25 Worst Sports Gifts of 2013
Beaveropoly is further evidence that there are more than enough suckers out there with some kind of connection to Oregon State University and $25 to burn to keep selling this perversion of a perfectly good classic. The name itself when spoken—beaver-ah-po-lee—just sounds gross.
Yet, this game has a place somewhere, because it happens to occupy that space between gift and novelty, that helps cloud the gift-giver's already spinning mind and ensure that some giftee, somewhere, is going to be disappointed. Few activities are create more feelings of stress and consternation than shopping for Christmas gifts.
The desire to discover something awesome and unique, yet also intrinsically desired by the recipient, runs head-on into the reality that money is finite and the holiday crowds are not.
You would think that shopping for a sports fan, whether they're a friend, loved one, or something else, would make the process easier; the person most likely has favorite team, sport, and/or athlete. However, the landscape of gifts for the biggest sports fans among us is rife with really bad decisions waiting to happen.
These are 25 of the worst sports gifts of 2013.
2012 Coco Crisp Chia Pet
I won't lie—something about this Coco Crisp Chia Pet is downright hypnotizing. But, there's a reason Chia Pets are hocked on late night TV and suddenly show up in drugstores in droves this time of year—they suck as gifts.
Coco Crisp's visage ups the value, but really, it'll just become a daily reminder that it's a Chia Pet (that eventually dies) and not a bobble-head; and that you're a cheap SOB.
2011 Mike Ditka "The Player" Pinot Grigio
First, I'd like to acknowledge that there's nothing wrong with giving someone a bottle of a sports legend's wine as a gift. I'm sure Mike Ditka's The Champion blend would provide both a great conversation piece and accompaniment to a tender medallion of filet.
But, Pinot Grigio? It's a wine variety that is neither befitting of the man's image or the spirit of such a gift.
Reality Television Is SPORTS! Wall Clock
Helpful Tip o' the Day: Don't ever buy someone a clock for the holidays.
Helpful Tip o' the Day, II: If you do buy someone a clock, don't choose one that makes a statement as hard to figure out as it is to decipher the actual time from it's featureless, minimalist face.
Aside from the really strange choice of Algerian font on the clock, what the hell is it telling us; or, in actuality, what would the person who mounted this clock in their den be telling the world? The clock isn't really clear about what reality television is or how it feels about it.
Gaither Gospel Series CD: Terry & Jake
I know what you're thinking: Ha ha, a CD of gospel tunes sung in duet by Steelers Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw and some dude in a freaky toupee...now that would be a funny gift!
You're right, but do you know what happens to 'funny' gifts? After a chuckle or two, they go die in a drawer or box in a part of the house that remains untouched until someone moves or dies.
'Funny' gifts are usually funny because they're awful; so your "bro," or whatever, will never pop one of these in his CD players (if he still has one), unless you come over and start making passive aggressive comments about it.
2012-2013 Manti T'eo T-Shirt
Price: $18.00 (not discounted either)
Oh man. Don't ever take investment advice from whoever designed this t-shirt promoting former Notre Dame linebacker, and infamous phantom girlfriend dater, Manti T'eo's 2012-2013 Heisman "campaign".
Beyond being a glaring reminder of one of the weirdest non-football stories to dominate college football maybe ever, the shirt is just...lame. Even before the Lennay Kekua brouhaha, his campaign had zero chance of bearing any fruit and his performance in the BCS Championship punctuated that fact.
Shirts celebrating mildly interesting moments or people in sports rarely age well and most often end up in the same trashbin of history as the Patriots' 18-0 apparel from the 2007-2008 NFL season.
Derek Jeter Driven Rush Eau De Toilette Spray
Four words: Derek Jeter's Taco Hole.
Certain kinds of things can't be promoted by celebrities like Yankees superstar Derek Jeter in a way that doesn't make the user feel kind of pathetic. And, in turn, make someone like 'The Jeet' a little less mythical.
People simply aren't ready to widely accept a product that has essentially branded itself as a hyper-famous athlete's musk; a musk, captured and bottled...for you...so you can also smell like him.
Skip Jeter's Rush, buy a Rush album, and pick up some Ralph Lauren cologne for your man.
Charlotte Bobcats Team Logo Basketball Shoe Display Case
As if the Charlotte Bobcats have done enoughto deserve your hard-earned dollars to begin with, the franchise has the nerve to try to convince you to spend nearly $80 on a display case for a theoretically autographed shoe.
So, unless you know someone with a Michael Jordan autographed shoe, this gift is not just bad...it's sadistic.
Matt Leinart Painting
Price: $295 for an 8x10
The art world, outside the confines of the commercial and industrial fields, is certainly not driven by supply and demand. And this painting of NFL bust, and former Heisman winning Southern Cal quarterback, Matt Leinart, is a work of 'art' that has exactly one potential buyer (unless you make a terrible, terrible mistake)—Matt Leinart.
Even really great paintings of athletes are awkwardly melodramatic outside of a museum and when they're...not so great...they're just creepy. Like, Leinart-weeping-blood creepy.
Pittsburgh Steelers High Heel Wine Bottle Holder
In the world of retail merchandise, sports-related products have a certain amount of flexibility not afforded to other markets when it comes to style. Team logo beanbag chairs are always going to look goofy in your living room (regardless of the sport or team), but that's part of the appeal; part of its kitsch.
But this is just offensive; offensive for me as a Steelers fan and as a human being. Period. When shopping for the sports fan in your life, never buy them something that may have the team's colors and logo, but inherently violates the very idea of that team.
Using this wine bottle holder would be like drinking Guinness from a Keeping Up with the Kardashians beer-stein.
Duck Dynasty's 'Uncle Si' Cornhole Set
There isn't much to the cornhole apparatus: just a board, a hole and some beanbags for a'tossing.
So, when you roll up to the pre-game party and bust out this classic staple of tailgating, jaws are going to drop when your buddies are staring at "Uncle Si" and his cornhole.
Just make sure you wrap this gift with a clearly denoted warning: Be the first to pass out at your own risk.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Denim & Khaki Shirt
Canned Vienna Sausages are gross. Pickled eggs are gross. So, why would anyone believe that combining the two would somehow create something better, rather than terrifying?
This duo khaki-denim Buccaneers shirt violates at least two major style laws and probably a few of nature's as well. Unless you plan on celebrating the holidays with Jack Hanna, never...ever...buy someone a shirt made of either of those materials (much less, both.)
West Ham's Cluedo Game
Ah yes, the team-themed 'mock' version of a classic board game we all know and love. It's a tenacious phenomena; sucker-punching fans, drunk on team spirit and nostalgia, with high prices and inevitable disappointment.
In this case, English Premier League club West Ham eschews the usual Monopoly rip-off for..."Cluedo"? Not that the prospect of discovering "who stole the silverware" wasn't intriguing enough as it is, but the fact the club slapped '-do' on Clue and swapped out some jpegsyet fans still shell out almost $50 for it—is nothing short of supernatural.
Nike M65 Performance Jacket
If you've reached a dead end in your quest to find that perfect gift and the person you're shopping for is a deadringer for an institutionalized Liberace-impersonator, then look no further.
Nike's M65 Performance Jacket is the official jacket of the USA Olympic Team competing in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, so unless the recipient of this fine example of 'straightjacket chique' is walking in the opening ceremony, avoid it at all costs.
Hmmm, it has been marked down from $399, though...
New Mexico State Aggies Football Season Tickets
Not to dump on the dumped on, but the New Mexico State Aggies and New Mexico Lobos football programs have been vying for the title of "New Mexico's Worst"; with a strong case for the "Nation's Worst".
While both were putrid in 2013, posting records of 2-10 and 3-9, respectively, the Aggies were pasted by the Lobos to the tune of 66-17 and firmly planted their flag on top of Mount Stink.
The Aggies program has been so adrift that former coach Dewayne Walker said "sayonara" last January for the greener pastures of the Jacksonville Jaguars...the New Mexico State of the NFL.
Routinely getting over 50 points dropped on them in a given game, nothing would say, "I hate you" more clearly than the gift of Aggies season tickets...in the cheap seats.
Michael Phelps: Push the Limit (XBOX 360)
Almost universally panned by critics and gamers alike, Michael Phelps' Push the Limit for the XBOX 360 is the kind of video game a clueless baby boomer buys a younger, personally confounding family member.
And, just in case there was any lingering doubt, be assured the purchase was based purely on the heavily discounted price and the assumption that there's no difference between Ms. Pac-Man, Madden 25 and this piece of garbage.
As beautifully articulated by Conan O'Brien, Push the Limit features the winning formula of crappy, monotonous gameplay, wet dudes in tiny speedos and...indoor arm-flailing.
Limited Edition '45' T-Shirt from Floyd Mayweather's Merch Store
Brought to you by The Money Team, boxer Floyd Mayweather's merchandising business, this tee is so authentic that it's 100% guaranteed to make you feel like a world champion boxer.
Because anytime you where it out in public, you're going to have punches thrown at your face.
O.J. Is Innocent and I Can Prove It
At this point, the question of whether NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson murdered his estranged wife and her friend is largely irrelevant in the public sphere. He's old, he's in jail, and no one really cared (beyond the outrageousness of it) that he basically wrote a book himself that essentially answered the question.
I'm not sure the topic is going to catch fire again for author William Dear anytime soon, so all this 'gift' is going to elicit is "WTF" and the realization that you probably dug around in a bookstore bargain bin when you realized you forgot to pickup a gift.
Murder in Brentwood
Now, if you make it a pair—giving someone a nice, well-rounded view on the case with this ad hoc companion piece written by (gulp) disgraced detective Mark Fuhrman (doh!)—you'll look like...someone who scavenged through a near-empty bargain bin.
You can't beat the price though!
San Jose Sharks Women's Concepts Burnout Thong
Fellas, if your lady-friend wanted a skeevy thong emblazoned with the Shark's logo, or whatever her favorite NHL team's logo is, she'd already own a pair. If she unwraps this—and there's no dancing around the truth—she's going to see you in a new, more creepy light.
North Korea Olympics Youth Flag T-Shirt
There's a good reason that mug you're sipping from right now says "#1 Dad." It's because of moments like this—when you can make a statement about what it means to be a [insert last name here]. It's about innovating; about following the beat of your own drum.
When everyone else is cheering on the USA, or one of the many nations that make this world a vibrant global community, you gave your child a gift that not only transforms them into a walking, talking middle-finger, but helps support a regime that's awesome at running gulags and freaking everyone out.
And, no one can put it better than North Korea itself:
"Many countries are great, magnificent even, but there's only one country that has captured your young patriot's heart and soul: North Korea! Let them put their pride for North Korea on full display with this Flag tee!"
Personal Competitive Eating Training Session with Jamie McDonald
Thuzio bills itself as a service that gives saps like you and me special access to sports celebrities and all of their amazingness.
So, if you have several thousands of dollars to spare, and someone in mind who would consider dinner with retired NFL running back, quasi-media-guy Tiki Barber a glaring item on their bucket list, you can be their savior.
Or, you could plop down $250 and make them eat hot dogs until they barf with a competitive eater who is not Takeru Kobayashi, Joey Chestnut or Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas.
Atlanta Thrashers Tattoo Sleeve
Apparently if you want to kind of look like your arms are all tatted up, while also exuding the perception that the closest you ever came to actually getting a tattoo was when you DVR'd a season of LA Ink, there's a product for you.
And if you know that guy, and he also happens to be a diehard Thrashers fan who won't accept the fact they're the Winnipeg Jets now, you're in luck—this item is on sale.
With the extra cash you can buy a Sharpie for him, too. So, he can add the "-2011".
Hearts Under Caution (Harlequin NASCAR Series)
I never considered NASCAR to be a hotbed of raw sex appeal and torrid romance, but after stumbling across this series of like...a million...Harlequin NASCAR-themed "romance" novels, I'm going to have to question everything I ever thought I knew.
I simply can't argue with thousands of customer reviews, or the allure—which was so obvious that I can't believe I missed it before—of a clever turn of phrase like, "Hearts Under Caution." My only question is: Why couldn't the real drivers be used?
Seriously, even if your great aunt has shelves full of Harlequin books, don't try to interfere into her world with a gift like this. It would be like buying your dad a subscription to Penthouse because you know about his big box of Playboys from the 1980's.
And nobody wants to deal with that.
'Limited Edition' Coca-Cola Set of Three: Film, Music, Sports
To be frank, I'm still not sure what this is supposed to be. I just know that it's some kind of Coca Cola propaganda sold by a company called Assouline and that Lebron James drank the Kool-Aid:
"Coca Cola and sports have always made for a winning team. You can't beat the real thing."
All I know is that, if you buy it, at some point you're going to be overwhelmed by lingering resentment over the fact you dropped half a grand on this glass-encased Coca Cola...thing...and it's going to get smashed to bits under mysterious circumstances.
Four-Pack of Vuvuzelas
If obnoxiousness was an infectious disease, then giving someone a four-pack of yellow vuvuzelas is the equivalent of holding a "Chicken Pox Party". It's a terrible idea that spits in the face of common sense.
This horrible device turns a single person into a stadium-paralyzing, low-octave bellowing distraction.
Uniquely capable of both piercing the air around those sitting near the vuvuzela, as well as those watching a sporting event in the comfort of their own home, the vuvuzela makes the cow bell sound like an angel's sweet voice.
This is far more than a bad sports gift, it's an attack on your fellow man.