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Gift Guide: Jeff’s Picks

Our resident fantasy football wiz and live music buff shares his picks for the season:

With the NBA season in serious jeopardy, my wife’s already difficult task of buying my December birthday and Christmas gifts this year has become damn near impossible.

Clothes are no fun, I’ll never wait three months to buy Madden, and I always end up buying tickets for any concert I want to go to the minute they go on sale to avoid going the StubHub route for decent seats.

I’m not easy. and I’m sure she would echo my sentiments. NBA tickets could have been her saving grace this year. I understand I’m in a huge minority of people that are upset that the NBA may cancel its season, but have you watched any Eagles games?

Tickets to any Sixers game or a Saturday trip to NYC to see the Knicks would have been great gifts, but I’m closer to signing a long-term record deal than NBA Commissioner David Stern and the players union are to ending the lockout.

So what are some gift ideas for the sports and music fan that buys everything they want when it goes on sale?

Locally, there are a lot of decent options for gift-buyers.

image from web.minorleaguebaseball.comOver the past two seasons, no Double-A baseball team has drawn as much national buzz as the Harrisburg Senators. Minor league affiliates of the Washington Nationals, the Senators have been used to develop top draft picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper and rehab 14-time all-star Ivan Rodriguez.

The Senators recently announced numerous different multi-game ticket packages for as little as $50. Buying for a baseball fan? Look no further than City Island.

While it seems like the Eagles will be watching the playoffs from home, barring an epic collapse the Steelers seem poised for another late season run. Playoff tickets are always a great idea if you have the money.

image from www.vibe.comSpeaking of “if you have the money,” the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers are rumored to be opening stock sale to fans for the first time since 1997. Sounds boring, right? Not so fast.

The Packers are the only publicly-owned team in the NFL and each stockholder can legitimately consider themselves an NFL-owner. It may seem on the surface like burning $200 since shares have no cash value and are non-transferrable, but I’m sure most guys would love to introduce themselves as an NFL owner.

image from www.harrisburgsymphony.orgLooking for a music gift? Concert tickets are always great and Hershey always gets the big arena and stadium tours but Greenbelt Events recently floated the idea to sell laminated and personalized passes that would get you into every show at the Abbey Bar for one price. The Abbey Bar is a great place to see a show and you wouldn’t have to attend many concerts before you made your money back. Update: Buy the 2012 Season pass for just $99.

image from www.aroogas.comLastly, if you’re really stuck and it gets to be Dec. 23 and you are still clueless, head over to Arooga’s and pick up a gift-card. With the news that they are opening a 2nd Street location early next year, it seems like no one in the greater Harrisburg area will live or work more than 10 minutes from an Arooga’s location, and that’s not a bad thing.

Until next year — Happy Holidays!


Gift Guide: Kelly’s Picks

image from a1.twimg.comKelly Leighton writes for about her two favorite activities: running and drinking (rarely together). Her gift guide reflects the needs of the active 20-something on your list.

image from toystoreforkids.com1. Massage – This is a great gift for anyone, but your favorite runner will especially appreciate the extra attention to his or her beat up body (I know I do!). There are plenty of local spas to cater to your needs, including Polished Day Spa in Lemoyne, The Spa at the Hotel Hershey and Laguna Pointe Day Resort.

2. Bananagrams – My favorite game! Fortunately, it’s appropriate for all ages, as you don’t have to always play it my way. You can order a set online at or pick up the game at That Game Place in Lemoyne or Toys on the Square in Hummelstown.

image from pabakery.com3. Baked goods – Every runner knows about the importance of carbohydrate loading. Pennsylvania Bakery offers a variety of delicious homemade breads and pastries that will help power them through their next workout. Try the Cinnamon Swirl Bread or the Elephant Ear – you can't go wrong.

4. Spirits tasting – Present your favorite of-age friend or relative with the makings of his/her own vodka tasting? Pinnacle, Smirnoff and Three Olives are just a few of the brands that offer a wide selection of flavors now. Stop by your local Fine Wine and Good Spirits store and pick up a few bottles. I love the gummy vodka. (You can also do the same with affordable wines – pick pre-made flights of all reds or all whites, or simply mix it up!) P.S. Don’t forget the snacks! Pretzels, popcorn, crackers and cheese make great palate cleansers and nibbles.

image from

image from www.aerotechdesigns.com5. Spibelt – I used to mock these at first because they are essentially a fanny pack for runners, but ever since receiving one, I have changed my tune. It holds my cell phone, keys, shot blocks and there’s still room for more. It’s lightweight and I honestly forget that I even have it on. This is a must for even the casual runner on your list – and it comes in loads of color combinations.


Celtic Thunder hits Hershey Nov. 27

image from www.sweetslyrics.comTis the season! Fans of Irish music looking to get into the holiday spirit need to look no further than the Hershey Theatre on Sunday when Celtic Thunder rolls into town.

Beginning at 7:30 p.m., "The Celtic Thunder Christmas Tour" will ensure that all attendees are in the holiday spirit with an Irish twist.

Ryan Kelly, a member of Celtic Thunder, said the audience can expect to be entertained for the entire show. "We say here in Ireland, that we try to always 'enjoy the craic,' and I think the one thing anyone can pretty much bank on when they come to a Celtic Thunder show is that they will 'enjoy the craic.'" (Author's note: 'Enjoy the craic' is slang for having fun.)


CATEGORIES: Hershey, Holiday, Music, Theatre

Weekend Roundup: Thanksgiving Edition

Pretty sure someone cheated at Trivial PursuitHappy Thanksgiving!

This morning, I am running my first Turkey Trot 5K, so first I’m thankful for my legs. I’m also thankful for my family, good health and so many loyal readers! I wish you all a warm and delicious Thanksgiving weekend.

I’ve broken down today’s Weekend Roundup a little differently to try to best help you pick your outing, whether you’re eating out today, are toting around little ones or plan to hit the nightlife scene with old friends.

Meanwhile, look for my usual “Out with Sara” column in tomorrow’s The Patriot-News, where I’ll have some non-shopping alternatives to your Black Friday.

For fun: What are you thankful for this year? What does your long weekend entail?


Reduce injury risk with crosstraining

Kelly <3 her bikeI am very good at injuring myself.

This first became evident at the ripe old age of two. After developing a habit of climbing into the cupboard and eating entire containers of sprinkles, my parents hid the delicious goodies on top of a shelving unit against the stairs in the basement. Even at that age, I was pretty sly, so I found them rather quickly. I climbed down the first step of the stairs, reached over the railing for the rainbow-colored toppings and promptly fell over the railing onto the unfinished basement floor.

It's only gotten better from there, from falling out of a non-moving van and cracking my head open (I actually have a "dent" in my skull from this), to falling down a flight of stairs head first and putting my head through the wall, to developing a stress fracture on my pelvis, injuries just seems to follow me.

Now, throw running into the mix. It doesn't bode well, as more than half of normal runners (I've read everywhere from 60 to 80 percent) become injured EACH YEAR.

So, needless to say, when I first started training for the Steamtown Marathon, I was terrified I would somehow injure myself and be unable to run.


CATEGORIES: Running, Sports

Looking ahead to Fantasy Football playoffs

image from www.fantasypostseason.comIn recent years, 11 weeks into the NFL season meant it was time to start looking ahead to the Philadelphia Eagles potential road to the Super Bowl.

This season, even though the Eagles show up every few weeks to restore my false hope (see: Week 8 and Week 11), I am certain there will be no January heartbreak for better or worse.

This year's Eagles team can be compared to most of Adam Sandler's recent movies – great cast, previews look good, but dreadful to watch all the way through. Disagree? Try to sit through Grown Ups.

Thankfully, my fantasy football teams have a far better outlook. In five leagues (don't judge me), my teams are a combined 41-14 and barring any drastic injuries, all headed for the playoffs. A stat like that really does a number on the "fantasy football is all luck" argument.

With fantasy football playoffs only a week or two away, every lineup move and roster decision you make could make or break your season.

Click through for more fantasy football advice from Jeff.



Giveaway: Arooga’s

Soon to be Arooga's Draft House & Sports Bar**Congrats to Brian O., winner of the Arooga’s prize pack!**

Just last week, we broke news that Arooga’s will expand to downtown Harrisburg in the new year. Easily one of the area’s fastest growing, locally owned chains, Arooga’s is your home away from home for NFL games and so much more.

Each location is a Certified Green Restaurant boasting a crazy ratio of TVs to barstools, a huge menu and its own draft beer (Arooga’s Light). They have specials for nearly every event (and every day of the week), plus they carry special Pay-Per-View events like UFC and boxing.

This week, Arooga’s is giving away a $35 Arooga’s gift card, 1 growler (unfilled) and an Arooga’s t-shirt to one lucky reader.

To enter to win the Arooga’s prize pack, leave a comment below telling us your favorite sporting event.

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. A winner will be selected at random at the end of the week.


Healthy Holiday Eating

image from www.marieclaire.comWith Thanksgiving this week, and Christmas around the corner, healthy eating tends to be put on hold "just for the holidays." (Hello, New Year's resolutions!) Personally, I'm a huge fan of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, and I've found myself in a food coma on one too many holidays.

I spoke with Sarah Glunz, an in-store nutritionist at Giant, and asked her to give me some tips on how to enjoy the holidays without going overboard.

Glunz first suggested making a plan for the holiday meal. People tend to go into a holiday meal and think, "I can't follow my normal plan, so I won't follow one at all," and throw it out the window, she said. However, this often leads to overeating. Glunz recommended that you adapt your normal eating plan and accept that more starches will happen at a holiday meal, but you don't have to go overboard.


CATEGORIES: Food/Drink, Holiday

It’s official! Arooga’s to open in downtown Harrisburg

AroogasAfter a flurry of internet chit-chat this morning, I can now officially announce:

Wing king and local sports bar giant, Arooga’s, is coming to Second Street. They will be taking over the space at the corner of Second and Locust Streets in downtown Harrisburg – the former location of Spice (now closed), Fisaga and once upon a time, The Gazebo Room.

This new Arooga’s will be a new concept they’ve developed for urban areas. You’ll find a sleeker menu, more draft beer options, lots of high-top tables. It will be called Arooga’s Draft House & Sports Bar.

It also will be the first Certified Green Restaurant downtown.

It’s slated to open in the first quarter of 2012, perhaps even by late January.

This week on

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CATEGORIES: Bloggers, Sara Bozich

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