Black Friday Shopping Ideas for Our Favorite Sports Stars
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Are your doors ready to be busted with deals? Black Friday is the one day each year when otherwise reasonable people go seemingly insane to save a few dollars on some random piece of holiday gift-giving junk they will regret buying before the turn of the New Year. The simple rule for Black Friday: If you are up and in a store at four in the morning, duck and cover.
OK, so what about Black Friday for people in sports? I'm not talking about sports fans, as you can easily find deals on giant TVs or a paper bag with a clever nickname that mocks your favorite team. Fans are easy.
What about those stars who work in sports? Some of them could use a little extra pick-me-up this holiday season.
Here is a totally random and incomplete list of Black Friday shopping ideas for our favorite sports personalities. Please note, we do not have any free shipping codes.
Ben Roethlisberger (or Michael Vick): Bubble Wrap Suit
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
Are you concerned about your team's quarterback always getting hurt? Well, for the low—read, ridiculously high—price of $60, you can purchase that signal-caller a suit made of Bubble Wrap.
The suit buttons up the front and comes with a detachable hood, great for fitting helmets over concussed, and probably a bit swollen, noggins.
For the quarterback forced to the bench for an extended period of time, you could always purchase this really neat 2013 Bubble calendar, giving them something to do as they count the days until getting back on the field.
Kobe Bryant: Seven Seconds or Less EBook
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
With Mike D'Antoni now in Los Angeles, it is imperative for Kobe Bryant to read Seven Seconds or Less, Jack McCallum's retelling of the 2005-06 Phoenix Suns season. It's available in paperback or digital download.
Best I can tell, there is no audio book available, which would certainly benefit someone with Bryant's busy schedule. Most likely, Kobe can have Steve Nash just tell him about what happened. Yet for a nominal fee, Lakers fans could probably hire the Micro Machines guy to read it to Kobe on the next road trip.
Alex Smith: Wally Pipp's Autograph
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
The San Francisco 49ers have had a love-hate relationship with Alex Smith for years. Last season, the first under head coach Jim Harbaugh, Smith led the Niners to within a whisker of the Super Bowl.
This season, before getting sidelined with a concussion that gave Colin Kaepernick his much-anticipated starting debut, Smith was leading the NFL in completion percentage (70.0) and yards per attempt (8.0), while ranking third in the NFL in passer rating behind Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning.
The suggestion of getting Smith a copy of Wally Pipp's autograph—exorbitantly priced on eBay—is not to say that Kaepernick is the football equivalent of Lou Gehrig. It just seems rather unfortunate for Smith that getting hurt may lead to his eventual demotion after a rocky time in San Francisco that was suddenly going rather smoothly.
Fun fact: If you don't want to drop a grand on an unverifiable scrap of paper, this old Pipp baseball card may be a better value.
Frank Lampard: Star Map of the Greater Los Angeles Area
Chris Jackson/Getty Images
I'll admit taking liberties on this one, as Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. It stands to reason the Black Friday is an American phenomenon as well. But rumors have been swirling for months that Chelsea star Frank Lampard will be coming to MLS next season.
With David Beckham announcing the MLS Cup will be his last match with the L.A. Galaxy, it would be a great time for the Lampard rumors to become more than that.
Brian Wilson: Extreme Straight Razor
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Our MLB Lead Writer Zach Rymer put out a fun "what-if" last week when he suggested Brian Wilson of the San Francisco Giants may be a good fit in New York, playing for the Yankees.
The Giants won the World Series without Wilson throwing a pitch since April, leaving the door open for him to sign elsewhere, as the Giants are sure to part ways with the eclectic closer.
That said, if Rymer is right and the Yankees take a flier on Wilson, he is going to need to shave that monstrosity he calls a beard. What better for a guy like Wilson than a Vintage Straight Razor. They come in beginner, intermediate and extreme.
This is a no-freaking-brainer.
Andrew Bynum: Regenokine Surgery
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
People in Philadelphia are resigned to the fact Andrew Bynum may never play a minute for the Sixers this season. Bynum has missed the start of the season with knee troubles following offseason surgery. Last week, Bynum tweaked his other knee while bowling with friends.
It has gone from bad to worse, and there is little doubt in the City of Brotherly Love that Bynum will continue to need work done on his disintegrating joints.
What if we all get together and buy him a gift card for Regenokine surgery? I wonder if they have a customer loyalty card, where eight knee procedures would make the ninth one free.
Gary Bettman: Negotiating for Dummies
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
That's enough athletes; what about those in sports who control the business side?
The NHL commissioner has been a key figure in keeping his sport off the ice during this latest lockout, suggesting breaks in talks and basically negotiating with the NHLPA like a man who is trying to delay an agreement so long as there is no choice but to cancel the season.
I wrote last week that if Bettman were a hostage negotiator, everyone would have been dead for days. So, what if we get him Negotiating for Dummies, 2nd Edition. This book was put out in 2007, so if he used the 1st Edition during the last lockout, over which he presided in 2004, there might be some new tactics in this update.
Available in paperback online or at any reputable Dummy reseller.
Ben Cherington: A Wine Cellar
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Red Sox GM Ben Cherington jettisoned most of his team's high-priced talent late last season. He then watched two divisional foes make the playoffs while he fired the manager he didn't even want to hire in the first place.
So far this offseason, the Red Sox have been linked to Josh Hamilton and not much else, while the Toronto Blue Jays completely reshaped their roster with an influx of superstar talent. With the Yankees and Orioles coming off playoff seasons and the Rays right behind them in the standings, the Red Sox could be looking at a long 2013 season in the AL East basement.
Why not convert that basement into a fantastic wine cellar? He can build it himself, and then we could send him bottles of wine throughout the season after losses. He'll have dozens by next fall!
Ooh, and free shipping on purchases over $800. How can we afford not to?
Mikhail Prokhorov: Bulk Fans
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
The Nets owner successfully moved his team to Brooklyn, but so far the fans haven't moved with them. It may take a while to convert Brooklyn hoops fans into Nets fans, and so far the new swanky logos haven't gotten too many of the hipsters on board.
The Nets are already in the middle of the pack in NBA attendance. That is up from last year but not really close enough to nightly sellouts to make people think there won't be a significant drop if the Nets fall in the standings.
Of course, they could always, ahem, paper the house with these beautiful fans. Available in bulk.
Jerry Jones: GM
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Last but certainly not least on this Black Friday deal-buster is the owner and head honcho of the Dallas Cowboys. If Jerry Jones won't hire himself a GM, we can buy one for him.
Heck, as of this post, GM is a great buy, just announcing the purchase of Ally Financial Inc. while trading at $24.60. The company has rebounded since the auto bailout and is currently worth around $38.52 billion.
If 1.6 million of us each buy 10 shares, we could get Jerry that GM he desperately needs.