The E-News site has been inactive since February 2011 and may contain outdated information and/or broken links. For current and up-to-date Tufts news and information, please visit Tufts Now at
Tufts University e-news

Search  GO >

this site people
Tufts University Logo Bottom Search Bottom  
left side photo

Champions, After Strong Rookie Season

Champions, After Strong Rookie SeasonUsing resourcefulness and creativity, a Tufts graduate led his team to victory in the “rookie” season of ESPN’s new reality game show. San Francisco.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.07.02] While 1999 Tufts graduate Josh Gates loves to travel, his most recent 2,600-mile trip across the country was anything but a vacation. His adventure began earlier this year, when ESPN selected the aspiring actor to compete on its new show "Beg, Borrow and Deal" - where Gates was forced to rely on his survival skills, and a lot of resourcefulness, to race across the country with nothing more than the clothes on his back. Two weeks after the competition started, Gates and his teammates crossed the finish line, winning top prize in the show's "rookie" season.

"I did not really know what I was getting myself into," Gates told ESPN, describing his decision to try out for the show. "But it was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I wanted the challenge."

The show's producers didn't let him down.

"The show's premise: Two teams of four are dropped off at Times Square in New York with little more than the shirts on their backs," reported the The Boston Globe. "Their task: Cross the country while accomplishing sports-related feats that challenge their street smarts and survival instincts. The first team to reach Alcatraz Island in San Francisco with 10 successfully completed tasks wins."

But the tasks proved to be as challenging as they were exciting - especially for Gates, who readily admits he isn't an athlete and knows little about sports.

Ranging from getting a permanent tattoo of a sports team and kicking a 35-yard field goal in an NFL stadium to hosting a sports radio talk show, the tasks left Gates and the other contestants with their hands full.

Even the challenges that looked easy turned out to be difficult, Gates said. Others were once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

"Singing the national anthem [was the most fun]," Gates said in an ESPN interview. "How many people can say they sang the anthem at a Major League Baseball game?"

His final task - getting a tattoo of his favorite sports team - may have been the most important, and the most soulful. The Tufts graduate now sports a Boston Red Sox tattoo on the bottom of his foot.

Not only did it seal his team's victory, but "it acts as a reminder of all the hard work our team accomplished," Gates told ESPN.

When they crossed the finish line on Alcatraz Island, Gates won a pair of tickets to four of the world's top sporting events.

It was an adventure Gates will not soon forget.

"It was an entirely unique time that forced me and three strangers to work together in a way that I could never replicate again," he said. "I'm pretty proud of what we accomplished in the span of two weeks."



Related Stories
Related Links
Featured Profile