Sports Gifts to Consider This Father's Day
I don't know about you, but there is absolutely no person who inspires more confusion and panic when you need to buy a gift than my father. And, it's not because he's a jerk or a snob; it's because he's Dad.
My dad is the man who can fix anything, build anything and consider 12 hours of clearing old, dead trees a great start to a vacation on the shores of Lake Erie.
How do you shop for the dude who swoops in and takes care of your problems when your own attempt failed spectacularly? It's less about his expectations as it is about yours—and on Father's Day you can't squander the opportunity to really let Dad know he's the best.
Few avenues of gift-giving offer more promise than awesome sports gifts.
This is the nexus within Dad-World and Your-World where father-son or father-daughter become Steelers Nation or long-suffering Cubs fans.
Chances are that even the most casual sports fan out there, who happens to also be a great father, has a particular team, athlete or experience that could inspire a truly thoughtful gift idea—something you'd offer without trepidation (even if it's all in your head.)
I've scoured that fantastic mega-store for the "every man," known as the Internet, to help you celebrate Father's Day with an awesome sports gift.
DVD Collections, Books
This one is a no-brainer. Movies, movie collections and books are very solid bets if you know the person you’re buying for well. And since we’re talking Father’s Day gifts, you probably know the person pretty well or you wouldn’t even be shopping.
If you’re on a budget, a single DVD is very economical, and the choices are endless. Movie collections are obviously going to cost a little more, but you’re going to get a little more. And if you’re at a complete loss, go the massive trivia book route.
All dads like trivia that they can bust out on any and every occasion, before sauntering away with a fatherly smug look on his face. Allowing him to add to that base of knowledge is the ultimate gift.
Tailgating isn’t for everyone, but devoted sports fans who get into the game early enough tend to stick with it for decades. If dad falls into that category, consider hooking him up with one or more tailgating necessities for Father’s Day.
What’s great about this option is that there’s a vast array of options, no matter the budget. You can shop based on need, upgrade his current gear, or surprise him with something he never knew he needed until you gave it to him.
If dad is a beer drinker, and very few dads aren’t, consider a tricked out beer stein as a gift this Father’s Day. The ones in the photo are obviously pretty ornate, but there are dressed up and dressed down versions available in any price range.
A decorative, yet functional, beer stein is a perfect gift for dads who are very possessive of their stuff. If your dad has a chair you can't sit in, cereal you can’t eat, a truck you can’t drive, and tools you can’t touch, then he will definitely love a cup you can’t use.
How much use a leather portfolio, or any other old school office type gifts for that matter, will be put to use by dad is something you should definitely assess before going this direction. If he’s younger and/or technologically inclined, he might be kind of offended by a portfolio or pen set.
Although, he probably wouldn’t be offended—dads are just cool like that. Truth be told, pens and paper are actually still moderately useful to a lot of people in this world, and your dad may very well be one of those people—even if he doesn’t want to admit it.
Useful Novelty Gifts
The most important thing about a sports novelty gift is that it’s useful in addition to be a little goofy and almost entirely unnecessary. This is also what’s great about giving an actual gift to someone, rather than a stupid gift card.
It’s a chance to buy someone, in this case your dad, something that he would never actually buy for himself. Not because he doesn’t want it, but because there is always going to be something above Stanley Cup popcorn maker and functional goal light on the shopping list.
Framed Portraits, Commemorative Plaques
If dad has an office, a man cave, or even a garage or shed with some wall space, a framed portrait of his favorite athlete or a commemorative plaque celebrating his favorite team is an excellent Father’s Day gift. These run the gamut in price, but original photos, particularly if they’re autographed, can get pretty expensive.
If you’re looking for something budget friendly, there’s a much cheaper and personal option that you’re dad may appreciate even more. Look back through family photos and pick out the best sports related memories, then have those framed. You can do a single photo or a photo collage. You could also get creative and have it miraculously printed up on a canvas.
That canvas thing is real—Google it.
Team Golf Gear
It almost seems like a stereotype, assuming dads play golf. Obviously not all dads play golf, but think about it for a moment—all the guys that you know who play golf are dads, aren’t they?
Maybe your dad does, maybe he doesn’t. But if he does, there is themed golf gear for most teams in most sports, and available in every price range. Dad will appreciate it, even if you do not.
Cufflinks are something that almost every man needs at least a few times in his life. A very few times if he’s and outdoorsy type who works with his hands, and a bit more often if he’s a swanky businessman type with too many suits.
If your dad isn’t really the dressing up type, team cufflinks are a great way to help him do the dress up thing on his own terms. Of course, if he’s the type of guy who wears a corduroy suit to a wedding, there are better gift options available.
Believe it or not, spending some time with mom and dad almost always means more to them than any gift. Unless your parents are particularly materialistic and you’re a terrible gift giver! Let’s hope that’s not the situation here.
With that in mind, this year, consider giving dad something that he and family and friends can enjoy together. Party games are great for summer picnics, and good luck finding a dad over the age of 40 who doesn’t enjoy a little horseshoe action.
Tricked out Grill Accessories
There’s just something about men, particularly dads, and grilling. For some reason cooking meat outside speaks to them in a way that cooking meat in a kitchen—even a glorious kitchen—never could. Of course, cooking meat in a kitchen is better than not cooking meat at all, am I right?
If grilling means as much to your dad as it does to mine, then some tricked out grilling accessories might be what you’re looking for this Father’s Day. This isn’t an upgrade situation, though—an artist gets attached to his tools—find out what he’s missing and shop based on need.
Upgraded Fan Gear
An upgrade in gear is the perfect gift for any sports fan, for any occasion. We all have our various hats, t-shirts and jerseys, but when push comes to shove, ponying up big bucks in this arena is a tough sell. Quantity sometimes is preferable to quality, particularly when it’s your money on the line.
That’s what makes this a can’t miss. Upgrade dad’s standard ball cap for a vintage fitted model—just make sure you’ve got the right head size! If you’ve got a few more shekels to spare, trade in that replica jersey for an authentic model with the special breathable fabric.
It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. If you’re a sports fan and your dad’s a sports fan, chances are some of the greatest and most memorable days the two of you have spent together have been at the ballpark. (Or whatever building your sport of choice is played in)
And although changing your diapers and later bailing you out of jail are surely worth something, the same can almost certainly be said about dad. Not to get all “Cats in the Cradle” on you here, but playing sports and watching sports is something that brings us together unlike anything else—even when time pulls us apart.
Which makes baseball tickets the perfect Father’s Day gift. It’s not just a chance to get out of the house and an opportunity to gorge on nachos while day-drinking and taking in a ball game. It’s a chance to actually connect with dear old dad. It'll be something he'll remember forever and you'll remember long after he's gone. Awwwww. Too much?