From professional sports lockouts to NCAA conference realignments and another BCS mess, this year in sports has been a wild ride. Here at Only A Game we work hard to keep listeners up-to-date on all the important sports news. Thankfully, though, the holiday season provides an opportunity to take a break from all the craziness and focus for a few moments on our annual Holiday Gift Guide. The 2011 offering has some quality items, guaranteed to please even the pickiest sports fan on your list.

Our first item is a necessity for all tailgaters and stadium-goers. In fact, creator Jason Howard says he was shocked that he was the first to come up with the idea.

“When I initially filed for a patent-pending application I couldn’t believe it wasn’t [already] out there.”

It’s the Koozie Pocket shirt, a polo shirt with a built-in insulated drink pocket that is big enough to hold a 12- or 16-ounce can or bottle and even a stadium cup. According to the product’s website, the Koozie pocket allows the wearer to stay hydrated and refreshed while keeping their hands free.

“We believe it’s the next Snuggie,” Howard says.

Tailgate Collection Beard Head

In many parts of the country, watching a football or hockey game can be a chilly proposition.  David Stankunas has the perfect solution for anyone wanting to stay toasty while supporting their favorite team. The product is called a Beard Head, and it consists of a wool knit hat that has a knit beard and mustache attached.  It comes in a variety of team colors.

“There’s just this broad appeal because who doesnt want a knit beard or a knit mustache, right?” Stankunas asks. “Who doesn’t want that?”

Stankunas came up with the idea for the Beard Head while snowboarding, but he says it’s the perfect fit for a sporting event.

“Sports and beards and facial hair, they really go hand in hand,” he says.

Anyone interested in purchasing one of these novelty items can visit the Beard Head website.  Larger groups of chest-baring, camera-hogging fans are invited to send David an e-mail at david@beardhead.com and he promises to “hook you guys up.”

 

 

For female sports fans not keen on wearing fake facial hair to keep them warm, Ava DeMarco of Little Earth Productions has the solution: grab a pair of licensed specialty Cheer Muffs.

The Cheer Muffs are, as DeMarco says, “cute as a cheerleader and big as a pom pom.” They’re over-sized earmuffs made of faux fur and branded with the logo of your favorite sports team. More than just a fashion statement, the Cheer Muffs “really do keep you warm,” DeMarco says. They also help muffle the roar of a crowded stadium.

If you’re shopping for a canine friend, consider purchasing a 100% cotton, ruffle-bottomed Cheerleader Dog Dress, licensed for your favorite team. Charlie Cavallaro of MVP Dogs says the dog dress is “a very cute outfit” that fits most dogs from 5-15 pounds. It is available for over 15 teams, both NFL and NCAA.

Unfortunately, the Cheerleader Dog Dress is not suitable for larger dogs.

“Just like the regular NFL cheerleaders, you need to have a perfect shape and form in order to wear this product,” Cavallaro says.

Brad Gordon of TraditionalJewishGifts.com has the perfect Chanukah gift for the teenage sports fan on your list.  His website offers a sports Tzedakah box in the shape of a baseball, football, or basketball. The Tzedakah box also comes in the shape of a basketball court, or in an all-sports variety.

“A Tzedakah box is basically a piggy bank, but it’s a religious article, and the premise is that people put money in it to save for something special,” Gordon explains.

Gordon’s unique Tzedakah boxes are geared towards young boys who are “all into sports, so they have a lot of fun with this item,” he says.

For the person on your list who may have been a little naughty this year, why not buy them a roll of Sports Toilet Paper? The creator, who calls himself “The Toilet Paper Dude,” says his toilet paper rolls feature “parodies of some of the most hated sports teams in America.” At $12, each roll of TP is printed with the logo of teams such as the New York “Yank-These” and the Dallas “Cowpies.”

Although the printed material is a spoof, Dan Duderino boasts that the quality of his product remains top-notch.

“It is 2-ply, it’s made in America out of recycled paper and soy ink is used,” he says. “There are people online selling toilet paper but sometimes they just put a wrap around the outside or only print on about 3 sheets. This is printed all the way through.”

If you choose to venture outdoors to tailgate before a game, why sacrifice the comfort of your own home? The Instant Tailgate Sports Den helps you enjoy pre-game festivities in comfort and convenience.

According to Saed Hamad, creator of the Sports Den, “In less than 5 minutes you can plug it into your car and you will have four captain’s chairs and a canopy tent completely inflated and ready to enjoy your tailgate.”

The Sports Den is online in a variety of colors. The chairs are detachable in case you decide to join the tailgate next door, and more chairs can be added to the package in case of unexpected guests. Above all, Hamad boasts the durability of his product.

“It is extremely, extremely durable….we actually had some North Carolina State football players, about 330-340 pound players, that sat in these chairs,” he says. “It held them just fine.”

Finally, some can’t-fail stocking-stuffer ideas.

The DeCapper calls itself “the most fun you’ll ever have taking your top off.” It’s a bottle opener shaped like a football, basketball, baseball, soccer ball or hockey puck and licensed by more than 50 of your favorite NCAA schools. Pick one up for your favorite sports team at their website. And at CollegeCarHorns.com, you can buy a device that will make your car horn sound like your favorite college sports team fight song. It might not sound as good as the marching band, but you can still sing along.

What’s your favorite sports related gift?  Share your ideas in the comments section.  And, happy holidays from all of us at Only A Game.