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My Sporting Bucket List

It's hard to beat a Sunday at Green Bay.
It's hard to beat a Sunday at Green Bay.

I'm going to shamelessly steal today. Over the weekend, Stephanie Petersen of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer published her bucket list of sporting venues and events she'd like to attend before she dies. It's something I've given thought to over the years, but never sat down and formalized.

For most of my working life, I've traveled for a living. I've tried to make the most of these trips by attending as many sporting events as I could during my off-time. I've been to games at Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, The Staples Center, AT&T Park in San Francisco, Angel Stadium, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Coors Field, Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix and many more.

I've traveled to every SEC stadium but Fayetteville; and now you can add College Station, Texas and Columbia, Missouri. I've stood on the blue turf at Boise State. Throw in the venues in Atlanta, plus the Olympic Games and I guess I've seen a lot.

I've been lucky. But there are still more places I'd like to go before I die. Below is my top 10 list (in order) of places and events I'd like to see. I hope you'll share your list with us.

(1) Lambeau Field - While the college game is my passion, there's something special about Lambeau and the community of Green Bay. It's a throwback to simpler times and a place that ranks high on most every fan's list.

(2) The Masters - I'm a little over three hours to the gate of Augusta National, yet I've never had the opportunity. It's not the easiest ticket, but I'll find a way.

(3) Saturday at Notre Dame - I don't particularly love the Irish, but I do love the tradition surrounding them. I've been to South Bend on several occasions, but never during the season. I'm thinking Notre Dame vs. Southern Cal.

(4) The Rose Bowl - Same story as above. I've been to Pasadena and stood outside the stadium, but never been there on New Year's Day. Who cares if it's the Pac 12 vs. Big 10; it's still the most special bowl of all. Who knows, Auburn may sneak in one day.

(5) The Daytona 500 - My wife calls me a redneck in a white starched shirt. That's never more apparent than in late February each year when the big one is run at Daytona. If you've never been to a NASCAR race, then go this year. It's nothing like watching on television. Hearing those engines rev-up at the green flag is one of the great experiences in life.

(6) Yankee Stadium - I hate the Yankees, but how can you not want to visit the cathedral of baseball? Who cares if it's a replica of the old historic one? I'll go during the Yankees-Red Sox series and pull for the Sox.

(7) Camden Yards - The first of the new modern baseball stadiums, there's something awfully cool about the place. I watched Nolan Ryan throw a one-hitter against the Orioles more than 20 years ago at the old Memorial Stadium. What a dump. I need to come full-circle.

(8) Cowboy Stadium (Jerry's World) - Billed as the Mecca of all sporting venues, Cowboy Stadium has become an attraction all to itself. With the Cotton Bowl played there annually, this should be easy to check off the list.

(9) Autzen Stadium - Most sportscasters call Oregon's home field the loudest stadium in America. This is interesting considering the place holds only 54,000 fans. Throw in the cool looking field and uniforms and I can see why it's so popular.

(10) Wimbledon - Who cares if the Americans stink and you can't pronounce most of the players' names. Sitting at center court watching the best in the world play on grass sounds pretty good. The strawberries and cream sound better.