As grocery stores trade in bags of candy and costumes that make your dachshund look like a hotdog for nutcrackers and plastic trees with evergreen air fresheners, it’s clear that the gift-giving season is right around the corner.
Deciding on that perfect gift for those you love is never easy—a task made especially difficult when that loved one also happens to be a sports fan. It’s easy to go wrong, whether you’ve struck out by purchasing an Anthony Gonzalez Patriots jersey or excitedly swooped up tickets to watch former No. 1 overall pick Greg Oden play, the season can be tough.
So, for those of you who need a little help, take advice from a “professional” with my spot-on list of the top nine gifts for sports fans:
1) NBA jersey
If the fan in your life resides in Portland and loves sports, it’s hard to go wrong by gifting a jersey of All Star point guard Damian Lillard. Right about now you may be saying, “But why not LaMarcus?!”
First of all, yelling at text won’t do any good, and second, as a Blazers fan, you have to learn to hedge your bets. As the not-so-proud owner of jerseys of Brandon Roy, Greg Oden and Gerald Wallace, I know a thing or two about making the wrong choice. Though Aldridge has informed fans and owners alike he plans to return to Portland after this season, I’m playing the favorites and suggest you do so as well. With a Lillard jersey, barring the unimaginable, you are guaranteeing your loved one seasons to come of proving
2) Mini basketball backboard
This gift idea is particularly helpful for friends and partners of sports fans who need a little constructive criticism in their lives. If their room looks like a freshman who just discovered the dollar menu at Taco Bell, give a little nudge in the right direction by wrapping up this mini basketball backboard. Even if they happen to shoot jumpers like Shaq, at least garbage will be centrally located after they’re done having a personal dunk contest. Works for both garbage cans and laundry baskets.
3) NFL ugly sweater
Nothing says Portland like an ugly sweater party. And nothing says coolest person at the party like one of these NFL themed sweaters and five too many whiskey-eggnogs. Though they might seem pricey, it’s certainly justifiable for all the conversations this puppy will start. If you’re looking for a unique and eye-catching gift, look no further.
4) Nike+ FuelBand
If that special someone in your life would rather participate in sports than watch them on TV, you may want to check out the awesome concepts and features Nike is offering fitness junkies. By connecting a Nike+ FuelBand to a phone, a user can track their physical activity in a day, including calories burned and steps taken while working toward fitness goals. Even when they decide to take a day off from the gym, they’ll still have an awesome futuristic watch adorning their wrist that Marty McFly would be jealous of.
5) Team beanie
Snapbacks are so 2013. Take it from a guy wearing Charlie Kelly long johns and a black T-shirt stained with week-old bean dip accenting my eyes. These beanies are so amazing they’ll make those around your fashion-backward loved one forget all about the rest of their ensemble. Also, if this winter is anything like last year’s, they might as well look great while keeping warm.
6) Winterhawks tickets
Though they’ve fallen off a bit this year after multiple dominating seasons in a row, checking out Portland’s WHL darlings is still well worth it. Hockey is finally starting to heat up on the West Coast, so it’s about time you nudge that sports fan in your life toward another addictive game. Tickets are surprisingly cheap for a team coming off a championship year, and you can even sit club level at the Moda Center for 30 bucks.
7) Vikings gear
If that special someone happens to be both a sports fan and a future Portland State alumni, it might be time to employ the old English proverb and kill two birds with one stone. With every piece of swag you could imagine, I couldn’t pick a single item to feature, so see for yourself. With items ranging from all the apparel you would expect, through collectable items to tailgating gear, you’re certain to find that perfect something. Out of the hundreds of items featured on the site, you’re certain to find an item that’ll leave a lasting impression.
8) Timbers/Thorns scarf
Has the one you love been totally left out up to this point? Well, that might be something they’re used to, being soccer fans. Luckily, the tides have changed and it’s time for them to represent their home team in the only way acceptable. If you’re new to the city and wonder why in the world droves of people walk around in the summer wearing scarves, here’s your answer: they love Portland soccer and hate everything Seattle. The season might be far off, but friends and partners will finally be able to shout “Rose City ’til I die!” without sweating through their polo.
Just about 10 weeks into the fantasy football season, many of us players, myself included, are wishing we could have a little draft redo. As injuries, suspension and just plain old busts pile up, fantasy losers are left scratching their heads and looking to add whatever third-string running back they can. It may be the hardest gift off the list to come by, but it will certainly be the most helpful. It’s easy to put a price tag on the $20 your loved one will forfeit by nose-diving in their league, but you can’t quantify the shame associated with starting Kirk Cousins for three weeks. There are also some totally feasible directions for building a flux capacitor that I found online.