Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sports Fan Checklist

ESPN’s Jim Caple recently compiled a list of the 101 things sports fans must experience before they die. It’s a pretty thorough list, although things start getting a little silly after the first fifty or so. Personally, I think there should be more baseball stadiums and college football and basketball venues, as well as Groundhog’s Day in Punxsutawney, but I digress. Here are the top fifty items on Caple’s list with the events I have attended in bold and my own comments:

1. Summer Olympics (every four years in a different city).
2. World Cup (every four years in a different country). I really should have done this in 1994 when the World Cup was in the United States. My dad and brother went to two games while I worked as a camp counselor in West Virginia.
3. Winter Olympics (every four years in a different city).
4. The World Series (every October, various cities). I've been to a Padres-Braves NLCS game, but will wait to go to a World Series until the Pirates make it. I may be waiting a very long time.
5. NCAA subregional (March, various sites).
Seeing #15 Coppin State defeat #2 South Carolina in 1997 may be my favorite live sporting event experience.
6. Spring training (February-March, Florida and Arizona). I really, really, really need to do this. Hopefully, next spring.
7. NFL conference championship (January in various NFL cities).

8. The Masters (April, Augusta, Ga.).
9. Wimbledon (late June-early July, London). The cost for a daily pass in 2000 for all but the main two courts: $6!
10. Tour de France mountain stage (July in various rotating cities in France).
11. Premier League Soccer game (fall-spring, England).
12. Rose Bowl (New Year's Day, or thereabouts, Pasadena, Calif.).
13. NBA Finals (June, various cities).
14. College World Series (June, Omaha, Neb.).
15. Red Sox-Yankees game (April-October, Boston or New York).
16. Hall of Fame induction (July, Cooperstown, N.Y.).
17. Michigan-Ohio State football (November, Columbus, Ohio, or Ann Arbor, Mich.) This was not much fun. I got hit in the back of the head with a Sprite bottle because some drunk OSU student tried to throw it at a guy wearing a Michigan shirt and missed.
18. The F.A. Cup (fall-spring, England).
19. Duke-North Carolina basketball game (winter, Chapel Hill or Durham, N.C.).
20. The Stanley Cup playoffs (late spring, various NHL cities). I rescind my NCAA Tournament statement from above. The Penguins defeating the Sabres in Buffalo in 2001 IS my favorite live sporting memory.
21. British Open (July, Great Britain).
22. Cubs game in the Wrigley bleachers (April-September, Chicago).
23. A football game at Notre Dame (fall, South Bend, Ind.).
24. ACC basketball tournament (March, various sites). I'd rather see the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.
25. A soccer game at Maracana Stadium (various dates, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).
26. Little 500 (late April at Indiana University).
27. Tailgating in the SEC (fall, SEC campuses).
28. U.S. Open golf (mid-June, various courses).
29. A game at Rucker Park (anytime, Harlem).
30. U.S. Open tennis (late August, New York).
31. Bayou Classic (November, New Orleans).
32. Kentucky Derby (May, Churchill Downs, Ky.). This should be in the top 10!
33. The Indy 500 (Memorial Day weekend, Indianapolis).
34. The All-Africa Amputee Football Tournament (Sierra Leone).
35. MLB Opening Day (April, various cities).
36. Boston Marathon (April, Boston).
37. Frozen Four (April, various cities).
38. Canadiens-Leafs game (winter, Montreal or Toronto).
38. Auburn-Alabama football game (November, Tuscaloosa or Auburn, Ala.).
40. Town ball in Minnesota (summer, towns throughout Minnesota).
41. The Iditarod (February, Anchorage to Nome, Ala.).
42. An NBA game from courtside (winter-spring, any NBA city).
43. Baseball All-Star Game (July, rotating cities).
44. Il Palio horse race (July and August, Siena, Italy).
45. Play Pebble Beach (year-round, Pebble Beach, Calif.).
46. Daytona 500 (February, Daytona, Fla.).
47. Running of the Bulls (July, Pamplona, Spain).
48. Triple Crown Surfing (November-December North Shore, Oahu).
49. Lady Vols game (winter, Knoxville, Tenn.).
50. Caribbean World Series (January, various sites).

The following are outside the Top 50 that I have either done or want to do:
51. Heavyweight championship bout in Vegas (sporadic).
54. Green Bay Packers game in the snow (December, Green Bay).
59. Calgary Stampede (July, Calgary, Alberta).
63. A Big 5 Game at the Palestra (winter, Philadelphia).
68. Sumo championship (various cities, Japan).
73. The Beanpot hockey tournament (first two Mondays in February, Boston).
74. Field of Dreams Ghost Sundays (select days in summer, Dyersville, Iowa).
88. "Monday Night Football" (September-December, various NFL cities).
91. Little League game (spring, early summer, everywhere). I watched my brother play little league. This should be about #413.
94. Hot dog eating championship (July 4, Coney Island).
100. A Harlem Globetrotters game (many dates, many cities).

As you can see, I have a long way to go. How do you match up? What events have you attended and what else would you like to see on this list?


Rinsem's Rink said...

While I don't disagree that I want to go... how would Groundhog's day count on a sports list? Am I missing the part where Phil straps on the skates and they play a little hockey? Because I'm mad if that has been going on all these years and I've missed it!

Rinsem's Rink said...

So yeah - I just realized that Groundhog Day 2008 falls on a Saturday. I'm so going this year.

Anonymous said...

If you want to go to the coney island hotdog eating contest, I went last year, and I'm going again this year. This is the year to go since we're almost definately going to have a new champ.

Sean said...

Rinsem - Normally, I would agree with you in that Groundhog Day is not a sport. However, Caple's list included the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and camping out for tickets. If they can make the list, so can Punxsutawney. And yes, I am planning on going for G-Day 2008!

Sean said...

Christian - I think I'm out for Coney Island this year. Going to New York on a Wednesday just isn't going to happen with work on Tuesday and Thursday.

Joe Chestnut has to be the huge favorite this year, right?

Rinsem's Rink said...

Hey Sean - sounds good to me! Maybe I'll see you up there...

As for the hot dogs - I think Kob isn't even competing this year...