As a “travel poor” person from the middle of BFE, Nowheresville, the sports travel bucket list is an important part of my sanity. Boise State home football games and minor league hockey are fun and all, but the experiences that are out there to be had are an incredible mixture of everything that makes America great. From Centurylink in Seattle to Baton Rouge, LA, there’s a wealth of places to go, booze to drink, food to sample, and friends to make out there, and these are the things that I want to experience the most.
10. Combine Demolition Derby
Combine demo derbys look like some good clean family fun. That is what we call tens of thousands of dollars of machinery bashing into each other in a rodeo arena without silliness like “roll cages” or “new safety equipment,” right? It definitely wouldn’t be a weekend of redneckery that I will barely remember outside of the pics that end up on social media. These are held in small towns all over the place where grain is grown, and seem to be a great way to get your redneck on without actually having to crash anything. Get shitty drunk in the stands and yell! WOOOOOOOOOOOO!
9. The Masters
Golf is supposedly way better live, and wandering around a course in beautiful weather at the biggest tournament of them all sounds like the way to decide that idea. Doesn’t even matter if you hate it at that point – it’s basically a big southern park with beer. Can’t go wrong!
8. Death Valley – Louisiana Edition
Baton Rouge in on Saturday night in the fall is the stuff of legends, and I can’t wait to experience it in all its purple and gold glory.The SEC under the lights is what I think of when picturing big boy football, and it seems necessary to catch it in person. I need bourbon and seafood and running backs doing running back things to the cacophony of the crowd. Ahh LSU. I can’t wait to see you.
7. The U.S. Open of Surfing
9 days at Huntington Beach watching the world’s best surfers ride incredible waves? Yup. 9 nights hanging out in Orange County? Still in. Southern California’s beaches are worth the visit any time, but watching high level surfers, skaters, and BMX’ers doing their thing too would be pretty great.
6. The National Finals Rodeo
This is another multi-day deal with pretty much the opposite crowd as you would find at the surf event. The first couple weeks of December, the cowboys invade Vegas, and spend 10 nights rodeoing and figuring out who the best athlete in the arena really is. I’ve wanted to go to this one since I could walk, pretty much. The NFR just seems like the perfect way to break up the monotony of Vegas. Sleep, gamble, dinner, rodeo, drink, gamble… being able to leave the dim lights of the casino floor for the bright lights of the Thomas and Mack seems just about perfect, and the best way to be able to stay in Vegas for more than 72 hours at a pop without being bored AF.
5. The Iditarod
Yes, yes Alaska is cold AF and this is a dogsled race. Doesn’t matter. A week long trip to watch the dogs run, spend a few days hiking about in the wilderness, lounging in hot springs, and watching the northern lights from a lakeside camp, and then back for the finish. I couldn’t be more in for this if there was free whiskey and a pony too.
4. The Summer Olympics
Technically, this one doesn’t even have to be in the US. Just once, I want to do the Olympics right. Probably going to have to win the Powerball to finance this trip, but it would be worth every penny to spend weeks going from event to event, and when not doing that, enjoying the local culture of wherever it’s being held. Since I don’t get to hang on to that dream of being an olympian anymore, the least I can do for myself is go watch those who reached it.
3. The Rose Bowl
It would be ideal, of course, if I could attend a Rose Bowl that Boise State was playing in. We came tantalizingly close in 2011, and I believe that it’s only a matter of time. That being said, I’m not willing to wait forever to catch a bowl game there, so really, any teams will do. The Rose Bowl signifies what is great about college football to me – under the lights in Pasadena, the hills in the background and that sunset. Gotta see it, just once.
2. The Seahawks at Centurylink
The Seahawks are my team, fam, and I’ve never seen ‘em live. However, hearing Centurylink rocking on a Sunday is pretty much my reason for existence on Sundays from September – January. Wanna go see more of that city than the Airport and UW’s campus anyway, so catching a Hawks game is definitely up there on my List of Seattle Things. I’m pretty damn loud in my living room, can only imagine the joy of it with thousands of other 12’s.
1. The CFP National Championship
My football fandom won this one. Wanted to be like “Game 7 of the World Series!” or some other truly Americana experience that I don’t really follow, but my heart wouldn’t allow it. It’s the Natty. It’ll always be the Natty. Don’t care if I hate both teams, don’t care if it’s supposed to be boring, don’t care how expensive and ad-filled it seems, the fact that the National Championship can now be won instead of bestowed means one thing – I won’t be done until I get to see the spectacle.
So what is on your sports bucket list? Reach out to me @reflectivity or @tgatesociety on twitter or in the comments below, because I’m quite interested to hear about what I missed.