TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
Runners rejoice. A built-in sensor measures your heart rate without the need for an awkward chest strap. The large, easy-to-read display makes it a cinch to monitor your distance, speed, calories and more, even during a strenuous run. Set up takes only a few minutes and we recommend syncing it to your computer to track your long-term progress. It worked so well, in fact, that we almost forgot how much we disliked running. Almost.
Adidas miCoach Smart Ball
Whether for yourself or a group of kids your coaching, this high-tech soccer ball takes the game to a whole new level. Download the app, synch it to the ball via Bluetooth, and start kicking. It monitors your power (we managed 58 mph), ball rotation, ball-strike location and trajectory. The app features challenges, training videos and tracks your progress. Charging takes about an hour and lasts about a week (roughly 2,000 kicks). In other words, your leg will run out of steam long before the battery does.
Coleman 50 Quart Xtreme Wheeled Cooler
This party cooler on wheels keeps your beverages and food frigid even during the hottest of tailgating days. We love the telescopic handle and the fact that you can stand 2-liter bottles upright, or pack in 84 cans of soda (wink, wink). Best of all, Coleman helps you show your team pride with your favorite pro or college football team logo prominently displayed on the front.
Notre Dame Fantasy Camp
If you’ve ever watched the movie “Rudy” and thought, “Hey, I should do that.” Well, now you can. Sort of. Suit up in Fighting Irish gear, dress in the locker room, attend mass, and play a (flag) football game at the stadium, all under the guidance of Coach Brian Kelly’s staff, as well as current and legendary players. In previous years, campers at the multi-day event (June 1-5, 2015) have rubbed elbows with Joe Theismann, “Rocket” Ismail and Tim Brown.
If you watched the World Cup this year and thought, “What’s the big deal? I can do THAT.” Trust us, you can’t. But you can live out your soccer fantasies via one of EA Sports’ best titles. The graphics are stunning, the game-play feels authentic, and you never have to leave your couch to tell your friends that you just bicycle kicked one past goalkeeping great Tim Howard.
Axe Bat Slowpitch Softball
The creator of the Axe Bat was inspired by hitting legend Ted Williams, who used to swing an axe as part of his off-season training. We tested it and were amazed at how much more pop we got off the bat, simply based on the extra leverage from the axe-shaped handle. It left us asking, “Why would you ever use a regular bat?”
Four Roses Small Batch
Four bourbon recipes were expertly selected by the Master Distiller at the peak of maturation to create a perfectly balanced small batch bourbon that offers a mellow symphony of rich, spicy flavors along with sweet, fruity aromas and hints of sweet oak and caramel. At least that's what Four Roses says. All we know is that it tastes amazing, goes down sma-oooth and had us cheering even when our team got clobbered.
SensoGlove: The World’s First Digital Golf Glove
Finally — a glove to tell you what you’re doing wrong instead of an annoying playing partner. Made of the highest quality cabretta leather, SensoGlove is easy-to-use with built-in digital sensors that automatically tell you which finger is ruining your golf swing for a consistently accurate, smooth and powerful swing.
Mizuno JPX-850 Driver
Mizuno gets in on the customization kick with the JPX-850, which allows for 10 unique settings (4 neutral, 3 draw, 3 fade) to change launch angle and spin rate. By using twin 8-gram weights, which can be placed on either a central sliding rail or two lateral slots, golfers have the ability to customize the driver to fit their swing needs and, in turn, create the perfect launch conditions and spin rates to bomb drives down the middle of the fairway. Now if I could only customize my swing to look like Ernie Els’.
This American-made hunk of cast-iron goodness rests on your existing grill grates and turns it into a near steakhouse-quality grill. These portable grates reduce flare-ups, help seal in the meat’s juices and leave picture-perfect grill marks. It’s easily the greatest grilling innovation since fire.
$76.99 (two grates & brush); mangrate.com
Gary Player: A Game for Life 3 DVD Instructional Series
Gary Player has traveled more miles than any other athlete. In the process, he won nine majors, so he’s worth listening to. Player shares tips on sand play, efficient practice, short game, course management and fitness for a roadmap to improved play. Keep your cooped-up golfer entertained this winter with simple tips, fun stories and lifestyle advice from the Black Knight himself.
Nike Aeroloft Jacket
We’ve all been there: You get cold, so you put on a jacket, but then you get hot, and your golf swing gets constricted. The swoosh has an answer. Nike designers, with help from the Nike Explore Team Sport Research Lab, created an insulated performance jacket that allows the body to retain heat while regulating the temperature to keep the athlete comfortable. In other words, the down fill provides lightweight warmth, and the perforations provide ventilation, assisting the body's natural ability to regulate body temperature by dispersing excess heat.
The growing popularity of CrossFit has made kettlebells a common site at many gyms. If you’ve been thinking about trying it out at home, look no further. This 36-pound, chip-resistant piece of ape-faced iron has an enlarged handle for increased grip strength and is balanced to perfection. Worst-case scenario: it’ll make a great door stop in your man cave.
Topps’ Major League 25th Anniversary Wax Pack
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the iconic 1989 baseball movie, Major League, Topps is offering limited edition wax packs featuring cards of classic characters like Roger Dorn, Jake Taylor, Eddie Harris, Rachel Phelps and, of course, Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn. Winning.
Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari and Michael Sokolove
An inside look into the coaching and leadership philosophies of Kentucky Wildcats basketball coach John Calipari, arguably the most controversial figure of the “one-and-done” era of NCAA hoops. The book chronicles Calipari’s first four seasons in Lexington, including his 2012 national title team.
$21.77 (hardcover); barnesandnoble.com