But, despite having taken in thousands of sporting events from tennis to golf to pre-season football to horse racing and everything in between, there is still quite a bit left that I need to see. So, here is my personal sports bucket list of the 10 sporting events I want to see (or do) before I, well, you know....
- Army - Navy Football game. This is a must for all American sports fans. It transcends sports. Kellen Winslow, II once said playing football was like doing battle....These kids actually do have to do battle when they're not on the football field, and they make K-II's comments seem dumber by the day.
- The Iron Bowl. In Auburn. You see there is not much to do in Auburn, Alabama. Kind of a nothing town, save for the University. So, every two years, when the annual Auburn-Alabama game makes its way to Auburn, it's not just a game, it is an event. Of epic proportions. It doesn't matter the records, or when these two schools are on probation (since it seems like one or the other always is), this game is the Michigan-OSU of the south.
- Duke - UNC Basketball game. At Cameron Indoor. My first house was bigger than Duke's minuscule Arena. But that's what makes watching a game there great. And the Cameron Crazies. The rivalry is intense. It's nasty. It's filled with hate and animosity. And I despise both teams and both head coaches. But I need to go just once.
- Harvard - Yale football game. Like I said, I attended my fair share of the second oldest rivalry in college football. Stands to reason, I'd want to go and see the oldest. Probably not to scout the next NFL MVPs, but for historical sake.
- NCAA Final Four. It's gotten a little corporate as of late (not unlike the Super Bowl or anything else having to do with the NFL) but it's still a great spectacle for all four schools and their fans. And anybody who watched the 2008 Championship game and didn't jump up out of their seat when Mario Chalmers hit the game-tying three at the buzzer, either went to Memphis.....or went to Mizzou.
- NCAA Frozen Four. A championship event that flies under the radar all too much. Pure joy is an amateur hockey player scoring a game winning goal in an improbable, upset fashion. Don't believe me? Ask Mike Eruzione. No, it wasn't the Frozen Four. But the same type of amateur emotions shine through during the Frozen Four.
- World Cup. I'm not a huge soccer fan. But the world is. And watching any World Cup soccer game on TV makes me want to be there, with the raw emotion the crowd shows, and the Patriotism and fervor with which they all cheer on their countries.
- Kentucky Derby. Mint Juleps. Ridiculous Hats. Horse Racing. Gambling. Southern Belles. A beautiful May Saturday in the park. Really, what's not to love here?
- MLB Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. I know, I know - the world's biggest baseball fan has yet to make it to one of these. The time is coming and it's coming right soon. This is the one that would haunt my soul if I didn't make it before I, well, you know....
- Summer Baseball Stadium Tour. Me, my father, my son. 30 stadiums, one glorious summer road trip. I am going to need to make that one happen.
And there you have it, the sporting events that I have seen and the ones I still want to see. I'd love to hear your lists, as well.