Archive for Thursday, December 16, 2010

Commentary: The ultimate Christmas gift for sports fans

December 16, 2010

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Los Angeles — Here comes Santa Claus ... right down Santa Claus Lane. Whistle. Foul. Charging.

Listen, you’ll be doing a lot of charging yourself if you opt for some of these high-end gifts for the sports fans in your life. On the other hand, Santa’s bag also includes some novelty gifts and inexpensive work-arounds as well.

Remember, to sports fans, “Christmas” is a verb:

The Ultimate Fan Cave

$5,000-$10,000

Once, these male retreats were dubbed “man caves.” Emblazoned with logos and sports-themed decor, they are now referred to as fan caves. “Guys are really simple creatures,” says Mike Yost of the Official Man Cave Site. “It really doesn’t take much to make us happy.” Well, aside from the surround-sound system, the latest game consoles, etc. To save money, Yost urges fan-cave rookies to turn to Craigslist and eBay for furniture and decor and save the big money on electronics. For ideas, see www.ManCaveSite.org.

Or Just the Ultimate Chair

From about $1,495

A subwoofer in the seat, as well as speakers in the arms and headrest, means you don’t just see the action, you feel it. An electronic tuning fork adds to the thrills. HiQ Entertainment, (828) 773-0011, www.hiqentertainment.com.

Or a Place for Your Couch Potato

From $950

Some furniture just speaks for itself. These are custom made, so they take up to four weeks to complete. Team insignias can be included too. mastupholstering.com.

A Nice Christmas Sweater

$150 per Song Girl

Does your USC fan have a birthday or retirement party coming up? Hire the world famous Song Girls to entertain. The girls appear with or without the marching band. Fight on!

Bruins at Your Bash

$100 per hour per squad member

Not to be outdone, all of the various units of the UCLA Spirit Squad — cheer squad, dance team, mascots, yell crew, even the UCLA juggler — are available as a full squad or individual units.

Toast the Dodgers

$58

This toaster brands the LA logo into a slice of bread. Also, available: Silly Bandz bracelets and balls and bats used in games (from $30). Dodger Stadium store, open Monday-Friday (including Christmas Eve), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., mlb.com.

Personalize Your Punts

$19.99

Ideal for kids 7-12, this design-your-own-football kit comes with the ball, special paints, brushes and a pump. Paint the ball, then go kick it around. There’s also a version for soccer. Available at Michaels stores, or at Janlynn.com

Improve Your Putts

$5,900

Three days with renowned swingologist Butch Harmon at his Las Vegas golf school. A little rich for you? Hour lessons with staff start at $150. (702) 777-2444, www.butchharmon.com

Lace ‘Em Up

$2,000

Drills and scrimmages (but no tackling) in this June fantasy camp run by former USC receiver Rod Sherman. Be sure to ask him about the 84-Z delay pass. www.flashbackcamps.com; e-mail: coachflashbackcamps.com.

Pucker Up

$123

Two tickets to three L.A. Kings hockey games beginning Jan. 1 is a pretty good deal. Or, if your finances are on ice, how about a tree ornament? $5 (plus $2 shipping). kings.nhl.com.

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