Unless you are Robert Griffin III, nobody wants another pair of socks for Christmas.
From wireless recording ski goggles to a monthly mystery gift box from some big-name athletes, here are eight great (and last-minute!) ideas for the sports fans in your life. Move over Santa, it’s time to tech the halls!
Product: HMDX Jam Speaker
Now you can listen to all your old ESPN “Jock Jams” albums anywhere in the house with incredible sound that packs a punch for its size. This portable Bluetooth speaker blasts a sound quality that amazed me -- typically a speaker of this caliber would be $200.
I also love the packaging -- it comes in a jam-like jar with the appropriate cord for when you need to recharge via your computer. The speaker is available in six different flavors, from orange to grape, is wireless (Bluetooth) with a 30-foot range and has four hours of battery life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to crank The Alan Parsons Project and reenact the ’96 Chicago Bulls introductions again.
Product: Liquid Image Co. wireless recording goggles
Price: $100 and up
Ever wonder what Olympic medalist Shaun White sees when he’s zipping down the mountain? Now you can find out, sort of, thanks to these recording goggles from Liquid Image Co.
Whether you’re into snow or water, Liquid Image Co. makes recording devices that allow you to take video from unexpected places, like when you’re skiing, snorkeling or scuba diving. The higher-end models have wi-fi streaming capabilities and can take 12MP stills and 1080p HD video.
Personally, I like to hang out in the lodge and eat hot dogs while my friends do snowboarding tricks. But now I can now tap in and get their point of view right through the app.
Product: Monkey Light 8-Bit Bike Wheel Light
These lights have Tour de France written all over them. Stand out on those early morning/late evening rides with Monkey Lights from ThinkGeek.com. Choose from more than 20 different themes, including rainbows, hearts, skulls, space invaders and more, in over 100 different colors. They work off three AA batteries, are waterproof and come with an anti-theft strap.
For a cheaper option there are $8 Spoke LED Lights, which come in various colors and are actually pretty cool, even at the lower price.
Product: Nerf Firevision
Experts have said Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets offense has been playing in the dark all season. Maybe they should be using the new Nerf Firevision. These frames use microprism technology, bringing a glow to the game when you need it most -- in the damn dark!
In short, the ball glows red or green when wearing the special frames. Frames come with four alkaline batteries and have an on/off switch. Also great for adult tailgates.
Product: Jawbone UP
There are a lot of gadgets out there that will track your personal daily input and output, but Jawbone UP is hands-down my favorite band. It tracks as much or as little as you want, including your sleep, caloric intake, steps taken and even mood. And it looks kinda cool, too.
To sync and visualize your personal data, simply pop the bracelet into the headphone jack on your iPhone (it takes about three seconds to sync with the accompanying app). Personally, I only track my sleep and workouts -- and that’s plenty. The device goes as in depth as you want it to. For example, on the sleep side, it can show how many times you woke up in the night and how much deep versus light sleep you got. It also has an optional vibrating silent alarm. It’s a great tool for setting goals, from steps per day to hours of sleep each night.
Product: Nintendo Wii U
Price: $300 and up
In 1989, Nintendo Game Boy was on the top of my (and every gamer’s) holiday wish list.
Now, more than 20 years later, Nintendo is still coming out with the hottest gadget of the season. Six years since the launch of the Wii, the highly anticipated Wii U is changing sports gaming (including Madden and FIFA) with the tablet-like GamePad controller, which allows you to play on the big screen or just on the GamePad itself.
Whether or not hardcore sports gamers are willing to make the switch to the Wii U format remains to be seen, but you have to applaud Nintendo's effort to innovate.
Price: $39 per month
It’s like Santa’s very own all-star team: Tim Lincecum, Michael Strahan, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and rapper Nasir Jones (Nas) came together with founder Nick Cannon to co-found a monthly gifting company.
The result is 12Society, a company that “curates” monthly boxes filled with items selected (or even made) by celebrities.
Each month, subscribers get the hook-up with items that are the favorites of the athletes and celebs behind 12Society, including games (FIFA), gear (high-end T-shirts) and more. For $39 a month, each of the current 3,000-plus subscribers gets a box that retails for at least $85. Not a bad exchange.
Product: NBA Baller Beats
Rock Band meets basketball with NBA Baller Beats for Kinect. In this game, you bounce a real basketball (which comes with the game) to the beat of 30 different tracks. Let’s just hope you don’t have sensitive downstairs neighbors. Spokesperson? Deron Wiliiams.