In Disguise

Okay, so folks are wondering why I’m grabbing all these USA Today newspapers today. Well, I was out of the office on Friday cuz of the surgery and last Friday’s paper was the one that I appeared in… well sorta. A few weeks ago the photographer for the paper came past my desk and asked me and my co-workers to assist him with a shoot related to sports fans. He had masks for 4 NFL teams, Steelers, Dolphins, Eagles & Patriots. I donned this Philadelphia Eagles mask and allowed myself to be photographed. Now, this is definitely a huge error in judgment for a Dallas Cowboys fan such as myself, but I said “What the hell?” It’s not like I wasn’t caught on national TV a few years ago rockin’ a Randall Cunningham throwback jersey.

If you’re not too scared of what you see, you can always click the pick for a LARGER view of my ugly face… lol

Playing the field for holiday gifts

by Joan Murphy; Michael Hiestand Dec 17 ’04

Shopping for the football fan who has everything? Looking for new ways to cheer on your team? Today’s fan gear goes far beyond T-shirts with team logos and stadium blankets. Maybe too far. USA TODAY’s Joan Murphy and Michael Hiestand take a look at what’s hot for 21st-century fans:

Gain impressive yardage

Sprinklers can make statements. At least they can if they’re officially licensed NFL or college helmets ($59.99) you can hook up to a hose and place on your front lawn. Other outdoor products from Team Sports America are meant to let everybody know where you stand: the hammock, $120, and combination clock- thermometer, $29.99. Both sport team logos. Find them at nflyardline.com.

Make your own replays

Bushnell’s digital camera binoculars let you believe your own eyes. The combination of 8×32 binoculars and high-resolution digital/video camera lets you watch games while you’re actually creating your own instant replays. Buy it for Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count (now through Jan. 5). Available at retail stores for about $400.

On the hot seat

Take care of your derriere, and it will take care of you. Vesture’s Lava Buns heated seat cushions could make those games at Green Bay and New England bearable. Heats in a microwave in five minutes; stays warm for up to eight hours, $29.95.

Throw in the towel or ball

Timeout Towels (not pictured) has your favorite sport immortalized in 60-inch circular, 100% cotton terrycloth towels, including soccer, basketball and baseball. They sell for $21.95. Available at timeouttowels.com. “I thought about it one day at the beach,” says Kim Kology of Timeout Towels. “I didn’t want to keep moving my towel with the sun.” Or you can toss the Wilson GST ball that, instead of using traditional laces, has leather laces meant to be more easily gripped, $69.99.

Show your true colors

Once you actually see the products at tailgatetown.com, they’re all so obvious. Of course you need a $47.50 Wincraft NFL Snack Helmet meant to dispense chips and dip. The $18.99 Sports Fan Face (above), rubber masks in team colors, means you can quit trying to hide your emotions. And the $22.50 Tailgate Party Pack, featuring your team’s name and logo on plastic cups, plates, napkins and cutlery, lets everyone know you sweat the details.

Getting sauced

You can have plain hot. Or you can have officially licensed hot sauce with your alma mater’s logo. Hot Sauce Harry’s (hotsauceharrys.com) offers such sauces and chili kits, priced $4.95 to $19.95 for fans ready to risk heartburn to show their colors. The $89.99 Wincraft Keg-a-Que resembles a beer keg. But it’s a barbecue. Now scientists need to invent a device that serves both functions.

For the two-faced fan

The $16 Franklin Sports NFL Rally Cap (above) looks normal in front but reverses to produce a ghoulish mask that covers your face. It’s about time. Available at franklinsports.com.

Your team logo in meat

For the fans who want to grill their school logo into their food, there are Fan Brands’ $14.95 grilling accessories (not pictured) at fan-brands.com. The company believes “grilling is a contact sport.”

Dance to your cooler

Sterling Store’s Chillin’ Sounds (not pictured) looks like a big radio, but that’s only half the story. Undo the latches, and it’s a cooler. $59.95 plus shipping, at sterlingstore.com.

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