If it works for Oprah, it can work for Page 2. We present Page 2's first annual "Favorite Things of the Year."
Of course, if you need some advice for Christmas gifts, consider this that as well.
You can buy all of Page 2's Favorite Things (well, not the Bartman Ball) by clicking here.
3 favorite DVDs
Six Feet Under -- The Complete First Season
At first I wondered about a drama set in a funeral home -- talk about
depressing. But "Six Feet Under" turned out to be anything but -- we ripped
through the addictive 4-disc, 13-episode set in days, beguiled by the
ordinary, but so strange, Fisher family.
The Kid Stays In the Picture
A great documentary about the rise and fall and semi-rise of former
Hollywood wunderkind Robert Evans (producer of "Chinatown," "The Godfather,"
"Rosemary's Baby" and many other great films) that's funny and fascinating
and ironic and narrated, in just the perfect tone, by Evans himself.
Bend It Like Beckham
"Bend It" is no great flick -- it's almost entirely predictable -- but it's
heartwarming and funny and has just the right amount of soccer and
attractive, athletic young women. A great date movie.
--Jeff Merron, Page 2 writer
3 favorite CDs
"O," Damien Rice
Containing crooning consistent with greats David Grey and Jack Johnson, this freshman brogue feels like an old soul. Thankfully, it callously contrasts with the ever-too-poppy and soullessly simple John Mayers of the world. I recommend commiserating in Damien's lyrical heartache while sitting at the bar, doing stiff shots of humble pie.
"Transatlanticism," Death Cab for Cutie
Don't let the name scare you -- this Pacific Northwest band has heart. Frontman Ben Gibbard pens some of today's most poetically mundane lyrics, turning everyday thoughts and dilemmas into downright deep philosophy.
"Keep it Together," Guster
Is this album as good as the previously released "Lost and Gone Forever"? Maybe not, but it's still one of the year's best. Radio listeners will skip right to the catchy "Amsterdam," but the whole album is full of catchy choruses and danceable riffs that make you smile.
--Graham Hays, Page 2 writer
3 favorite video games
Splinter Cell (UbiSoft)
First off, any game where the lead character is Jester from "Top Gun" deserves your time. But, when you throw in espionage, assassinations and the weight of the free world on your shoulders (and some killer night-vision goggles) you know you've got a winner.
Top Spin (Microsoft)
A tennis game that's addictive? If you've ever played this game, you know. A "couple minutes" becomes a couple hours and before you know it you've hit rock bottom and you're looking to Bud Collins as a father figure.
ESPN College Hoops (Sega)
OK, we know this looks like shameless self-promotion, but every D-1 team? Every arena? Hostile fans? C'mon, you can't argue with that. And hey, if you get bored there's always air hockey in the student lounge.
--Michael Philbrick, ESPN Gamer editor
3 favorite sports books
"Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair War" by Michael Lewis
The author of the "New New Thing" reveals the genius of A's GM Billy Beane, the man who is revolutionizing baseball with the help of sabermetrics. Think inside the numbers -- way, waaay inside.
"Fifty Years of Great Writing" from the staff of Sports Illustrated.
From Yogi Berra to Johnny Unitas to Ali to Bird ... an unforgettable roadtrip with the finest storytellers of the day.
"Train" by Pete Dexter.
A lush work of fiction with an irresistable sports hook. Imagine what might have happened if a Tiger-Woods-like talent came of age on the segregated fairways of 1950s L.A.
--Chris Raymond, ESPN Books editor
3 favorite non-sports books
"You Shall Know Our Velocity" by Dave Eggers.
Hilarious and hurting and frantic and cold and sweet and smart. Get on board, little children. Get on board.
"Train" by Pete Dexter.
If you like Raymond Chandler, check this out. Bleak but beautiful story of wounded characters passing in and out of each others lives. (There's golf in it, but it's not a sports book, unless sports are a fleeting cure for what ails folks, and then it is ...)
"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson.
History the way it ought to read: witty and quick.
--Eric Neel, Page 2 writer
3 favorite tech gizmos
40 GB iPod (Apple)
Retail price: $499
Here's the quandary: Drop crazy coin for 10,000-song
capacity or go cheaper for less memory space? If you
want to look as cool as everyone else on the street
without paying so much, go for the 2,500-song, 10 GB
model ($299). If you want to download your entire CD
collection on the thing, go big.
Speed + Distance Ironman Triathalon (Timex)
Retail price: $225
Why ditch your ol' reliable Ironman for this new
(pricey) model? This one has a GPS function built in,
to track both your traveling speed and total distance
covered (hence "Speed + Distance"). Now if only it
helped me with my brutal sense of direction ...
Digital Video Recorder (Local cable co.)
Retail price: Varies
Take it from someone who watches waaaaaaaay too much
TV: DVRs (think TiVo) will change everything you know
about watching TV (for the better!). Cable companies
have been rolling them out all year; treat
yourself to a DVR box that will usually run you
somewhere between $10 and $20 per month.
3 favorite oddball collectibles
Steve Bartman ball
Auction with MastroNet closes on Dec. 19. Great for that special someone who hates Cubs fans.
Carmelo Anthony game-used items
On Beckett.com, you can buy autographed shoes and headbands of the Rookie-of-the-Year leader.
Joey Harrington Heisman sign piece
University of Oregon takes the Times Square sign and chops it up for dough.
--Darren Rovell, ESPN.com business writer