When people hear I’m from Louisville, one of the first responses is normally something like, “Oh, I’ve always thought it would be neat to go to the Derby. How is it?” I’ll inevitably respond with something about how the two weeks of festival activities really brings the community together and gives us pride in our city. Usually I’ll mention Thunder over Louisville or going to the balloon race. And the response is usually, “No, I mean the actual Derby, how is it?” And then I have to admit that after having lived in the Louisville area nearly all my life and having attended a ton of racing events, including ones at Keeneland and even Churchill Downs, I have never actually been to the Derby. It’s always been fun to watch and celebrate with family and friends, but I have never actually put on my hat and inserted my mint julip and gone to watch it live.
Inevitably, this time of year leading up to the Derby makes me think about all the places, things, and events I’ve wanted to experience but haven’t gotten around to it. I guess Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman would call it my bucket list. While some non-sports-related items have found their way onto it over the year (see Alaska, make a whole quilt, visit that place in Mexico that they talk about in “Shawshank Redemption), not surprisingly most of the items have to do with sporting events and specifically Kentucky sporting events. A few items on my list:
– Kentucky Derby from the infield
– Kentucky Derby from millionaire’s row (guessing this will involve me busing tables, which I’m not above doing if only to be able to meet Ben Affleck, Hugh Hefner, and Ben Stein)
– UL/UK game in either football or basketball
– Notre Dame football game (I can actually cross this one off my list. Not in any way a ND fan, but it’s definitely a unique and dare I say spiritual experience.)
– Midnight Madness
-College Gameday taping
-Little League World Series
-Play a round at Augusta
-Play in the World Series of Poker
-Summer Olympics opening ceremonies (darn you Rio de Janeiro, I almost had my shot!)
-UFC fight live (preferably with GSP fighting)
-World’s largest outdoor cocktail party
-See a football and basketball game in every stadium or arena in the SEC
I know some of these should be things I’ve already done (lack of motivation to sit through traffic and lack of funds contribute to a good number of them) but I really plane to do every single one before I croak. So let’s hear it. What’s on your sports bucket list?