Monday, 1 October 2012

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My Five Must See Sporting Events

My family knows it's coming. At least once during any trip, I'm going to drag them to something sports-related. Since I'm the only one in our family with any real passion for sports, this used to be the cause of many complaints, until, after a particularly ugly Spring Training outing, I figured out that if I combined my chosen sporting activity with food, everybody's mouth was too full to object. This discovery has cleared the way for us to attend hockey games, basketball games, and even baseball's All-Star weekend. As long as there's food involved, my kids are willing to endure pretty much anything.

What my family probably doesn't realize however, is that we've only just begun scratching the surface of the sporting events that I want to see. They might think that a game here and there is enough to keep Dad happy, but I've got plans. Big plans. And a list. I guess you might call it a bucket list of sporting events, but technically that might not be accurate. I might have to wait until well after I die for #3 to come true.

#1 - The Super Bowl

Cliche, I know, but I've always had a connection to the Super Bowl. Twice in my life, I thought I would be a perfect candidate for participating in the Super Bowl. Once when I was young and assumed that I would be a star running back on the winning team (darn injuries), and once when I was slightly older and figured that I would become exactly the kind of mega rock-star that networks would beg to perform at half-time (darn lack of talent). Now I know that the only way I'm getting in is to buy a ticket, but the Super Bowl is still the top item on my sporting list. Preferably with the Dolphins involved.

Dreaming of a Dolphin Superbowl!

#2 - The Kentucky Derby

I actually know almost nothing about horse racing. I have a friend who writes a great horse racing blog, and he's tried to teach me a little bit during our Vegas outings, but it's not something I have a natural instinct for. Sadly, I'm still the guy who picks the horse with the cool sounding name, but just once I want to walk up to the window at Churchill Downs and say "$2 on Chuck Norris to win". Because who wouldn't bet on a horse named Chuck Norris?

We're ready for the Derby. We've got our hats!

#3 - Leeds United return to the Premier League

My Dad was a huge soccer fan, and ever since I can remember, I've been taught that Leeds United was the team to cheer for. I remember having to get up at 4am on many Saturdays to watch Leeds play on TV, and you could count on the tone of the whole weekend being set by how well the boys performed in their match. Unfortunately the last couple of years have seen the team suffer through some turmoil and a little bit of bad luck, but sooner or later they'll find their way back to the top league in English football, and when they do, I want to be there....unless it's at 4am again. Could they start these things a little later?

In case you're wondering who we root for, it's not Liverpool.

#4 - Boxing Title Fight in Vegas

Probably not a family friendly outing, but still something that I'd very much like to see. I've been in Vegas on the night of big fights before, and you can feel that the whole city has a charged up vibe to it. I can only imagine that it's even more exciting to actually be inside the arena. I might need to wait until there's some great personalities in boxing again though, especially in the heavyweight division. The days of Tyson-Holyfield or Ali-Frasier would have been amazing. Klitschko-Povetkin doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Ummm...definitely a Lightweight fight. Very Light.

#5 - Anything in Wembley Stadium

There's many great sporting arenas in the world, but when it comes to the biggest events, they all make a stop at Wembley. I'm not really fussy about what gets me in to Wembley. A soccer game, rugby game, concert by some band I've never heard of...I just want to get inside and take in the atmosphere. Of course, if Leeds could make their return to the Premiership AT Wembley Stadium...Well that would just make life a whole lot easier wouldn't it? 

It used to be anything in Madison Square Garden, but that one has been scratched off.
Written by Steve Pratt