#11 — Nordic Track
Ah, the early 90s. Not only did America think Vanilla Ice was totally great, we also had a brilliant plan to cross-country ski ourselves thin! (This was before we'd collectively realized we could just scavenge the best things from Scandinavian culture, like Ikea and Ace of Base, and leave the rest.) And if that didn't work? At least the Nordic Track had lots of knobs, handles, and protrusions we could hang out clothes on.
Just look at this commercial: Nordic Track can save you from a heart attack, fend off postpartum depression, and help you play sidewalk soccer with your grandson. Why on Earth do so many Scandinavians kill themselves when they've got access to such an incredible form of exercise? Oh, right. The pickled herring and days without sunlight.
#12 — The Sweet Spot Finder
The problem with your golf game isn't that you open your hips, don't keep your head down, and have five beers before the first tee. Not at all. You'd be a great golfer if you were only hitting the ball at the right spot!
Since the only thing standing between you and the PGA Tour is the fickle nature of your balls, the Check Go Sweet Spot Finder can rescue your game. Just drop your ball into the little contraption, and the Sweet Spot Finder will show you exactly where you should be striking the ball for optimal awesomeness. It's every bit as effective as having a voodoo curse put on your opponents' clubs, and with none of the messy chicken blood. Mark the sweet spot and whack away. See you and your Sharpie at Augusta, champ!
#13 — Ballfinder Scout
If you needed further proof that golfers will spend money on anything, here you have it. Yes, for just a little over a hundred bucks, you can own a computerized device that scans and photographs the ground to find your ball even if just three dimples are showing. Or you could save your money and just work on not hitting the ball into the woods so damn much.
See? That's just ridiculous! Try using a more reasonable system for finding your ball. Like a handheld radar:
#14 — Boomer The Tennis Robot
You may never get to play Roger Federer, but here's the next best thing to his robotic Swiss precision. Boomer is robot that uses cameras to play an actual game against you, complete with speakers that announce the score and talk trash. He'll only cost you $14,450! That's a bargain compared to the agonizing minutes of small talk and pleasantries you'd have to exchange to find someone to play against you at a tennis club or on public courts. Not to mention the high quality of Boomer's trash talk. "Are you serious?!" He's like a young Gary Payton out there!
#15 — The Donut
It's decidedly low tech, but baseball players have been using the donut for years. The logic behind the donut is simple: if a player takes his practice cuts with a heavier bat in the on-deck circle, his unweighted bat will feel so much easier to swing once he steps to the plate, right? Maybe not.
While coaches and players swear by the donut, some research has shown that it's actually harmful to players' swings. The extra weight throws off the balance of the bat, reinforces an unnatural swinging motion, and can actually slow down a hitter's swings once he steps into the batter's box. Other than that, it's great! Exhibit A that using a donut might actually make you a crappier hitter: here's a picture of Jason Kendall using one.
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