Friday, August 6, 2010

101 Things To Do

101 Things (apparently) All Sports Fans Must Experience Before They Die:

Come visit us & you can do the following:
40. Town ball in Minnesota (summer, towns throughout Minnesota). Town ball (baseball played by amateurs for their local town teams) is the last pure sport in America. You know the diamond in "Field of Dreams"? There are at least a dozen such fields in Minnesota where the local teams play a couple of nights a week each summer. Many of them have a cornfield on one side and a cemetery on the other, which is a fitting arrangement: life and death with baseball in between.

66. U.S. Pond Hockey Championships (January, Minneapolis). How cool is this tournament, played the way hockey is meant to be played (on a frozen lake shoveled off by the players themselves)? Brian Bellows played in it after his 10-year NHL career.

82. Minnesota high school hockey tournament (March, Minnesota). As with Indiana basketball, this tournament isn't what it once was when all high schools competed together regardless of size (Roseau, with an enrollment of about 400, won the last single-class tournament). But it remains as much a part of state culture as Prince, tater tot hot dish and "Fargo."

Not here, but you could probably stop by and say hi to my in-laws while you're there:
101. Driving the Ring (daily, western Germany). There is no speed limit on Germany's autobahn (somewhat of an exaggeration, there are speed limits) and there is nothing quite like doing 100 mph only to have a family in a station wagon honking at you to pull over and let them pass. But if the autobahn isn't fast enough for you, try out the 14-mile, 170-turn Nurburgring. The former Grand Prix course was closed to Formula One racing for decades before returning this year (too dangerous) but it's open to the public to drive at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. Just promise one thing: That you won't attempt this until you've accomplished the previous 100.

So far, I have accomplished the following on this list:
#66 - Pond Hockey Championships. Went this year with the Jr. Gophers. Only got to see about 20 minutes of play before the games were called off due to the ice melt being too deep for the puck to slide.

#88 - Monday Night Football. Well, in all honesty, I can't recall if the Steelers-Dolphins game was on a Monday Night or not. The WVU Marching Band was playing for them. Not nearly as impressive as the WVU-Pitt or Penn State games, though

#101 - above - driving on the autobahn - I tried it in Baden-Württemburg, near Stuttgart, and got passed by 2 Porches and 1 Ferrari which were all doing at least 120 mph.

What's on the list that I personally really want to see?

#56 - an All Blacks game. I wouldn't even care if it was in New Zealand, but I'm willing to suffer if I'm already there. In which case, it might co-incide with #64, camping out for tickets to anything, because in this Age of Electrons, I'm not camping out anywhere other than at my laptop.

#20 - Stanley Cup Playoffs. Preferably when it's Detroit on the ice or here in St. Paul.

#11 - Premier League soccer. I will make the assumption that the author is not a complete idiot despite some of the items on his list, and further assume that what he actually meant was Professional European Big League Soccer, and therefore this includes the Bundeslige. In which case, I'll head with Mr.Gopher for a game at his favorite team, Borussia-Mönchengladbach (how's that for a name?) or Schalke/Borussia-Dortmund/Köln (which are vaguely near the in-laws). Although Jr.Gopher#1 would no doubt bounce around insanely lobbying for Werder Bremen, where Mesut Özil plays (#8, his totally favoite player from the Weltmeisterschaft this year).

#2 - World Cup. The US is supposedly considering lobbying for hosting the games again in 2018. If so, and if the Gophers are still here ...? Sign me up along with the other million people who want to see it. At least if it's here, it'll be a sure thing that we're playing. And I really can't imagine Germany not at least qualifying.

What's not on the list that I personally really want to see?

A - Women's Ice Hockey NCAA Championships
Face it, there aren't going to be any women playing in the NHL. Ever. If I want to see top-notch women's hockey, it will only be at a university/college. And I'll need to do it before we leave Minnesota. Luckily we have several teams in-state, increasing the probability of access to the championship games. I've promised Jr.Gopher#1 to take him to a Gopher's game this season. Given the price difference, it will be the Women Gophers. I plan for this to be a gender-identity-expanding event: i.e., women a big sports players, too. This should precede next years Women's World Cup. Expect and brain-popping insane rant if the U has a female-version of Goldie the Gopher.

B - Women's World Cup. Although I will accept that the author just ... uh ... forgot? that there are two of them and thus forgot to mention this in passing with #2

C - stupifyingly, I don't recall college hockey being on the list. Maybe it's just not as cool as the Stanley Cup (true) or Pond Hockey Championships (maybe). The men's NCAA championship is on my list, too. Cheaper than seeing the Wild [I think...?] or any game in the Cup playoffs [for sure].

D - I'm sure I'll think of something else...


Cindasan21 said...

Is this your bucket list?

Aren't you a little young to be writing a bucket list?

I haven't even written MY bucket list!

I would expect there to be more on it than sports stuff....(smile)

Cindasan21 said...

By the way, I've switched to using my Google account to post comments here. The Open ID issue has not been fixed.....