If you missed part one, check it out here.
Football: Everyone and their sister knows what a football fan is like, and they come in all shapes and sizes (however most seem to be large, shirtless, bearded men according to credit card and beer commercials alike). But don’t let this stereotype scare you away from buying a football related gift. Most football fans truly do enjoy more than just a six pack of beer and a new can of body paint.
Gift Idea #1: Electronic Football. In the world of Madden NFL 12 and all of the strides it’s making in the sports video gaming realm, it’s nice to get back to the basics. Electronic Football requires quite a bit of skill, but its absolute blast to get good at. You can also purchase your favorite teams, so it’s a nice way to personalize the gift as well. The general idea about giving “board games” as gifts seems to be a bit square, but after watching these awesome highlights, we feel pretty confidant this will change your mind.
Bonus free gift to all! If you’re into the whole retro football deal, check out his awesome link to some old school Tecmo Bowl!
Gift Idea #2: We might catch a little flack on this one, but honestly if you’re a football fan (even from Minnesota), it’s worthwhile to at some point make the trip over to Green Bay and visit the Packer Hall of Fame. Our advice for Viking fans making the trek, just deck yourself out in your purple and gold, but know that you’re going to be heavily heckled by cheese curd eating champions. Also on my personal list would be for someone to actually create the Michael Vick experience (the Atlanta Falcons version, I don’t want to have to watch a dog fight.)
Gift Idea #3: Never Die Easy: the Autobiography of Walter Payton. Sweetness was one of the best to ever play the game, and if you want to teach somebody about hard work and perseverance, let them read about Walter Payton and his determination and sacrifice. A great man gone far too early. As far as a movie goes, you can never go wrong with Rudy, plus it’s something for the college football fan on your list along with ESPN’s 30 for 30 doc on “The U”.
Hockey: Hockey fans seem to be sprouting up all over the place (something that really ticks off the hardcore hockey fans that stayed with the sport through the 90’s,) so chances are there’ll be one on your list. Just know that they are very particular, so tread lightly. These are fans that can list of roster names in a way that would lead you to believe they’re fluent in Russian, so don’t try to over extend yourself.
Gift Idea #1: If this column inspires anyone so much that they want to repay me, this is the gift I would love to have and one the hockey fan on your
list surely has fond memories of. At one time only found in arcades and in the back rooms of sports bars, Table Top Hockey is the coup de gras of sports gifts. Such a simple concept that takes a lifetime to master, Table Top Hockey, much like real hockey, is poetry in motion. And if you’re feeling very Christmas-y this season, spend the extra bucks and get the one with the plastic bubble over the top and plays the final verse of the national anthem when you fire it up. Classic.
Gift Idea #2: Go and see the Stanley Cup. One of my biggest sports regrets was not returning home to Madison, WI to see the Cup after Adam Burish brought it home following the Blackhawks championship run. It takes the title of best championship trophy among the big four sport leagues. Another great idea, have a personal ice rink put into their backyard for the weekend. That way they can skate anytime they want (assuming it gets cold enough sometime soon.)
Gift Idea #3: Slap Shot. With the increased attention to concussion in professional hockey (thanks Sid Crosby), who knows how long it will be before the league starts to take preventative action. By purchasing this movie for a friend, you’re ensuring their future offspring a way to view hockey as it once was, a brutal and beautiful ballet of goons on ice. As far as a book, most hockey fans will probably have Ken Dryden’s “The Game,” but it’s a worthwhile purchase either way.
We’ll go into a rapid fire round for the Minnesota sports fan on your list.
Vikings: Gopher Women’s Hockey just received a tricked out new video board from an anonymous donor, and I’m sure Vikings fans are wishing for a mysterious stranger to ride into town, front the bill for the new stadium, and then ride off into the sunset. But with as unlikely that is, maybe a nice lake cruise for the Vikings fan, complete with strippers? Or on a more realistic note, you could purchase the fan on your list a piece of the old dome, it might be the only thing left over from the Vikings by time next Christmas comes around.
Timberwolves: You could write a letter for your T’Wolves fan to David Stern, asking him to retroactively block KG from going to Boston like he prevented CP3 from going to the Lakers. That ring never looked good on him anyway, and then the current Wolves roster would have roughly 20 power forwards on it. If you’re not much of a letter writer, you could just stick with the basics, and purchase them some sweet retro Wolves gear, something that’s always a conversation starter.
Twins: How about a nice re-do on the Joe Mauer extension? Or even better, you could invest in power armor for all of the Twins to wear next year, insuring that the common cold and a stubbed toe won’t keep half the roster on the DL for weeks on end. You could also go a cheaper route and get them a copy of the “Baseball Greats: Harmon Killebrew” comic book, which remind you of the day when baseball cards came with a pack of Lucky Strikes.
Wild: A mustache grooming kit and for you not mention a word about how well they’re doing thus far this season. Please, we’re all begging you, don’t jinx it.
Eric Melch is a senior at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Sports Management; he is the Sports Editor of Secret Laboratory. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Eric grew up near Madison, Wisconsin, spending his entire life in Big 10 country. His love of literature and sports has naturally led him to write about his passion, something he has done for the past six years and most recently at The Two Point Diversion. Eric currently works as a promotions assistant with Gopher Sports Marketing, and hopes to continue his career in college athletics.
E-mail Mr. Melch at email@example.com.