NOTE: I wrote this story last year before the articles were posted on 1580TheFanatic.com. I’ve updated a few parts since then…hope you enjoy!
If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you’ve been to a bunch of sporting events like me.
Which ones are the ones I’ll never forget? And which ones do I wish COULD forget?
Additionally, most of you know that I’m a loyal Arizona Wildcats football season ticket holder…I haven’t missed a UofA home game since 2007. I love college football so much so that my goal is to attend 500 games in my lifetime. Keep reading below and you’ll see how much longer I have to go.
There are still quite a few events and stadiums I have yet to attend…but for now, this is a pretty fun list!
Best Atmosphere: Game 7, 2001 World Series: Yankees vs. Diamondbacks
This one will likely never be broken in my book. I was so fortunate to be in the 4th row adjacent to the Yankees dugout for Games 6 and 7 of the 2001 World Series. Thanks to my good friend Dan and his family who had a small ownership stake in the team at the time, I was sitting right near Hall of Famers and even the commissioner, Bud Selig was nearby. Selig autographed a World Series shirt for me during Game 7 but HOFer Frank Robinson stiffed me…figures! It was a surreal time…9/11 was less than 2 months before and I remember looking to my left and seeing New York mayor Rudy Giuliani two sections away. I’ll also never forget the buzz and excitement before the game. The song from the movie The Natural played before the game with a montage of dramatic World Series moments. In my life I’ve never had chills at a sporting event like I felt then…and I didn’t even have a serious rooting interest in the game. And of course the ending…
1. 2001 World Series Game 7 – Yankees vs. Diamondbacks
2. 2003 Fiesta Bowl (National Championship Game) – Ohio State vs. Miami
3. 2010 Cardinals vs. Packers Playoff Game
4. 2016 Cardinals vs. Packers Playoff Game
5. 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship Game: Clemson vs. Alabama
6. 2006 Monday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears (the Dennis Green meltdown game)
My Favorite Games: UofA edition
1. 2014 Arizona vs. Arizona State football – both teams in the top 10; Wildcats win to clinch the Pac-12 South title!
2. 2014 Arizona vs. California football – Wildcats scored 36 points in the 4th quarter and won on “The Hill Mary”
3. 2007 Arizona football upsets #2 Oregon
4. 2006 Homecoming: Arizona upsets #9 California
5. 2011 Basketball vs. Washington – Derrick Williams saves the game with a last second block.
6. 2009 Arizona vs. Oregon – the first time College Gameday came to Tucson and the Wildcats were the primetime game on ABC. Unfortunately the result wasn’t so good.
Least Favorite Games: UofA edition
1. Anytime ASU wins
1a. 2010 Arizona vs. ASU football – the ending still upsets me to this day.
Other Notable Sporting Events
1. Diamondbacks 1st game in franchise history: 3/31/1998
2. 2012 Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Oregon (also on the list for Best Atmosphere and Best Game)
3. 2017 Breeders Cup (at Del Mar)
4. 2014 Accenture Match Play Round of 8 and Semifinal matches (one of the most enjoyable sporting events I’ve ever attended)
5. 2015 Super Bowl Media Day
6. 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race
7. 2017 Final Four Saturday (just too crowded and considering my seats were still in the first level at University of Phoenix Stadium and the players still looked like ants, not one of my favorite events)
Favorite Stadiums / Venues
1. Wrigley Field
2. Del Mar Racetrack
3. Rose Bowl
4. T-Mobile Arena
College Football By the Numbers
149: College football games attended between 1989-2016
3: College Football National Championship Games (2003, 2006, 2016)
18: UofA-ASU football games (including every game from 2001-2017)
65: UofA wins I’ve seen in person (57 losses)
25: Bowl Games Attended
51: Different Division I (FBS) teams I’ve seen in person
Major Events Remaining on The Bucket List
1. Super Bowl
2. Kentucky Derby
3. Ohio State vs. Michigan football game
4. The MASTERS
5. U.S. Open (golf)
6. THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
7. Belmont Stakes
8. Daytona 500
9. Army-Navy football game
10. Any major SEC vs. SEC college football game