Holiday Specials! They Launch Today!

Well, the deals have arrived. This season we will be featuring different special holiday sales that can change at any time! The good news is that we’ve got a Holiday Specials Center that lets you know what deals are going on and an easy way to get to those exact products or even an entire category! Check our specials now as we launch the specials and check often because you might find the best deal out there this holiday season right at Sports Unlimited.

Don’t get stressed out by holiday shopping, believe it or not, it can be quite fun when you find the best deals. So, here are some of our best deals right now. Enjoy!

Holiday Specials from Sports Unlimited

Happy Holidays from Sports Unlimited. EXPLORE!

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


End of Season Sale – Winter Edition

It has been cold, quite cold. And as you tire of polar vortexes or vortices or whatever horrifying scientific terms you discover, I want to assure you that winter *does not* last forever. So I am declaring the end of winter. Oh? Well, winter is not technically over, but I am over it. Be gone, I say!

And with the (fake) end of winter, we arrive at the Winter End of Season Sale. Hip, hip, brrr…ay!

Take advantage of some ridiculous deals on The North Face, Under Armour, Patagonia, Sleds, Bern, Oakley and more.

Click the big, beautiful graphic (courtesy of our web-genius, Doug) to land on our Sale!

Winter End of Season Sale

Polar Vortex, Polar Shmortex

Fantasy football diary: Tonight things get real

Who will Steve pick?
Steve’s decision to take Jamaal Charles or Ray Rice is the Manning vs. Leaf debate of the 2013 Sports Unlimited Fantasy Football Draft

Haircuts are often meant for big occasions.

Senior portraits, weddings, family pictures, holidays and things like that.

I got a haircut last night, our Sports Unlimited fantasy football draft is today. That’s not a coincidence; tonight’s draft is a very big occasion.

Some of us have been studying for weeks, mock drafting our hearts out. Others spent yesterday afternoon printing out cheat sheets in 1-point font. Pretty much the only strategy that has been consistent among league members has been hounding Steve to reveal who he’s going to pick at #4.

It’s a really hard decision for Steve between Ray Rice and Jamaal Charles and one that he’s lost plenty of sleep over. We had an important meeting about it where our company president Don stressed the importance of full disclosure among employees. Steve responded by taking two days off just to hide in his basement and avoid the pressure.

There are other key decisions and high drama that will undoubtedly ensue.

It starts at pick #2 where Doug has made multiple pie charts to convince us he won’t draft Arian Foster. But we all know he’s lying. The biggest question is how high he’ll draft Ben Tate.

I sit at 10 where I’m hoping to have someone else to pick other than Trent Richardson and Alfred Morris. Although I shouldn’t complain about two guys that combined for over 3000 total yards and 24 touchdowns last year – as rookies. I definitely won’t be choosing Steven Jackson, that much is true.

The babysitters are arranged, the pizza order is in and the countdown clock keeps ticking. The action figures to be fast and furious tonight and for those interested, you can follow us on Twitter and try to influence our picks.

And by all means, please feel free to harass Steve. He’s the defending champion and we don’t want him getting cocky.

By Lou Rusnock
Lou is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

True confessions of a fantasy football junkie: What I’ve learned from 50 mock drafts

Hi I’m Lou and I’m a fantasy football addict.

When teams opened training camp in late July, I was already a 173-page magazine and eight mock drafts deep into a personal gauntlet of training for the greatest four months of the year. I’m talking, of course, about the fantasy football season.

We play fantasy football for many reasons. To bond with friends, to talk a little trash, to prove we know more than everyone else and even just to distract us from the work week. (NOTE TO EMPLOYER: I mean at night, after work hours.) Most of all we play to win. Whether its for a huge cash prize or a gaudy championship alligator head, the thrill of a league title can make or break the other eight months of the year.

For the last month, I’ve embarked on a quest that’s been driven by an embarrassingly bad championship game loss last year. My goal was to get to 50 mock drafts before my first draft in late August. It became a nightly journey through ESPN, FantasyFootballCalculator, and Yahoo which quickly became an addiction – more release than resource. Many of these mocks took place with fellow league members Tug and Brian (names changed to protect the innocent), meaning we’ve either tipped our hands or been involved in a massive, time-consuming hoax.

It’s been a taxing month, but all my hard work has led to some absolutes. And when you can go into your fantasy draft party knowing some things for certain, it makes the most inexact science of the year that much more easy.

There’s probably not enough time left for you to do 50 mock drafts of your own, so in celebration of the launch of our Fantasy Football Name Generator, here are some tips from an expert addict on how to handle your own draft.

1. The only thing I like less than Steven Jackson this season is the people who mock draft (and probably will really draft) Steven Jackson.

Steven Jackson looks mad, but he’s happy to be in Atlanta. Don’t be so happy to compare him to Michael Turner.

Over 92% of all mock drafts I’ve been in have someone with major love for S-Jax. We’ll call this person Gaskins. It’s pretty easy to spot a Gaskins. He will draft Steven Jackson between picks 12 and 15 and quote Michael Turner’s stats from last season. He will never tell you anything about Steven Jackson’s stats and you can laugh at him later when you draft Jacquizz Rodgers. #saynotogaskins

2. Keep calm and draft on.

There will inevitably come a point in your draft where the running back crop drops into a deep abyss of guys you don’t know and guys you know very well and promised yourself you would never draft again (I’m talking to you DeMarco Murray and Darren McFadden). Do some digging on the guys you don’t know, because those other guys… well, you already know. And you promised.

3. There are some really, really, really good wide receivers.

Draft one or two, it’s a safe bet. There’s always one point in the season where you look at the team with two or three really good receivers and you’re staring at a guy that was good for you on your 2008 third place squad and the second receiver on the Jaguars. Don’t let that happen to you. Remember that the NFL is, after all, a passing league.

According to Tug, Drew Brees won’t disappoint owners like last year when he only threw for 5177 yards and 43 TDs.

4. Drew Brees will have a bounce back year.
Tug called this in the early part of fantasy training camp and I couldn’t agree more. After obliterating the record books in 2011, Brees fell off in a major way, throwing for 299 less yards and three less touchdowns in 2012. There is no way he will slip to those lowly numbers again.

5. If you have the tenth pick, you probably have at least an extra mid-round draft pick.

The later you are in your draft order, the more gambles you should take. Why? Because if you pay attention, you’re getting another starter off the waiver wire in a week or two. There’s always a breakout guy that no one’s talking about. (SEE “Morris, Alfred” and “Cruz, Victor”) Who will be that guy this year? If anyone knew, he wouldn’t be on the waiver wire Week 1.

6. You don’t HAVE to draft anyone.

We’ve all been down this road before. A guy you don’t like is the top ranked player on a board you didn’t rank yourself. You have an open slot at that position that you’re itching to fill. The clock is ticking. You really don’t like him. But you really need that position. You’re friends are making fun of you. It’s starting to get personal. You don’t want it to be your pick anymore. Screw it, you think, I’m taking this guy and going to cry in the bathroom.  A month later, you’re 0-4 and that old, washed up RB you picked has been supplanted by a rookie and sunk your season. I knew this was going to happen, you say, I just had to pick him there. No, you didn’t, the draft board is more than one player deep. Take the guys you like. You have to cheer for them anyway.

7. Who you don’t mock draft is probably more important than who you do pick.

This piece of advice came from my best friend Mark, who turned me on to the mock draft game. If you really like some guys, don’t draft them. That way you can look and see where they’re likely to go. You don’t get to use your mock draft team anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. This would not be a good strategy to take with you into your actual draft.

8. T.Y. Hilton is not the #2 receiver on the Colts. And his real name is Eugene.

T.Y. Hilton may be a good grab, but he’s not even the #2 receiver on the Colts’ depth chart.

A true story, despite what almost all the fantasy rankings will tell you. Every fantasy football expert is insisting Hilton is a better bet than the Colts’ real #2, Darrius Heyward-Bey. I’m not here to argue with them, but I’m also not going to argue with the Colts coaches. The lesson here: do your own pre-rankings. After the top few guys, no one really knows how things are going to turn out. It’s YOUR team, so trust YOUR gut. Didn’t all those experts tell us not to draft Adrian Peterson last year? That turned out well.

9. CLIF bars count as dinner.

When you really get sucked down the deep hole of mock draft addiction, sometimes you don’t have enough time for extravagant meals. Don’t forget to keep some quick meal replacements on hand.

10. If I just drafted guys to spite people, my team wouldn’t be very good but I would be able to spite a lot of people.

Don’t forget that there’s a difference between mock drafts and real drafts. One is to go to battle on a weekly basis and bask in the glory of a conquering warrior sitting on his couch watching the Red Zone. The other is to make fun of Gaskins.

By Lou Rusnock
Lou is four steps through the recovery program and a writer at Sports Unlimited.

Roger Federer Is The Best at Tennis

To those who watch the sport and those who do not, this is my humble plea for you to sit down and watch one, singular game or set or match and witness one of, if not the, greatest tennis players of all-time, at his best stage, Wimbledon, because Federer deserves the awe he inspires.

Federer Backhand at WimbledonRooting for Roger Federer over the past ten years has been, well, nice.  Because the man is just that, nice.  There is so little to dislike about him from his philanthropic endeavors to his adorable family to his flopping hair behind the headband.  Roger Federer is about as epitomic of an idol as one can find in the world of media driven sports these days with never-ceasing access to players’ lives.

Wimbledon LogoThis Wimbledon, we should all take a moment to consider how lucky we are to have been able to witness the era of Roger Federer and the brilliance of Rafa Nadal, the rise of Novak Djokovic and the ‘for-queen-and-country’ Andy Murray.  While all four players are truly great at the game of tennis, I find it hard not to pull for Federer with the smoothest of backhands that with one-handed ease makes fools of some of the best athletes in the world.

To those who watch the sport and those who do not, this is my humble plea for you to sit down and watch one, singular game or set or match and witness one of, if not the, greatest tennis players of all-time, at his best stage, Wimbledon, because Federer deserves the awe he inspires.

By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a Roger Admirer at

Position Tech Football Cleats System: Product Spotlight

The concept is innovative, the technology is remarkable, and the execution is, well… Heisman-worthy. Notch up your game with the Position Tech Football Cleats System. Whether you are using them to benefit your game for a specific position, an area of improvement, or an adjustment in playing style, these custom low-carbon-steel-tip cleats screw into your football shoes to improve traction and game-day performance.

Product Spotlight: Position Tech All-Pro Replacement Football Cleats

Position Tech Football Cleats Replacement System
The concept is innovative, the technology is remarkable, and the execution is, well… Heisman-worthy. Notch up your game with the Position Tech Football Cleats System. Whether you are using them to benefit your game for a specific position, an area of improvement, or an adjustment in playing style, these custom low-carbon-steel-tip cleats screw into your football shoes to improve traction and game-day performance.

Proven to increase traction by 20% over standard cleats, the Position Tech system is a favorite of players, teams and coaches at NFHS and NCAA levels (approved by both NFHS and NCAA). This pack gives advantages in the following areas: Speed, Agility, Power, and Balance. With specific cleat construction for each area, you can customize your configuration to best suit your needs as a player.

The Types:

Speed Cleats:Position Tech Speed

  • Anterior scoop improves vertical explosiveness
  • Lateral slashes bolster side-to-side acceleration

Agility Cleats:Position Tech Agility

  • Lateral scoops supplement swift change of direction
  • Anterior scoops augment cutting

Power Clears:Position Tech Power

  • Lateral wings enhance directional burst
  • Anterior power pocket boost primary move burst

Balance Cleats:Position Tech Balance

  • Posterior channels help with stabilization
  • Lateral grooves improve traction

The pack contains the following: 12 power cleats, 10 speed cleats, 6 agility cleats, 6 balance cleats, cleat wrench, and a guide for configuring every position on the field.

Configure any combination of speed, agility, power, and balance cleats to become like your NFL idol or a new prototypical player! What kind of player do you want to be?


By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

Sports Unlimited also offers smaller sets of Position Tech cleats designed specifically for…
Power & Balance
Power & Speed
Speed and Agility

Best Summer Games – A Top Five List

What better allows you to be a friend, teammate, competitor, host, and inspirer of happiness than summer lawn games?  Well, there probably are other things that lend better to those roles, but heck, summer games are fun and can bring together a family and friends!  I remember, in my younger summers, sitting in a low, striped polyester beach chair in the back yard, holding a glass of iced lemonade to my nape and watching my cousins blow bubbles in the sun.  That child, hot and bored, wished for something a bit more exciting and fifteen years later, I happily present to you, the top five backyard games for this summer.

5. Badminton

An Odd Garden Variant of TennisCarlton Shuttlecock

If you haven’t seen the game of badminton before, you’re missing something extraordinary.  Reminiscent of 19th century England, the game consists of lightweight racquets, a net, and the illustrious shuttlecock.  The (usually nylon) feathers of the shuttlecock provide drag so that it decelerates much quicker than a ball, which means, no out-of-the-park home runs for any over-excited players.  Hit the shuttlecock in the air over the net until it hits the ground!  Easy to set up in the back yard or in a park, lightweight, and affordable, badminton is a great way to involve anyone and everyone.  Cheerio!

Try the Franklin Elite Series 4 Player Badminton Set

4. Volleyball

Sick Dig Bro! Wilson Softplay Outdoor Volleyball

Another net game, volleyball is an incredibly fun way to get some exercise.  Setting and spiking competitively or leisurely tossing the ball back and forth, this game works for everyone.  Learning this game also can have advantages when you come across a game of indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, or even water volleyball.  Make some memories this summer with family games of backyard ball in the sun.

Recommended volley ball set – Park & Sun Spectrum Classic

3. Toss Games

Did You Say Cornhole?Bean Bag Toss - Cornhole Game

At my desk, there isn’t much in this world more enticing than being outside with some buddies, baseball game on the radio, and tossing a bean bag with a cold beverage in my free hand.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a fan of relaxing and taking advantage of the warmer months.  Sometimes referred to as tailgate games, toss games are simple and require little set up.  Usually in the form of a bean bag, players toss the object underhanded at a target.  Rules depend on the game being played, but the simplicity and the game-day feel of toss games definitely put them on the top five summer games list.

Fun bean bag game for the family – Corn Toss by Sport Design

2. Croquet

Through the Wickets and into the Stake, Old Sport!North Meadow Scottsdale Croquet Set

With origins dating back 400 years, croquet can transport you through time.  Well, no.  But it is exciting, classic, and perfect for some backyard Saturday fun.  Whether you’re sporting knickers and argyle socks or some under armour shorts, any day with reasonable weather is a perfect day for croquet.  I had fun playing this ball and mallet game as a kid at my grandparents’ house in Maine and this summer I will be definitely getting into some croquet mischief, putting on an English accent, creating new rules, and competing feverishly with my young nephews.  Undoubtedly a winner, croquet is perfect for backyard hangouts.

Best seller –  North Meadow Scottsdale 6-Player Croquet Set

1. Horseshoes

Summer Just Got a Bit LuckierWD Horseshoe

Albeit strange, pitching oversized shoes of a horse is cool.  Ancient Grecians tossed them when they couldn’t afford a discus.  Soldiers threw mule shoes in Union Camps during the Civil War.  Abounded in history, horseshoes is a game everyone knows and playing it is easier than ever today.  All you need is two stakes and some horseshoes to pitch.  The skillful pitch of the shoe is not something that demands tremendous physical ability, which makes it perfect for players of all ages.  Backyard or in the sand, horseshoes defines the summer as the epitome of relaxing, fun, and memorable!

One of the best horseshoe sets around – WD Horseshoe Co. Glory Set

Now, where’s my lemonade?

By Isaac Clark

Isaac is a Lemonade Lover at Sports Unlimited.

Product spotlight: Croquet anyone?


Let’s face it, there probably hasn’t been a time in your life when you’ve thought, “What I really wish I had right now was a nice croquet set.”

But there are some thoughts we have all the time – especially as summer approaches.

“How am I going to take advantage of this nice weather?”

“What am I going to do with the people coming to my barbecue this weekend?”

“Someone get these kids out of my house for an hour.”

“I hope I don’t run out of ketchup.”

OK, you’re on your own with that last one. But the answer to some of your other summer dilemmas may be something as simple as a croquet set. And one of the most popular items we carry at Sports Unlimited is the North Meadow Scottsdale 6-player set.

While many of us have played the game at a grandparent’s house or seen a set stashed in the corner of a garage, croquet is probably not at the top of your summer activity list. Maybe it’s time to change that.

Think about it. The rules are simple, it takes little time to set up, you can play anywhere and you can easily talk, eat and drink while playing.

The North Meadow Scottsdale 6-player Croquet Set is made in the USA.

Other than the fact that its made in the USA, what makes the North Meadow Scottsdale set so appealing is its quality. One of our best-selling items, this set is built to stand the test of time. And if you’re going to be using this to entertain guests, your kids or your kids’ kids, you want something that’s sturdy and won’t need replacing.

That’s the biggest advantage to choosing a quality set like this over a cheaper version. It won’t start breaking and bending after a few games and years later, you’ll still have a usable set. The mallets are made of hard maple wood, which looks great and ages well.

Also – and very importantly – this set comes with a rule book. Without that, many of us wouldn’t even know where to start. But a quick scan of the rules will easily get you on your way. Then you can start setting up the  two 24-inch goal stakes and the nine square poly-coated steel wickets that come in their own storage sack.

After that, you can roll out the six colorful 3 5/16-inch balls and start whacking them with any of the six 30-inch mallets with  8 1/2-inch heads.

After a game or two, pack it all up in the nylon carrying bag and get back to manning the grill or taking an afternoon nap.

Odds are you’ve barely broken a sweat and accomplished your goal of getting outside for a little bit.

By Lou Rusnock
Lou is a writer at Sports Unlimited.

Making adjustable basketball hoops a slam dunk

It was undoubtedly the highlight of my driveway basketball career – the day I could finally dunk on a 10-foot rim.

Jerome Lane wowed Bill Raftery with his dunking power.

I can still remember it today, nearly 15 years later. Timing out my steps, taking off on my right foot, throwing my sisters’ women’s sized basketball through the hoop and feeling the rim hit my fingers. Months of practice had paid off, and I couldn’t wait to show my dad after he got home from work.

I waited for him, practicing the routine and anticipating what he would say. When he finally pulled into the garage, I was ready. I bounded across the driveway, elevated, slammed the ball… and tore the rim straight off the backboard.

My dad’s reaction: “Great” accompanied by an exasperated look.

Not exactly Bill Raftery and not quite what I’d pictured.

Basketball systems have come a long way since then. And whether you’re looking to put up a hoop to get you through a few years or one to practice like an NBA All-Star, Sports Unlimited has something for you. After choosing our top five favorites a few years ago, here’s a look at a variety of our top picks for adjustable hoops to suit any budget.

UNDER $500


five star

One of our least expensive systems, the Five-Star Intruder won’t take up a lot of space in the driveway but will give you a reliable hoop. The system comes with a 3″ round pole, a 30″x44″ clear acrylic backboard, a flex rim and a backboard pad. An EZ Crank Height Adjuster will allow you to vary the rim height between 7.5′ and 10′ and a three-foot deep footing will secure the pole. If you’re just starting out, this pole is a great option.



The Spalding NBA 88355 is an affordable hoop from same quality manufacturer the NBA trusts. Slightly larger than NBA88355the Five-Star Intruder, this system comes with a 50″ acrylic backboard that’s perfect for young players to start on. It has 1/2″ support arms to provide sturdiness and realistic rebounding and is adjustable from 7.5′-10′ feet in six-inch increments. The three piece system is easy to set up and includes a 3.5″ round steel pole that goes directly into the ground.


An upgrade on the 88355, this basketball hoop won’t break your budget and won’t break down with heavy use. Constructed using a 4-inch square pole, the 88365 is more supportive than most other poles in its price range. It can also stand up to Mother Nature thanks to rust-resistant powder coated steel components. The backboard is slightly bigger than our other picks in this range, measuring 32″x54″, and is made from acrylic. It’s also equipped with Spalding’s U-Turn lift system to easily adjust from 7.5′ to 10′.

UNDER $1000


First Team champ III

One of the most important things to look for in a basketball system is rigidity and First Team offers that with its Champ III Adjustable Basketball Hoop. This hoop includes a 4″x4″, 11-gauge steel pole that’s heavier than most others. That means your 36″x54″ acrylic backboard will stay firm when you’re looking to bank home a winning shot. The Insta-Just height adjustment doesn’t require any tools and will allow you to set the rim from 7.5′ to 10′ for various levels of play. As an added bonus it comes with First Team’s Lifetime Superior Warranty, which covers any damage or failure caused by basketball activity.


Bison smokedAs soon as your hoop is up, you’re going to want to have your friends over to play. Imagine their look when they see the styling of the Smoked Lottery Pick Adjustable Basketball Hoop from Bison. The smoked tempered glass tinted backboard does more than look the part. It also provides some function, reducing the sun’s glare on bright days. The hoop adjusts from 7.5′ to 10′ and has a 30″ offset, so there’s room to battle under the boards without fear of banging into the pole. The pole is mounted with a direct barrier 30 inches into the ground. This hoop includes a Lifetime Limited Warranty from Bison to cover damage from “normal or intended use.”


game changerA new kid on the block, the GameChanger GC44-LG Adjustable Basketball System offers incredible value. Its 4″x4″ pole is one solid piece, providing superior strength to the two-piece pole used by most competitors. Unlike the systems above, this hoop is made to go with you if you move thanks to its anchor bolt mounting system. Like its competitors, the GC44-LG adjusts from 7.5′ to 10′ and has a 30″ offset. It also comes with a breakaway rim and post and backboard pads for maximum safety. Each hoop has black powder coat paint to resist harsh weather conditions and GameChanger’s lifetime warranty makes it a strong choice.

OVER $1000


tripleeightWhen you enter the highest price range you get some bells and whistles and the Triple Eight Series doesn’t disappoint. In fact, we like this series so much at Sports Unlimited that we’re installing its big brother behind our warehouse later this week. What makes it special? How about the 3/8″ tempered glass that will provide true rebounds off the 54″x36″ backboard. Or maybe its the durability of a 5″ square steel pole, covered with an accompanying pole pad, that will offer strong support. Spalding is the officially-licensed brand of the NBA and this backboard has the sticker to prove it. The stainless steel poles won’t rust and a 3′ board offset gives you plenty of room to do your best Dr. J impression to wow your friends. You can do that at a variety of heights as this system adjusts from 7.5′ to 10′.


If you lie in bed late at night dreaming of walking across the stage and shaking hands with David Stern, then you may arena viewwant to invest in a Spalding Arena View. The unique design of the support bars, which attach to the widest part of the backboard, will offer unmatched rigidity to give you a true feel on the 1/2″ tempered glass. A 60″x38″ backboard will allow you enough space to practice this with a 180-degree breakaway rim to protect from injury. Like the Triple Eight Series, the Arena View also has a 3′ offset and has the U-Turn Pro lift system to make it easy to adjust it from 7.5′-10′. Its also NBA licensed and comes with a stadium-style pole pad.


triple threatFor maximum features at a great price, look no further than the Triple Threat TPT664-XXL. A 6″ square post and a 42″x72″ backboard are the same specs used by the pros. One of its best features is that it adjusts from 10′ all the way down to 5.5′ so you can get started early on grooming the next Lebron. The basket features a 4′ offset to keep you away from the pole and also comes with post and backboard pads for added safety. A galvanized WeatherShield undercoat and black powder top coat make this system weather-proof and it also has a bolt down anchor base so it can move along with you.

By Lou Rusnock
Lou is a writer at Sports Unlimited.