Dear Santa: Doc lists sports fans' must-haves

Surely you know some people who finish all their Christmas shopping by August. If you happen to be one of those people, this column is for entertainment purposes only. If you happen not to be one of them and are just now beginning to muse about what gifts to purchase, read the following carefully (and quickly).

If you haven’t read Grantland, do so immediately. Bill Simmons, ESPN’s Page 2 guy, has created a beautiful, entertaining, succinct, and insightful sports web magazine that is as unlike as a sports website can get. Grantland’s writing is definitely worthy of slick paper and a cool cover.

, Dave Egger’s literary journal, has taken up the cause. The Grantland Quarterly is available for $48 annually and features “the best sports writing from the website, delivered in a full-color book featuring original artwork and a host of print exclusives— including original fiction, new writing from editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, posters and pull-out sections, old-school baseball cards and mini-booklets.” The Grantland Quarterly is to discerning sports enthusiasts what a “Spanish Cheese-of-the-Month-Club” membership is to foodies. How often does one get to be a Christmas hero for $48?

From the superb to the weird, consider the "Go Plate Reusable Food & Beverage Holder.” For one dollar more than The Grantland Quarterly, you can buy 42 plastic party plates that fit right over your beer bottle or solo cup. Why risk losing your drink when you can set your plate on top of it?

The Go Plate is recyclable and dishwasher safe: how can you go wrong? If there’s one thing a sports fan wants more than to keep track of his beer at a tailgate, it’s lugging home a trash-bag full of nacho cheese- and wing sauce-covered plastic plates he can throw in the dishwasher. At

Also at Amazon for a mere pittance ($64.67) is the Lawn Stryper, a gadget that conveniently attaches to a push mower and makes adding big-league patterns to a lawn quick and easy. The Lawn Stryper weighs only six pounds and comes with a pattern book– but unfortunately not with the 16-20 pounds of sand (at Southern States probably about $4 for a 25lb bag) you’ll need to add in order to bend the grass. Additional costs may include new wheels and axles for your mower (20 lbs of sand creates a lot of stress), and who knows how much money to re-sod your yard in fescue and not Zoysia or Bermuda or any other warm-weather grass we use in the South.

Impractical? Maybe. But the Lawn Stryper is a cool idea for folks looking for a way to spend their weekends after football season.

And finally, boxing fans might appreciate, though it would be terribly cost-prohibitive, the belt that hometown boy Lamont Peterson won from Amir Khan on December 10. In lieu of that, a little creativity and ingenuity will secure the perfect, albeit late, gift. Beginning December 26 (Boxing Day, appropriately), HBO begins four nights of “Boxing’s Best of 2011.” It’s just possible you’ll be able to record these fights, including Pascal v. Hopkins and Pacquiao v. Marquez, on DVD. It won’t be easy, and you should definitely practice first, but with the right DVR and the right DVD recorder, you should be able to make a boxing fan’s Christmas dreams come true– almost. (Where art thou, Mayweather?)

Happy shopping and happy holidays, everyone.
Juanita lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son, and many dogs.