Angry Ward: Greatest Sports-Related Christmas Presents of all Time!

NEW YORK, NY – I’m writing this before my office Christmas lunch (yes, some places still have holiday celebrations) because I have a sneaking suspicion that, after consuming a steak, dessert, and beverages, I’ll be in no mood to write something this evening. People, we’re only four days from Christmas Eve and only five days until all the air gets let out of the balloon and we start (ever-so-slightly) hearing the banshee screams of dreaded February. But, let’s put that all aside today. Here are the Greatest Sports-Related Christmas Presents of all Time, in no particular order.

Nerf Football. Invented by former Minnesota Vikings kicker Fred Cox, Nerf footballs were flying all over the damn place in my neighborhood back in the day. Mine was purple, natch. Always fun flinging it around in the living room and making Mom’s everywhere lose their minds.

Electric Race Car Set. I never had one of these. They always seemed the toy of people with wood-paneling-furnished basements. Whenever I got the chance to play with one, I didn’t want to go home.

Super Jock Football. Whack the place kicker over the head and attempt monster field goals through a pair of plastic uprights? What could be easier and more fun? How many coaches today would love to repeatedly bash their kickers over the head?

Mattel and Coleco Electronic Football. These great red-blip handheld games covered pretty much all the major sports, but football was easily the most popular. God bless these games, especially on long car rides.

Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle. Some may argue that Evel Knievel doesn’t qualify as an athlete. To those people I would say: ABC’s Wide World of Sports sure thought he was. They’d regularly broadcast his motorcycle suicide attempts during prime viewing hours. This toy allowed kids to jump Evel over every friggin’ thing they could think of—stray cats, garbage cans, dog sh!t—without risking their lives like Evel. Emergency Room sold separately.

Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action BB Gun. You’ll shoot your eye out, Kid.

Tabletop Rod Hockey. Just FYI, if someone asks you if you’d like to play a little tabletop rod hockey, they just might be referring to this game, which pre-dated the arcade version known informally as Bubble Hockey. Still, depending on who is asking, you should still be fairly safe responding with an enthusiastic “yes!”

There are dozens of other great sports-related Christmas gifts, but lunch beckons. Feel free to mention any of your personal faves in the comments, and come back tomorrow for Buddy “The Elf” Diaz.

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About Angry Ward 736 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.