Christmas 2014: Top Five Sporting Stocking Fillers
There's been a hint of religion creeping into Christmas that's been distressing us all, I think. Whatever happened to the commercial Christmas of yesteryear? Well, in an attempt to unearth those selfless roots of consumerism in the season of giving, Santa's little helper suggests his Top Five Stocking Fillers for all your last-minute needs...
"Fusing dramatic re-enactments with electrifying archive footage, the film follows Seve as he overcomes authority, adversity and the odds along the road to success and his inspirational legacy."
1. Seve: The Movie - DVD
Forget about recruiting a special Ryder Cup Task Force to analyse the anatomy of success for Team USA. The PGA of America should instead just gather Tom Watson, Philly Mick et al round the festive fires and watch this compelling tribute to the man who almost single-handedly turned the fortunes of the Ryder Cup Europe's way. Fusing dramatic re-enactments with electrifying archive footage, the film follows Seve as he overcomes authority, adversity and the odds along the road to success and his inspirational legacy. Gone but never forgotten.
2. Proud - Gareth Thomas
This illuminatingly frank autobiography of secrets and tries shines a spotlight on the tightrope rugby player Gareth Thomas trod both professionally and personally throughout his career. Painful, moving and expertly dissected by Michael Calvin, it's an eloquent musing on the prisons we can construct for ourselves and how societal and sporting stigmas either build them up or knock them down. Another fearless nod should go to Anna Krien's Night Games in a strong year for sports books.
3. Formula 1 2014 - PlayStation
Recreate the revving rivalry at Mercedes and their driving duel to the bitter end of this season. Play as Nico Rosberg and confound Lewis Hamilton with your taxing breaking in Monaco. Take it to the courts with Joey Barton as a ranting end-of-level boss. Or choose a managerial role as team principal: will you lead the Red Bull to another uncontested constructor's championship, or get distracted by a former Spice Girl running around the pit lane? Select the Christian Horner icon and you decide.
4. Winter Sports Jacket - Puma
As styled across nationwide touchlines by Puma poster-boy Arsene Wenger, a natural in front of the camera. You too can stay warm and cozy over Christmas with this unique insular insulation, fending off winter hail, gales and even the taunts of restless supporters. Shed over New Year when Champions League promise and another top-four finish remind you that spring is the season of renewed hope.
5. Analytic Methods in Sports - Thomas Severini
Hardly screams "pull me down off the shelf" and promises to be A Brief History of Time for sports fans - a bookish tome which makes you look scholarly to your friends but no-one's ever actually read it. Still, stats and betting fans should, recognising trends for predicting results. Or perhaps you believe that punters use stats like a drunk uses a lamppost: for support not illumination. Well, 'tis the season.