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The Short List

The perfect gifts for three NFL superstars

The holidays are here, and it's time to do some last-minute shopping for the famous athletes on your list! Some of them have been naughty, some of them have been nice, but save those lumps of coal for a summertime barbecue. 'Tis the season to grant wishes that plunge you into credit-card debt, and even the most pampered stars of sport deserve a little dose of holiday cheer. So, without further ado…

Ricky Williams: It was written in these very pages that Ricky qualified as one of the year's biggest turkeys for abandoning the Miami Dolphins on the eve of training camp and proceeding to negotiate his way back into football, presumably as a member of the Oakland Raiders. What a difference a day can make -- just ask New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who thought he had Randy Johnson in the bag until the Dodgers put the proposed trade on life support. Not 24-hours after calling Ricky that most foul of fowls, he backed up his pledge to shun the NFL and refused to accept a deal negotiated by his agent that would have had him back in uniform for 2005. Tada! Integrity restored. Granted, he should have given the 'Fins a fair warning, but he's remained true to his word, and if the man doesn't want to play football for a living, who among us has earned the right to say that he should? So, for Ricky Williams, soon to be the most famous holistic healer in history, a brand new bong and a fat sack of you-know-what.

Michael Vick: What do you get for the man who needs nothing? A money clip, of course! Vick, who just yesterday received the sweetest gift in NFL history -- a whopping 10-year, $130-million contract that all but ensures he will retire a Falcon -- isn't exactly hurting for… well, anything. The only question is whether the deal will be as sweet to Atlanta as it will be to its fleet-footed quarterback. Vick may yet be the best mobile QB in NFL history, though his statistics through four NFL seasons don't put him on a par with Steve McNair or Donovan McNabb just yet. Still, there's every reason to believe that his game will continue to improve, and if it does, the Falcons will boast the game's most intriguing playmaker at one of its most important position for the next decade. But there's just as much reason that Vick, a pedestrian passer by NFL standards, will eventually have to hang up his running shoes thanks to the wear and tear that comes with the job. Quarterbacks have this tendency to get pummeled -- just ask McNair -- and should Vick sustain another serious knee injury, it'll be interesting to watch him win games through the air. And, for Dirty Birds booster, potentially tragic.

Terrell Owens: A pair of Speedos. Like him or not, T.O. has revitalized the Philadelphia Eages, established an on-field rapport with Donovan McNabb and given the Philly faithful cause to be positive for once. His reward? A first-class ticket to the sidelines, where he will be nursing an ankle injury, at least until the Super Bowl. He insists that through strict adherence to his rehab regimen and plenty of dips into the pool, he'll be back to help his Eagles soar. You have to root for the guy, arrogant ass though he may be, if only to give the NFC some hope of wresting the Vince Lombardi trophy from the grips of the New England Patriots.