Checked that calendar lately?
No, not the one that shows there are seven weeks to Super Bowl weekend. The one that says Christmas is just 18 shopping days away.
Yes, that is the feeling of pure panic you are experiencing. So much shopping to do. So little time to do it.
But don't worry. You've come to the right place. Especially if there are sports-minded people on your list. Thanks to the miracles of modern technology -- catalog houses, overnight delivery services, credit cards, and "1-800" phone numbers -- you can shop 'til you drop and almost never leave home.
A few suggestions:
Goodbye, pencil: Norm Thompson's Caddy Plus sounds like just the thing for shoppers looking for a $25 item for a golfer. The electronic scorecard fits the hand like a stopwatch and can be programmed for each course. Item 8192 from Box 3999, Portland, Ore. 97208 or 1-800-547-1160.
To kill for: The J. Peterman Catalog, which is more fun to read than most books you'll get for Christmas, says that "In Prague or Liverpool, they'd kill for a jacket like this. It's something they caught a glimpse of in every other American movie they ever saw."
It's the high school team jacket (they call it the "American Baseball Jacket"). This one (Page 104 of the Winter 1990 issue) is green wool with "soft brown cowhide sleeves . . . ribbed cuffs, collar and bottom hem . . . traditional metal snap closures." It's $188 from Box 55903, Lexington, Ky. 40555-9979 or 1-800-231-7341.
Phony phish: Ah! The old wiggling bass on the wall trick. There's this 16-inch bass mounted on a "simulated wood" board that you hang on the wall. The gag is that when you clap your hands "the fish wriggles like it was still on the hook." The catalogue says the $49.95 gadget is "sure to produce smiles (and gasps) from the unsuspecting." Item XB3536 from Orvis, Box 12000, Roanoke, Va., or 1-800-541-8001.
Hot feet: Just the thing to keep your tootsies toasty at Rich Stadium. Battery-powered electric socks from Sporty's, Batavia, Ohio 45103 or 1-800-543-8633. $18.50 per pair. Item 2404T.
Doggone: Why get a little kid an ordinary stuffed toy when for $40 you can give "Johnny," a plush huskie named for Iditarod racer Dee Dee Jonrowe's lead sled dog. It comes complete with little boots and a blanket. Item N22 016 2815 from Eddie Bauer, Box 3700, Seattle, Wash. 98124-3700 or 1-800-426-8020.
Seat of comfort: You say you'd probably use that exercise bike more if you didn't get so darn sore pedaling the thing? Maybe the "Easyseat", a two-cushion number with no middle horn, is what you've been looking for. The "Solutions" catalogue says you'll "get freer leg action while eliminating the possibility of chafing." It's a $25 item (No. 5812) or $43 with the optional sheepskin covers (No. 5813) from Box 6878, Portland, Ore. 97228 or 1-800-342-9988.
Boxing day: Box without getting hurt. This $69 Battling Boxers toy (LTM612) has two 10-inch fighters whose arms are controlled by pneumatic tubes connected to boxing gloves that go on your hands. "The force and motion of your swing in the air determines how hard and in what direction your boxer hits" says the Sharp er Image catalog. From 650 Davis St., San Francisco, Calif. 94111 or 1-800-344-4444.
Best wagering wishes: New York State Lottery tickets and Off-Track Betting gift certificates in any amount are available at any OTB parlor.
Party time: Few Super Bowl parties would be complete without an "NFL Snack Helmet" from Enticements. The top is hollowed out to hold chips while the face mask holds a dish for dips. It's $54.95 (Item 4426) from Box 4040, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802-4040 or 1-800-243-4040.
Sports videos: The Legend of Stan the Man Musial. $19.95 from TMM Inc., 136 East 57th St., New York, N.Y. 10022 or 1-800-728-6333. . . . NFL Follies. $14.95 (Item 4321) from Enticements, Box 4040, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802-4040 or 1-800-243-4040. . . . Super Bowl Highlights, a six-volume set of tapes covering Bowls I through XXIV, $119.98 from Media Home Entertainment at 1-800-NFL-TAPE. . . . Modern Legends of Baseball. Newsreel footage of the great players and games from 1951 through 1967. $54.95 for three tapes. Item 37441W from Hammacher Schlemmer, 9180 Le Saint Drive, Fairfield, Ohio, 45014 or 1-800-543-3366. . . . The Travers Showdown at Saratoga. $24 from Harris Books & Videos, 5901 Montrose Road, Suite N-1209, Montrose, Md. 20852 or 1-800-835-2246, ext. 711.
Soft spots: "The older we get the better we were" and "Work is for people who don't know how to fish." On 12-inch square pillows. $19.50 each. Items XB1828-60 and XB1828-61 from Orvis, Box 12000, Roanoke, Va., or 1-800-541-8001.
Sports movies on tape: Damn Yankees (Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon. Item ALWHV035019, $59.95); The Babe Ruth Story (William Bendix and William Frawley, Item ALFOX007178, $19.98); The Natural (Robert Redford, Item ALRCA060380, $19.95); Bang the Drum Slowly (Robert DeNiro, Michael Moriarity, Item ALPAR008732, $14.95).
Requiem for a Heavyweight (Jack Palance, Keenan Wynn, Item ALWKV 001033, $14.95); Rocky (Sylvester Stallone, Item ALMGM200249, $16.95); Hoosiers (Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Item ALVES005191, $14.98); Black Stallion (Mickey Rooney, Item ALMGM201604, $19.95). All from Critics' Choice Video, Box 549, Elk Grove Village, Ill., 60009-0549 or 1-800-367-7765.
The Great One's: There's table hockey. And then there's "The Official NHL Wayne Gretzky's Overtime Hockey." The basic game, which "requires some assembly" costs $109.99. For an extra $44.99 you can get an accessory package with a clock, scoreboard, player benches and a referee. Child World and Toys "R" Us stores should have it. Or call KST International, 1-403-269-0976.
CORRECTION: 12-12-90 D5 "The correct number for KST International is 416-829-3787.
Books: The Information Please Sports Almanac, 672 pages of "The hottest collection of information about sports every year," sells for $6.95 at bookstores. You also can order from Houghton Mifflin Co., Burlington, Mass 01803 or 1-800-225-3362 . . . Golf Courses of the PGA Tour. "The ultimate armchair golf book takes you hole-by-hole through each course giving information of course records, past winners, plus tips from the world's greatest golfers. 303 pages, 42 maps. $39.95. Item 16745 from Signals, 274 Fillmore Ave. E., St. Paul, Minn. 55107 or 1-800-669-9696.
Sweatshirts: "Golf and sex are about the only things you can enjoy without being good at it." $19.95 (Item 3669) or "Golfaholics Anonymous" $29.95, (Item 2950) from Enticements, Box 4040, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802-4040 or 1-800-243-4040. . . . "All I want for Christmas is a hole in one." and "The secret of my success. I keep the score." $28 each. Items 1889 and 1890 from Boston Proper, Box 4040, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10802-4040 or 1-800-243-4300.
Under where? The Orvis collection of "world championship lightweight" boxer shorts has several sporty styles at $14.50 each. The most intriguing carries reprints of New York Times sports stories of famous events such as Nolan Ryan's 5,000th strikeout. Item X3552-10 from Orvis, Box 12000, Roanoke, Va., or 1-800-541-8001.
You never know: What if President Bush invited you to the White House for a game of horseshoes? You could practice up with World Wide Games' set of "Professional Horseshoes." For $44.95 you get two steel stakes, four drop-forged steel shoes, and instructions. Item A427 from Colchester, Conn. 06415 or 1-800-243-9232.
Get 'em: Weary of Sam Wyche? Disturbed by Mike Ditka? Take a shot at your least favorite NFL coach (or anybody else, for that matter) with this $15 dart board which lets you put pictures of your choice in the target. "A safe way to get even and release frustration," says Joan Cook Housewares, 3200 S.E. 14 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33316 or 1-800-327-3799.
Hear the fantasy: Imagine your favorite sports fan coming to bat in the seventh game of the World Series with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Or facing Martina's serve in center court at Wimbledon. Whatever the fantasy, you can make it happen for $70 on a simulated 20-minute radio broadcast from All Star Sports Tapes, Inc., 803 South 57th St., Omaha, Neb. 68106 or 1-402-978-4824.
Putt troubles aside: Practice your putting stroke indoors with a 9-foot long artificial putting green with "a built-in backstop to prevent off-target shots from rolling under furniture." The $79 green has three different holes and, according to Sharper Image "simulates the same tricky breaks and angles you encounter on the course." From 650 Davis St., San Francisco, Calif. 94111 or 1-800-344-4444.
Sign In: An authentic Rawlings baseball signed by a big star, plus a "wooden base with a brass nameplate and a clear protective cover for display." Mickey Mantle costs $99.95. Stan Musial is $89.95. For $69.95 you can get Hank Aaron, Jose Canseco, Mike Schmidt or Roger Clemens. Items 47708W through 47713W from Hammacher Schlemmer, 9180 Le Saint Drive, Fairfield, Ohio, 45014 or 1-800-543-3366.