Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Sports Bucket List

While I rarely like to admit it, I have been very fortunate in my less than 35 years on this earth. Particularly when it comes to sports. I was thinking today of all the sporting events that I would really like to see in my lifetime, and I realized, I've actually gotten to see most of them already. I've already been to World Series games. I've seen the Super Bowl and an NBA Finals game. I have seen Stanley Cup finals games and even witnessed an NCAA National Football Championship game (Pre-BCS). I have seen important rivalry games in person, too. I saw the only rivalry in all of sports to span two coasts (a Giants - Dodgers game....the oldest rivalry in baseball, and save for the media hype, still the best). I have been to Cubs-Cardinals games and even made it to my share of Yankees-Red Sox games. And on a collegiate level, I have been to both Michigan - Ohio St games and Michigan - Notre Dame games. I've seen quite a fair share of championship events and classic rivalry contests. I have even seen one or two games featuring the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi River (second only to Harvard-Yale in all of college sports) - the Missouri - Kansas game.

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.


  1. I can vouch for The Derby. It is a must do.

    I am upset you left out attending the classic that is the UM/FSU battle to your list of "cool things I have already done."

    As for my list:
    *Ultimate Fighter semi-final match at the UFC Gym
    *Mets World Series game
    *Canes BCS Bowl Game
    *Cooperstown for HOF induction
    *Summer X Games - Big Air and Moto Best Trick
    *Soccer Match in England or Ireland
    *AAA Wrestling TripleMania in Mexico City
    *DREAM MMA event in Japan
    *"Every Boys Dream" (aka - Baseball Stadium Tour)

  2. You definitely need to see an Iron Bowl in Auburn. There are other big games there besides the Iron Bowl though...well at least there were for about 6 years prior to last season....and you could've left off the probation comment...everyone has violations, but only a few get caught (typically schools who are in the spotlight and have been contenders are the ones that get caught). Never a valid argument.

  3. it wasn't an argument, Kristi. It was humor....you know, for those of us that didn't go to Auburn or Bama :-)

  4. You know I get heated when it comes to MY Tigers just like you do about yours :-)