John Black

auctioned bachelor for FISH Pantry benefit

What made you volunteer to be auctioned?

I'm on the FISH Hospitality Pantries board, and I knew it was a great cause. They just built a facility on West Scott Avenue with a big fridge and cooler and a freezer where they can stick and store food when they couldn't before.

How did you get involved with FISH?

I met Jim Wright, the director, and he told me about their 5-4-3 program, where they can feed a family of four in Knoxville for three days with $5. I didn't realize it was that cheap—that's what drew me in.

What do you do in real life?

I'm a sports marketer and I've patented some fitness equipment. In fact, I went to Asia right after the auction to get my product development moving.

What's it like standing on stage while women bid for you?

I'm more of an in-the-background guy, not one of those who likes to steal the spotlight. So it was flattering, but strange as well.

The auction raised $5,000-plus for FISH. How much did you bring in?

I can't honestly remember. It was one of those where I was the first one auctioned and then I left because I was getting on a plane to go to Asia at like 6 a.m. the next morning. But I'm sure other guys made more!

How did you fulfill your obligation to the buyer?

Here's the funny part. A married woman bought me. I told her I didn't want to get shot, so instead of a date I'd give her a ride in the Big Orange Army Tank next home game—I'm one of the founders of the Big Orange Army. I told her she could even bring her husband. The tank has a cannon, so I'm set if he brings a gun.

FISH is having another auction June 12 at Ray's ESG, this time with bachelorettes. How do you think they'll do?

I think women are going to bring in a lot more money than us guys; it's going to be a bigger event.