By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
December 16, 2013
Ten days to Christmas, and if you’re like us, you’re still scrambling to fill those stockings and ensure everyone on your list will receive a gift that inspires, delights…and is not automatically relegated to the re-gift closet or the darkest corner of the garage.
Athletes and sports fans provide a particular challenge for the earnest gift giver. On one hand, the built in passion makes them easy to shop for. On the other, how many “I Heart Golf” desk clocks War Eagle bar sets, or “Hook ‘em Horns” grill covers does that sports fanatic really need?
In honor of the 2013 holiday season, here’s a half dozen sports fan finds that are guaranteed to help round out the day, aid performance, and contribute to your loved one’s or colleague’s well-being and joy of the season. Happy Holidays!
- Kohler “Moxie” Showerhead – Kohler knows something about sports – scion Herb Kohler hosted golf’s 2010 PGA Championship at his Whistling Straits course, and has an interest in the Old Course Hotel at St. Andrews – but a lot more about faucets. Jazz up your post workout shower-off with Kohler’s new Moxie wireless speaker showerhead. The removable magnetic Bluetooth wireless speaker runs for seven hours, comes in a variety of colors and can be used anywhere. Starting at $149.
- Sheex Performance Sheets -- Women’s NCAA Final Four MVP and Pat Summit protégé Michelle Marciniak designed these performance sheets specifically to help athletes get a better night’s sleep, and counts dozens of pro athletes, including San Antonio Spurs/Olympic standout Patty Mills and former NFL wideout Steve Smith, among her “sleep ambassadors.” Complete performance cotton and fleece sets average $179.
- Holiday Décor from Fanatics.com – Holiday home décor representing your favorite pro and collegiate sports teams and other one-of-a-kind items from premier fan apparel and gear purveyor Fanatics are the absolute exception to the “say no to logo” rule. Who doesn’t want a Pittsburgh Steelers Christmas stocking, a Miami Heat stuffed snowman, or a guest bath-friendly Alabama Crimson Tide rubber duck? $5.95-$25.95.
- “Anchorman 2” Jockey Briefs – Ron Burgundy is a lot more comfortable with a jazz flute in hand than a bat or a nine iron. Nonetheless, these low-rise 100% cotton briefs by Jockey are comfy under gym shorts and pleated pants alike. They’re kind of a big deal. In Sex Panther Red and Beard of Zeus Blue, $18 per pair.
- Mike Ditka Wines and Treats – Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Mike Ditka’s namesake line of wines has been a hit since it hit the market in October, 2012. Ditka’s wines are stocked by more than 400 retailers nationwide, and include “The Player” line (merlot and pinot grigio, $14.99/bottle), “The Icon” (cabernet sauvignon, $49.99), and “The Champion” (meritage, $49.99). Ditka didn’t stop there – Da Coach is also known for his namesake steakhouses, a line of Camacho cigars, and most recently, “Ditka Sausages,” produced in conjunction with hot dog purveyor Vienna Beef. (No word on whether an indigestion aid is also forthcoming.)
- IfOnly Experiences – You’ve got the gear. Now, live the dream. With the recent launch of online charitable platform IfOnly, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities with the world’s top luminaries in golf, basketball, football, tennis, and more are available to sports fans, while the sports legend’s charity of choice also benefits.
IfOnly members with a serious attraction for sports can select from an array of rare offerings with golf luminaries including Gary Player, Sir Nick Faldo, and Greg Norman; the NBA’s Kobe Bryant; football greats Marcus Allen, Ray Lewis, and Ronnie Lott; and tennis legends Andre Agassi, Brad Gilbert, Stefanie Graf, and Martina Hingis.
Among the sports “experiences” offered are:
With 20 Majors Between Them, Golf’s Finest Aim To Give Back: Three golf icons want to give back to the causes they are passionate about, and are happy to share that passion with golf fans of all levels. Player will host guests at his Jupiter Island residence and show them the techniques that allowed him, at the age of 77, to grace the cover of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. Norman will show them around his private Aspen lodge. And Faldo will host members at The Greenbrier, a course that has hosted 26 presidents and is known as one of the greatest golf resorts in the world. Pricing on request.
Attend the First New York Super Bowl with Two All-Time Raider Greats: It’s almost 30 years to the day when Marcus Allen reversed course on a 74-yard touchdown run that put an exclamation point on a blowout LA victory at Super Bowl XVIII. IfOnly has partnered with all-time Raiders greats on a private dinner package in conjunction with Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2 at MetLife Stadium. With this offering, members will have a private dinner with either Allen or Tim Brown at a signature New York City restaurant. What better way to experience sports’ ultimate event than by spending time with two of the best players to ever step foot on an NFL field beforehand? $42,850, includes pair of game tickets.