All you need for the festive season… my Christmas gift guide for all sports fans
00:44 GMT, 22 December 2012
Christmas is a time for giving. It’s a time for giving your work colleague a seasonal dose of the Noro-virus. Giving the pungent postman a wide berth. And giving children chocolates you secretly suspect may have been hanging in that old sock since last year.
Giving is what the season is all about. However, if you haven’t bought anything by now, it may be too late already. Nobody goes shopping in actual shops these days. Shops are merely places where you inspect the things you intend to buy online for less money when you get home.
If my experience last year is anything to go by, these are delivered sometime around January 4, long after family members gather around a tree to sing carols, notice there are no presents and cry ‘Santa is dead!’ or ‘You obviously don’t love me!’
So which gifts are perfect for the sports fan Here is my Christmas Gift Guide.
The Ramires-izer Translation Machine
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We live in the age of the iPhone and the App. But this magnificent device takes us to another level of sophistication. New voice recognition software doesn’t just interpret what any ‘foreign’ individual says; it takes a perfectly ordinary remark and transforms it into a damaging racial slur.
Allow me to demonstrate the power of the Ramires-izer:
Speaker A: What a lovely evening we’re having.
Ramires-izer translation: Shut up you monkey.
This brilliant gadget can generate endless hours of misinformation, huge FA inquiry costs, massive lawyers’ fees and career-threatening hostility for those who have been Ramires-ized.
Use it NOW — and issue a mealy-mouthed statement of ‘regret’ a few weeks later.
Price: a considerable amount of lost credit.
On sale at the Chelsea Megastore.
Having a word: Mark Clattenburg and Ramires during Chelsea's clash with Manchester United earlier this season
The Inflatable Anfield Striker
Take the concept of playing a ‘false No 9’ to a whole new level with this revolutionary invention, one that is certain to shake the world of football to its foundations.
Are you tired of seeing your team run out without a recognised centre forward like Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers Do you worry other clubs might spot the owners are trying to bluff their way through a Premier League campaign on the cheap
Fear no more. Just ask the board to pump some of their hot air into the Inflatable Anfield Striker.
It will fool opposition defenders and confound Arsenal’s zonal marking tactics.
And our Inflatable No 9 is GUARANTEED to be faster than Per Mertesacker; CERTAIN to seize on a careless error by David Luiz and HIGHLY LIKELY to drink less than Andy Carroll.
Available for a bargain price of 50million. Order now to avoid disappointment in the January sales.
you lost Are you too dim to operate a satellite navigation device Are
you male and, therefore, genetically prevented from asking for
directions Scientific studies prove men are biologically incapable of
admitting they are unable to find their way.
is why, during reproduction, millions of male sperm cells are released
in a desperate attempt to find a female egg placed directly ahead of
them that, in relative terms, is also the size of Wales (it’s always
‘the size of Wales’).
Even then, only one completes the journey.
We have the solution men have been
looking for, but refused to admit they couldn’t find. You will never be
lost again with Mario’s Man-Maps, officially endorsed by the
hard-of-thinking Manchester City footballer Mario Balotelli.
Mario, simply turn off the SatNav in your vehicle, reach for your
detailed map, open it carefully — and then wave it around out the window
of the car until it attracts the attention of a passing taxi driver.
pass the cabbie the address of the destination and follow him. This
gives you the dual comfort of never having to leave your Bentley AND
never having to use your brain.
Price: 500, cash only, from Manchester to London.
Flammable. Keep away from fireworks. Can also be used when you take your employer to a tribunal and they tell you to ‘get lost’.
Super Mario: Balotelli often has his own special way of travelling
Lance Armstrong Chemistry Set
Create cocktails of drugs in the comfort of your own home with Lance Armstrong’s amazing chemistry set. If, like Lance, you have spent years living a lie and covering up a career built on the illegal use of blood-boosters, steroids, human growth hormones and masking agents, there is only one way to forget the humiliation. More drugs! Spend your retirement years mixing mind-bending substances that completely erase the concept of guilt from your memory.
This allows you to spout blanket denials, pledge to take lie detector tests and pose in front of Tour de France yellow jerseys boasting of your ‘victories’ without any sense of shame whatsoever. What better way to show the drugs do work
Price: about 100m of sponsorship.
Available from all good… bad chemists.
Previously sold as the Ben Johnson Chemistry Set. Syringes not included.
British Swimming Lead Medals
Former performance director of British Swimming Michael Scott
Who needs gold medals Who needs to stay afloat British Swimming will take you under with their lovingly crafted, heavy lead gongs.
Former performance director Michael Scott inspired Team GB to new lows in the pool at London 2012 with his unique coaching mantra ‘I’d rather do it Down Under’.
In honour of the ex-coach, who is now back in Australia, where he appeared to be living most of the time anyway, you can go ‘down under’ too.
Just hang this expensive dead weight around your neck in honour of the pathetic splash that swimming bosses delivered despite 25m of public funding.
Price: 8.4m per medal.
Special offer: To sink without trace, add a pair of concrete boots branded with the name of British Swimming CEO David Sparkes — and receive a chauffeur-driven Mercedes FREE!
The ‘BaleBag’ safety shirt
Based on the latest automotive airbag technology and championed by Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, this innovative football jersey automatically senses when a player has thrown himself through the air.
In the moment after a player dives — I mean ‘protects himself from injury by evading contact from a defender’, this shirt registers the change in gravitational force and air pressure and immediately inflates.
This prevents the player suffering further injuries during contact with the turf from a great height. The BaleBag Safety Range includes inflatable elbow and kneepads as optional extras.
Price: contact your insurers.
Also available: the YoungBag Safety Shirt, endorsed by Ashley Young.
The FergieTime Chronograph
Liverpudlians have long suspected the concept of time has a Manchester bias — which they have sought to correct by trying to turn the clock back to the 1980s, when they were good. But Sir Alex Ferguson’s new range of watches will extend time like never before and comes with a host of new features:
The in-built calendar not only adds minutes to real time, but entire days. So while the record books say Ferguson’s birthday is December 31, in FergieTime this becomes November 61.FergieTime watches link directly with a referee’s timepiece and fourth official’s electronic scoreboard, to allow the manager to directly input the minutes he wishes to add.Alternatively, you can press FergieTime’s unique ‘Play Until We Score’ feature and just let the timepiece do its business automatically.
Price: 25 years at the top.
Retirement clocks not available until 2014.
What's the time, Sir Alex: Ferguson and his watches have become part of folklore
Italian Football Yearbook 2013-14
HEAR DES ON THE RADIO
Don’t miss the ‘Christmas edition’ of The Press Pass on talkSPORT on Sunday at 6pm — by Christmas edition, I mean we’ll do most of the usual stuff, but with a sleighbell sound effect in the background. I’ll also be wrestling on air with
Micky Quinn on Christmas Eve from 10am until 1pm. Verbally, not in reality. That’s a horrible
image at any time of year.
No football fan or player can live without this superb guide to Italian football’s season ahead. It is in the style of England’s famous Rothmans Yearbook, once prized by collectors. Unfortunately, most of those collectors are now dead due to their susceptibility to cigarette brand sponsorship.
But the Italian Football Yearbook not only beings you all the teams, fixtures, players and statistics —but ALL THE RESULTS for next season as well! Take a look…
September 29, 2013 — Juventus 3 Napoli 0. Scorers: Vucinic, Pirlo, Marchisio. Half-time: 1-0.
This guide taps into the Italian game’s unique tradition where clubs, referees and directors decide the outcome of matches well in advance and Juventus collect the Scudetto.
Price: How much have you got
Coming soon: the 2013 Pakistani edition of Wisden, edited by former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt. With all the results for the coming year, including our new dot-ball feature for spot- betting success.
And One Genuine Suggestion…
If you do want a small sporting gift for yourself, download the Hillsborough Justice Collective’s cover of The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.
They aim to top the UK singles charts on Christmas Day and all the proceeds will go to the families of 96 fans who died at the 1989 FA Cup semi-final — and help them continue to fight one of the most disgraceful establishment cover-ups in British history.
Well done to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright for choosing the song. And not only will you be helping the noblest of causes, but you will also be keeping a Simon Cowell act off the top spot as well.
* Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for all the emails, tweets, the handwritten letters, books, holiday offers, complimentary sporting goods, recommendations, anonymous tips, nude photographs and unsolicited bundles of cash that you send to me throughout the year. I cherish each and every one of them.