Whether you're celebrating the King's birthday (no, not LeBron James's, on Dec. 30; the other King), lighting the menorah or simply delivering dunks like Mississippi State's Lawrence Roberts (left), you're bound to end up ankle-deep in holiday gift guessing. SIOC's got a few suggestions. Here's what's hot this holiday season -- On Campus
BEST RELATIONSHIP KILLERS
Double, double your Nintendo enjoyment. This double-mint-quality handheld gaming system boasts dual screens, meaning once the games become available, you can drive a race car on one screen while sending a text message on the other. Now try that in real life. Actually, don't.
Sony PlayStation 2 Slim
Think of it as the old PS2 on Atkins. At half the original's size and weight (now just 9"X6"X1" and two pounds), backpacking your PS2 won't be half as bad. Pack your Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and plan on sitting in front of a TV until New Year's.
NFL Street 2
A cartoony version of Madden. Not "Cedric Benson scores five touchdowns against Oklahoma State" cartoony, but Grape Ape/Snagglepuss cartoony.
Namco II: Ms. Pac-Man
This game features Ms. Pac-Man and four other classic arcade games. No relation to West Virginia DB Adam (Pac-Man) Jones.
BEST GIFT TO BLOW YOUR RENT ON
Joe Paterno Three-Foot Bobblehead
JoePa, see a Penn State renaissance in the near future? (Jostle Joe slightly.) Yeah, that seems about right. Mini JoePa available for $19.95.
BEST THIRST QUENCHER
Jansport's Airlift Exos Backpack
Water fountains inherently lack portability, bottles are for babies, and drinking out of a football helmet -- well, that's just plain disgusting. Jansport's solution to the post-practice walk home: A water-pouch-equipped backpack with more bells and whistles than a Steve Spurrier offense.
BEST REASONS TO READ TILL CLASS STARTS
I Am Charlotte Simmons
Literary lion Tom Wolfe, 74, went undercover at a dozen schools (Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, among others) to research his latest novel. His account is a 688-page laundry list of hookups, breakups and upchucks.
Reveille: First Lady of Texas A&M
Chock-full of tidbits like: "A&M's collie mascot attends class, has her own student ID and cellphone, and is the school's highest-ranking cadet." Creepy? We agree, but we're still interested.
BEST BOND-LIKE GADGET
T-Mobile Sidekick II
The best sidekick since Robin gives you the power of Batman in the palm of your hands: a futuristic color screen that rotates 180 degrees to reveal a keyboard, a camera with a flash and AOL IM -- the dream of any messenger on the go or in class.
BEST NEW TUNES TO DOWNLOAD -- LEGALLY
Though not the best effort from everybody's favorite bleach-blond linguist, Eminem's fourth gangsta-rap effort is still one of the best albums of the year. Mosh may not have swung the election, but the ultimate fight song will gather his frothing angry minions en masse.
Ludacris, Red Light District
When asked about the title of his forthcoming album, Ludacris quipped, "When people hear it, they'll automatically think of that place in Germany." Fortunately, Luda's rhymin' skills far supersede his geographic knowledge.
BEST LAUGHS OUT LOUD
Napoleon Dynamite DVD
Do you know what a liger is? It's pretty much SIOC's favorite animal. It's like a lion and a tiger mixed -- bred for its skills in magic. If you didn't know, then pick up this DVD as soon as it drops. (Nunchaku, bow-hunting and computer-hacking skills not included.)
Seinfeld Gift Set: Seasons 1-3 DVD
The most inevitable of inevitabilities, more than Duke in the Final Four. True fans will splurge: eight DVDs, an original script and Monk's Diner salt and pepper shakers.
Knockoff "LiveStrong" Team Wristbands
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are just a few of the schools that have their own versions of Lance Armstrong's, only less ugly -- slightly.
Smack Apparel T-shirts
Like frat guys, frat tees usually aren't that funny. Here's an exception. Twenty-six schools, including North Carolina (got roy? we do) and Michigan State (we don't give a notre dame), get the smack treatment.
Ted Head T-shirt
Get 'em before they're gone -- or before he is. Cal football coach Jeff Tedford has the Bears destined for a fat bowl game.
Body Studs Team Belly Rings
Nothing says "Go Team!" like jabbing a stainless steel, lsu-emblazoned rod through your navel.
BEST INVENTION EVER
Frigidaire Beverage System
If you're gonna drink Kool-Aid (wink, wink) before heading to the game, you should really keep your Kool-Aid (wink, wink) cold. This li'l guy, also known as PLKU1267D (but we like to call it the Kegerator), can cool a whole keg -- of Kool-Aid.
BEST WAY TO CATCH THE GAME WITHOUT GOING
Sirius Satellite Radio Sportster
You already know the Sirius spiel: 120-plus channels, 65 without commercials, Howard Stern in 2006. But did you know they do college sports, too? Tune into Sirius College Sports Radio on this plug-and-play system for football and hoops.
Issue date: December 2, 2004