A few months ago, my editor and fellow columnist Andrew Lockwood wrote a great piece on his ideal things in sports that he would love to see/be a part of. Well, since Andrew and I don’t always agree on things, I thought you would love to hear about what this soccer junkie and sports aficionado would love to see. I would love to hear your input on this topic as well, because let’s face it, we’re probably not going to agree. Also, these are not in any particular order.
Garret’s Sports Bucket List
1. The 24 Hours of Le Mans: This is the world’s oldest endurance race. It is such a unique and fascinating event. While most car races have pit stops that are fast and furious, this race actually tests the reliability, efficiency, and durability of the vehicle. Also, it puts NASCAR to shame, the sport that so many Americans laugh at. I bet you didn’t know that the celebration we all see of shaking a bottle of champagne and spraying it on everyone was begun by a winner here. In essence, this is one of the most grueling events in sports as well as one of the most technical. If I can arrange it, I want to be in France around June 10 some year.
2. Tri Nations Cup: Rugby is such an intriguing sport. It would be spectacular to see the world’s greatest teams play on the biggest stage. Australia vs New Zealand? Talk about AWESOME.
3. El Clásico at the Nou Camp: The world’s greatest rivalry in the world’s greatest sport is Real Madrid Club de Fútbol vs. Futbol Club Barcelona. Barça is my favorite team. Madrid is the team I hate more than any other. Yes, more than I hate Florida State and Georgia as a Gator, more than I hate the Phillies and Mets as a Brave, and more than I hate Mexico and Ghana as an American who loves the USMNT. I want to be at the Nou Camp and sing the great “Cant del Barça” as we throughly stomp all over the rivals.
4. World Cup in a foreign country that actually likes soccer (not you Russia, Qatar): It would be amazing to see the world’s greatest sport in a nation that lives and breathes soccer. 2014 is the next opportunity, and then not again until 2026. Because there is no way in hell I want to see a game in the frozen wastelands of Russia or mid-100s heat of Qatar. However, Brazil versus Spain in Rio de Janeiro anybody?
5. Kentucky Derby: I know it would be ridiculously awesome to be at the Belmont Stakes and see a potential Triple Crown winner, but the atmosphere behind the giant party that is the Kentucky Derby is well worth it. I also would love to have a mint julep. That sounds delicious. Also, horse racing sounds fantastic to watch.
6. Cricket – India vs Pakistan: These two nations hate each other’s guts. Also, they’re both really good at cricket. This just seems like it would be a great atmosphere, because the two squads legitimately hate each other. It would be fantastic to see the two rivals play. Plus, for my first ever cricket match, it would be an experience.
7. Winter Olympics – USA vs Canada men’s hockey, medal round: One of the world’s most technical sports, a great friendly rivalry, and for the title of the world’s best team. It would be amazing.
8. Bullfight in Spain: You might call me sick and twisted for wanting to see a bullfight, but the intricacy and legend behind the entire thing amazes me. The pageantry and everything make me want to see this. Plus, the Spanish culture amazes me.
9. Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain: once again, this fantastic part of Spanish culture definitely excites me. I think the fervor and festival type nature of this is really neat. Also, I would love to run a stretch of it. Probably, I will never get a chance to. However, I definitely want to see this.
10. US vs Mexico in Estadio Azteca, Mexico City: When I’ll be financially able to see this, the US will actually be good enough to march into Azteca and win. This would be pretty epic honestly. Think of it as the Red Sox going into Yankee Stadium and winning Game 7 of the ALCS after being down 3-0.
11. Professional baseball in Japan: I really like the tradition behind America’s National Pastime. I would love to see it in the Japanese culture, since the sporting emotion is so different between the two nations. With more and more players making the leap across the Pacific, I would really enjoy seeing a packed Tokyo Stadium.
12. Quidditch World Cup: Yeah, go ahead, laugh. But tell me you wouldn’t want to see this if it was real. Golden Snitch, Quaffle, Bludgers, the whole nine yards.
13. UEFA Champions League Final: the best two teams in any given year playing something that is, frankly, cooler and less appreciated than the Super Bowl in the USA. It’s the lone opportunity to see the best of the best play, like Manchester United versus AS Roma or CSKA Moskva versus Bayern Munich. These matchups would be more than worth the six hundred euro price tag.
14. Camel Racing in Arabia: THIS WOULD BE AWESOME. I WANT TO SEE THIS. Really fast camels in a highly dangerous race sounds pretty sweet.
15. Final Round at the Masters: This was added on because of this past weekend. I would love to see the Masters in Augusta, but only in a year where the leaderboard again went completely crazy on the final day. To be at the 18th Green and see history, this would be an honor.
Also, finally seeing a game at The Swamp would be pretty cool, along with seeing a game at Old Trafford. In addition, it would even be pretty cool to see Fenway and the Green Monster.