A few years ago, my wife, Lacey, gave me one of my favorite books. "The Sports Book" (DK Publishing, 2007, $19.95) has an Astroturf cover and contains information about multiple sports. Not only has the book been great to read, but it has been a resource and help for articles I have written. It was one of the best gifts I've ever received.
Lacey loves to give me sports gifts. One Christmas, she gave me a Florida Gators Tim Tebow National Championship jersey. My love for Tebow has put the jersey at the top of my all-time-favorite gifts list.
I have been lucky having Lacey in my life for numerous reasons, not just because she is great at giving me gifts. She knows me so well that it makes it easy for her to know what I want.
It is not easy for everyone to find the right gift for their sports fans. So, here are a few ideas to get you headed in the right direction.
One of the best gifts out this year could be a documentary series done by ESPN. The phrase, "What if I told you?" Will forever define the series in my mind. "ESPN 30 for 30" features the biggest sports stories in the last 30 years. Volume 1, released a year ago, marked the 30th anniversary of the network. Volume 2, released last spring, includes a Mississippi connection. The documentary "The Best That Never Was" features Marcus Dupree of Philadephia, Miss. It is a great series and any sports fan will love to watch these documentaries. Both six-disc DVD sets retail for $49.95.
In November, ESPN released another set of sports documentaries. "ESPN Films Collection Volume 1" (five-disc set, $49.95) promises more to come from the network.
If your sports fan likes to read, Lemuria Books (202 Banner Hall, 4465 Interstate 55 N. 601-366-7619) has several options.
Football fans will love "Mississippi's 100 Greatest Football Players of All Time" edited by Neal White (Nautilus Publishing Co., 2011, $45). The book is a 160-page coffee table account of the best football players from the Magnolia State. Marcus Dupree will be at Lemuria Saturday, Dec. 17, for a signing of this book. Dupree reportedly ranks No. 68 on the list of 100 players.
Mississippi State fans will enjoy "Jack Cristil: The Voice of the MSU Bulldogs" by Sid Salter (Pediment Publishing, 2011, $39.95). The book tells the story of Cristil's life and features a CD of some of his greatest calls. Lemuria has signed copies, perfect for giving.
And don't forget junior colleges. Lemuria will host the Frascogna clan, authors of "Jucos: The Toughest League in America" (Mississippi Sports Council, 2011, $24.95) for a signing on Dec. 15. As an added local bonus, local cartoonist Marshall Ramsey illustrated the book.
On the movie front, you can probably find one about nearly any sport. Wikipedia has a great list of sports movies from 1920s silent films forward (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_films) with links in most cases for more information. Once you have a list narrowed down, check local and Internet movie stores for your selections. Prices will vary.
Feeling a little generous? Your favorite sports fan might enjoy a jersey from his or her favorite player. Local stores might have the jersey you are looking for but going to the official team website is a great way to guarantee you get your product by Christmas.
If you've looked over this list and you still have no clue, here are a couple more options:
Call your sports fan's favorite team's ticket office and buy tickets for a gift. You'll find a ton of ticket options for most sports, and you should be able to find the best fit for your fan and your budget.
If you're feeling really generous, give a cable-TV sports package for your sports fan. Nearly every sport has a package on cable or satellite systems. For example, the NFL has Red Zone and Sunday Direct Ticket. You can find college packages and pro packages as well.
If all else fails, promise your fanatic the best Super Bowl party ever. Go all out for your sports fan on the biggest sports day of the year. Food, drinks, friends and a big screen TV could be the best gift of all this year.
I got all I could ever want, a Steelers Jacket will all the Super Bowl wins engraven on the back. There is room to put a button for this season's ring as well. I also bought a terrible towel and back and gold steeler football last year while at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The stuff you named above is a-aight, but it would never compare to what I have.
Bryan, you have done a wonderful job this year on football for the JFP. I can't wait to see if your Steeler-hating behind is going to give the Steelers their due this year as the Super Bowl victor. Donna, you gotta appreciate a man you can come back from false rape allegations, numerous injuries and set-backs yet go back to the Super Bowl and win it all. I'm tearing up just thinking about it! Aren't you too?