By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
1. Welcome into a very, very personal edition of The Numbers Game. Why is this week so personal to me, you ask? Well, its is because I am going to share my sports bucket list that I would like to accomplish before I pass on to the next plain. Some are very expected, like attending certain baseball events, and some are not so expected, like seeing a bunch of horses and fancy women in big hats walk around for an entire Saturday. This list will probably be ever changing, but this is my current sports bucket list as of May 17th, 2012.
2. ATTEND GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES – Yes, everyone should have expected that the World Series would appear at some point on this list and that it probably would be pretty far up. And while I would gladly attend any game of the World Series if given the chance, every baseball fan and player understands how huge Game 7 of the World Series is. It is where you live and die on every single pitch and you can ride the complete emotional roller coaster in just a matter of three hours. Easily the most important event I would want to attend.
3. SUPER BOWL (INSERT NUMBER HERE) – Obviously I would like the see my Leos play in the Super Bowl that I would attend, but I would love to see the big game one day in person. Watching it on TV you just get the sense that there is a certain air of magic in the stadium, and despite the fact that I would not be able to watch the commercials all night, being a part of a Super Bowl would be life-changing for a diehard football fanatic like myself.
4. PLAY AT AUGUSTA NATIONAL WITH MY DAD – I don’t often watch golf during the year, but I rarely ever miss the U.S. Open and the Masters. I have never seen a more beautiful course than Augusta National and I couldn’t imagine seeing all of that luscious green grass all around me and not be motivated to play some great golf. And of course I wouldn’t take anybody else but my dad, and more than likely my brother, as we would try and relive the days of creating golf tournaments every Saturday morning at the old Hank Haney Golf Course in McKinney.
5. ATTEND THE KENTUCKY DERBY – This is where the horses and the women in big hats come into play. While I would be completely out of my element and probably not be as excited to see the event as I would be with some of these other ones, the Kentucky Derby is part of the fiber of American sports and I need to see a race someday. So bring on the fancy hats and the thousand dollar suits and let’s watch some horses!
6. EAST COAST BASEBALL STADIUM SWING – This trip could come into play next summer, in fact, but this stadium swing would include Yankee Stadium (New York), Fenway Park (Boston), Camden Yards (Baltimore), Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia), and while it is not a stadium, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. While I am crushed I will never get a chance to see old Yankee Stadium and be in the same place that Mantle, Gehrig, and Ruth played, this entire east coast swing could make me fall further in love with the game of baseball with the chance to just be enriched further in its history and timeless lure. I honestly cannot wait for this trip.
7. ATTEND A GAME AT FORD FIELD – This is the home stadium in Detroit of my lovable Lions and a place that has turned from a house of horrors for Detroit players and fans to a place that straight-up rocks every Sunday afternoon. I have to go to a game one day and just be a part of the atmosphere in that building, considering I have spent years watching games on my little computer screen, just trying to get a little taste of the insanity. I have a feeling that this will be accomplished early on my list.
8. Song of the Week: My Life – Slaughterhouse Feat. Cee Lo Green. Anything with Cee Lo on the track already has the chance to be ground-breaking, but the rap foursome Slaughterhouse continues to create music that proves just how important good lyrics and quality messages impact a hip-hop song in today’s current age. In an era where true lyricists like these guys are turned down for guys like 2 Chaniz or Future, Slaughterhouse seems content with staying a level behind them in terms of record sales and exposure while completely overshadowing them lyrically. I respect those four in what they do and how they go about their business in today’s music industry, and for that I will award them the prestigious ‘Song of the Week’ honors. Put that next to your Grammy award boys.
9. SEE THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME – This is the only other Hall of Fame that I would be truly interested in visiting, and the reasons are pretty obvious to those who know me. It’s football. It’s history. It’s football history. Any more questions?
10. ATTEND AN OLYMPIC EVENT – It has to be during the Summer Games, but I would absolutely love to see an event in the Olympics some day. While I don’t really have a certain event I really need to see above any others, I would be interested in basketball, swimming, or the track events. Even though he will probably be too old by the time I have the chance to make it one year, seeing Usain Bolt run the 100 M would be completely breathtaking.
11. SEE AN AFTERNOON GAME AT WRIGLEY FIELD (CHICAGO) – While this may be included in the east coast baseball stadium swing next summer, Wrigley Field has to be on every baseball fans bucket list regardless of how much you despise the Chicago Cubs. Just to see an afternoon game in front of the ivory covered outfield walls and the bleachers out in the left and right field would be absolutely thrilling for a baseball nerd like myself.
12. Before we run out of time here I need to inform the masses on a little bet that has been laid down between myself and my good friend and editor Steve Kirk. With Steve being an Atlanta Braves fan from his days of living in SEC country and myself being a Tampa Bay Rays fan from my childhood days of rooting for the underdog, this weekend will mark the first time that our two teams will square off against one another in a three-game series at Tropicana Field from Friday through Sunday. So in the spirit of competition and good fun, Steve and I have decided that the loser has to bring doughnuts in for everybody at work when we have staff meeting on Monday morning. Pretty simple and not too complicated, I think it is a perfect bet for a good interleague series in the middle of May. Now if we get to the World Series, the stakes may get bigger. Just saying. By the way boss, I love my doughnuts with chocolate only. Please and thank you!
13. ATTEND DUKE-NORTH CAROLINA BASKETBALL GAME – Nothing beats the Tobacco Road rivalry in college basketball, and while I have no idea who I would root for and why I would select one school over the other, the spirit and tradition that each fan base follows and carries on from generation to generation absolutely amazes me.
14. SPEND A WEEK AT WIMBLEDON – While I cannot stand tennis on television unless it is a Major final between Nadal and Federer, spending a week at Wimbledon and just being around that atmosphere and soaking in as many matches as I could would probably turn me into a huge tennis nerd.
15. ATTEND A DAYTONA 500 – I have kind of turned into a racing fan over the past couple of years and have become fascinated with watching the Daytona 500 every February. I will need to go with people who have been to a race before and know how to stay entertained during the entire race, because even the most hardcore fan has to get a little bored if they just sat there and watched the race straight up for three or four hours.
16. While there is still so many other things that I would gladly attend and some that could probably leap over some of the ones I have currently on my list, that is half the fun of creating a sports bucket list and discussing it with your family and friends. These things are meant to create conversations and try to build connections with people who may in fact have similar sports interests with you. I have always said that sports are supposed to be entertainment and a great way to build bonds with people that you can have the rest of your life. I encourage all of you to sit down sometime and make up your own sports bucket list, and if you ever get the chance to make some of your dreams come true and cross of items on said list, drop everything and go do it. I know I will. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.