Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009
A holiday feature: Stuff you don't need


This post was not inspired by former Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Matt Roth.

But he'll be a big part of it once I explain what I'm up to.

While flying from Buffalo to Boston early Saturday morning I couldn't sleep because the armrest jockey next to me had sharpened elbows like Bill Laimbeer. And wouldn't you know it, I didn't bring a darn thing to read. So there, in the seatback pocket, were the safety card, a barf bag and the SkyMall catalog.

After reading and re-reading the safety card and barf bag, somewhere near Schenectady I had no choice but to grab the catalog. Within those pages, at least the ones not stuck together by some stealthy passenger's discarded Freedent, are the objects of American excess.

A canine genealogy kit (page 24). A marshmallow bazooka (Page 39). A foot tanning machine to remove sock lines (Page 67). A largemouth bass to mount on your trailer hitch (Page 72).

But what struck me was the 8-by-10 facsimile autographed photo of 31 available NFL players, complete with your choice of greeting -- My #1 Fan, Best Wishes, Be the Best -- and personalized for your gift-giving pleasure (Page 49). All for the discount price of $27.99.

I don't know what's worse for a kid: unwrapping the gift and knowing immediately that Tom Brady never touched it, or realizing after months -- or years -- that Uncle Larry hadn't actually run into Brady at Knotsberry Farm and thought of you after all.

With that in mind and the holiday shopping season upon us, I decided to begin a seasonal feature called "Stuff You Don't Need," a periodic service to let you know about merchandise that truly exists.

And that's where we come back to Roth, whom the Dolphins waived Tuesday.

When making my rounds on the Internet recently, I stumbled across Roth's official site, MattRoth98.com. Guess who has merchandise.

After reviewing all of the items for purchase, my recommendation is the MattRoth98 mousepad for $20.99. This thing is lifelike. Your mouse will roll all over it.

Check back for more frivolous shopping suggestions. If you have ideas you want to share, please drop a line in the AFC East mailbag or the comments section below.