10 Essential Purchases for the Upcoming NFL Season

Even though it’s still just the preseason, we’re hella excited that the NFL is finally back in action. Things kicked off last night with the debut of Terrell Owens in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform against his former Dallas Cowboys teammates at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH. The inaugural kick off of the 2010 season means it’s go time for NFL diehards all across the nation.

Sure, it will be a long haul making it through the next few weeks of completely meaningless preseason fodder, but in just about one month, the real deal starts in a big way with a rematch of last year’s controversial NFC championship game between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings. That means you have approximately thirty days to get all of the essential gear you need to glean the utmost enjoyment out of the long season. Here are ten things that should be on your shopping list.

10 Apple iPad

Apple iPad

You certainly don’t need us to tell you what an iPad is. If for some reason you aren’t familiar with Steve Jobs’ latest attempt to drain your bank account, well, we sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed your coma. Welcome back to civilization. For the rest of you, a question you might still have is what the hell owning an iPad is going to do to help you enjoy watching Tom Brady reap the benefits of a roughing the passer call every time an opposing linebacker looks at him funny. Well, we’re getting to that, so keep reading.

Starting at $499 from Apple.com

9 DirecTV Sunday Ticket To-Go

NFL Sunday Ticket to Go

NFL Sunday ticket is a must have for any true NFL junkie. Unless you live in a cave or an apartment complex that objects to having unsightly satellite dishes affixed to their buildings, there is no excuse not to have it. It’s every NFL game, you see. All of them. Even the really shitty ones involving the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams.

And this season, they’re upping the awesome with the addition of Sunday Ticket To-Go which allows you to stream any of those games on your mobile device. If you’re anything like us, meaning you work a second job as a parking deck attendant on weekends for malt liquor money, then watching games on the fly is mandatory. But lugging a laptop around is way too cumbersome and watching on a tiny iPhone or Blackberry screen will just lead to cataracts by the age of 40.

So, now you know why you need an iPad. Hook that shit up, pronto.

$49.99 at DirecTV.com

8 Fantasy Football Cheatsheet 2010

Fantasy Football Cheatsheet 2010

If you’re a fantasy football geek, you should be pulling out all the stops when it comes time to dominate your league draft. You should also probably hit the shower occasionally and pay attention to that family of yours. With Fantasy Football Cheatsheet 2010, you’ll have time to do all of that. The iPhone’s best selling fantasy football app for two years running, Cheatsheet provides all of the information you could ever need to have your fantasy squad running like a well oiled machine. Among the highlights:

  • Stat projections by Accuscore
  • Up to the minute player news and injury info
  • Custom rankings based on your league scoring system
  • Daily Average Draft Pick and Average Auction Value data from Myfantasyleague.com

But the best feature of all is the minuscule price tag. Seriously, you can’t afford not to have it.

$2.99 from the iTunes App Store

7 Reebok Quadrant 2-in-1 Jacket

Reebok Quadrant Jacket

Football season is a complete and total rollercoaster when it comes to weather. For those first few weeks, it’s still hot as shit in most parts of the country. By the time it’s all over, you’re ready to hop the nearest flight to the equator while incessantly cursing the day you ever decided to live in that winter prison you call home. Make sure you have a jacket that can keep up with those changes while simultaneously allowing you to show pride in your team. The Reebok Quadrant 2-in-1 Jacket is perfect for the job.

On the outside, it’s a full fledged winter coat capable of battling back against even the harshest of Green Bay winters. As for the Green Bay boredom, you’re probably going to want booze for that. But what really makes this coat a winner is that inside there’s a whole other lightweight jacket for those few weeks when football weather and the risk of death by hypothermia don’t go hand in hand, which makes the Reebok 2-in-1 literally the only coat you’ll need all season long.

$134.99 at NFLShop.com

6 Weber Smokey Joe Gold Charcoal Grill

Smokey Joe Gold Grill

Now that you’re dressed for the outdoors, it’s time to start grilling. If your tailgating session includes cooking up some delicious meat treats on a gas grill, well, you should be ashamed. Gas grills are for amateurs, charcoal is where it’s at. But lugging along a full size charcoal grill to the stadium can be a messy nightmare. Instead, pick up Weber’s Smokey Joe Gold.

At just 14 inches in diameter, the Smokey Joe Gold is portable enough to haul anywhere. It also includes a lid lock that will keep all of your charcoal from spilling every time you tackle a particularly aggressive corner in your family van.

$34.70 at Homedepot.com

5 Allen Brothers Wagyu Ribeye Steaks

Allen Brothers Steaks

Based in Chicago, Allen Brothers provides steaks to some of the finest restaurants throughout the country. But why deal with traveling and reservations? Instead, let the steaks come to you. The sight of you grilling up one of these high quality slabs of beef perfection will have onlookers chucking their bullshit Johnsonville’s to the ground in disgust.

We won’t lie, they will set you back a pretty penny, but don’t you owe it to yourself? After all, football season only rolls around once per year and depending on who your team is, these steaks might be the only thing you enjoy all year.

$225.95 for four at Allenbrothers.com

4 Ditka’s Thick and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix

Ditkas Bloody Mary Mix

What would tailgating be without booze in the morning? This is the one time all year when people won’t look at you with a mixture of disgust and pity when you’re trashed by 10 a.m. Make sure you enjoy it to the fullest.

If we’re mixing the morning hooch, you can bet we’re serving up Bloody Marys. Could there possibly be a better football time Bloody Mary mix than one emblazoned with the name of Iron Mike Ditka? You may not know it, but Ditka has made a nice name for himself as a businessman in his post coaching days. Among the various products that bear his name (see what we did there?) his Bloody Mary Mix is the one you should make sure not to miss. Seriously, you’ll thank us.

$4.99 at Shoppersvineyard.com

3 NFL Team Shot Glasses

NFL Team Shot Glasses

Inevitably, at some point during the season your team is going to give you a reason to get absolutely hammered. Maybe it’s because they’re advancing to the Super Bowl. More likely, it will be because they’re eliminated from the playoffs by week 10 thereby rendering the rest of the season a completely moot point. Whatever the case, this is no time to hop off the bandwagon. Make sure you keep the team spirit alive while destroying your liver with these official NFL team shot glasses. Each 2 ounce glass features a pewter team logo. Classy!

$29.95 for a set of four at Sportsunlimitedinc.com

2 Oversized 3-Way Team Recliner

So, we’ve covered plenty of stuff you’ll need for watching games on the go, but what about those times when you decide to take in the game from the comfort of your own home? Start with this oversized 3-way recliner that features your favorite team’s logo and colors. It’s the perfect compliment to any sports basement, den or 6 x 8 windowless dungeon that your wife banishes you to so she can watch the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

With a sturdy wood frame and no sag wire suspension, your decades of accumulated paunch will be no match for its top notch construction. And it even has a matching couch!

$689.99 at Dickssportinggoods.com

1 Samsung 58-inch 1080p Plasma TV

If you don’t invest in anything else on this list, at least make it a point to hock enough of your possessions to secure an appropriate television for game time viewing. The Samsung PN58B650 (might want to jot that down, we doubt you’ll remember) 58-inch Plasma screen was recently voted the all around best television for watching sports.

Among the plethora of features are a remarkably slim 1.2-inch thick display, internet connectivity and something called gamma control. We don’t even know what gamma control is, but it sounds completely bad ass. So take a sledgehammer to that black and white floor model that you inherited from Meemaw and upgrade to something you’ll be proud to have in your home. Which is more than Meemaw could ever say about you.

$1,699 at Amazon.com