was able to justify his opinion by adding to his definitive declaration.
“That’s a lack of respect for the game and for what players have to do to get where they are.”
From a purely sporting standpoint, it is easy to see the point Madden is trying to make. Playing professional sports does indeed take a lot of work, but this is not the first time a celebrity was involved in a spring training game. Even Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs, who Ferrell played with during one game, somewhat supported Madden’s take when he provided his opinion of Will Ferrell playing first base.
#Cubs 3B Kris Bryant: on Ferrell at 1B “I’m used to guys who can catch it over there, and I threw one really hard to see what he would do.”
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) March 12, 2015
CBS News reports that one of the radio show hosts tried to point out that this was not the first time a celebrity crashed a spring training game to Madden. John responded with a story about NBA legend Rick Barry stopping by a Raiders practice because he was a friend of Al Davis. Madden said he instructed his two star defensive players, Jack Tatum and George Atkinson, on exactly what to do if Barry steps out onto the field.
“If this guy comes out on the field, he’s live bait. I want you to go after him the way you would go after any other player that plays on another team.”
The only problem is Madden is comparing apples to oranges. Rick Barry wanted to participate out of his own ego. Ferrell was not. John Madden is forgetting that Will Ferrell was raising money for cancer research which is something we all should be able to support.
[Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]