Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Follow us on Twitter! @OS_Report
It’s that time of year again! It’s time for long lines, busy stores, and hordes of people who remind you more of the surly elves from the movie Christmas Story than cheerful shoppers. The Christmas season can certainly be a hectic time, especially when you’ve got a lot of people on your list that need presents. Well, that’s where Our Sports Report comes in to save the day!
With Black Friday just over a week away, we want to save you some time in developing your battle plan. We want to help spark your imagination and help you find the perfect gift for that special sports fan in your life. I’m sure they received enough ties, travel mugs, and key chains with their favorite team’s logo on them to last a lifetime. That said, we wanted to give you a list that’s a little more creative. One that is full of things that maybe are a little more useful and won’t warrant any secret eye rolling by the recipient.
We’ve also tried to cover every range of the price spectrum. Some of this stuff can be had for as little as $5, while other things cost much more. But all of these items make great gifts for sports fans, regardless of the price.
Disclaimer: Now yes, we fully admit that this list is certainly slanted a little more towards the male end of the spectrum. That said, I know that my wife, who is a diehard Buckeye football and basketball fan, would welcome several of these gifts in her stocking or under our Christmas tree with her name on the tag.
Deployment: If you are a sports fan who would like something on this list, then print it off and highlight the item, and leave random copies strewn about the house. That’s sure to get her attention.
So, without further ado, I give you the 2014 Our Sports Report Holiday Gift Guide!
Grill – Now I’m not suggesting that you go out and by your sports fan the biggest grill that you can find at Home Depot. No, this is a chance to buy something that is small enough and light enough to load in the car or the truck and set up at the game without breaking a sweat. You can find a variety of small grills out there, propane or charcoal, that will cost less than $100. So find out what grilling method your sports fan prefers and purchase accordingly.
Yeti Cooler – Every tailgate party needs a cooler, so why not have one that is literally bear proof? These coolers are a little on the expensive side (as far as coolers go), but from what I understand, they are worth the investment.
Grill Tools – Every tailgate chef needs a quality set of tools for their grill. These come in a variety of prices, so let your imagination run wild.
Stanley Thermos – Hot things need to stay hot and cold things need to stay cold. Enter the Stanley Thermos. These bad boys have been around for years and have many uses other than keeping your coffee hot (although they perform wonderfully in that duty). Ever used one to cook hotdogs? Yeah. My point exactly. No tailgate party should be without at least one Stanley Thermos.
For the Athlete:
Gold Bond Powder – Every sports fan needs to keep it fresh, weather they’re watching the game or participating in it. Bottom line, if things get a little sweaty, this gift will be a lifesaver. My personal recommendation is to buy the spray. It’s a lot less messy, so it’s worth the extra money. Also, if you buy the extra strength variety, proceed with caution…it can be very…uh…refreshing…
Hockey Puck Soap – Everybody needs to get clean after some healthy competition, enter soap. I found these suckers on Etsy (which is full of all sorts of wonderful Christmas gifts by the way) along with a bunch of different kinds of soaps, but these were by far the coolest ones I could find. They’re also pretty cheap.
Timex Ironman Watch – If the runner in your life needs a gift, look no further than this classic sports watch to fill the bill. They can be had for around $50 and will last for quite some time (the one I owned had the writing worn off of the rim of the face long before the battery died).
Farkas Eye Black – This stuff is the original eye black, the exact stuff used by NFL great Andy Farkas who played for the Washington Redskins back in 1942. Head over to farkaseyeblack.com and pick up a can, which can be engraved for a small fee.
Personalized Louisville Slugger Bat – Hop over to the Louisville Slugger website and order one of these bats for the baseball player in your life. Better yet, take him on a vacation and tour the bat factory and get the bat made while you’re there. Or, you can always just carve them one out of a tree that has fallen by lightning and inscribe their name and a lightning bolt on it for good measure…but this is definitely easier.
For the Spectator…at home or at the game…
Tickets – Has the sports fan in your life been dreaming of taking in the big game in person? Then click the “Buy Tickets Now” link at the top of the screen and get crackin’ (or click on the picture of the ticket...it'll get you to the same place). Tickets are a great gift, no matter where they come from, but we know that Ticket Monster is a great company that will make sure your gift is as hassle free as possible. The last thing you want is to have your awesome gift ruined by poor service and hidden fees…and you'll find neither with Ticket Monster.
Flask – Whether your sports fan drinks or not, I guarantee that they have always thought that these things are pretty darn cool. Go the extra mile by getting it monogramed, and now your gift is sure to be a favorite.
Pocket Notebooks – Maybe your sports fan needs to jot down a few game notes, or maybe he stumbles on the idea of a lifetime during the game. Why not give him a place to write it down? These are a great stocking stuffer that can be found just about anywhere. Field Notes have a particularly manly design about them, if you’re looking for that sort of thing.
Slippers – Most of us don’t go to the games, as much as we’d like to, we just don’t. Most of the time, we end up watching the game from the comfort of our living room or man cave. It’s nice to have warm and toasty feet while watching the game, so slippers are a sure winner. These particular ones from L.L. Bean are fantastic (I’m wearing them right now actually).
Zippo Pocket Hand-warmer – I have no idea how they work, but they look a whole lot cooler than the ones that come in some bag. Whether you're tailgating or watching a game in frigid conditions, a quality hand-warmer is always a must.
ESPN All Sports Trivia Challenge – Commercial breaks are boring, so why not test your knowledge before the big game comes back on?
Just Plain Awesome
Some gifts just belong in this category…period.
Anything from Ebbets Field Flannels – Head over to this website and you’ll find jerseys, hats, jackets, and a host of other items form defunct baseball teams, negro league teams, hockey clubs, etc. The best part is that all of these items look absolutely amazing! My personal favorite is this little number for the Chicago Whales. So honey, if you’re reading this, you know what to do.
Personalized Jersey – Proceed with caution when purchasing this gift. Not only are they a little on the expensive side, but some people think that having their name on the back of their team’s jersey is just flat out stupid. So, before you drop the cash, see if you can get your sports fan’s opinion on these jerseys.
Sports Art/Vintage Sports Pictures – Every man cave needs some quality decorations, so why not head over to our friends at artofbrands.com (click on the picture) and pick up a sweet painting to add that finishing touch!
Leather Heads Football – I first found these footballs on Huckberry.com, but you can also get them directly from Leatherheadsports.com. They are a little pricey, but the old-timey look and feel that these things have is just plain incredible. They also sell a bunch of other balls, including some sweet vintage baseballs. Again, honey…if you’re reading this…
Movie Night – This one is simple. Take a basket, then fill it with movie candy, popcorn, some craft soda, and top it off with his favorite sports movie and you’ve just won Christmas.
The Entitled – Frank Deford – For the book loving sports fan, this one can’t be topped. If you’re sports fan is a Cleveland Indians fan, then you’ve won Christmas…again. This is a great story that is an easy read, and it can be found on Amazon for cheap.
Official Major League Baseball – I have always wanted one of these, but I’m cheap, so I refuse to spend $20 on one baseball. However, they would make a great gift. (Bonus points if it’s a game-used ball with an autograph on it.)
Football Themed Paracord Bracelet – Do you have someone in your life who is a sports fan, but is also a survivalist? Enter the paracord bracelet. This one looks like a football, so that’s an added bonus. A quick search on YouTube will provide you with instructions on how to make one, or you can buy one online.
Beef Jerkey – Because few foods make a better game time snack, or snack in general for that matter.
Baseball Cards – I don’t care how old your sports fan is, they still enjoy ripping open a fresh pack of baseball cards and seeing if their favorite player is inside. (Bonus points if you can find cards with gum in the package. This will remind your sports fan of a simpler time, when things made sense.)
Bacon – Because bacon. Do I need to say more? Well I will. I mean really, who doesn’t love a hearty breakfast to prepare them for a long day of doing nothing and watching sports? There are even chocolate bars with bacon in them. Go wild on this one.
That wraps up the list for the 2014 Our Sports Report Holiday Gift Guide! Let us know what we missed in the comments below. In the spirit of Christmas, one random commenter will win a $25 Buffalo Wild Wings gift card! But you can’t win if you don’t comment, so let us know your gift ideas right away! The drawing will take place on Black Friday @ 5:00 PM.