BENNER: Here's mine. Tell me what's on your sports Bucket List

October 3, 2009

My wife and I journeyed to the Grand Canyon this summer. A year ago, it was the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.

These were Bucket List items. Inspired by the movie of the same name and moving toward our sunset years, we’ve begun to think of things to do, places to visit, and experiences we’ve not had.

I have a sports bucket list, too.

In Indiana, I long ago crossed off most of my biggies, either through work or pleasure. The Indy 500. Butler University basketball in Hinkle Fieldhouse, especially on a Saturday afternoon. The Old Oaken Bucket Game. The Monon Bell Game. Indiana-Purdue basketball. A Notre Dame football home game. Hoops in Roberts Stadium in Evansville and the Fort Wayne Coliseum. The Indiana-Kentucky All-Star Game. High school basketball in Anderson’s Wigwam, the New Castle Fieldhouse, Southport Fieldhouse and Frankfort’s Everett Case Arena. Swimming and diving at the IU Natatorium. Final Fours. Colts and Pacers, of course. A resplendent summer evening watching the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field. The Little 500.

Experientially, I’ve ridden in the Indy Racing Experience two-seater, played golf at Crooked Stick, and shot hoops in Hinkle and Conseco fieldhouses.

Still, there’s plenty to see and do.

I’ve not been to the Hoosiers gym in Knightstown. I want to see the AMA flat-track motorcycle race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the motocross event at Lucas Oil Stadium. I want to go to a Figure-8 race at the Speedrome. My brother, David, insists the school bus race at the Anderson Speedway is a must-see.

I should go to a USAC sprint or midget car race at the Salem Speedway.

I’ve not seen the hydroplanes at either the Madison Regatta or Thunder on the Ohio in Evansville.

I want to see a high school football game at the Brickie Bowl in Hobart, and a high school basketball game at the Berry Bowl in Logansport.

I need to take in a Komets hockey game in Fort Wayne.

I’m not a soccer guy, but some day, I tell myself, I’ve got to see an IU match in Bill Armstrong Stadium. And if a World Cup game does come to Lucas Oil Stadium, I have to see that.

Sinden Racing now has a one-seat Indy car you can drive. That’s a must. I want to play Victoria National Golf Club near Evansville (know anyone who can get me on?). I want to do the toboggan run at Pokagon State Park.

The biggest item on my Indiana bucket list is one over which I have no control: to see the Hoosiers play in the Rose Bowl. And just so you know, Purdue fans, I have seen the Boilermakers in Pasadena.

Wouldn’t it be a happy coincidence if the Colts played in the 2012 Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium?

Internationally, I’ve been to Olympic Games but only the summer variety, so I’d love to witness a Winter Games. Seeing a stage, or two, of the Tour de France, would be right at the top of my list, especially if it’s a mountain climb. I’d like to take in the British Open or Wimbledon. I’d also like to see Australian Rules Football or an All-Blacks rugby match in New Zealand. And the Hahnenkamm Downhill in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

Nationally, I’ve never been to the World Series or a Stanley Cup final and, seriously, if I had to choose, it would be a Stanley Cup game.

Though I’ve been to Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park and the old Yankee Stadium, some day, I’ve got to get to a game in Baltimore’s Camden Yards and the new Yankee Stadium.

My brother, David (him again), insists my life is incomplete until I’ve seen a NASCAR race at Bristol, Tenn. OK, bro, maybe some day, but as for Talladega or Daytona, I can pass.

I’ve been to many of the great pro and college football and basketball venues, but my travels haven’t taken me to Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas or UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. And I’d like to see a University of Florida football game in the Swamp.

I’d be interested, dear IBJ readers, to learn what might be at the top of your sports bucket list, especially in Indiana. Send me an e-mail.•

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Benner is director of communications for the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association and a former sports columnist for The Indianapolis Star. His column appears weekly. Listen to his column via podcast at www.ibj.com. He can be reached at bbenner@ibj.com. Benner also has a blog, www.indyinsights.com.

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