Basic gift ideas for a sports-minded Dad


Being a sports-minded person, my friends, colleagues and family
automatically assume I want some sports related item for
Being a sports-minded person, my friends, colleagues and family automatically assume I want some sports related item for Christmas.

All you athletic dads out there can probably relate to this.

Just once I’d like to get some silk Armani boxer shorts so I can have a chance to audition for their over-50 2008 pictorial calendar.

Nope, I’ll probably get the usual pair of Sponge Bob Square Pants underwear with baseballs on it, or a pair of skimpy jogging shorts with a place for a plastic car key, or what ever that little pocket is that I can’t get my hand in anyway.

I certainly don’t need any more memorabilia, especially an autographed bat by Barry Bonds with an asterisk on it.

How about a nice wallet instead of a Velcro sports billfold? I know the water repellent sports wallet absorbs sweat, but I’m not running five miles to church in a leisure suit. Just something simple to keep a picture of my family in and something that isn’t shaped like a ball and made out of Rawlings leather.

Please, no golf sweaters. I’m tired of seeing that little alligator, swoosh and horse logo every yuletide season. Despite trying to rid myself of these horrendous colored things at garage sales, I couldn’t even get anyone to buy one. Even putting them out on the local street with a big sign that said free brought no takers.

I’d prefer a tailored suit from that store that guarantees I’ll look good in it, rather than getting a warm up suit that makes me look like a slimmed down version of the Michelin man.

As much as I’d really like a pair of rollerblades, I really can’t stop in those things very well as I found out lying on a table at the emergency room, so a nice pair of slippers would do, and not ones with an extreme sports logo.

I have 126 minor league baseball hats, golf hats, major league hats, lacrosse hats, Sharks hats, Warrior hats, college and pro football hats, old time baseball hats worn by Babe Ruth, NBC Sports hats, CBS sports hats, ESPN sports hats. I could outfit my own Lids store, or at least acquire a franchise since I already have the inventory.

So please, not hats!

If you’re thinking of getting me those stupid athletic shoes that look like a hydraulics system designed by the shoe engineer who went haywire, forget it. Anything that looks like it has to be lifted by a forklift can’t be comfortable.

Sports mugs with every team brand name plastered on them is something I don’t need either, and for that matter, no coffee mugs as well. The 30 Major League Baseball mugs, 26 NFL mugs, 16 NBA mugs and 250 NCAA mugs are taking up too much room as it is.

Don’t buy me a sports rear end cushion, a logo steering wheel cover, floor mats or a Barry Zito bobble head doll. My car is not a locker room, although that hockey stick protruding from the exhaust pipe may give you that impression.

Nothing against Stanford, Cal, Santa Clara or San Jose State, but I’d rather not have anything from them, because, frankly, I didn’t go to school there, and could care less that one of their students started Google from their garage. I began a lot of things from my garage. I just haven’t finished them yet.

Buying me a gift certificate to Build-A-Bear is kind of ridiculous considering my age, and when I was there last year I couldn’t get those stupid little hockey pants on that stinking bear and beat the stuffing out of it. Patience is not a virtue at that place.

Unless you have ideas of stealing the 20-foot picture of the Victoria’s Secret model at the mall so I can superglue it to my garage wall, don’t bother getting me weights. I’m perfectly content at my health club and stepping on little Army men, GI Joe’s and Power Ranger action figures on the garage floor is not my ideal form of exercise.

For all my friends, colleagues, players, parents and anyone remotely thinking of getting me something, please take note of this column.

And for my immediate family, please take note that the Armani silk boxer shorts are sold at Macy‚s in Valley Fair, because I really think I have a shot at being in that calendar.

Rich Taylor has been coaching youth sports for over 25 years, is the Co-Director of the ACE Powerband national arm strengthening program and formerly scouted and coached in professional baseball. Reach him at [email protected]


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