Creating a “bucket list” has gone from a fad to a tradition. Millions of people are putting pen to paper and naming the things they want to do before they die. The resulting experiences have been life-changing events that people truly treasure until they kick the proverbial bucket.
Over time, some people have assembled themes in their bucket lists. Instead of a diverse grouping like a trip to Ireland, eating steak at Peter Luger’s, and learning to play guitar, they assemble a compilation of related experiences that play into some personal characteristic or hobby.
It might be the popular Bourbon Trail in Kentucky, where participants visit several different distilleries in the heart of the Bluegrass. It could be a series of beaches, bouncing from Gulf Coast white sand to Kehena Beach’s black sand in Hawaii.
Or it could be sports. For sports fans of every stripe, there are countless ways they can put together a bucket list that will provide amazing experiences and memories. Piecing those together into something personal and meaningful is a fantastic way to live. Here are a few ideas:
We don’t mean a thorough tour of a single event. We mean “Bob and Jerry’s North American NFL Tour 2017”. You bounce like a rock star from one football venue to another, catching a game on the sport’s iconic old landmarks like Soldier Field while dropping by the gleaming new destinations like AT&T Field. Tie in a nearby lodging site and you can roll Lawrence Welk timeshare California in with the StubHub Center or a beautiful Rocky Mountain vista with Mile High Stadium for a game-plus-stay event.
It’s fairly easy to pull it off with football playing most games on Sundays. You roll in Saturday, see the sights, spend the night, and hit the game the next day with time afterward for the flight home.
Scheduling is easier with the NBA, which has 41 home games for each team. And if baseball is more your liking, it’s even easier, because the boys of summer have 81 home games every season. Very bucket-friendly.
Participating In Sports
Watching sports is fun, but playing them is even better. Many sports have now found ways to let the fans get a taste of real competition on the actual field of play. The NASCAR Richard Petty Experience will let you suit up and strap in to take a hot lap on an actual Cup track–about as fast as you’re willing to drive.
There are also countless camps hosted by other sports. Some are for kids, some for kids and parents–and others for adults only. These activities give you a chance to re-live your high school glory days and get a glimpse of where you might have gone without that bad hamstring.
Of course, you can be a true competitor in the actual sport. It may not be easy to schedule, but anyone can play on the courses of the PGA Tour. After all those times watching Tiger and Nicklaus struggle with a course’s most challenging holes, you can put your theories to the test.
Catching “The Last…” and “The First…”
While millions of people attend sporting events each year, there are only a few events that qualify as landmark dates. Maybe it’s Vin Scully’s final call for the Dodgers, or the last home game for Peyton Manning. Sometimes it’s a little speculative, of course; Manning didn’t confirm his retirement until the Broncos’ Super Bowl victory.
But others are known well in advance. You could catch the last game at a stadium before it’s replaced, or, as an easier ticket, your favorite team’s last visit there. There could be a name change, a coach change, or even a rules change that creates a final opportunity to see a sport done in a certain way, by certain people, or in a certain place for the last time.
What’s great about this bucket item is that you can build it as you go. When word comes out of one of these big changes, you can pencil in a final game and witness history. Pretty exciting stuff to do before you become history yourself!
The tradition of bucket lists has done so much to help people look at their lives as a time to live, experience, and celebrate, and to give them something tangible and memorable to reflect on in their golden years. For the sports fans, there are lots of ways to leave your final mark on the games you love.