Christmas gifts can be incredible, or they can be downright disappointing. For the holiday season, our FanSided staff decided to compare our favorite sports teams, athletes, movies and TV shows to what might be waiting under the tree.
From articles of clothing to gift cards to more exciting and unique presents, Christmas gifts can be thrilling or disappointing, often with little ground in between. We’ve all had that one aunt who insists on giving you socks when you wanted toys to play with, that one godchild who continues to give mom essential oils she’ll never use, or that cool relative who just asks your parents what to shop for so they actually get it right.
Across the major sports and entertainment industry in general, 2019 has been jam-packed with teams, athletes, movies and TV shows that have captivated us as well as underwhelmed us.
With the peak of the holiday season fully upon us, it’s time to take a look at FanSided’s favorite teams, players and binge-able content and compare them to the types of Christmas gifts we can expect to find under the tree this year.
New England Patriots are a tie for dad
Dad doesn’t really want a tie for Christmas, but it doesn’t matter because he’s getting one anyway and the same thing keeps happening to every NFL fan outside of New England. Nobody wants them around anymore, but they will damn sure be there in the end. — Patrick Allen
Joe Burrow is a shiny new video game console
There’s always going to be one marquee present waiting for you under the Christmas tree. Sometimes you think you have a good idea of what it might be based on the size, shape and weight of the gift. But most times you really have no clue what is waiting for you under the wrapping paper. That’s what LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was en route to his Heisman season. He is the biggest revelation in college football, and LSU fans will never forget the moment they got this present. — Patrick Schmidt
Star Wars is a 1977 Chevy Impala
Take a look at this old classic. It’s from a well-known brand, and it keeps getting updated over the years. That is, you were excited to see this old car back in the late ‘90s because it’s such a classic, but it kind of disappointed you. Now, it’s trying to live up to its old reputation, and naively, you expect it to be good once again. Strange enough, this old thing still runs pretty well, and you’re happy to have it back! — Mia Johnson
The New York Knicks are an ugly woolen sweater from grandma
Remember over the summer, when the New York Knicks were supposed to land all these big fish in free agency? And then how they didn’t and settled for Julius Randle and the rest of the league’s veteran power forwards? And then how they started the season 4-13 and hosted a press conference to essentially throw their head coach under the bus? Like the oversized, woollen sweater that grandma knitted herself, you feel bad, but the Knicks are just flat-out embarrassing. In the words of Kevin McCallister, “You can get beat up for wearing something like that.” That’s what it’s like to be a Knicks fan in 2019. — Gerald Bourguet
Game of Thrones is a Red Ryder air rifle
In A Christmas Story, all young Ralphie wants in the world for Christmas is a Red Ryder air rifle. After brief disappointment in which his parents subvert his expectation, he gets the gun. Unfortunately, when he goes to play with it, he shoots himself in the face (well, kind of) and then breaks his glasses. Still, when he goes to bed, he declares it the best gift ever.
All anyone could talk about this spring was the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones, but the last act went over like a BB pellet to the face. (Startling, undesirable, ultimately harmless.) Still, fans will tell you it’s the best show ever. — Shea Corrigan
Lionel Messi is an extremely generous check from your grandma
It’s the same every single year, to the point where you kind of forget how amazing it is, but in terms of what you’re actually getting, it can do things that no other gift can. Sure, it used to be part of an elaborate package and now it just comes tucked into a simple card, but the value is still there and it should be appreciated. Don’t forget to write your grandma a thank you note, and don’t forget to fully appreciate Messi, whether or not you think he’s the GOAT. — John Wilkinson
BoJack Horseman is that therapeutic self-help book you didn’t know you needed
When you first receive this kind of gift, your initial reaction is feeling shocked and possibly even insulted. This couldn’t possibly be for me, you think to yourself. But when you dive in, you find it to be charming and insightful. It’s laugh-out-loud funny at times and thoroughly heart-wrenching at others as you discover things about yourself. No one is claiming BoJack Horseman has all the answers, just as no self-help book can cure all that ails anyone … but damn it if this story about an animated anthropomorphic horse’s struggle with celebrity, depression, substance abuse, relationships and self-acceptance hasn’t blown away expectations for those who’ve given it more than a passing glance. — Gerald Bourguet
Avengers: Endgame is a brand new iPhone
This is something that you’ve been waiting for forever to come out, and you’ve been counting down the days ‘til you could have it or see. Everyone’s been hyping it up, and it’s going to be bigger and better than the last one. Endgame certainly did blow past everyone’s expectations, and the iPhone 11 offered another powerful update to the long-running line. They’re exciting, they’re expensive, (and there’s a lot of them), but you love them either way. — Mia Johnson
The Houston Rockets are cash
Getting cash for the holidays is uninspiring, and nowhere near as exciting as receiving an actual gift. In short, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. With that being said, it still gets the job done at the end of the day. James Harden and the Rockets’ ability to rack up regular season wins are a lot like getting a $20 bill in a Christmas card: Not everybody loves their style, but at the end of the day, it’s still a W. — Gerald Bourguet
The Mandalorian is a fuzzy blanket
Baby Yoda….that is the only explanation needed! — Carrie Bennani
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a sweater that accidentally got a bunch of holes in it
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a constant playoff presence in hockey for years. The last time they missed the postseason was the 2005-06 season, a lifetime ago for some of us. This year, however, the team has sustained injury upon injury, to the point where their lineup each game looks like it was pulled out of a hat at random from across the NHL’s bottom six. This is certainly not the way Pittsburgh planned this season, much like how your aunt did not plan to have moths eat the sweater she worked tirelessly on all fall for you. The good news, though, is that Sidney Crosby may be able to patch the holes in the Penguins’ lineup through sheer force of will, though it may take some time. — Mary Clarke
Alabama is an Amazon gift card
Gift cards are what you get people when you don’t know what to get them. They’re also what you get people when you’re too lazy to get them a personalized or meaningful gift. It’s boring. It’s unoriginal. It’s been around forever. It’s definitely not exciting or something you rush to play with or use on Christmas morning. — Patrick Schmidt
The Oakland A’s are a rented video game
You know what’s fun? Opening up a gift. You know what isn’t fun? Being told that the gift is only yours for a few years, and then you have to give the gift away to the richest kid on the street. This is what it’s like rooting for the A’s. You have Marcus Semien, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman in your infield? Damn! Enjoy that, they’ll all be wearing pinstripes and underperforming in four years. — Matt Verderame