The roots of this page are in this post.
As for the project mentioned in the header, perhaps some of you might remember that I ran a holiday gift guide post about three years ago. My thought is to turn that into something more robust, in the form of a permanent page linked at the top of the blog, that’s organized by categories so that someone looking for the perfect gift for the rabid football fan in his/her life will have a useful reference guide. Much like the Lexicon, I’d like this to be a collaborative affair with your input.
So here’s what I’d like to do. In the comments thread to this post, if you like the idea, tell me. Assuming there’s enough positive interest in proceeding, I’ll set up the page. There, use the comments to make suggestions, preferably in a one paragraph format that describes the product, why you recommend it and provides a handy link for reference. I’ll then start formatting the recommendations (giving credit where credit’s due, of course).
What you will see here is that project translated into a (hopefully) helpful guide for people shopping for the college football fan they know and love. The Gift Guide is organized into several categories and will be a living beast, to be supplemented by reader suggestions and new things that I come across in the future. (WARNING: One thing I’ve noticed about my 2014 post is that the shelf life of some of these items, particularly clothing, is fleeting. Make extra sure that anything you want to recommend to readers is still a commercially viable product.)
To add your suggestions/endorsements, please compose a one-paragraph description of the item in the comments that includes your personal experience with it, along with a link to buy the item. If you’re convincing, I’ll add it to the official Guide list and give you credit for enriching our lives. Or at least making for a better tailgate.
- Beer. When you’re 61, life is too short for mediocre beer. There are plenty of fantastic choices out there — I’ve barely scratched the surface — but if you’re looking for a couple of safe, quality options for giving, let me suggest my go-to picks, Bells’ Two Hearted Ale and Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale.
- Bittermilk. As they say at their website, “Bittermilk is a line of cocktail mixers made for cocktail enthusiasts by bartenders with real ingredients.” I’ve tried several, with equally good results. (h/t Charles)
- Hop City. They have gift cards and they have a fantastic selection of beer. Say no more. (h/t Hogbody Spradlin)
- Jittery Joe’s Attack the Day. For the coffee drinkin’ Dawg fan. (h/t Dawg151)
- Behind the Hedges. Never forget Michael Adams. Ever.
- Play by Play. Uncle Verne calls his career.
- Sax Attacks. I wrote about this here. Suffice to say, if you’re a Georgia fan with a sense of humor, this will be right up your alley.
- The Art of Smart Football. I’m a big fan of Chris Brown’s writing. This book covers a ton of nuts and bolts stuff in an easy to understand format. I reviewed it here.
- The 50 Best College Football Teams of All Time. I reference Bill Connelly’s advanced stats work regularly. This book isn’t about advanced stats, though. It’s a fan’s journey through exactly what the title indicates. If you’d like to brush up on your college football history, this is an enjoyable read.
- Classic Georgia. If you’re looking for stuff that reflects our state, our football program or Lewis Grizzard, this is the place to shop.
- Converse. Custom Chuck Taylors? Hells, yeah.
- Homefield Apparel. I give these guys credit for being shrewd marketers. They specialize in clothing featuring vintage designs and now offer Georgia gear. In particular, the Georgia Baseball Retro Crew Sweatshirt is sweet.
- Nike. Masters of the art of vacuuming our wallets, you can count on these guys to introduce a Dawg-themed shoe every season. I’m certainly guilty of being sucked in before. The current offering is this College Air Zoom Pegasus 38.
- Reyn Spooner. If your tastes run Hawaiian, RS offers something a little more exotic (and expensive) for Dawg fans.
- Vintage Brand. I don’t know how I stumbled across VB, but I’m glad I did. “Relive the history of college sports with reproductions of authentic graphic works of art originally distributed by the Georgia Bulldogs, but now provided only by Vintage Brand.com. All vintage images are from the past and are actual reproductions of historic graphic works of art. Vintage images are in the public domain and any goods bearing these public domain images are not sponsored by or affiliated with any college” is the disclaimer at the site and I guess I didn’t appreciate how much cool stuff is in the public domain. Shirts, hats, koozies, wall art, etc. — there are images going all the way back to 1938 on their offerings.
- Patak Meat Products. The local Mecca for smoked and cured meats, Patak Meat is my group’s go-to any time we intend to grill at a tailgate. Prices are ridiculously cheap, considering the quality of the food. The shopping experience can take a little getting used to for the novice, but you’ll be so overtaken by the smell (I joke it’s the ultimate male aphrodisiac) that you won’t mind. No gift cards, so you’ll have to get a little creative with your gifting here.
- Bose Soundlink Color II. Definitely more portable and affordable than the Soundboks 2 below, it’s got a strong recommendation from dudemankind.
- NRS Medium Dura Soft Cooler. If you’re looking for an intermediate-sized cooler — something capable of holding a case of beer, yet relatively easy to tote — this may fit the bill. Closed-cell insulation on all sides, top and bottom is something even Yeti’s soft cooler doesn’t offer (and the NRS is about a fifth the cost of the Yeti).
- Orca University of Georgia Cooler. I don’t own an Orca cooler, but I know somebody who does. It promises Yeti-level performance for less cost (yeah, that’s relative). If you’re tailgating in the desert for a week, you can show your Georgia colors and still keep your beer cold. What more do you need?
- Soundboks 2. I wrote about this $899 (!) portable speaker here. Obviously, it’s not a product for everyone, but if music is as big for your special someone as it is for me, trust me, you won’t get any complaints.
- Yeti Rambler Colster. Yes, I know it’s a $24 coozie. It’s also better by a wide margin at keeping my canned and bottled drinks colder for longer at a September tailgate than anything else I’ve used. Mine was a Father’s Day gift. I tell my daughter it’s one of the most thoughtful things she’s done for me. Really, it’s a perfect gift — something you’d probably never buy for yourself, but something you’ll be happy you’ve got.
- Dooley’s Junkyard Dawgs. If you don’t have this in your music collection, spend the 99 cents, you cheap bastard.
- Georgia Bulldogs College Cappers Tire Valve Stem Covers. You need these, even though you didn’t know you needed them.
- RapidRoster. I had a decent, free app on my iPhone for tracking college football schedules, but it was discontinued. Looking for a replacement, I found this app, which, for a mere $1.99, does a terrific job of organizing schedules, including TV by the week or by individual team, and has a complete roster for every D-1 team.
- Sonos. My first generation man cave had a wired home theater that was a pain in the ass to maintain, because it was too complex. Fast forward to now, when you can run a fully functioning sound system, including surround sound if you want, on a wi-fi set up with no cabling other than the power outlet connection and an optical cord to the television. Sound quality is excellent. Highly recommended for folks wanting to keep life simple.
- UGA X Georgia Bulldogs Bobblehead. I don’t really think an explanation is needed, do you? Limited edition, 1,000 made.
- “Victory on the Plains“. Iconic shot of Uga V going after Robert Baker’s nether region should adorn every Dawg fan’s wall.
- Wright Photo. If we can’t recommend our own commenters, what good are we? Per the site, “After years of photographing the University of Georgia, Wright Photo now offers Officially Licensed artwork for your home. From high quality extra-large Art Posters and standard Photographic Prints for your dawg cave or dorm room, to the most elegant Canvas Wraps and Fine Art Prints for upscale home decor – we offer something for every dawg fan.” Sounds good to me.