Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Shopping for Sports Fans: An A to Z Guide

With Christmas almost upon us, and many of us (myself included) scrambling to finish off our shopping, I thought it might be helpful to provide some hints on what to buy for the Sports Fans on your shopping list. And if you happen to be a sports fan, which you likely are if you’re reading this site, then feel free to email this on to your wife/significant other, parents, siblings etc.

Rather than providing a definitive list (which would run into the thousands of items), here are 26 gift ideas, A to Z.

All-Valley Karate Championship Referee T-Shirt

We start the list off with this homage to the Karate Kid, a classic sports flick.

Ben Roethlisberger Bobblehead

Nice pick Cow-ah!

(This is actually a great gift if Kevin is on your shopping list)

Calgary Flames Car Flag

For that special someone in your life who doesn’t have a soul.

Deion Sanders’ Hot Dog Express

Hot Dogs a la Primetime. Can you resist? Didn’t think so.

ESPN The Magazine

With a subscription to the magazine, you get access to ESPN Insider with it, which is more than worth the price of admission.

Field of Dreams, Two-Disc Anniversary Edition

Perhaps the greatest movie of all time. Scratch that, it is the greatest movie; everyone should have it in their collection.

Golden Tee

Two words that say it all. You can acquire one of the arcade games for your own home, but it will run into 4 figures. Still, how cool would it be to have one of these for yourself? I don’t think I’d leave my house if I did.

Hallmark Ornaments

I know what you’re thinking, but it is possible to bring a sports flavor to your Christmas Tree. Check out this one featuring Michael Vick. I received a Muhammed Ali ornament from Hallmark a few years back, and it always finds a prominent spot on the family Christmas tree.

The only thing that might be better than that is…

Iowa Hawkeyes ‘Welcome Home Santa’ Ornament

The University of Iowa has found a way to merge everyone’s two holiday favorites - Santa and your drunken uncle Bob.

Jacksonville Jaguars Musical Bottle Opener”

“Are You Ready for Some Football?” Well, you best be ready, since this bottle opener plays that music every time you use it.

Keg-a-Que Grill

Do a little tailgating while showcasing your football allegiances; these are available for every team, not just the Pats. It will also do a great job complimenting the Hot Dog Express, which you all should have ordered by now.

Larry Bird Action Figure

Who wouldn’t want the Basketball Jesus looking down on them? If you can wait until June, there will be an Isaiah Thomas figure on the market; I can neither confirm nor deny rumors that it will be a talking figure, and refer to Larry Bird as “just another action figure”.

Madden 2006

This year’s installment of the greatest video game series of all time. A must have, as always.

NBA Dynasty Series – Boston Celtics/Chicago Bulls/Los Angeles Lakers/New York Knicks/Philadelphia 76ers

These multi-disc compilations are a great gift for NBA fans, especially partisans of any of the above five teams. I myself have the Celtics set, and it’s worth every penny.

On a side note, this is such a brilliant idea that I’m surprised other sports haven’t followed suit. On the other hand, it may not be the best idea in some cases. If there were a Montreal Canadiens box set of this nature, my dad likely wouldn’t leave the den for the next 6 months. Also, the city of Calgary would shut down for the afternoon that it would take people to get through the best of the Flames set. Ba-zing!

The Original Whizzinator

If you need a gag gift for a friend, or a serious gift for Ricky Williams.

Pro Baseball/Basketball/Football Prospectus, by Various Writers

Analysis for the statistically inclined; also a great resource for fantasy sports players.

Q-Sport Clothing and Equipment

…you try finding something that starts with Q, okay?

Retro Jersey, Courtesy of Mitchell & Ness

One of my favorites is this Wayne Gretzky jersey, of the Campbell Conference All-Star Team variety.

Simmons, Bill: Now I Can Die in Peace

Not only is it all Simmons, but it’s all about the Red Sox. How can you go wrong with that combination?

The Diamond Dreams Fantasy Baseball Camp

Made popular by Kramer on Seinfeld, this weeklong getaway is a great way to relive your old glory days as an athlete – or in most cases, pursue your unfulfilled dreams. Sign me up!

Ultimate Frisbee Discs

For the quasi-athletic neo-hippie in your family.

Varsity Jackets

If you miss being in High School, here’s a chance to relive your glory years (or the clothing of your glory years) with a retro-style Varsity jacket.

WWE - Bret Hart: The Best There is, The Best There Was, The Best There Ever Will Be

Who doesn’t enjoy the Hitman? (Shawn Michaels, I suppose). This compilation chronicles the career of the Hitman, showcasing some of his best matches.

Official XFL Football

eBay’s your best bet to find one; it’s a nice consolation prize since no one seems to be selling a ‘He Hate Me’ jersey. (Get on it Mitchell & Ness!)

Yale Track Jacket

Retro style and modern cool meet in this Ivy League item. Have I sold you on it yet? If not, just click on the link. The color ‘Electric-Blue’ may be the only color that’s better than the powder blue of the San Diego SuperChargers.

Zinedine Zidane

No, you can’t buy (or rent) the player himself – unless you’re Real Madrid – but the former FIFA Footballer of the Year does have a great selection of merchandise on his website. So, get yourself over to the Boutique Officiel Zidane to finish up your shopping.

So, now that you’ve finished the list, what are you waiting for? After all, there’s less than 4 days left to buy finish your shopping. On that note, I’m off too…


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