Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ask and ye shall receive! It's the "Better Late Than Never!" Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! Nongift! Nonguide!, 2011

Is better late than never always a true expression? The moment I typed that headline, I thought "Maybe it's not always true that late is better than never," and so I took a moment to get a cup of coffee and think about that, trying to come up with examples of times when never would be better than late, and it occurred to me that the order of things, in terms of preference, by that expression is:

1. On time.
2. If you must, late.
3. But not never.

And what I am looking for is something that would invert two and three, a situation in which:

1. On time is best.
2. Never would be second.
3. But for God's sake, not late.

Speaking of God, which I did there, if you noticed, I will squeeze in a quick, nonsports related Update on God, and you're probably saying "let's get to the Nongifts! Nonguide! I'm late as it is," but cool your jets, because this Update On God is particularly appropriate for this post, as it involves:

A. Wanting things, and
B. Those things being "larger breasts."

You'll note I went with the more grown-uppery "breasts" instead of boobs.

In this week's Updates On God, we learn that while God may not care whether Stevie Johnson ever catches a touchdown pass again, He definitely likes ladies to be a little curvy, as Salma Hayek revealed when she said that as a young girl she prayed for larger breasts, telling an interviewer:

"I was the youngest in class and all these girls were starting to get breasts and I wasn't getting anything – I was really scared. I was getting teased a lot because everyone was older and I was the skinny tomboy.'

"I went to a church that had a saint that was supposed to do a lot of miracles. I put my hands in the holy water and went, 'Please Jesus, give me some boobs'."

That both explains the picture that heads this post (I google-searched Salma Hayek Christmas and that came up, so I'm not sure how we're tagging pictures these days, people, but let's keep up the good work!) and is good news in light of the fact that there are some Santas out there who are actively discouraging people from wishing for stuff this Christmas:

So if people are having Santa refuse to grant kids' wishes, it's nice that Jesus is able to step in and help out, what with it being Christmas and all. Although, on the other hand, shouldn't Jesus get a little time off at Christmas?

You can see, then, how Salma Hayek's breasts are a natural fit for this post, which is, of course, about getting that sports fan in your life what he/she really wants -- a good present, which I define as "A jersey, sweatshirt, or t-shirt with his/her favorite team, or player, on it", rather than a bad present, which I define as "the bulk of all other sports-related Christmas presents."

Here's how I see it: Most of us know only a few things about the other people around us. Maybe we know the people in our family pretty well, but how well do you know your extended family? Your friends? Your coworkers?

What? You actually know them pretty well? So it's just me, then? All right.

Anyway, one thing people know about other people is "that other person likes a particular sport or team or person" and so at Christmas time, people go out and get other people sports-related gifts. Retailers, knowing that people will do that, have taken to making as much stuff as possible kind of sports-related, either by slapping a logo onto it or calling it sportsy or both, and so there's tons of sports crap out there, and it's my Sworn, Solemn Duty, as a Sports Blogger (Kind Of) to help steer you away from the crap and to Salma Hayek's breasts.

To good gifts. Sorry. I went and looked at that picture again. Whew!

So here we go, with the Annual Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! Nongift! Nonguide! It's not too late to avoid buying these things and instead get your loved one a nice sweatshirt or jersey. Make sure, if your loved one is a woman, that she's not actively praying for larger breasts, or the stuff won't fit when it gets here on Christmas.

And, of course, I didn't forget how I started this post, so let's tie it all up by saying "If you are planning on giving one of these gifts, NEVER would be preferable to LATE."

1. Brett Favre Uno. Remember when people played cards? And how lame people were? When I think of family card games, all I can picture is the photo I have of my dad with a large, almost Fu Manchu moustache, wearing a shirt that was purple with little paisley seahorses on it. It also had a large collar.

Card games belong to the Purple Paisley Seahorse era, but that didn't stop Uno from trying to cash in on Brett Favre's popularity, a move Uno made just as Brett Favre's popularity began its long downward spiral, from Ol' Gunslinger to Petulant Attention Hog to Molexter: Uno introduced the game in 2007.

According to Board Game Geek, the Favre Uno edition has a special rule: There's a leap card celebrating the Lambeau Leap. I couldn't find an explanation for the rule, but I'm betting it's just skip a person or two.

Sports Geeks Will Likely Note About This Game: That Favre only did one "Lambeau Leap" ever, to celebrate a sack of Matt Leinart that iced the Packers' first home win under current Genius Coach Mike "Mike" McCarthy.

Here's the World's Worst Home Video of that:

Why You Might Want To Get It Anyway?
People have about decided that Aaron "The Anointed One" Rodgers is already better than Favre ever was, because people have short memories and also don't understand that A-Rodg inherited a team that was stocked with young talent, whereas Favre inherited a team that featured "Sanjay Beach," so Favre Uno can help you keep that debate going by saying "Does Aaron Rodgers have a card game in his honor? Call me when he does."

Sweetie's Take On This: Sweetie used to be a sports fan, and still sometimes talks with me about them. So I asked her input and she said "Worse would be Brett Favre's Go Fish: Do you have any penis pictures?"

2. The Aaron Rodgers Hand Puppet.

The one thing that has kept me from truly enjoying this era of Packers' football is that I cannot sit on the couch watching the game while having vaguely creepy discussions which I engineer by shoving my hand up a simulated Aaron Rodgers' backside and making him answer my questions.

But now, I can fully commit to the Winning Streak, A-Rodg, Packers 2.0, whatever you want to call this time around, because there is an Aaron Rodgers Hand Puppet.

Putting on your own weird pre-halftime onfield interview isn't the only use for this puppet (although you'd need a Pam Oliver or Tony Siragusa puppet to really pull that one off). You could also have Aaron Rodgers guest star on your other puppet shows during the week -- perhaps even having him stick up for Puppet Ryan Braun.

Sadly, there is no Ryan Braun puppet. But there is this puppet show, which purports to have puppet faces drawn by "THE Ryan Braun."

The Story of Stalker Chronicles - A Puppet Show from Stalker Chronicles on Vimeo.

Is that Ryan Braun of the Brewers who made those puppet faces? Let's just say yes, because I have it on good authority that if you make no effort to investigate, you can't be sued for defamation. (NOTE: NOT ACTUAL LEGAL ADVICE).

Sports Geeks Will Likely Note About This Puppet: Aaron Rodgers is equally known for his ability to move with his feet to keep plays alive, and rush for yardage. Thus, it makes little sense to have him be a hand puppet. A marionette? Now, that makes sense.

Sweetie's Take On This: Sweetie was watching this:

as I asked her her opinion on the Aaron Rodgers' hand puppet, but she took time out from her Andy Samberg crush to offer up this opinion: "He would just hate all the other puppets."

3. Jacksonville Jaguars Garter Set: The Christmas proposal is an old staple of Christmas movies and, presumably, Christmas actual lives. Someone must do it, right? Give her that little box with the ring in it, and say "Will you marry me?" there amongst the presents?

But suppose, just suppose, that instead of, say, a ring, you substituted handmade garter belts, and not just any old handmade garter belts, but the kind of garter belts that say "I want to marry you and also I like the Jacksonville Jaguars?"

Yeah. Don't do that.

One would think the Handmade Jacksonville Jaguar Garter Set is a pretty limited-appeal item, but on Etsy, there are four different sellers hawking these little beauties. So, Jaguars fan? You've got your pick of these products.

Sports Geeks Will Likely Note About These Garters: The average circumference of the human thigh is anywhere from 16-20 inches, which, let's be honest, seems a bit low, right? Also: for best effects, pair this with the "Touch By Alyssa Milano Jacksonville Jaguars White Spaghetti Strap Sundress:"

For that sexy, 3-13 look.

Sweetie's Take On This: I asked Sweetie "What would you say about a Jacksonville Jaguars Garter belt, if I paired it with the Alyssa Milano Jaguars Spaghetti Strap Sundress" and Sweetie said:


Which I'm assuming is the look you want, here.

4. Discount/Weird Fatheads: No Nongift! Nonguide! would be complete without a look at the latest/weirdest/patheticist offerings from the purveyors of that most misguided of sports paraphernalia, the Fathead. Does anyone really need or want a life-size Ben Roethlisberger leering down at them while they try to sleep? Is there a grown man whose life is improved by having a realistic Brian Urlacher pinned to his wall?


But Fatheads persist in being available, and in increasing their offerings to the point where it's pretty obvious that whatever's wrong with our economy in some way involves the fact that Fatheads is still in business.

The latest, and uselessiest, offering available from Fatheads is the "Street Grip," which manages to let you show your love for your favorite college or NFL team to everyone in the world, provided that everyone in the world walks into your driveway or garage and sees the logo, which is a vinyl sticker that you lay on your sidewalk or other cement floor:

And it's only $125! And it'll look great until you drive on it, have oil leak on it, dump your coffee on it, or forget that you've got a frozen turkey a client gave you in your backseat and it kind of thaws out and you've got to throw it out but you don't want to throw it out in your garage because it'll smell, so you just leave it in the car until you decide what to do with it. (I'm not the only person with that problem, am I?)

The top three sellers, according to the Fatheads site, are the Steelers, the Lions, and the Packers -- so three cities that are supposedly in the midst of an economic slump of unprecedented proportions are shelling out $125 a pop to put decals on the driveways of their foreclosed homes?

That's not all you can waste your money on at Fatheads. Sure, it'd be more efficient to just burn the money up, but with everyone using credit cards these days, that's harder to do, so why not order from the bizarrely-titled collection "Jason Freeny's Fictional Anatomy?"

This is an example of what you'll find in that section:


I know, those don't have much to do with sports, but consider this hypothetical scenario:

Your Aunt Myrtle wants to get you and the kids something for Christmas because she can't be there this year, what with the lumbago and all. She's heard about this Internets thing and also, she vaguely remembers that you like sports. So she gets the receptionist at the Senior Center, Deb, she's a good egg but not very "hip", to help her out. Deb and Myrtle, with Myrtle's credit card, which she got back in 1982 and uses only for emergencies -- it's got a balance of $18.20 on it from that time she and Harold ran out of gas by the bingo hall, and she's going to pay that down next month -- log on to "," get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices and send little Tommy, Jr. -- that's your hypothetical son, he's 8 and a good kid but you're a little worried about him not being able to count past 20 yet, even though your wife says it's okay -- sends little Tommy, Jr., a disemboweled Teddy Bear to hang on his wall.

You really want to risk that?

Sports Geeks Will Likely Note About These Fatheads: The Wayne Rooney Man U. Fathead has "AON" as the sponsor on his jersey, but true fans will want the classic "AIG" sponsored jersey.

Sweetie's Take On This: Our actual conversation:

Me: "For just $125... hear me out... for just $125, I can get us a vinyl sticker to put on our driveway..."

Sweetie: "Stupid."

Me: "Showing the world how much I love the Buffalo Bills. You didn't hear me out!"

5. Sports Christmas Ornaments. And, to round out the list and make it look as though I plan these posts out in advance -- I don't, I write them off the top of my head and hope for the best, the same way I handled such things as "taking the LSAT" and "having kids" -- here's the Ultimate Nonsports! Nongift! that truly would be better never given than given late: Sports Christmas Ornaments.

Despite the fact that I gave an ornament to my mom every year for Christmas, Christmas ornaments are a horrible gift. At best, you are giving someone something they use for only a limited time every year -- and something that's a chore, at that (put it up, take it down, wrap it in toilet paper to put it in the box until next year). At worst, you're actually giving them a gift they can't use until next year, because if you give them the present on Christmas itself, it's pretty much over.

But at worst-er, or worst-est, you're giving them a gift that's already expired, the gift that says "Hey, you know that holiday we just had? Here's something you could've used a few days ago."

So a Christmas Ornament as a present is a present that's better given never rather than late, on a variety of levels: Too late and it's useless(er), and it's a crummy present in the first place.

Okay, so it's bad on just two levels. Can't two be a variety? Probably not. Also: I gave my mom the ornament as a gift but also gave her other gifts. So I'm only partially a terrible son.

Here's this year's terrible Christmas Sports Ornament nongifts: the

"Lots of Luck Football Christmas Sports Ornament With Lucky Penny,"

And the "Club Pack of 15 Metal Sports Ball Jingle Bells"
Let's take them in order. The "Lucky Penny Football Ornament," as far as I can figure out, is a glass football with a penny in it, and you hang it on your tree. Although touted as a "football" ornament, that rather bland picture above demonstrates that you can lucky penny any type of sports fan, provided that by any type you mean a fan of the five big sports. There is no lacrosse lucky penny ornament I could find.

The penny does not, according to Amazon, come inside the ornament; you have to do that yourself. It's not clear why the penny is so lucky, either. In fact, I'd be a little suspicious of that penny, because I used to believe see a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck, but then I saw that scene in Grease where Kenicky got knocked out looking for a lucky penny, and then someone told me that a penny is lucky only if it's heads up when you pick it up, so now I don't know what to believe, and my natural suspicion of pennies -- which, let's face it, are clearly to coins what roquefort is to cheese, and I don't have to explain that, I'm sure -- was doubled, at least.

So, forget the maybe-lucky penny, and focus on the $65 Jingle Bell ornament that says to the recipient "I had a lot of money to spend on you, but wasn't sure what kind of sport you liked, particularly," because you get all sports -- again, the major ones -- in Jingle Ball (see what I did there? Eh? Clever, right?) form. And it's got heft: Amazon says the shipping weight is four pounds, so those balls aren't made of some cheap metal like tin. They're good, God-fearing American metal balls (they're probably made in China, though) and for that $65 smackers you get fifteen of these 2-3" diameter babies, so your tree will be really stylish to the kind of people who hang Fatheads on their walls.

I was going to end the list there, but I noticed the People who bought this also bought that link led me to a gymnastics ornament that is horrifying in its depiction of how dangerous that sport is:

I don't like to judge -- I mean, I do like to judge but you can't just admit that -- but that ornament clearly depicts a girl who at best just crippled herself, and at worst is dead. (But you can choose which hair color you want on your terrifying voodoo-doll Christmas ornament).

It's not just my badly-scarred subconscious saying that. It's also this scene from the feel-good movie of last year, Final Destination 5:

I recommend giving your lil' darlin' the ornament and that movie, just in case the giant Ben Roethlisberger Fathead didn't scare her enough.

Sports Geeks Will Likely Say About This: Gymnastics isn't a real sport, anyway.

Sweetie's Take On This: "Oh, ewwww. That looks like from the Final Destination movie."

6. Bonus Pick! Sports porn! I cannot improve on Amazon's actual description of this book, which should be given to everyone who loves football:

While the sports fans are watching the Superbowl, indulge in this hot collection of M/M football love! It'll bring a while new meaning to "touchdown" and "huddle."

Ryan Field gives us a story about old love made new, and Garland's amusing romp between the football captain and the team mascot is not easily forgotten. Bradley Church's Hall of Famer should make your M/M Hall of Fame, and you'll love the "play" between the All-American NFL star and his P.R. handler in Giving Him Fitz. So, relax, grab a beer, and go, team, go! Touchdowns!

What red-blooded American male doesn't want to give "new meaning to touchdown and huddle?" What's been missing from sports -- at least since Warren Sapp retired -- is the overt homoeroticism that football brings to the table, which is not to say that the Steelers aren't trying:

Sports Geeks Will Likely Say About This Gift: That's not... I didn't think... Wait... well, yeah, why are they always patting each other on the butt?

Sweetie's Take On This: "Sexy. I would read it." And my shopping is done!

Prior years' gift guides:

The 2009 Nongift! Nonguide!

The 2010 Nongift! Nonguide!


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