We're pulling into the cold winter months now, which means family obligations, an onslaught of holiday TV specials and uncomfortable work parties. Fortunately, those aren't your only options. Escape the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder with our Weekend Preview, and avoid your 17th Ugly Sweater party.
. Santa Speedo Run
Saturday | Boston, MA
Do you like Santa Con but hate clothes? There’s good news, my friend – the 15th Annual Santa Speedo Run takes place this weekend. Last year over 700s Santa and Misses Klauses sprinted through the streets of Boston wearing nothing but their skivvies and a smile (and I guess maybe a beard?). The charity has so far raised over $1.6 million for children in need, which is good, because seeing a horde of naked Santas gasping for breath will probably ruin some childhoods. To find out how you can help, click here.
. Repeal Day
Friday | Participating locations around the country
On Friday, we celebrate the end of prohibition. Yes, it happened 81 years ago, but there’s no reason not to keep celebrating. Bars around the country are hosting Repeal Day events, so don your dustbowl-era clothes (or, if you’re more Fitzgerald and less Steinbeck, your jazz-age costumes), and head to one of the following: In Los Angeles, the 1933 Group is serving $1 cocktails during happy hour. Tampa’s chapter of the Bartenders’ Guild hosts a 4-day event capped by ‘one of the most glamorous parties of Tampa’ on Saturday at The Cuban Club, and Seattle’s Liberty Bar will have drink specials and an expert discussing drinking culture during Prohibition.
. Xtreme Xmas
Sunday | Denver, CO
When most people think of professional wrestling, they think of WWE. But the great thing about wrestling is there are just as many indie leagues full of weirdos to support. Head to the Watering Bowl in Denver this weekend for Xtreme Xmas, the year-end smackdown from Primos Hardcore & Wrestling. Tony ‘The Lost Soul’ Ortega and Primos founder Joey ‘Terrofyn’ McDougal are the headliners, but they have a stacked series of undercard matches, as well. You listen to indie music, you support local businesses, why not watch some homegrown wrestling?
. 2014 Holiday Ale Festival
Friday - Sunday | Portland, OR
Beer festivals happen every weekend, but this festival in Portland specifically celebrates winter ales that’ll keep you toasty warm. The event is held under a clear-top tent in downtown Portland (don’t worry, it’s heated), and features more than 50 winter ales, including a number of flavors that were brewed specifically for the Holiday Ale Festival. Stick around for Sunday Brunch and you’ll get to taste four special drafts not offered anywhere else at the festival and eat a variety of European-style delicacies.
. Roast Beast
Levi’s Stadium | Santa Clara, CA
The 49ers have enough Thanksgiving leftovers to carry into this weekend thanks to their Roast Beast (or LambPigCow), which consists of 24 quail, 12 chickens, 8 ducks, 6 turkeys, 2 lambs, a pig, and chestnut turkey sausage all wrapped in huge strips of Wagyu beef. And he, he himself, the Grinch carved the roast beast, and was then diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Be safe out there with all that meat, you guys.
. Polish Hill Pretzel
Consol Energy Center | Pittsburgh, PA
The Pittsburgh Penguins opened this season with a revamped concessions menu featuring items that highlight the multi-cultural Pittsburgh cuisine. And there's good news for fans of Eastern-European fare: the Polish Hill Pretzel brings a little bit of the old country to Pennsylvania. A caramelized pierogi, shaved Kielbasa, white American cheese and mustard in a pretzel bun. To find out more, including a calorie count (not as bad as you'd think!), click here.
. SEC Championship Game
Saturday at 3 | CBS
This weekend, No. 1 Alabama goes head-to-head with No. 16 Missouri in what will either be an amazing underdog story or a staggering defeat we all saw coming. Whether it’s an inspirational uprising or a complete massacre, it’s going to be interesting. If you don’t go to either school, you can pick a team to root for using our helpful guide. And if you want a more, uh, intelligent preview of the game, you can head to our College Football section.
. Jumbotron Prank
One of the most fun things about sporting events is getting to see yourself on the Jumbotron, right? Well we decided to test just how fun that experience actually is by putting one fan up on the jumbotron for an entire game. It got real uncomfortable real fast.
. Bill Burr’s I’m Sorry You Feel That Way
Friday | Netflix
No one has ever accused Bill Burr of being soft-spoken, and that certainly holds true in his new special for Netflix, out Friday. If you’re a sports fan, you’re probably already familiar with Burr, who recently appeared on Conan and talked about the NFL and charities. Burr has more opinions on sports, Donald Sterling, and more in I’m Sorry You Feel That Way. You can find out more about the special right here.
. Sneaker Con
Saturday | New York, NY
‘The Greatest Sneaker Show On Earth’ returns to New York this weekend in plenty of time for you to stock up on gifts for your friends and family. This year’s event will be held at NYC’s Javits Center after rapidly outgrowing all its previous venues. Sneaker Con is a traveling buy-sell-trade event specializing in hard-to-get kicks. Former New York Knick Penny Hardaway headlines this year’s Con as the first ever ‘Sneaker Con Legend.’ We’ll be covering the event all weekend over on SI Sneakers.
. Tim Howard’s Memoir
$19.25 | amazon.com
Tim Howard was unarguably the breakout star of this year’s World Cup. According to Amazon, “The Keeper recalls his childhood, being raised by a single mother who instilled in him a love of sports and a devout Christian faith that helped him cope when he was diagnosed with Tourette’s in the fifth grade. He looks back over his 15-year professional career -- from becoming the youngest player to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year to his storied move to the English Premier League with Manchester United and his current team, Liverpool’s Everton, to becoming an overnight star after his record-making performance with the United States Men’s National Team.”
. The Crew
$59.99 | gamestop.com
The plot is pretty thin, the location details aren’t true-to-life, and the opponent difficulty is all over the map, but The Crew is a solid purchase if only because it doesn’t try to fit the mold of a traditional racing game. First of all, the territory is immense; in terms of the sheer amount of driveable content, it’s almost overwhelming how many options there are to unlock all over the US. This is important – this is as much a road-tripping game as a racing game. From the wide variety of scenery you’ll see to the game’s emphasis on playing with other people, it feels as much like a vacation as a race.
. SI’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
You might be an adult, but let’s be real - you want to unwrap toys this year. While you might have outgrown that old Buzz Lightyear in your room (lol no you haven’t), we’ve got plenty of toys for grown-up sports lovers in our Holiday Gift Guide. Simply send this along to all your relatives so you don’t have to fake-smile while opening your 15th iTunes gift card.