Name the top 5 people you’d most like to grab beers with


(I apologize for ending this post title in a preposition. It’s bothering me too, but I think it would be lamer to say “…with whom you would most like to grab beers” – somehow that would diminish the tone of this post.)

I’ll warn you, settling on 5 people is a brutally difficult task. It is also somewhat revealing. You can pick anyone. As I went through options I thought about people I’ve always wanted to meet, people I admire and/or people who would probably just be fun to drink beers with. For now, let’s make this list only for people who are alive. Also, I don’t mean grabbing beers with all 5 people at once – just separate beer-grabbing with each. And importantly, know we all reserve the right to amend our lists at anytime! Here’s my offering:

  1. Ian Wright – host on the travel show Globe Trekker. Wright travels throughout the world, obscure places and popular places alike, and somehow manages to be funny to all people in all cultures. Interesting dude too and I’m pretty certain he likes his beers.
  2. Conan O’Brien – I’m not always in line with all of his late night stuff, but I still think he’s hilarious. If you have doubts about Conan’s hilarity, read this commencement speech he gave to the Harvard class of 2000.
  3. Lyle Lovett – strange, super smart, immensely talented musically, funny looking and Julia Roberts’ temporary husband when she was trying to prove to herself that “beauty is within”.
  4. Charles Woodson – Not only one of football’s all-time greats, a very interesting guy besides. (The owner of a winery though, Woodson may prefer wine to beer – I’d be fine with that.)
  5. Brian Regan – comedian, hilarious content, clean, intelligent, near flawless delivery – this would be a highly entertaining beer-grabbing.

Here are some of the others I considered (italicized were the hardest cuts):

  • Steve StrickerPGA golfer from Madison – one of the best players in the world and by all accounts, the nicest guy on the tour.
  • Steve Martin One of the rare comedians to keep his humor relevant for decades. Man with Two Brains, The Lonely Guy and The Jerk were all great movies.
  • Bill BrysonI highly recommend his book I’m a Stranger Here Myself
  • LeRoy Butler – Packer legend, fun dude, underrated w/regard to his commentary and insight into all things football
  • Ron Wolf – one those guys some consider a genius
  • Gene Wilder – grew up with his classic movies
  • Bob Uecker – could listen to his stories for days
  • James Lofton
  • Sidney Moncrief
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Helen Mirren
  • Bill Cosby
  • Jeremy Irons
  • Adam Sandler
  • Peter King/Don Banks
  • Tim Howard/Brad Friedel
  • David Feherty
  • Herb Kohler
  • Ted Thompson/Brett Favre – get them both hammered, see what happens
  • Dr. John
  • Martin Sexton
  • Christian Lander
  • Will Ferrell
  • Tom Watson
  • Emmylou Harris
  • Pele
  • Kristin Wiig
  • Glen Hansard
  • Dennis Miller
  • Mark Tauscher
  • Warren Buffett

*Note: David Zucker of Airplane fame had been on my running mental list for years, but back in 2008 in Minneapolis, Brother Steve, Brother Dan, my wife and I actually had the chance to have a beer with him. It was one of those great life moments – though it was interrupted when security types tried to escort us from the party because we didn’t have the appropriate guest passes or something. It was embarrassing in the moment, but eventually hilarious as it seemed like the kind of thing that would happen in one of his movies. (Fortunately, we got to stay and party.)

*Additional Note: if Tim Russert hadn’t passed away last year, he would have in my top 5.

Who would make your top 5?

18 Responses to “Name the top 5 people you’d most like to grab beers with”

  1. Greg Says:

    Ummm… didn’t you have a post earlier about stories that had little to do with sports? Nevermind. Here is my quick top 5, limited to people still alive and based on how interesting they would make the conversation. Ideally, all five of these would be around the table at the same time:

    1. Desmond Tutu (Bishop)
    2. Henry Rollins (Musician, Author)
    3. Rene Girard (Philosopher)
    4. Bono (Singer)
    5. Charles Barkley (Basketball player, you need someone to mix things up)

  2. Trav Says:

    In no particular order:

    – Ron Wolf – If he would open up and tell some stories from the 90’s, he would catapult to the top.

    – Mark Cuban – While the NBA is in various stages of demise, I think he offers a unique view not only on ownership of a team, but also his story from selling early on before the tech buble burst would be interesting.

    – Malcolm Gladwell – I use the 10,000 hour theory with my kids all the time.

    – Eddie Vedder – lyricist extraordinaire.

    – Dean Smith – Huge Carolina fan/Duke hater. Would love to talk hoops with him for hours.

    First Cuts – The Hayes Brothers….been there, done that. (Much love!)

  3. Travis Says:

    this article is a must read. it is long – but it is a great story. I think if I had to choose who i would sit down for a few cold ones, it would be rodgers and driver. class acts, great people. its hard to find an athlete, celebrity etc who don’t change once the world knows who they are… Rodgers is that. He worked to get where he is, and he will continue to work to get as far as he can… driver grew up with nothing. lived a life so hard for a child. but he didn’t let it slow him down, and he fought his way through everything to be where he is.

    That is true Packer football. Great players, with great character. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  4. Daybreak Doppler: Capuano Strong & Bucks Filling the Roster « - A Wisconsin Sports Blog Says:

    […] to get a beer with –  PackerGeeks has a post on the Top 5 People You’d Most Like to Grab a Beer With.  I always like posts like that because no matter what, whether you want to or not it gets you […]

  5. Max Says:

    Good question…Here’s my top-5 in no particular order:

    Hank Aaron
    Charles Woodson
    Maya Angelou
    Mo Willems
    Jon Stewart

    I realize that my list runs the gamut; it ranges from a children’s author to the true home run king, but those are my picks and I’m sticking to them.

  6. Ron LC Says:

    I was going to say Herb Kohl, but even I wouldn’t be able to tell you what I would ask him. Something about two-way mirrors and the Bradley Center.

  7. Packer Pete Says:

    In no particular order. Hank Aaron, first boyhood idol. Robin Yount, last boyhood idol. Jon Stewart would be fun. Marisa Miller, even though my side of the conversation would be limited to stammers and gasps. Jeff Boll, my longtime best friend. I’d drink a beer with Jeff anytime, anywhere.

  8. Ray Says:

    Helen Mirren? Gosh, that’s odd.

  9. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    you can’t overthink this or you’ll just realize there’s no way to pick only 5. so my first go at it, without thinking too hard, no order:

    tom waits – i met a guy on a trip to vienna once who knew tom and said he’s actually very quiet and reserved in ‘real life,’ and that the persona is just that. i still think it’d be worth it to find out for myself. go listen to ‘step right up,’ or ‘the piano has been drinking (not me),’ and tell me he wouldn’t be on your list.

    donald driver – i’m all about positive people recently, and i suppose this is a packer website – but really, i admire the hell out of the guy.

    ian mckellan – in my opinion the finest living actor – yes, he’s gandalf, but his more recent king lear was beyond incredible, and he’s an interesting dude.

    glen hansard – very pleased to see this guy on the list, and a bit surprised. as a musician, and in general ‘once’ was inspiring to me, and much to hansard’s credit. my wife and i saw him with marketa irglova in new york a few months before they won the oscar for best song (amazing show), and he seems like one of those guys who remains full of positive energy and gratitude, regardless of his successes (that sounds backwards, but it’s not).

    richard pryor and gene wilder, together – yes this is cheating, as it’s two people, and one of them is dead. i’m banking on the unknown – that these two actually got along in real life, but if they didn’t, they could just act out scenes from stir crazy and i’d be happy.

  10. joshywoshybigfatposhy Says:

    didn’t even notice you had gene wilder on there. lots of 80’s movie people come to mind, but i don’t think grabbing a couple beers would be that great – knowing them and hanging out from time to time, maybe, but bill murray has never seemed like much of a conversationalist, nor chevy chase — maybe harold ramis would be good though.

  11. RayMidge Says:

    JD Salinger
    Bob Dylan
    Fr. James V. Schall
    Leroy Butler
    George Washington

    Incidentally, what I love about this sort of question is imagining the awkwardness of the actual conversation among the diverse group most of us would pick.

  12. Schaefer Says:

    Without further ado:
    Paul Newman – actor, philanthropist. From everything I’ve read and from talking with people who know him, he is pure class. I admire lots of things about the man, and would love to talk to him about life philosophies, one on one, tipsy on scotch

    George W. Bush – if you know me, this probably seems like a weird choice, but whether or not you agree with his politics, I bet he is tons of fun to have a beer with, and of course he’s going to have endless stories from growing up, college, owning the Rangers, and then of course he was the POTUS during a slightly tumultuous time.

    Mark Cuban – billionaire, NBA owner, owner of 2929 Entertaiment (which produces film, tv, etc…and owns Landmark Theaters) all of that and one of his mottos is “No balls, no baby” look up the reasoning for it…love it.

    JK Rowling – Harry Potter author – really got into the books and her story of rags to riches via creative inspiration/life desperation provides unique insight and I think she has a cool view on life.

    My son – I look forward to sitting with him at different stages in 17 years, 24 year and 31 years from now and listening to his changing philosophies. Of course I hope to sit with him in between, but I think 21 (legal drinking age ,thank you), 28 and 35 can be defining ages in a man’s life (and I know nothing about past 35 yet) Here’s hoping I make it that long.

    Nice post AWH…I like when you get the people thinking

  13. Nick Says:

    In no particular order:

    1. Marcus Aurelius
    2. Ben Franklin
    3. Douglas Adams (author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide “trilogy”)
    4. Barack Obama (dont agree with the politics – but he is the sitting president; it would be supremely interesting to sit down with him)
    5. Milton Friedman

  14. 56Coop Says:

    IN no order

    Warren Buffet
    Paul McCartney
    Osama Bin Laden (I’d kill him when we were through drinking)
    Greg Laurie (although he probably would pass on the beer)
    Leon Russell

    Those that I thought of Bonnie Raitt, Favre, Rodgers, Holmgren, Wolf, Dylan, Obama, etc, etc.

  15. Joe Wells Says:

    Really interesting post. I just randomly saw this blog while I was doing some studying on google. Anyways, I just wanted to tell you I liked your site and keep on doin what you’re doin. And remember, enjoy the adventure… dont over-focus on the final result. Take care, Joe Wells

  16. djburf Says:

    1. Paul Ryan
    2. Ike
    3. John the Apostle
    4. Bart Starr
    5. Jeff Tweedy

  17. P_Dawg Says:

    Really like your almost-inclusion of Tim Russert. Is it my imagination, or did his death coincide with the credibility-free fall of NBC/MSNBC? I’d love to hear your brother’s take sometime.

    My list in no particular order:

    1. Don Rickles (nearly forgotten, still-living legend)
    2. Mike Wallace (I’ll bet he has ZILLIONS great stories)
    3. The Cast of “Pawn Stars” (self explanatory)
    4. Bernard Mcguirk (quick-witted Imus Producer)
    5. Dennis Miller (yeah, I’m the ONE person on earth who enjoyed him on MNF)

  18. Post Nasal Drip Treatment Says:

    i love bob dylan, he is one of the best singer songwriter –“

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