True story: when I was 16, I asked my dad to get me a car for Christmas. Unfortunately, a car was out of his price range, so he got me an electric blanket instead (while still suggesting that a car was a possibility, up until the moment I opened the box). It was the worst Christmas ever.
Sports fans and gift givers, take heed. This experience could have been avoided had I just given my dad a range of different gift ideas, with prices both high and low. To that note, if making a wish list or asking for suggestions isn’t your specialty, and you’d like to avoid your own electric blanket horror story, we’ve got you covered!
Photo Credit: Chase Authentics
It’s The Thought (Under $25)
As a kid, getting clothes for a gift was the worst. But as an apartment-dwelling adult, anything that keeps you out of the laundry room is more than welcome. So, whether that sports fan in your life is an actual NASCAR fan or just an admirer of Ricky Bobby, this Chase Authentics Tony Stewart Americana T-Shirt is worth every penny ($21.95). At the very least, it’s one more day that he doesn’t have to search for quarters.
NASCAR isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but what about NFL cheerleaders in bikinis? Decades of instant access to the Internet may have ruined his ability to appreciate the art form that is the swimsuit calendar. But at the very least, he can pretend it’s still 1996 and support his favorite team at the same time. Take a gander at the San Francisco 49ers Official Gold Rush Cheerleaders 2012 Swimsuit Wall Calendar, a steal at $15.99.
Now, let’s say that fan on your list thinks NASCAR isn’t a sport. And the idea of a calendar might make him feel bad about spending too much alone time. The best remedy is to support the court out on the course and grab a gift by the balls… literally. He can get his PGA on NBA-style with a Miami Heat 3-Pack Team Logo Golf Balls. At only $12.95, it’s so cheap that even NBA owners couldn’t lock it out.
Who wouldn’t want to commemorate America’s pastime and celebrate the season. The New Era St. Louis Cardinals Black-White 2011 World Series Champions Locker Room Flex Fit Hat (which isn’t a mouthful at all) does both of those things. You may not even know where the hell St. Louis is, but that certainly shouldn’t stop you from dropping the necessary $31.95 on this spiffy gift and doing your part to support MLB (strike-free since 1995).
Photo Credit: Cooler Fun
Before heading out to go pre-game the pre-season, tie one (or 12) on with the Beer Belly Drinking Sack from Cooler Fun. Honestly, the game is just the beginning of the journey with this wondrous invention. Think of the possibilities: church, movies, recitals, funerals, conversations, etc. And at $30, it’ll burst bladders before it ever breaks the bank.
Some things can be done in public (like wearing hidden beer bellies), and some things can’t. Being a wrestling fan? That’s one secret that might be best kept under wraps. Let the wrestling fan step into the squared circle this holiday season, in the privacy of his own home, with THQ‘s WWE ’12 video game for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii. Instead of dropping Benjamins on expensive pay-per-view events, he can now create them himself.
Yeah, his favorite NBA franchise is currently sitting out the season, but the sports fan can still show love for his team and look pretty stylish all the while. Thanks to the Mitchell & Ness, there’s vintage gear, like the Los Angeles Lakers Gold Final Score Zip Track Jacket ($149.95). The best part? Because it’s vintage, he can quickly scoff back at anyone who gives him guff for sporting a piece of NBA merchandise to a fancy New Years’ party.
The Happy Gilmore Hockey Jersey from Bonanza will give the wearer an instant in with the people of Massachusetts while also pleasing comedy fans, young and old. It’s an exact replica of the Boston Bruins throw-over Adam Sandler wore in the film. And for just $149, he can relive all his favorite moments from what is arguably the second greatest golf movie ever made.
Photo Credit: NFL
Outside of maybe a feminist sideline reporter or two, there isn’t a red-blooded American alive who wouldn’t want a football hand-signed by ol’ Broadway Joe. Check out the Wilson #12 Joe Namath Autographed NFL Authentic Football. Priced at $450, it’s a great gift to immortalize one of the NFL’s greatest players, while also avoiding being publicly hit on by the Hall of Famer during a national TV broadcast.
Lastly, regardless of where that sports fan’s particular tastes lie on the sporting spectrum, there’s one thing that every great event has in common: tailgating. The Sports Den from Instant Tailgate might not fit underneath the tree (fully inflated, at least), and it might seem a little pricey at $499. But it’s definitely the fastest way to becoming a beacon of pre-game greatness from sport to sport, stadium to stadium.
Check out other Holiday Gift Guides.Elijah Bates leads the creative department at CitizenGlobal, a social media company in Venice Beach. When he’s not working there, or contributing writing to CBS Local, you’ll find him surfing the California coast, where he evades stingrays like trips to the dentist.