The following is not a paid endorsement. The author received no gifts or services in exchange for this column. Not that he didn't try.
Please buy TiVo this holiday season. In fact, buy three.
I say this because if TiVo—greatest invention since beer—were ever to go broke, I would shrivel up into a lump of Limburger mold and die.
Why? Because when you own TiVo—greatest invention since Viagra—you kiss timeouts, huddles and 45-second close-ups of Andy Pettitte's eyebrows goodbye forever.
When you own TiVo—greatest invention since the thong—you instantly become the biggest enchilada in all of televised sports.
Who decides what time NFL games kick off? You. Who decides when replays and slo-mo will be shown? You. Who makes all sports commercial-free? You! Because with TiVo—greatest invention since Big Bertha—you become a human production truck.
With three buttons on the remote, you can record your team's entire season. Screw ESPN. You kick off games when you want. You can watch an entire nine-inning baseball game in the time it deserves: 17 minutes. You just fast-forward through the boring parts—and it's almost all boring parts. (Sorry, you won't get to sit there for 47 minutes as Nomar Garciaparra adjusts his cup.)
Thanks to TiVo—greatest invention since Halle Berry—your days of slogging through commercials are over. You say Michael Jordan has a new cologne? Smell ya later! Can you hear me now? Nope! They say you may have a problem-itch area? You don't care!
Do you realize how long it's been since I've heard one word uttered by a sideline football reporter? Two years! This means I've missed 1,086 breathless accounts by Dr. Jerry Punch, like, "Guys, I just talked to Coach Bowden. He told his team they've got to reduce the number of pulled groins this half. Back to you!"
TiVo is a digital video recording service (like top competitors ReplayTV and EchoStar). Your DVR receiver contains a hard drive that stores up to 80 hours of stuff and makes the VCR look as outdated as Fred Flintstone's blender. You don't need tapes, times or a Dartmouth engineering degree to program it. TiVo is so smart that it is constantly recording the last 30 minutes of whatever you're watching, even if you fall asleep and miss the only 30 seconds of the Dodgers' game that mattered. O.K., so TiVo costs about $13 a month. You spend more than that on Altoids.