My All-Time Sports Bucket List: From Iowa To Lambeau To Fenway

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My All-Time Sports Bucket List: From Iowa To Lambeau To Fenway
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I joined Bleacher Report in November 2008, and year-and-a-half later, I've enjoyed every minute of covering college football as a national Featured Columnist.

It has been great covering the best sport on the planet for this long, but we could all us a change of pace every once in a while. Because, save for the random "hating on the Cubs" article, I have contributed little to this site other than college football.

A day after writing one of my less impressive college football pieces that came with loads of "dude, you're an idiot" comments, I figured it's time to write a piece that can't be hated.

I've definitely been complimented for my writing and in no way want to complain about people who disagree with me. I love having debates with readers about my articles.

But for the first time in a year-and-a-half, it's time for an article that reminds us wy we love sports in the first place. That, and I think it's time the Penn State and SEC fans get a brake from the normal "crap" that I write.

What am I talking about? A bucket list. Complete with, in my opinion, the best games to attend in all of sports.

So no matter if you agree or not, take some time to enjoy my sports bucket list. And take time to list your own, too. And, if you feel you really need to, let my know how dumb, or great, you think my list is.

 

Bears vs. Packers, at Lambeau

The NFL is filled with great rivalries, but Bears-Packers is the ultimate rivalry in professional football. It's the Michigan-Ohio State of college football and the Yankees-Red Sox of baseball.

Plus, it helps that the Bears are my favorite team.

Also, as you'll find from the rest of my list, I love cold-weather football.

Bears-Packers is the staple of smashmouth football. To a southerner or an offensive-minded fan, most of the games in this rivalry are probably boring. But I love hard-hitting defensive football.

Add that to a game played in the most historic venue in football (preferably in December), and you have the best NFL game imaginable.

It's a game that all football fans, from Miami to Minneapolis, need to attend before they die.

 

USA Olympic Hockey Game

Yesterday I went with some family to Adirondack Park to climb Mount Marcy, the tallest mountain in New York State.

After an exhausting 15-mile hike, we stopped in Lake Placid and visited the site of the Miracle on Ice.

Though I wasn't alive for that game in 1980, or even for the Cold War, I felt inspired walking down to the bench where Herb Brooks sat for the greatest sporting event in United States history.

Admittedly, I know very little about hockey. I didn't know who Ryan Miller was until the Vancouver Olympics and didn't learn what "icing" is until those games in February.

But as the seconds ticked down for the United States' win over Canada, I felt prouder than I ever have to be an American. From that point on, I watched every minute of every game for the rest of the Olympics (when in school, I watched the updating scoreboard on the computer).

And even though Canada ended up getting its revenge, I was hooked. Sure, my hockey passion will probably die off over the next four years, but someday, I would love to cheer on my country in person at the Olympics.

 

Attend a World Cup Game

Even though United States only made it to the first knockout round in this year's World Cup, the thought that nobody cares about soccer in this country may finally be weakening.

The referee struggles, the comebacks, and the late wins made nearly every American a fan during the month long tournament.

While I was definitely upset when the US was ousted by Ghana, I continued to watch the World Cup and picked a new favorite team for every game.

The atmosphere—yes, including the vuvuzelas—was amazing. Someday, I would like to witness it in person.

While watching the US play would be a plus, the teams playing wouldn't really matter. Because even though I have no connections to Spain or Portugal, a game between the two would be one of the most passionate spectacles in sports.

The US has a bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, so perhaps this dream will come true.

 

Tailgate at Iowa vs. Wisconsin, Iowa vs. Penn State, and  Iowa vs. Ohio State in Iowa City, in November

This is probably the most likely to be crossed off my bucket list in the near future, considering Iowa plays Ohio State at Kinnick on November 20 of this year.

While most people across the country don't believe it, Iowa football is huge in the Hawkeye State.

With no professional teams in the state, this is Iowa's team, as evidenced by the 30,000+ fans that the Hawkeyes bring to their bowl games.

And a tailgate for a huge game in November (again, cold-weather) would be something to see in Iowa City.

But why Wisconsin, Penn State, and Ohio State? Because those games are always huge and they are the three wins that would cause the biggest celebrations in Iowa City.

Next year, I'll be going off to college, which I have already decided won't be Iowa.

But the Hawkeyes will always be a special team for me, and to see an Iowa game against any of these teams in November will always be a dream for me.

 

Attend an English Premier League Game

Like hockey, I'm not very into soccer, save for one month every four years. And I can only name a few teams (Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle, Man U, and Manchester City) in the English Premier League.

But I have always admired the Premier League for its ability to grab the attention of an entire nation.

In the US, there are football fans, baseball fans, and basketball fans. In England, there are only soccer fans.

Like the World Cup, the atmosphere at an English Premier League game is tremendous. Fans sing along to the chants of their favorite team, and the morale of a city can be changed in 90 minutes.

Someday I'd love to attend one of these games and get an international sports experience like no other.

 

Sit in the Green Monster at a Red Sox Game

The Red Sox are my least favorite team in baseball, but Fenway Park and the Green Monster have to be on the bucket list for any baseball fan.

I've been to Wrigley, but even though its baseball's oldest stadium, it can't compare to the history and the passion at Fenway.

Part of the history at Fenway is the Green Monster, the massive green wall in left field. It can't be a great view, but it's the best place in baseball to watch a game.

When sitting there, the outcome of the game doesn't matter. Sure, I'd love to see my Orioles beat the Red Sox in Boston. But even if Baltimore lost 10-0, sitting in the Green Monster for that game would be the experience of a lifetime.

Check out another bucket list, done by Mike Hlas of The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette: http://gazetteonline.com/blogs/the-hlog/2010/07/28/whats-your-sports-fan-bucket-list-heres-mine

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