SBJ/20081208/Holiday Gifts

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and … Kindle?

What books, CDs, DVDs or gadgets do you hope to receive for the holidays, and what will you be buying as gifts?

David Hill
Chairman & CEO
Fox Sports Television Group

The gadget which I’ve been dropping hints about getting for a month is a Kindle.

Mimi Griffin
President
MSG Promotions Inc.

I would like to receive:
“Second to None: The National Championship Teams of the Tennessee Lady Vols,” by Alan Ross
“This Christmas” (Aretha Franklin’s first Christmas CD)
The DVD “Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team”

I will be giving:
“From the Heart: Eight Rules to Live By,” by Robin Roberts
“The Ultimate Luther Vandross” CD
The DVD “Whale Rider” (a great metaphor for women working in the sports world)

Randy Vataha
President
Game Plan LLC

I would like to get the Apple TV unit to play videos from my computer on my TV. As far as gifts, I am going to be giving iPhones to everyone so that Apple stock will go back up.

Alex Baldwin
Senior Vice President
Fenway Sports Group

Hoping to receive the following books this holiday season:
 “Outliers,” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor From Simple Ingredients,” a cookbook by Ina Garten

Rick Perko
President
Immersion Media

I hope to receive Ivan Doig’s “The Eleventh Man” novel. It centers on Montana, football and World War II. I also need a pair of size 14 running shoes with motion control features (I consider this to be a gadget).

I will give Imperial Teen’s new CD, “The Hair, the TV, the Baby and the Band” (they have a great drummer). To my nephews, I will give “The Adventures of Chuck Manly” DVD.

Alex Waldrop
President & CEO
National Thoroughbred Racing Association

For my younger son: A Les Paul classic white electric guitar

For my college-age son: Winter term in Vietnam

For my business travels: The new iPod Touch

For my reading list: “The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope,” by Jonathan Alter

Randy Eccker
CEO
XOS Technologies Inc.

As for gadgets, I just received my new iPhone from our IT manager and am loving the new technology. Looking forward to connecting to iTunes and having some music to travel with. I have a daughter, a self-proclaimed geek, who will love receiving one as well. My kids have been iPod and iPod Touch users for some time, so it’s not often I get to jump ahead of them with the use of technology.

As a gift, I just received a copy of “Pleased But Not Satisfied,” by D.L. Sokol (recipient of AFCA’s 2008 CEO Coach of the Year Award), which I am looking forward to reading. With my iPhone, I plan on pulling down the new Eagles CD, Garth Brooks Live album and some of my favorite Van Morrison music.

Sunil Gulati
President,
U.S. Soccer Federation and Kraft Soccer Properties

Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to give or receive. I’d like to read “The White Tiger,” by Aravind Adiga, the 2008 Booker Prize winner. It’s had great reviews and tells the tale of two Indias — always a subject of some fascination for me — so I’ll probably buy it for my parents and hope my wife buys me a copy. In addition, I’m going to give my wife a Slingbox and hope she gives me one. That way, the office and home are both covered.

Denise Conroy-Galley
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Research
Outdoor Channel

I’m hoping someone will give me a Kindle, the handheld wireless device by Amazon that allows you to download books, newspapers and magazines. I’m a bookworm and a traveler, and this ensures I will never run out of reading material on a trip.

As far as books, I have quite a few on my wish list:
 “The End of Laissez-Faire,” by John Maynard Keynes
“Essays in Persuasion,” by John Maynard Keynes
“Just After Sunset,” by Stephen King
“The Wordy Shipmates,” by Sarah Vowell
“The Post-American World,” by Fareed Zakaria
“Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy,” by Martin Lindstrom

Rob Correa
Executive Vice President, Programming
CBS

Garmin, so I can find my way to the new Mets stadium. No gifts this year. I am taking my family to Cancun for Christmas.

Scott Pioli
Vice President of Player Personnel
New England Patriots

What I hope to receive:
A turntable and new sound system for my home office. I still have all of my old personal vinyl, my dad’s jazz albums, my mom’s collection of her 45s from the ’50s and Grandma Pioli’s collection of 78s (Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dino, Big Band and Puccini)

An early copy of Springsteen’s new CD (“Working on a Dream”), scheduled to come out in February

Book: Actually, what I would like is free time to read the books that I have accumulated in my home.

What I will be giving:
I just purchased 15 copies of Billie Jean King’s “Pressure Is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned From Life and the Battle of the Sexes” to give to family and friends. In fact, I received a signed copy coming from Billie Jean for my daughter, Mia.

CDs: I make my own and give them to family and friends. Over the course of the year, I create my own playlists for my iPod. Around Christmas, I burn copies of the best playlists and/or most meaningful ones.

Dan Meis
Partner & Design Director
Meis Architects

Well, I am kind of a gadget junkie, so I tend to spoil gift opportunities by treating myself before family or friends can get around to it. One of my favorite recent acquisitions is the Slingbox Pro, which allows me access to my DirecTV (and NFL Sunday Ticket) anywhere in the world on my laptop! I recently watched the China F1 race and an Eagles game while traveling in Bahrain.

I have some quirky wants: I have a vintage electric football game (the kind where the pitch vibrates). I recently found an eBay seller who produces custom teams with paint and numbers (’90s Broncos with John Elway, Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain, San Francisco’s Montana/Dwight Clark, etc.). I have been asking for a couple of teams.

I also have an extensive collection of vintage books and am always on the hunt for rare books on sports and stadiums around the world. I usually am the bird dog and point my wife in the general direction.

Jim Steeg
Executive Vice President & COO
San Diego Chargers

Books that I am looking forward to getting, giving and reading:
“The Galloping Ghost,” by Gary Andrew Poole
 “Lyrics 1964-2008,” by Paul Simon
“The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court,” by Jeffrey Toobin
 “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” by Jon Meacham

Technological items I hope to get, give and explore: a Kindle, a Wii, Blu-ray disc player and a new camera.

This is the first installment in a series on what gifts top sports executives are asking for and giving for the holidays. Responses were compiled by New York bureau chief Jerry Kavanagh.
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