On this day in 1961, ABC’s Wide World of Sports premiered its debut broadcast. Through its 45-year run, many a Saturday afternoon was whiled away with Dad savoring the thrill of victory and grimacing over the agony of defeat.
The show’s first broadcast featured two track and field events, the Penn Relay in Philadelphia, PA, and the Drake Relay from Des Moines, IA. These events helped define the format of the program, which was to showcase sports that usually did not get television coverage in the pre-ESPN days, with a diverse list of events including surfing, curling, badminton and even cliff diving.
Initially intended to be a summer fill-in program until the fall football season began, Wide World of Sports became unexpectedly popular. The show was the first to televise events that are widely watched today, such as the Indianapolis 500 and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.
Today, Dads are just as likely to participate in many of the Wide World-worthy sports as they are to be the armchair athlete. So, as Father’s Day approaches and you ponder unique gift ideas for dad, know that Hammacher.com is spanning the globe to find unique gifts for him.
For the marathon man, The Runner’s Speaker Vest features built-in speakers that allow runners and walkers alike to listen to music while staying aware of their surroundings. A front pocket accommodates a smartphone or music player. The nylon mesh vest includes reflective fluorescent strips on the front and back to alert drivers to your presence making this a safety minded unique gift for dad.
Badminton is a sport that can be fiercely competitive or slow-paced and gentle enough to be enjoyed by almost all ages. The Instant Badminton Court lets a spontaneous game break out on a whim. The easy-to-set-up, freestanding net creates an instant court on a lawn, driveway, beach or any flat surface. This unique gift for dad includes four rackets and two shuttlecocks.
And for the road warrior who won’t let a busy travel schedule get in the way of getting in shape, The Briefcase Fitness Center is the portable gym that provides a rigorous, full-body workout yet folds to the size of a briefcase. A Hammacher exclusive, the compact gym makes a great unique gift for dad. It’s small enough to fit in an airplane’s overhead bin or store under a bed but contains everything needed for intense aerobic, strength, and circuit training. The all-in-one gym includes access to an online fitness community for sharing tips, participating in live sessions with personal trainers, and tracking goals and progress.