Football Gift Guide: What to get a football player for Christmas

There’s no better place to find a Christmas gift for that special football player in your life than here at Sports Unlimited. We offer the largest in-stock selection of football gear anywhere online and we’re ready to ship it to you with plenty of time to get it under the tree by Christmas day. Here are some of our top picks this holiday season.

A Riddell SpeedFlex under the tree will make any football player's Christmas.
A Riddell SpeedFlex under the tree will make any football player’s Christmas.

1. Riddell SpeedFlex Adult Football Helmet with Facemask

If you’ve been watching football in the last two years – and we know you have – you’re probably familiar with the SpeedFlex. It’s the football helmet with the unique cutout panel in the front of the shell that’s recognizable from the youth field all the way up to the NFL. Aside from its stunning aesthetic, the SpeedFlex is one of the most protective helmets on the market with a specially designed facemask and chinstrap working in unison with the helmet’s shell to keep you safe.

The Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads could make a nice surprise gift.
The Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads could make a nice surprise gift.

2. Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads

Choosing the proper football shoulder pad can be a complex task, but it’s tough to go wrong with the Schutt XV HD Shoulder Pads. Lightweight and protective, the XV HD line is one of the most popular we offer with removable clavicle channel to allow you to customize the fit. Whether you’re shopping for quarterback shoulder pads, lineman shoulder pads, pads for skill players or all-purpose shoulder pads, the XV HD line has a version that’s right for you.

3. Lineman facemask

Schutt ROPO-DW Pro Facemask
Riddell S2BDC-TX-LW Facemask

The past year or so has been tough on linemen. With the NFL, NCAA and some states banning the popular Big Grill facemask, the big guys have had a tough time choosing their look. But the facemask companies have adapted to the new rules and came up with facemasks built to intimidate. Riddell now offer the Riddell S2BDC-TX-LW facemask that has a similar look to the ultra-popular Big Grill 2.0. Schutt also took note, adding a Schutt ROPO-DW Pro facemask style to fit their Vengeance models. The titanium construction keeps the weight down, making it easier to keep your head up during play.

4. Oakley Visor

Oakley’s clear eyeshield makes any helmet look good

Nothing completes the look of a football helmet like a visor and while there are plenty of options on the market, few compare to the Oakley Eyeshield. The most popular football visor, Oakley has tweaked the optics to perfection giving you a clear view of the field and keeping opponents fingers out of your face. With a variety of sticker colors, you can customize the visor to your own team specifications. The clear version is legal in all leagues, making it the safest gift option, but a dark version like the 20 percent grey visor could also do the trick.

5. Douglas Back Plate

A custom colored Douglas Back Plate protects players and looks great
A custom colored Douglas Back Plate protects players.

Extra protection is always a good thing, making the Douglas Back Plate an easy choice for anyone looking for a last-minute gift. Made in the USA by one of the most trusted names in the football business, this back plate is one of the top accessories in the game. It’s available in a wide range of colors to ensure you can match your team’s colorway and attaches to almost any brand of shoulder pad. You can also opt for a four-inch version of the back plate for smaller or youth players.

Top 5 Best Christmas Toy Gifts for Boys 8 to 10

I remember waking up Christmas morning so excited to see what Santa brought me. What kind of new gadget or toy would be my favorite? Crossing my fingers that it wouldn’t be clothes! You know, when you’re 8, 9 or 10 years old the last thing you want is a new pair of PJs.
So parents and grandparents here is your guide to ensure you are the cool parent that gets something your boys will love.

The Space Scooter X580 will bring smiles on Christmas morning and provide hours of fun throughout the year.

#1 Space Scooter X580 Scooter
The Space Scooter X580 Scooter is the hottest gift this year. No more pushing off with your back foot to propel yourself forward. Just hop on the X580 and use a teeter-totter motion to ride. Ride faster and further than a traditional scooter! It’s rated for kids and adults up to 200lbs and it folds for easy storage. Price: $149.95

#2 Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey Game
I used to love playing table hockey back in the mid-80s. The problem with the hockey games then was the puck always used to get stuck behind the net where you’re player couldn’t get it. That’s no longer the case with the Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey Game. This game is well built. The players all move back and forth and spin in circles smoothly.

The Stiga Stanley Cup Table Hockey game updates a classic favorite.

The puck doesn’t get stuck and on hard slap shots it doesn’t leave the rink. The extended plexi shields behind the goal keep the puck in play. It’s just a great game to play with your son or for him to play with his friends. Price: $109.95

#3 Wham-O SnowBoogie Fantom-X Winter Snow Sled

The Fantom-X Snow Sled makes snow days great again.

Remember the days sledding with the Flexible Flyer steel runner sled? Well, check out the 21st century edition. The Wham-O SnowBoogie Fantom-X Winter Snow Sled will make all the other kids in the neighborhood jealous. The Fantom has so much going for it. It’s great for both single and two-person riding. The driver gets the fun of using the handlebar style control to easily maneuver down the hill. The frame is constructed of metal alloy to endure many seasons of sledding. And no more riding on a wood platform. The lightweight nylon mesh seat is much more comfortable. Come on Mom, hop on with your boy and take a ride! Price: $99.95

#4 Park & Sun Portable Tetherball Set

The Park & Sun Tetherball set allows you take a fun game with you wherever you go.

Here’s another classic game that is sure to take you back to your childhood. The Park & Sun Portable Tetherball Set is very well made and it’s portable so you can take in anywhere. This set features a tripod base and center pole anchor which is best set up in and area with firm grass/soil. There is no need to dig a hole and pour cement! It comes complete with the nylon cord and tetherball. The galvanized steel pole is made to last! Price: $69.95

#5 Under Armour 395 Junior Football

UA Football
The Under Armour 395 Junior football is soft and easy to grip.

This is a simple gift but it’s one that is enjoyed by many dads and sons for generations. This Under Armour 395 Junior Football is a great choice. I prefer this over the Wilson version because the softness and grip. The junior size and grip make it easy for kids to throw and catch. It also won’t break the bank. Price: $24.95

Any of these gifts are ones that will bring a smile to a little boys’ face on Christman morning. They are also toys that are best played with two people. And isn’t the fun of Christmas playing with your kids and grandkids?!?!

The best ice hockey equipment bag comes from Grit

If you’ve been to an ice hockey rink lately, odds are good you’ve seen a Grit HTSE Hockey Tower Bag.

You know the one. Well made and durable, rolling wheels, stick holders on the side and plenty of space for all the gear.

Much more than a regular hockey bag, the Grit Tower Bag is truly a locker room on the go.
Much more than a regular hockey bag, the Grit Tower Bag is truly a locker room on the go.

It’s the best ice hockey bag on the market and it’s almost unfair to compare it to conventional hockey bags. What Grit has done has built a portable hockey locker that you can take anywhere.

The Grit hockey bag is at is best when it’s standing straight up – a break from tradition with normal bags. It essentially contains shelving inside that gives you space to put all your gear. It’s great for when you get to the ice, but it may be even better when you’re leaving the house and making sure you have everything with you. The top shelf contains compartments for your skates and helmet. The second level has plenty of space for your elbow pad and gloves, while your shin guards, shoulder pads and hockey pants can easily fit below. Everything is clearly in view to leave little doubt that you’ve got all the equipment you need for a game or practice. No more showing up with one skate or elbow pad because you assumed the other was stuffed beneath your pants. The simple organizational elements will make sure you’re prepared every time you leave the house.

Ventilation holes in the plastic and a mesh back keep your Grit bag from smelling like a locker room.
Ventilation holes in the plastic and a mesh back keep your Grit bag from smelling like a locker room.

Another great feature of a Grit hockey bag is its air flow, essential for keeping your portable locker from smelling like, well, a locker. The reinforced plastic that makes up the back of the bag has holes punched in it and a mesh covering to promote air flow. It also features several removable mesh compartment and two mesh compartments on the side that are great for holding a pair of slides, socks or any other items that need to be aired out before or after play.

A zippered front pocket increases storage space and includes straps for two water bottles with enough room left for tape and other small personal items. Another extra feature is a carpeted pull out piece for standing on while you’re changing. It beats standing on a wet, slippery floor.

Two stick holders on the sides of the Grit hockey bag allow you to transport your main stick and a backup very easily. There’s even an attachable shoulder strap if you prefer to go old school and not take advantage of the wheels.

Available in a wide array of colors mirroring the schemes of the NHL’s top franchises, the Grit Hockey Tower Bag is a great choice for anyone looking to find a better way to get their gear to the ice. The bag comes in both a 33″ version and a 36″ size, with additional options for large goalie bags and medium goalie bags. There’s even a Grit Youth Hockey Tower Bag available.

Check out ice hockey equipment bags from Grit and other brands at Sports Unlimited today!

Space Scooter makes a great Christmas gift

Space Scooter X580
Developed in the Netherlands, the Space Scooter X580 is one of the most unique scooters on the market.

The scooter craze is real and as Christmas is approaching, now’s the time to get in the game. One of the more innovative models – the Space Scooter X580 – takes a traditional cruising scooter and adds a twist. Instead of the traditional kicking needed to propel you forward, Space Scooters allow you to keep both feet on the deck and use a pump and go motion to keep you on the move.

The unique design comes from the Netherlands where one in three kids own a scooter. Instead of flooding the market with more of the same, Space Scooter wanted to do something different – help people get around while also keeping them active. Enter the pump and go action, which allows you to pedal the scooter. The X580 can also adjust to a normal mode where you can still use your foot to move you forward.

Space Scooter X580 pump and go
A unique pump and go action makes the Space Scooter X580 great for getting around while getting exercise.

The X580 has built in safety features that make it great for kids. The sturdy board is built to hold people up to 200 pounds and it’s fully ASTM compliant. A wheel safety lock prevents it from rolling backward, keeping you upright and on the move. Fitted with a hand break and kickstand, the X580 is easy to store. The scooter simply folds up to fit into tight spaces and to make it easy to carry.

The X580 is available now at along with a wide range of other scooters. You can also check out the junior model, the Space Scooter X360, or the exclusively designed Space Scooter Lionel Messi.

With over 1 million sold worldwide, the Space Scooter already has a devoted following. The Christmas season is a great time to join in the fun!

It’s in the gear: Roberto Perez

As Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen were mowing down hitters one-by-one during Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night, you had to wonder… maybe it had something to do with the target.

If the All-Star System 7 Catcher's Gear set is good enough for Roberto Perez, it's good enough for you.
If the All-Star System 7 Catcher’s Gear set is good enough for Indians catcher Roberto Perez, then it’s good enough for you.

Behind the plate was unquestioned Game 1 hero Roberto Perez, clad in his All-Star Catcher’s Gear, managing his pitchers through the most important game of the season. The Indians catcher watched as they struck out 15 batters, cooling off a red-hot Chicago Cubs team that had just plated 23 runs in three games to reach the Fall Classic.

Perez provided the pop on offense too, clubbing a solo shot in the fourth to fire up the Cleveland fans early and adding a three-run blast in the eighth to essentially put the game away.

Was it in the gear? Perez was wearing perhaps the best catcher’s set in the game. The System 7 is chosen by catchers across the highest level of baseball for its incredible level of craftsmanship and exceptional durability. The two-toned helmet is both stylish and lightweight, while the chest protector provides a consistent rebound.

While his pitchers weren’t missing the zone often, Perez had the support of triple knee protection in his shin guards to block errant balls. A four-point harness system allows for the best fit and oversized perforations keep players from overheating. It’s a set that’s been popping up around the major leagues and for the second year in a row is showcased in the World Series.

So what are you waiting for? Also offered as a camo catcher’s set, the System 7 is one of the most popular pieces of equipment at Sports Unlimited. Check it out, along with our vast selection of catcher’s gear, today!


Trystan Lago Awarded 2015 Scholarship

After reading each and every one of the thousands of scholarship entries for this year’s award, we have finally decided upon a winner. Before I announce who that person is, I’ll briefly explain the scholarship itself and how it is earned.

Each year, we give a $1,000 scholarship award to a deserving individual who we think exemplifies our values here at Sports Unlimited. We discover this person by asking our applicants (who must be a graduating high school senior or a freshman/sophomore in college) to write a convincing and honest essay that answers that year’s prompt. One of our core values is to foster development and by helping a high school or college student-athlete continue his/her education, we hope to stay true to that value.

The 2015 scholarship prompt was to “describe a time when you’ve had to overcome adversity to succeed in a sport.” This style prompt allowed us to accept responses from thousands of applicants who have all participated in various sports whether that be baseball, cheerleading, ice skating, cross country, volleyball, football, martial arts, or one of many more sports. It was not easy to choose only one winner and we appreciate each and every response that we’ve received. Without meandering further, the 2015 winner of the Sports Unlimited Scholarship is…

Trystan Lago

Sports Unlimited Scholarship Winner ,Trystan Lago signing Trine Football Agreement
Sports Unlimited Scholarship Winner, Trystan Lago signs Trine Football Agreement

Trystan’s well-written essay epitomized an athlete’s ability to overcome adversity in a sport in order to succeed and we are truly proud to award him with this scholarship. He is an extremely deserving young man and we wish him all the best in his studies and athletic endeavors at Trine University this fall.

Here is a short excerpt of Trystan’s essay:

“Then, my greatest life disappointment came. My throwing wrist was fractured in the last game of my junior season. After two surgeries, 8 months in a cast, and sitting out spring football the offensive coach decided to start a 15-year-old sophomore who had played as quarterback while I was recovering. I had played quarterback my entire career. It was my love and passion, what kept that burning drive in me to succeed and I found out I would be sitting the bench my senior year. I knew that, without any senior year statistics or game film as quarterback, college football scholarships that had been just within my grasp would likely be impossible. I was extremely depressed, my grades dropped, I didn’t want to go to school, I told my Mom I didn’t care about anything, I was embarrassed and didn’t want to walk through the halls at school or sit with classmates at lunch. My Mom was very worried about me so she asked teachers and mentors at my school, Calvary Christian Academy, to support me. I had a decision to make, be angry and sit on the bench my senior season or ask the coach which position he wanted me to play instead of quarterback. I decided to lose my pride and make the best of the situation. My coach said he was impressed by my attitude, that we needed a wide receiver. Though I suffered my greatest life disappointment, I played as receiver supporting my team and encouraging the younger quarterback.”

Keep an eye out right here on the blog and on our dedicated Sports Unlimited Scholarship page for the new 2016 scholarship essay and survey for next year’s award.


Father’s Day Gifts for Sports Dads

If your first memory of dear ol’ Dad is him throwing you in the air (a little too close to the ceiling) when his alma mater scored a fourth quarter touchdown, I think we can safely assume that Father’s Day gifts are a breeeeze to find. That is mainly because there is a treasure trove of trinkets, clothes, and gear with that block M, bulldog, Jayhawk, or whatever emblem signifies his glorious school. There is an endless list of items with that logo right there reminding him of the good ol’ days before you were born. Is he an aspiring grill master in need of a sweet Nittany Lion grill mat? How about a Crimson Tide tailgate canopy? I’m not yet a father, but I’ve started to think about having kids just so they can buy me Michigan gear on Father’s Day. Just kidding, don’t tell Emma.

Imagine this: Daddio sits on the front lawn in a tailgate chair with a cooler of his favorite icy-cold canned beverage (you know what it is) by his feet and a canopy shading him from the summer sun. Next to the canopy is his shiny metal grill (that you sometimes think he cares for more than he does you) and under the grill are the colors and logo of his favorite team. He’s got the window to the house open and through it, he’s turned the living room TV to face out the window and he’s run speakers out so he can have the sound of the TV there with him. He’s grillin’, chillin’, and cheerin’ like the goof you’ve admired and made fun of for your whole life.

Is that the happiest you’ve seen him? Is he giddy with his favorite things on a Saturday afternoon? My guess: yes.

The best part about this vision of your crazy father is that you can actually make it happen. Now that I’ve given you the Don Draper, I’ll be forthright when I say that not only do we want to help you make your dad happy and connect you with him this year, we also want you to make that connection through Sports Unlimited. We’re running a sale for 10% off some of the cool things that will make him happy and you can find those college and pro tailgate gear and mats right at our Father’s Day Sale section.

Make sure you get your shopping done early so it has time to arrive by Father’s Day 2015 (June 21st). And remember, he roots for you just as much as he roots for his team.


Sports Unlimited Stops Hunger

Yesterday, the Sports Unlimited team took to our warehouse (the one with the sweet sports gear) and set up stations with the help of Stop Hunger Now in an effort to make 10,000 meals for hungry children. This wasn’t our first time helping this organization, but as a competitive bunch, we aimed to work faster and do better than last year.

Here are some photos that I took of the event…


stop hunger now boxes sports unlimited
And so it begins!
The first pour!
Byler pouring vegetables in
Byler uses his muscles to save children! Pour those vegetables!
Mary cracking jokes, I presume. Nothing wrong with having some fun while you work!
Mary cracking jokes, I presume! Nothing wrong with having some fun while you work!
Ally is the most serious person at this entire event.
Ally is the most serious person at this entire event.
Steve Sealing Stop Hunger Now Packets
Perfect form Steve! 10,000 more sets!
Hand model? No, just Steve. SN Modeling Group?
Hand model? No, just SN Modeling Group. Work it, Steve!
Kristy preparing for launch!  Jared Cook out there at the dock!
Kristy preparing for launch! Jared Cook out there at the dock!
Is Lou Magneto?
Is Lou Magneto?
Who is Lou staring down? What have they done to deserve this? Have they turned to ash?
Who is Lou staring down? What have they done to deserve this? Have they turned to ash?
Nothing is more stylish than hats over hair nets.
Nothing is more stylish than hats over hair nets.
Whatever Drew did, Rumer does not think it is funny.  Not one bit.
Whatever Drew did, Rumer does not think it is funny. Not one bit.
They seem to have reconciled in the name of ending hunger.
They seem to have reconciled in the name of ending hunger. Proud of you guys!
The Rumor montage continues with this focused shot of him pouring. You go Rumor!
The Rumer montage continues with this focused shot of him pouring. You go Rumer!
Dave goes reverse and rocks the hair net OVER the hat. That there is some stylish innovation to the original hat over hair net. What a twist!
Dave goes reverse and rocks the hair net OVER the hat. That there is some stylish innovation to the original hat over hair net. What a twist!
These guys don't mess around. You can tell it from the backwards caps!
These guys don’t mess around. You can tell it from the backwards caps!
Here we find Don "The Philosopher" Ball thinking deeply about something. Of what? We'll never know.
Here we find Don “The Philosopher” Ball thinking deeply about something. Of what? We’ll never know.
LOOK AT THAT TECHNIQUE.  Is that Byung-Hyun Kenny?
LOOK AT THAT TECHNIQUE. Is that Byung-Hyun Kenny?
Matt's no slouch in the tossing category either.  Can you say, PINPOINT?
Matt’s no slouch in the tossing category either. Can you say, PINPOINT?
Riley Lou-per out there making slick grabs... Maybe he prefers Jordan MatthLou?
Riley Lou-per out there making slick grabs… Maybe he prefers Jordan MatthLou? These captions are deteriorating, but I’m not. going. to. stop.
Byler is fearless!
Byler is fearless!
Eyes on the prize Carolyn. Looks like not everything is making it into the bag...
Eyes on the prize Carolyn. Looks like not everything is making it into the bag…
I put myself in harms way to get this shot. Was it worth it? Eh.
I put myself in harms way to get this shot. Was it worth it? Eh.
Drew struts around demanding attention with his newsboy style hair net over hat. Nothing will stop this man from feeding kids.
Drew struts around demanding attention with his newsboy style hair net over hat. Nothing will stop this man from feeding kids.
Drew's best pour yet. Newsboy for MVP!
Megan has no time for Drew even though this is his best pour yet. Newsboy for MVP!
Drew does what he wants, including Steve's job.
Drew does what he wants, including Steve’s job.
This is what 10,000 meals looks like. No joke here!
This is what 10,000 meals looks like. No joke here!
The efficiency is palpable!
The efficiency is palpable!
What a delicate hand-off!
What a delicate hand-off!
This is a picture of Dave!
This is a picture of Dave! Undoubtedly in a Penn State hat.
Don, Ryan, and Lou reminiscing about the Stop Hunger Event that ended 1 minute ago. Great stuff guys!
Don, Ryan, and Lou reminiscing about the Stop Hunger Event that ended 1 minute ago. Great stuff guys!
Superman approves this message.
Superman approves this message.


10,000 meals out to kids all over the world who need them. That’s not a sentence, but that’s what we did and it sure looks like we had fun doing it.

If you want to learn more about the effort to stop hunger, visit

The Hike

We hiked to the Pinnacle on a fine day in late June. There were rocks to climb and branches to wade through, but there is little that we cannot do when we’re together and striving for a collective goal. As you must already know, our goal was to raise funds and awareness for Progeria Research Foundation through HIKE4HOPE. This, we achieved raising tens of thousands of dollars as well as awareness through our online efforts.

To remain forthcoming, the hike was challenging and the views were sublime. We thought about our friends Nathan and Bennett. We thought about our cause. We thought about how inspiring the  rolling hills of Pennsylvania are from up high. It was a good day.

Sports Unlimited Group Picture Hike
Sports Unlimited Hike4HopeThe Appalachian Trail SignDoug Ponders Existence
Sports Unlimited Owner Dave Neff on Hike


Sports Unlimited and HIKE4HOPE Team Up

Bennett wearing a football helmet

Whatever ups and downs we see as a business, we never forget that it is our responsibility to do good. Hopefully, we can do some good this month through our partnership with HIKE4HOPE, which is an organization that benefits Progeria Research Foundation. HIKE4HOPE is a truly astounding effort of Amy Ruhf to walk one mile of the Appalachian Trail this summer for each child in the world who suffers from Progeria (250 children means 250 miles). This is to honor the families and children affected, bring awareness and raise funds for the Progeria Research Foundation.

We joined in for the past few weeks and for every dollar donated, we are donating two more, allowing each donation to go three times further. If you are so inclined, you can donate through this link.

Our involvement in HIKE4HOPE not only comes from our collective desire to do good, but also because there are two children in our neck of the woods that live with Progeria and they have inspired us with their warm hearts and adorable smiles. Raising many thousands of dollars for HIKE4HOPE is something that we are proud of, but our muscles have been aching to get involved a bit more and really show our support for the children all over the world with this condition and the children right here in the Philadelphia area.

Many of us at Sports Unlimited will be hiking through a 9.5 mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail with Amy from HIKE4HOPE this Friday, June 27, 2014. We’ve got our boots and our water ready to go and although it will be difficult, it will be worth it. We will look over the stunning views of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and know that our sweat and our effort is not just for ourselves.

Last week we hosted our friends Nathan and Bennett, as well as their parents, sister, and friends. We showed them some of the sporting goods that we carry and had them take part in some games like field hockey, lacrosse, football, baseball, soccer, and so much more. They even got to sit on and start a motorcycle with the help of Matt! It was a day I will always remember and I think it will be one they will too. Below are some pictures of our time with the boys.

Look for more posts about our hike and some pictures on the trail!


Nathan hitting a baseball

Megan and Bennett learning lacrosse

Nathan Kicking the Soccer Ball

Nathan the catcher

Bennett in a crazy football helmet while Nathan secures it

The boys with Catcher's Gear

The Pitch over the plate

Nathan on a motorcycle with Matt

The boys together on a motorcycle

Nathan and Bennett Phillies Awards and Gifts

To learn more about Progeria click here


– Isaac