Used to be when that special time of year rolled around, elbowing a middle-aged woman in the back of the head to grab the last Extreme Micro-Monkey Invisi-doll on the shelf was just part of the holiday experience. But now, with the Satanist magic of the internet, we no longer have to take our lives in our hands when obtaining gifts for loved ones. That's the good news. The bad news is the internet is a wasteland of filth.
So how do we dig through the grime for great sports-related holiday gift ideas? Well, first you read Mike Tanier's pioneering research on this matter. Then, dear reader, you read on. This is Sports on Earth's Holiday Gift Giving Guide to Holiday Gift Giving!
To the holiday gift ideas!
1. True fans always want used pants. When those used pants are shredded and bits of them are glued (stapled?) to a baseball card, even better! In addition to knowing how to sign their names to comically oversized checks, the Yankees know this thing about pants bits. That's why they're offering a Phil Hughes baseball card with a bit of Phil Hughes' pants on it for sale to you, the discerning fan. Sure, Phil Hughes signed with the Twins a few weeks ago, but that won't stop the Yankees from profiting off his pants bits nor should it stop you from allowing them to by purchasing this item! As they say, "Carpe Diem," which I'm pretty sure is Latin for "seize the pants, cut them up, glue them to baseball cards, and sell them to weirdos for money."
2. Mathematically speaking and contrary to Royals GM Dayton Moore's statements, only one team can win the World Series each season. That means 29 other teams' seasons end in bitter, painful defeat. As any survivalist will tell you, knowing the end is coming makes it easier to prepare. So prepare! Purchase your loved one a team-centric wearable throw blanket, because curling up naked and rocking back and forth in the corner can make one cold.
3. Sometimes it can be joyous to poke fun at a family member's favorite team. The holiday season is nothing without a little ribbing, am I right? Of course I am! Ribbing is fine for ribbing's sake, but when you can get your ribbing in the form of a useful item, all the better. That's why your loved one deserves to have their favorite team's logo emblazoned on rolls of toilet paper. Nothing says I love you like forcing your loved one to wipe themselves in the naughty no-no place with something they love.
4. While the best gifts are often toilet-related, sometimes they aren't! Sometimes they're just straight up weird. Take, for example, the Dallas Cowboys Forest Face. What, you may ask, is a Dallas Cowboys Forest Face? Good question! It's a Mr. Potato Head-looking face -- with a Cowboys hat -- that you nail into a tree, preferably with your Dallas Cowboys hammer. Remember, Cowboys fans, nothing says 'I love nature' like nailing unnecessary plastic bits into a perfectly healthy tree. Even better, paint a New York Giants logo on your loved one's house, nail the Cowboys Forest Face into the largest tree near their house and then wait a year or so. This is not unlike Jerry Jones' plans to conquer the NFC East.
5. Some gifts are best displayed; they remind your loved one of your thoughtfulness and devotion to them upon each repeated viewing. Some of those gifts can also be peed upon. Take, for example, these team logo urinal cake screens. Now think of the possibilities. Keep thinking. Keep thinking. Tell you what, we'll come back to this. (No we won't.)
6. Often the best gifts are useful and commemorative, and nothing is more commemorative than a gift with the word "commemorative" in the title. That way there's no ambiguity! Take, for example, the Redskins 2013 Commemorative Coin. Or just take it for real! On one side is the Redskins helmet, and on the other is a list of teams they've lost to this season, also known as their "schedule." If some gifts are gifts that keep on giving, this gift is truly the gift that never gives anything ever.
7. Once I gave my brother a traffic cone for Christmas. Then, after a hearty laugh, he left it at my house. So the next year I gave it to him again. Maria Sharapova's Sugarpova candy is probably better than getting a traffic cone the second time. Maybe not the first, though.
8. When microwaves were invented, we didn't know we needed microwaves. Now we all need microwaves. In a decade we'll all surely be saying the same thing about sportulas. What is a sportula, you ask? It's a Korean car! Or a dog. Who cares you need one! This one has a Wizards logo on it, which moves the needle from "unnecessary" to "still unnecessary."
9. The Montreal Candiens sell, on their website, a golf bag. The Montreal Candiens are a hockey team that plays hockey games in the fall and winter. In the spring and summer they play playoff hockey games. Golf is a sport hockey players play when they miss the playoffs. And the Canadiens are selling a golf bag on their website. Think about the implications of this! This is a politician advertising a speaking fee before an election. This is a car company giving you their recall hotline at the dealership. This is admitting defeat and charging you $249 Canadian Dollars to accept it! So, is this is the best way for Canadiens fans to spend $249 Canadian dollars? Probably, yes.
10. Speaking of admitting defeat, the Buffalo Sabres! They're selling pink boots with their logo on it to little girls, because A) little girls love hockey, B) little girls love bad hockey, and C) there is nothing little girls want more than pink boots emblazoned with the logo of their favorite bad hockey team. Your little girl will have fun unwrapping the package! (After that you're on your own.)
11. Possibly the best gift you could ever give is the Cleveland Browns Metallic Logo Car Decal. Just about every NFL team sells a version of this, and each is fine. So what makes the Browns version so much greater than every other team's? Simple! With other teams if you change the color of their logo, it's still clear which team's logo you're looking at. But the Browns are different. The Browns have no logo. They are just the Browns. Their logo is their helmet with no logo, which is meta enough, but when you change the color of the helmet, it ceases to be the Browns logo and becomes a football helmet! And yet nobody has noticed that! Except me! And also the Browns fan you give this dumb gift to. They'll notice it too. Though maybe helping to hide someone's Browns fan-ness isn't the worst thing a gift could do.
12. The Royals will sell you a Pangea Prop Flyer. You could buy it. It's great because, after exhaustive research, I've determined it makes the least sense of any sports-related gift in the history of recorded time.
13. Remember as a kid how you'd have nightmares about monsters? I'd wake up and yell for my mom and she'd come in and give me a glass of warm milk and it would calm me down and make me feel better. One thing that would not have made me feel better is a life-sized cutout of Eli Manning staring at my fragile little six-year-old self at three in the morning.
Me: AHH! Mom!
Mom: It's okay, fragile little six-year-old Matthew. Here's some warm milk.
Me: Thanks. [looks up]
Me: AHHHH!!! [spits up milk]
Alternately you could opt for Clay Matthews, who, and let me make sure I'm describing this properly, is screaming, defecating, climbing up the outside of your window, or some combination of the above. In either case, a giant looming football player in full battle gear on your son or daughter's wall makes an excellent gift idea!
14. Remember the last time the Royals were actually good? The Royals do too and they'd prefer you didn't forget any time soon, so please, buy this KC Royals 1985 World Series Mega Ticket. What is a Mega Ticket? That's a perfectly good question and one that, I'm afraid, doesn't have an answer. It's like rhyming with orange or what comes after death. We just don't know. But we do know it's the perfect gift for any Royals fan/professional historian on your shopping list.
15. Finally, we come to the end.
I'm about to reveal to you the last sports-related gift in the known universe and you're about to think the only thing more unique than that fact is this gift's level of awfulness.
That's because this gift is:
...a plastic rock.
...a plastic rock for your garden.
...a plastic rock for your garden that projects the Redskins logo on a wall in yellow light.
Happy holidays, happy shopping, and never, under any circumstances, ask why.