Weird Gifts That Athletes Have Received

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

Weird Gifts That Athletes Have Received

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    There are very few times in this world where you'll find me not pumped about receiving something from another person.

    Whether that be a birthday or Christmas gift, a free meal or something (a little naughty) from our girlfriend, we're always grateful to them for thinking of us.

    But for athletes who make millions of dollars and can afford pretty much anything, the excitement isn't always the same.

    Need proof?

    Just take a look at some of these weird gifts a few of your favorite players have received.

Multiple Athletes (A Haircut/Tattoo Tribute)

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    This one might not be directly given to a pro athlete, but make no mistake, it should be taken as a really big gift from a fan.

    For someone to be crazy enough to either buzz and color their head out of respect to their favorite athlete, or worse, go out and get permanent ink to support them is some major love.

    But we've seen it before and chances are, we'll continue seeing it.

Baltimore Ravens (Ice Cream)

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    One would think that a Super Bowl title would be the greatest party the Baltimore Ravens would have this year.

    But after seeing these guys go nuts over an ice cream truck pulling up and stopping by their training camp the other day, you'd be surprised to see they might enjoy the tasty treat more than a Lombardi trophy.

    Coach Jim Harbaugh pulled this stunt before in 2011, but this time he just allowed the defensive guys to add more weight to their frames—quite the "rocky road" for any offensive player.


Atlanta Falcons Defensive Backs ('Mad Chad' T-Shirts)

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    It's pretty rare to receive something from your next opponent in the mail, but that's what happened for some Falcons defensive backs in 2010 courtesy of former Bengals wide receiver, Chad Ochocinco.

    We all know that Chad was one of the most outspoken athletes of his generation, so sending a t-shirt to taunt his opponents was a pretty sly move.

    This wasn't the first time Ochocinco sent a strange gift to opposing defenders either though, as he sent Pepto-Bismol to Browns players before a 2004 game, insisting they'd be sick trying to shut him down.

    Unfortunately for Chad, in both cases ('04 and '10), his team wound up on the losing end.

John Griffin (43-Page Scrapbook)

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    With some key moments in his collegiate basketball career, former Bucknell guard John Griffin became a fan favorite.

    For one kid in particular, Griffin was numero uno in his book.

    That's why Griffin was presented a scrapbook by nine-year-old Bison fan, Tyler Lauver, a few years back to show the guard just how much he admired him.

    Normally, anyone who gets handed a 43-page shrine of themselves from another person would probably be a bit creeped out, but in this case, it was out of pure enjoyment from a young fan, so how can anyone hate on that?

Jarvis Jones (Subway Sandwich Statue)

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    Oh Subway, you're just at it again, aren't you?

    After unveiling some major meat sandwiches the past couple of years for athletes like Robert Griffin IIINdamukong Suh and Michael Phelps, the sub company kept with that tradition by loading all the toppings between some bread for new Steelers linebacker, Jarvis Jones.

    I admit this is pretty cool, but with 10 pounds of chicken used, really hope it wasn't eaten in just one sitting.

Robert Griffin III (Multiple Wedding Gifts)

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    Speaking of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, after the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and former Heisman trophy winner blasted his Twitter fans a thank you for sending gifts congratulating him on his wedding, I'm sure he got some crazy things.

    With things like water filters and spoon holders, RG3 seemed to have an abundance of random gifts to unwrap.


Chipper Jones (Fishing Gear)

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    Former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones was the real deal for 18 years down in Hot-lanta.

    With eight All-Star game appearances, an NL MVP and a postseason trip in 12 of his seasons, he earned tons of respect from his peers.

    That's why Jones got hooked up with some serious swag during his farewell tour last year, getting quite the bundle of storage closet-worthy items.


Nick Saban (Nesting Dolls)

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    If there's one thing we all know about SEC fans, it's that they are absolutely obsessed with their college football.

    Packing stadiums like rock concerts each Saturday, players and coaches become living gods to people.

    Well, with three of the past four national titles, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the biggest god of them all.

    So maybe I shouldn't be shocked to see that this sweet high school art teacher named Hannah Braswell thought making some wooden dolls of the Tide coach would be the perfect gift during Saban's autograph session at SEC Media Days.


College Football Players (Bowl Gifts)

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    How are college football players rewarded for their being part of a team that makes it to a bowl game?

    With a ton of gifts, of course.

    So while major bowl teams get hooked up with some seriously cool stuff, others tend to get screwed on what they find in their bags.

    For instance, take the USC Trojans last year who, after making it to the Sun Bowl, were given random things like a watch, fleece jacket, cap, a commemorative coin and, get this, a Helen of Troy hair dryer.

    Those scream re-gifting to me.

Mariano Rivera (Baseball Bat Rocking Chair)

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    Like Chipper Jones, once Yankees great Mariano Rivera announced that this would be his final season in pinstripes, every single ballpark made it a point to award a gift to the best closer in MLB history.

    Some of these parting gifts were things like a cowboy hat and boots (Rangers), a surfboard (Athletics) and, the one I find to be strangest, a rocking chair made of broken bats from the Twins, dubbed the "Chair of Broken Dreams" for all the lumber Rivera's pitches have shattered in his career.

Lionel Messi ($50 Million Crystal Portrait)

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    As arguably the greatest soccer player in the world, FC Barcelona and Argentina national team striker Lionel Messi has built up quite the fan base.

    Never has that been on display more than earlier this month, when a Colombian artist by the name of Mauricio Benitez created a piece of art for Messi worth $50 million made from Swarovski crystals.

    With a price tag like that, it's no wonder Benitez is known as "Mr. Bling".

Roger Federer (A Cow)

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    Excuse the pun, but this is udder madness!

    Seventeen-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer might be from Switzerland, but when he received a cow as a gift—for the second time in his life—for his accomplishments from his home nation, it really makes me wonder.

    On the plus side, he won't have to pay for milk for the next year or so.