The Top 50 Holiday Gifts of 2011
The holiday season is the season of giving, so let's discuss what everyone should be giving and receiving.
Men are quite simple. They love sports and everything associated with it. Though they might like a specific sport or athlete, there is a gift for everyone. From memorabilia to the newest basketball shoe, if you like sports, then you will like this list.
Here is the list of 50 gifts that sports fans will love.
I hope this helps shoppers looking for the perfect gift for the holidays.
50. Winnipeg Jets Jersey
Some people just pulled out their old Jets' jerseys from their closets, while other went to the store to get the new and improved look.
With the Jets being in the only game in town, you are going to look foolish being the only one without one. Just remember sports fans, if someone asks you for a Jets jersey, make sure you know which team they are talking about.
Big difference on that one.
49. Sports Illustrated Almanac 2011
This is the perfect gift for the sports junkie in the family. Though ESPN has stopped making their version of the almanac, SI has picked up with the task.
The book is filled with league leaders in any category imaginable, in addition to shorts about the champions in each respective league.
Overall, this gift has a niche market, but luckily one that many sports fans belong to.
48. Football Breast Cancer Receiver Gloves
The NFL was part of a major campaign to raise breast-cancer awareness, which included pink gloves and shoes.
Now, you can own this apparel while also looking stylish and raising awareness.
47. Wireless Headphones
Motorola has produced possibly the best running headphones on the market. They are wirelessly controlled and can connect to your smartphone, acting as a music player.
They can also be used for phone calls and are not terribly expensive. Overall, they are a great investment.
46. Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Championship T-Shirt
When the Miami Heat played the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, we all became Dallas Mavericks fans. With that being said, why don't you solidify it by buying the officially licensed championship gear?
Why stop at the T-shirt? Get the hat and DVD that comes along with it. Then you can truly say that you were rooting for Dallas all along.
45. Moneyball on DVD
Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill star in one of the best sports movies of the year, "Moneyball." For everyone with an East Coast bias, it is the story of the Oakland A's and the system used by their GM Billy Beane to buy players on the cheap.
Yankee fans, shut your eyes, because this is the exact opposite of anything your team has ever done.
44. Basketball Rollback Net
You don't have to be a loner to appreciate a little help fetching a basketball when you are shooting around in the driveway.
This is a great gift for anyone who has the basketball hoop in front of the house and has to constantly go around chasing it, even if you make the shot.
Now imagine the person who shoots tons of airballs....
43. Your Favorite Team's Jersey
I fully support a sports jersey as a gift, but it is also a big risk. Do you get the aging veteran that you can wear years after he has retired (Manning) or the young franchise quarterback (Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez).
Though it is more prevalent in the NFL, you don't want to get a jersey you can only wear for one season.
42. War Room: The Legacy of Bill Belichick
Love him or hate him, which people do plenty of both, Bill Belichick has become one of the greatest coaches of all time.
This book takes the reader behind the scenes, and shows how an empire was built from the draft room to the Super Bowl championship podium.
Here is your chance to the see the genius at work.
41. Favorite Smartphone App
Ipad, Iphone, and Android applications have become so sophisticated that you no longer need a television. All the news and games that you can think of are on your smart devices.
A great gift idea would be several of the top-rated sports apps. For the person on the go, these apps provide stats and scores, and in some cases live streaming videos.
This is what we call a win-win.
40. Universal Remote Control with Bottle Opener
Hey honey, can you grab me a beer?
Upon arriving, there is nothing worse than realizing you have been mistaken and are not holding a twist off. Instead of pushing it and asking for the bottle opener, why not just buy a remote that doubles as an opener?
Now, your remote controls every channel and audio setting on your television, and opens your beer. Does it get better than this? I submit that it does not.
39. Autumn Thunder: 40 Years of NFL Films Music
This item is not new to 2011, but it can be categorized as a timeless classic. NFL Films, whether you realize it or not, has influenced the life of the football fan in countless ways.
This box set includes 10 disks and 180 of NFL Films' most classic instrumental songs. If you love the NFL and the music that made it famous, you will love "Autumn Thunder."
38. The Whore of Akron: One Man's Search for the Soul of LeBron James
Alright, so the title might give you the feeling that the author, Scott Raab, is an extremist; but he would admit that himself.
This is an emotional, satirical, and honest look at LeBron James' departure from Cleveland as seen through the eyes of a fan, who states his bias from the beginning.
It is an interesting take on the whole situation and a book that people should read if they have ever weighed in on the LeBron situation.
Can't go to the game? No problem.
With a Fathead, you get a huge mural of your favorite player or a team logo in a removable form; and just in case they start to play poorly, you can take it down.
This is a cool gift for someone with plenty of wall space and no artistic nature whatsoever.
36. The League on DVD
Now that fantasy football has risen to the ranks of real sports, it is time to celebrate the men and woman who make it even more fun.
The League, if you don't watch it (which is wrong, by the way) is about an 8-man fantasy football league and the shame and glory that comes with it.
These are the types of guys that are in every one of our leagues. Now, we get to watch fantasy football take place from a distance and realize how ridiculously awesome it really is.
35. Personalized Portable Folding Stadium Seat Cushion
The bleachers are not always a fun place to sit. There is no back support, and during the winter, you have to deal with the rigors of the cold metal seats and people sitting on top of you.
With the portable folding chair, you square away your space and don't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable.
It's the best of both worlds; cheap seats and comfort.
34. Stadium Tours
Sports teams offer tours of their stadiums year round. This might include a walk through the dugout, clubhouse, and in the case of the Yankees, Monument Park.
Every stadium has cool nuances which a fan of the team would certainly appreciate.
After walking through the stadium on a tour, a fan will have a whole new appreciation every time he or she goes to the game.
33. New Era Official MLB Cap
There is nothing like a brand new, fresh baseball cap. New Era, the leader in baseball gear, is the only hat that is officially licensed by MLB, and for good reason.
If you know someone who is into baseball and has a favorite team, a good baseball hat could last for years.
32. Soccer Scarf
I'm sure when you see this slide, there is going to be an inclination to quickly hit next. Hopefully that has nothing to do with you simply disliking this article....
That being said, soccer is great, and more Americans should take the time to watch some real soccer (European) and realize that it is a great sport.
Once you have done all of the above, go out and buy yourself a nice scarf. It has two functions: warmth and fandom. Soccer knows what it is doing.
31. Julius Erving Memorabilia
Unfortunately, Dr. J is selling his stuff. While you might be jumping up for joy, he is trying to use the remains of his basketball capital to make back the money that he owes from a lawsuit.
This may be the perfect time to pounce if you have ever wanted your own championship ring or MVP award. It is a sad state of affairs, but a cool item to have if you have the money to pony up.
30. West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life
Whoever thought that Jerry West was a lovable and self-respecting man should avoid this book at all costs.
"West by West" is an intense look at the life, career (as both a player and executive) and emotional state of the NBA legend.
This review gives us a little more about what lies inside the book and helps us to understand what went on in West's mind.
For those who like a good plot twist, buy this book and be ready to be surprised.
29. NBA 2k12
What makes this game so great is that they offer old-school teams to play with in addition to your standard teams. They include teams such as Michael Jordan's Bulls, the old Run-TMC Warriors squad, and the 2002 Sacramento Kings.
This is all on top of having Jordan, Bird or Magic donning the cover of your game.
28. When the Garden Was Eden
Remember when Walt Clyde Frazier and Willis Reed dominated Madison Square Garden, and turned New York into the No. 1 basketball city in the world?
That was over 40 years ago, but the stories told and the feelings people get when they talk about that era of Knicks basketball is incomparable.
This is a book from the memory of someone who was young when the Knicks won their titles in the early '70s. In that respect, there is no better view than from the eyes of a child...
27. Miami Marlins Jersey
The now "Miami" Marlins have a new manager, a new stadium and now new uniforms. Some think that they are a bit flamboyant, while others are calling them just plain ugly.
Any way you look at it, these new jerseys are a must-have for any Marlins fan. I'm sure all Miami fans wanted for the holidays is to sign Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols, but they might just have to settle for the uni.
There is nothing like waiting after the game for the players to come out in the hopes of grabbing one of their autographs on your baseball or possibly even their rookie card.
If you are either too old or too lazy to do this, there is luckily someone out there who would love to sell you their copy for a nominal fee.
Memorabilia is always a great gift because the receiver can put on the mantle or in the office and be constantly reminded of the awesome gesture.
25. Sports Illustrated: The Baseball Book Expanded Edition
If you love baseball and the beautiful images that come with it, the you will enjoy this book. Sports Illustrated has come up with an updated version of this compilation of images from baseball history.
Tom Verducci, one of the best baseball writers around, is also a contributor to the work and will more than set the many scenes that I promise will blow you away.
24. ESPN Insider
If you buy ESPN the Magazine, you will also get ESPN insider along with the subscription. ESPN insider opens up more articles, statistics and commentary than you can imagine.
I can talk from personal experience that Insider makes ESPN.com viewing much more enjoyable. It is very inexpensive and will enhance your time on the Internet.
23. 100 Yards of Glory: The Greatest Moments in NFL History
There are moments that define each NFL game. There are also moments that define the sport as a whole.
This book, accompanied by a 10-part documentary, shows the 100 greatest and most monumental plays in the game's history.
These are the moments that we talk about to this day and the moments that will remain ingrained in our minds for the rest of our lives. With this gift, you can capture them all.
22. Nike Hyperdunks
The lightest basketball shoe known to man will be one heck of a stocking stuffer come Christmas time.
Any basketball player would love to have a pair of these shoes because not only are they comfortable and functional, but they look sick.
21. Portable Stadium Sipping Seat Flask
Don't want to pay for the high price of beer during the game, and also like a comfortable seat? Well, have I got the gift for you.
Your loved ones will love you even more if you give them a way to be both comfortable and drunk. I have a feeling that this could be one of the greatest inventions of the 21st century.
20. Lawn Stryper Makes Your Lawn Big League
If you want to be the envy of everyone in the neighborhood, then cut your grass like a baseball field. I don't care who thinks it is stupid or calls it lame, because it is not.
I wish I had a special lawn stryper so that my wiffle ball games would have been that much cooler. At the very least, it is a cool look and it'll make you want to cut the lawn more often.
19. Sports Illustrated Subscription
Sports Illustrated is one of the biggest sports publications in the US. It has riveting stories and great journalism accompanied by beautiful photography.
Getting a sports magazine each week is a good way of keeping on top of the sports world while learning a thing or two in the process.
18. New Tailgate Gear
All good tailgaters out there know that during the wear and tear of the season, things are going to get knocked over, dirty and/or all of the above.
A good, new barbecue or a fun tailgating game make great gifts. If your friends and family are going to spend 1/7 of their week at a football stadium, they might as well have all the proper equipment.
17. Throwback Jerseys/T-Shirts
If you wait long enough, everything comes back in style; that includes sports gear.
Over the last couple of years, more jerseys from the '70s and '80s have been popping up all over the place. Now, you can buy these T-shirts and jerseys for someone else and bring back the old school.
Hopefully you aren't just pulling the same jersey you had from the '70s out of your closet and re-gifting.
16. Nike ID Shoes
For the creative type, Nike ID shoes allows the gift recipient to design their kicks exactly how they like them. This may include using his or her favorite sports team, or just going wild with it.
Either way, it is a cool gift to give to a young person who is looking to rep their school colors.
15. NHL 12
This is the perfect time to get into some hockey action. The best way to learn the game and its players is by playing the video games, and finding out who is legit.
Believe it or not, after playing several hockey games, this NHL series is actually extremely fun. You may not be used to the style, but it is definitely worth a look.
14. Those Guys Have All the Fun
"Those Guys Have All the Fun" is the controversial book that takes a look at how ESPN began from a small idea and developed into the biggest name in sports.
Of course, with success, comes some crazy stories and anecdotes that you need to read to believe. It hit bookshelves in the summer and continues to be a hot read.
Anyone who wonders how ESPN controls their lives needs to read this book.
13. Madden 12
By the time the holiday season comes around, the NFL season will almost be over. But, if you were too cheap to buy Madden 12 when it first came out, you can be sure to get it at a discounted price.
The game is still legendary and will guarantee hours of fun.
12. Zoom Kobe VI
Kobe Bryant wouldn't be caught dead without the coolest shoes in the NBA. You can talk to me all you want about crazy color designs, but the low top Kobe VIs are some of the best basketball shoes around.
These kicks have the classic Lakers colors and the mesh outside, and I heard that if you wear them, you'll be able to hit mid-range jumpers like Kobe, too.
11. Neon Sports Sign
This isn't as tacky as you think it is. If you have a bar or a man cave in the basement, a neon sign is a cool addition.
I don't know any college kid who wouldn't want a sports-themed neon sign in their room. Find one person...I dare you.
10. FIFA 12
As an avid FIFA video game player, I can say with certainty that this is the best version of the game I have ever played.
Besides the insane graphics, the game play has improved for a more realistic style, that you can literally spend hours playing.
With an Internet connection, updated rosters make this game useful year round.
9. Friday Night Lights Seasons 1-5
This summer, Friday Night Lights closed up on its fifth and final season.
I will go out on a limb and say that this is one of the best television shows that nobody will ever recognize even existed.
It is set in a small town in Texas, sifting through the personal problems and politics to play the game of football. Get all five seasons on DVD and I promise you, if given the chance, you will finish them in about a week.
8. Shaq Uncut: My Story
If you didn't think Shaquille O'Neal was outspoken enough, he now has a book to back it up. This is a newly released autobiography from the man who gave us some of the most quotable lines in NBA history.
Early reports from the book were rave reviews. His honest opinion and anecdotes about his life, including his feeling towards Kobe Bryant, are riveting. I won't give any more away; just go out and buy it.
7. Old Stadium Seats
Steiner Sports and other sports memorabilia retailers are always auctioning off old stadium seats after a team decides to move to a new home.
Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium are prime examples, but the company has many other teams and leagues.
It is a great novelty gift to give to the ultimate fan who will always remember sitting in these exact seats when they were younger.
6. New Golf Club(s)
You know how he has been telling about how he constantly misses the fairway and keeps lipping out his putts. While you are right in assume he is simply bad at golf, he is also hinting that he wants new and/or better clubs.
Go to your local golf shop or nice sporting goods store and check out the selection; it will impress you. Once you find out what his worst shot is, find him the perfect club. Either that, or go for the driver.
Chicks dig the long ball.
5. ESPN 30 for 30 Boxset
Though ESPN's 30 for 30 series has come to an end, it doesn't mean you can't watch your favorite documentaries again.
The box sets include all 30 of your favorite movies; in addition, ESPN Films has come out with new and intriguing documentaries throughout 2011, which can also be purchased separately.
4. Ultimate Stock Car Ride-Along Experience
This is one of the more unique experiences on the list.
The most famous of the stock car experiences is the Richard Petty driving experience. You can either drive or sit in the passenger seat for an 8-, 18- or 30-lap experience.
Imagine flying down the track at 140 mph without having to deal with someone trying to pass you or bump your back left rear and spin you out.
Now that's an experience...
3. Virtual Golf Simulator
If you have a bunch of money to blow and the space to install it, a virtual golf simulator is one of the coolest gifts around.
This is for those players who don't like losing their balls, walking down the fairway, or the climate. I see now that I have eliminated every true element of the game...
Basically, if you are a big kid and you want to upgrade your video gaming experience, this is the gift for you.
2. Direct TV Sports Packages for a Year
NFL Sunday Ticket and NBA League pass are just a few of the options that a sports fan can order to enhance his or her watching experience.
With the power of DirectTV, you can watch innumerable amounts of sports programming that other people would die for. You want to watch the Bobcats take on the Jazz on a Tuesday night? Why not?
Just remember to tell your significant other that this is the most important game of the year...always.
1. Tickets to the Game
There is no bigger event to find yourself at than the Super Bowl. Regardless if your team is playing, you can appreciate how big the game is and how exciting the atmosphere is.
If you can't make it to the Super Bowl, giving tickets to regular-season games also works well. The whole NFL experience, between tailgating and the game, is a great gift.