JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Sometime today, somebody in your family -- maybe even you -- will open a gift from someone, and have to use every bit of restraint available to keep from saying, "What the heck?!"
Instead, you’ll force a smile and say thanks.
It happens every year at Christmas. Someone gets a terrible gift. We’ve all gotten them at one point or another. Jaguars players are no different.
Several players spent time Tuesday trying to remember the worst Christmas gift they’ve ever received. It didn’t take long to find a winner in that contest, if you can consider that “winning.”
Guard Drew Nowak got a sweater. (Ugh, nobody wants a sweater.)
It was wool. (Ooo, itchy.)
It was blue, green and yellow. (Bright colors!)
It matched the comforter on his bed. (Creepy.)
From his mom. (Apparently he was being punished).
But the best part?
"This was high school," Nowak said. "And it was a little short on the sleeves, too.
"So, short-sleeved, wool and the same colors."
Well, he did grow up in Green Bay, Wis.
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Nowak admitted he did wear it once for a picture, which is not likely to ever appear on Facebook.
None of Nowak’s teammates even came close to topping that gift, but they did say they got some -- let’s use the word "unwanted" -- gifts.
Guard Uche Nwaneri actually gets them every year from his mother: polo shirts in unusual colors.
"I wouldn’t say they’re the worst gifts but they’re the gifts that as soon as I see them I know I’m not going to do anything with it and it’s going right in the closet,” he said. “You’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m not wearing this.’ But I will put it in the closet out of respect for my mom. It’ll be in the closet in the back. It’ll have the tag on it. It’s never coming out of the closet."
Burnt orange or salmon are colors he remembered. Not something most guys would purchase for themselves, but it does make one curious to see what a 6-3, 310-pounder looks like in a salmon colored shirt, though.
Receiver Ace Sanders said he got burned by a bad gift during a gift exchange in elementary school. He gambled on box size and was severely disappointed when he unwrapped it.
"I got like a 700-piece puzzle," he said. "I was pissed about that."
You at least put it together, right?
"Nah, man," he said. "I gave it away."
That’s what running back Jordan Todman wanted to do with what he found in his Christmas stocking one year.
"Socks," he said. "Socks and underwear is probably the worst Christmas gift you can give a kid."
Not to defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, though. He already got one of his Christmas gifts from his family: a box of boxers, socks and tank tops. He loved it.
"A lot of people would say that’s terrible but it was great gift to me," he said. "I enjoyed it. I haven’t bought a pair of boxers probably since my first year in the league."
Marks said he appreciates any gift that anyone gets him, but he also said his parents or relatives never gave him terrible gifts as a kid.
"I didn’t get gifts like that," he said. "I never was a fashion guy so clothes and stuff like that, I never was a guy that wanted all that. I’m very simple. I’m simple to shop for. That’s what I tell my girl all the time. She’s like, ‘Well I don’t know what to get you.’ Well, how you not know what to get me? You can get me anything. I fish, I golf, I hunt; you can get me anything.
"You can get me a box of golf balls [and] I’m happy as hell. My sister gave me some Auburn head covers. I went and put them on ASAP. You can get me anything. It’s very easy to please me."
Receiver Kerry Taylor and cornerback Mike Harris said they don’t remember getting any terrible gifts as kids. Neither does quarterback Chad Henne, but he did say he and his cousins would get clothes from his grandparents, although he doesn’t count that as a terrible gift.
"You always get the things from your grandparents," Henne said. "We had so many cousins that it was similar stuff but it wasn’t anything back. It was all stuff you could wear, good dress clothes.
"I honestly haven’t had anything [terrible]. My family is pretty good and if there was something my mom must have covered it up and got something else because I don’t remember anything bad."
That beats Nowak, because he’s going to remember that sweater forever.