They lurk among us -- tempered by time, humbled by defeat and veiled in sky-blue team apparel only found online because local retailers don't carry it.
Detroit Lions fans.
Maybe there's one in your home, still choking back Bob Costas-sized crocodile tears because this year was supposed to be their year. They are loyal, they are few, and they want to bedazzle their mancave with Lions sports memorabilia. No judgment.
Enter: Michael Guzman.
A home run away from home
Guzman, who owns The Rec Room in Billings, specializes in selling sports-inspired furniture, gadgets, games and accessories. He carries everything from team jerseys, wallets, checkbooks, cutting boards and salt and pepper shakers to team logo furniture, benches, lamps, bedding and more.
"I started as a billiards and dart supply story and evolved into carrying other game room items like NFL supplies, foosball and ping pong tables," he said.
Want a leather couch with your team's logo? Guzman can accommodate. He also carries spectator chairs, benches and recliners.
It's an armchair quarterback's dream.
And if you're not quite sure about how to best situate your sports station, Guzman offers a room planner service that virtually places your room together, a feature that comes in handy when placing awkward pieces of furniture like a shuffle board or ping pong table.
"It's a lot simpler to see if it all fits on screen before trying to squeeze it down in the mancave," he said.
And hard-to-find teams are no problem for Guzman. He can special order "just about anything", even garden gnomes.
"I like to think of myself as a specialty store," Guzman said, "...a specialty store for the everyday sports enthusiast."
Mancave furniture should be rough-and-tumble, yes, but that doesn't mean that it can't also be comfortable and luxurious.
Chet Hower, store manager of Sofamart in Billings, recommends leather furniture for high-spill, high traffic areas like a sports-inspired mancave.
"It can definitely take a beating," Hower said, "and it's low-maintenance."
Stadium seating, complete with cup and remote control holders, are popular for this purpose, Hower said. And for man-cavers, Hower recommends one particular sectional called "The Cloud." Available in either leather or regular fabric, "The Cloud" can be customized to fit just about any space. Equipped with regular or power recliners, "The Cloud" comes in walnut, saddle and black hues.
"Power recliners are great because they allow the occupant to raise or lower the leg rest to their preferred height, creating customizable comfort," Hower said.
Game time gadgetry
If your sports nut wields a remote like Lancelot, it's not wise to joke about watching your Lifetime movie in lieu of the big game.
But with a DVR, you can do both -- sans commercials.
Several local cable providers offer these devices for a minimal charge per month. Finally, the sports fan can control his own instant replays.
An appropriately-sized flat screen TV is also a must-have in any mancave, complete with surround sound. Want to further enhance the experience? Consider installing a small-screen TV in the bathroom so your sportsnut never misses a play, even during potty breaks.
Also consider stocking a small dorm-sized fridge a stone's throw from the action. No one wants to run upstairs for refreshments when it's first and inches.
ESPN and then some
Specialty sports programming has enhanced the way fans tune in to the big game.
Local cable providers like Optimum offer a variety of sports programming including specialty packages like NBA League Pass, NFL RedZone, NHL Center Ice and more. Subscriptions to these services allow viewers to literally pick and choose the sporting events they'd like to watch, making it simple to follow a favorite team not picked up by local or regional TV affiliates.
"Optimum is as essential to a 'mancave' as the walls and floor," said Allison Watters, director of media relations for Optimum. "Additionally, Optimum Online's super-fast Internet speeds allow fans to keep up with their fantasy leagues and check e-mail or stats while cave-bound."