Welcome to a new feature, Sully’s 7. Each list will group a series of similar things together, sometimes they will be in a particular order, sometimes they won’t. We debut the feature with Sully’s 7: Sports Bucket List 1, which appear in no particular order.
Attend a Periman Panthers High school football game in Odessa, Texas.
The Periman High football program was made famous first in the book Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger. Bissinger truly submerged himself into the culture of Odessa, home of the Panthers, the most successful Texas football team in history, and wrote a poignant socio-economic description of life in Odessa. The book was so successful, the football parts were made into a very successful film starring Billy Bob Thornton. That spawned 5 seasons of a critically acclaimed TV show.
Having spent 5 years coaching high school football in Massachusetts I have always been fascinated with the level of importance put on high school football in other parts of the country, especially in a place like Odessa where the town shuts down on Friday Nights because the high school kids are playing. And for that reason I want to sit in the stands, amongst the Mojo faithful and see for myself the differences I’ve experienced with Massachusetts high school football and Texas high school football.
Take Batting Practice at Fenway Park.
My actual bucket list item would be to play a game for the Boston Red Sox, but a far more realistic opportunity could present itself in simply taking batting practice at my favorite ball park. The stereotypical reason people want to hit at Fenway is to try and put one over the Green Monster. I know my limits, I have only ever hit a homerun during an official game, so my goal wouldn’t be to hit one out.1 I would very much like to stand at the home plate where so much baseball history has happened, look out at the field from that perspective and take it all in.
Spend an NFL Sunday in a Vegas sportsbook with 5 grand to spend with 0 worries.
And not a shitty bye week NFL Sunday, I want a full slate of games and props to bet on! Its a fairly self explanatory idea, and while I don’t spend a huge percentage of my own money on gambling, had I more disposable income I surely would! I can see myself sitting there iPad in 1 hand, Kettle One and Tonic in the other, figuring out what I think the best game bets, best prop bets and best parlays to spend that 5 grand on.
Attend the final weekend of the Final Four.
The Saturday Night of the Final Four is one of my favorite nights of the year, as we typically get 1 good and 1 GREAT college basketball game. To see these 2 games in person would be a spectacular time AND I haven’t even mentioned the fact that I would also get to see the final game, and the champion crowned. Anytime you can attend the final game of a sports season where a champion is crowned, do it. The pure bliss that can be seen on the winning teams faces and the pure misery that can be seen on the losing teams faces can not be properly translated through TV, it has to be enjoyed in person to be enjoyed properly.
And while I won’t be picky about the city were someone to offer to pay for me to go to the games, if I’m paying out of pocket I will be sure to pick a year the games are in New Orleans. I mean there are no games on Sunday, I figure I can find something to do in New Orleans on a Sunday night the weekend the Final Four is in town.
Play a round of golf at Augusta National.
I love early April every year for many, many reasons, the Master’s tournament being held at Augusta National being one of them. The course is steeped in golf lore and history and to walk the ground alone would be a treat, but this is a bucket list so I’m going big and saying I want to play the course. How badly will I miss the par 3’s? I want to play Amen Corner where dreams of a Master’s title can be clinched or unceremoniously dismissed. I’m not good at golf so I’m sure by the end of the 18 holes I will be ready to retire from the game, but that will be fine because I will have been conquered by one the most beautiful and difficult courses on the planet.
Attend a home LSU football game.
I wanted to avoid to a 2nd football based item on this list, but I couldn’t because I see that sea of purple and yellow at LSU home games and I want to be in the center of it. I can’t explain the choice of LSU over any of the other storied college football programs, maybe it is simply that sea of purple and yellow, maybe its the draw to New Orleans that I’ve previously stated, maybe its a combination of both. I don’t think that it has anything to do with Head Coach Les MIles, but to be in the building when he makes a bizarre coaching decision on 4th down would be great fun! Either way the systems Miles has installed and the continued level of skill players he gets to play cornerback is great fun to watch on TV and I’d love to experience it live.
Visit every MLB park for a game in a single season.
Talk about the theory of going big! 30 stadium in a 162 game season. It the road trip I’ve always dreamed about. To cross the country on a baseball journey of this magnitude would truly be an epic adventure. And now for some layering, a list inside a list! The top 5 parks I can’t wait to see, in reverse order for dramatic effect!
5. Great American Ball Park – Cincinnati, Ohio – Home of the Cincinnati Reds
I have heard nothing but great things about this place. Well maybe not from pitchers as it tends to be hitter friendly, but during this 30 game, 30 ball park stretch I’m sure to catch a couple of 1-0, 3-2 games so it’ll be great to be in a park that could allow for a 12-10 slugfest.
4. Camden Yards – Baltimore, Maryland – Home of the Baltimore Orioles
I think everyone I know, but me has made a weekend trip to Fenway South as us Massholes here in Boston like to call it. They have told me that it is Fenway if it were built for modern times. Well I love Fenway, and so I can’t imagine how much I might like a place where I can stretch my legs a bit, and I’m a short guy, so for me not to fit in a seat you know its an issue. I also want to stand at the base of the warehouse hit by Ken Griffey, Jr. during the HR derby.
3. Nationals Park – Washington D.C. – Home of the Washington Nationals
There is something brewing for the baseball 9 that resides in the nation’s capitol and it has coincided nicely with their gorgeous new ball park. I regularly listen to the Tony Kornheiser Radio Show based in D.C. and everyone on the show raves about the park as a place to watch baseball. Put that together with the chance to see Strasburg and Harper supported by a great number of exciting players is far too good a opportunity to not be top 3 on the list.
2. AT&T Park – San Francisco, California – Home of the San Francisco Giants
I have visited San Fran once in the fall of 2004 and walked around the Giants home ball yard. I was enthralled by it from the outside, so to see a game in that park will be quite the joy for me. I also am considering making this a double dip and watch 2 games here, 1 from the stands and 1 from McCovey’s Cove in a raft or boat. No other park can offer that!
1. Wrigley Field – Chicago, Illinois – Home of the Chicago Cubs
I’m a sucker for history and so the oldest operating park in the country is of course intriguing. Also the idea of witnessing what I’ve heard is a great atmosphere full of beer, revelry and the misery of a fandom suffering from the longest current championship drought in the MLB makes me nostalgic for the days of Fenway before 2004. Sure I’m thrilled to have won some championships and wouldn’t change that for anything, but I have great, great memories of me and my friends at Fenway pre-2004 and to relive a little of that at Wrigley would be spectacular.
- Ok, on my last swing or 2 I’ll probably be swinging for the Monster Seats. [↩]