You can really tell a lot about the people in your life by what gifts they give you. Take my ex, Christine, for instance. She gifted me with the information that she was slapping skins with her personal trainer, Derek, who had lats that required he walk through doorways sideways.
(Hey Derek, if you’re reading this, you may be able to squat a small village, but my car climbed Mount Washington so suck it.)
My demons aside, it’s always interesting to learn about the gifts professional athletes, with their limitless resources, give their teammates during special occasions. For some reason it brings me joy to know that Joe Flacco is a complete sociopath.
Let’s review some pro athlete gifts from Christmases past.
Carson Wentz — Beretta Guns
The avid hunter even personalized the firearms with each player’s number engraved on the butt of the gun. After the season, he invited his offensive lineman to hunt with him using the guns before feeding them steak and potatoes.
Oh, and he needed to make sure they looked the part.
Joe Flacco — Luxury Slushie Machines
On Thursday morning, every one of the Ravens’ offensive linemen arrived to find restaurant-grade slushy machines in front of their locker, courtesy of Flacco.
Offensive Lineman Ted Larsen — A Shitbox
Larsen gave a fellow offensive lineman a car, but one few NFL players would be caught dead driving: A 2000 Dodge Neon, with worrisome brakes and peeling paint.
And much to his surprise, somebody wanted it: center Mike Pouncey, who has a small fleet of vehicles.
Peyton Manning — Love Letters
Manning gifted unheralded former teammates and opponents handwritten notes, a practice he took up upon realizing that many players end their NFL careers without much fanfare.
“So few NFL players get to retire as much as they are retired,” Manning said of the practice in 2013. “All of a sudden nobody calls, and that’s kind of it. It’s on a Wednesday in the middle of May, on the ticker: ‘So-and-so, after 15 seasons, has retired.’ And that’s kind of it. It’s just so sudden … I kind of want to let the guy know that, hey, it’s your career, I have a great appreciation and respect for it, and it’s more than just a little ticker there. I know his family is telling him that, but I want to let him know there are some outsiders thinking that too.”
The gift of oneself is the greatest gift of them all. No word on if Peyton gifted Papa John a letter or if he was too drunk to understand it.
Tom Brady — Ugg Boots
“Once they tried them on, any thoughts of jokes stopped,” Brady told the Wall Street Journal in 2011. “The warm boots are perfect during the cold New England winters.”
That’s some bullshit, Tom. Be Better.
Tom Brady — Tom Brady jersey
Imagine an average person gifting up a pair of their used undies as a gift to a loved one. I’m not saying the value is the same, but the effort sure is.
I said BE BETTER, Tom.
Tom Brady — Audi Q7 SUVs
Brady gifted three of the offensive linemen who attended his Best Buddies fundraising event with brand new Audi Q7 SUVs.
“Now you’ll be well protected, just like you make me feel … sometimes,” Brady joked.
That’s more like it, bro. Third time’s a charm.
Todd Gurley — XBox One Xs
These puppies run about $350 a pop.
Todd Gurley and Jared Goff — Polaris Rangers
These look like the Ranger Crew models, which seat 4-6 people and can cost upwards of $25,000.
It has since been reported that Rams OL John Sullivan guilted their star players into the purchase.
John Wall — Personalized Rolex Watches
Wall gifted his 15 teammates personalized Rolex watches, valued at $40,000 each. That amounts to $600,000, or the price of a mansion in middle America.
Eli Manning — Custom Jeans
The only way a gift could be more DAD is if it came with gas station sunglasses and a pair of minty white New Balances.
Christian McCaffrey — Big Green Eggs
McCaffrey followed in Matt Ryan’s footsteps and bought each of his Panthers offensive linemen Big Green Egg barbecue cookers for eclipsing 1,000 yards last season.
McCaffrey has over 1,300 yards this season, so he better step his shit up.
Umm, never mind.
Saquon Barkley — “Fuck it.”
“I’m not really good with gifts,” Barkley admitted to NJ Advance Media. “I gave them an option. I gave those guys a limit, I’m not going to tell you what the limit is, but I told them ‘just let me know what you guys want, and I’ll get it,’ and I told some of them that if they wanted me to donate towards a foundation or a charity of their choice, I’d do that, too.”
Bucs’ Offensive Line — Paying it Forward
Instead of exchanging presents with each other, they put their money together to create special bonuses for a few staff members at their facility so their efforts wouldn’t get overlooked.
“The equipment guys, the trainers, the kitchen staff — coaches get paid a lot of money — like those who help us out on a regular basis, the people who cook special food for us, or whatever it is, the training staff, they spend tons of time with us,” said offensive guard/center Evan Smith. “Not all those guys make as much money as people think they do.”
Aw, hell yeah.
That’s a good one to end on.