January 29, 2014

Update: My top tens

In a post two weeks ago, I listed my top ten movies, books, albums, comic books, and restaurants. I ended by asking if there were any other top tens you'd like to know. Smamy asked for my favorite sports venues.

In no particular order but grouped by sport...
  • Seymour High School (high school basketball)
    • I spent a number of March Saturdays in the Seymour gymnasium, often watching three games in a day, something that doesn't happen in the Indiana state tournament any more, sadly. I sat courtside. I sat in the highest extremes. I saw Bobby Knight in the stands. I saw Damon Bailey break the state scoring record. I saw New Albany win, and I had my heart broken.
  • Southport High School (high school basketball)
    • I've only seen a game and a half there, both in the same day when New Albany was undefeated and headed to an obvious state title - only they weren't because of Brownsburg High School and Gordon Hayward.
  • New Castle High School (high school basketball)
    • New Castle's gymnasium is the largest high school gymnasium in the country with seating for 9,325 rabid fans. I've never seen it full, but I love going to the Hall of Fame tournament whenever I can.
  • Dayton Arena (college basketball)
    • Five games are played there in a day for the Ohio high school basketball tournament, and they're pretty good games since it's the round of 32 for the state. I've never managed my dream of seeing all five even once. I have seen Princeton play there a number of times in the lucky years when the team is good and the tournament draw is right. I also got to see Indiana edge Temple in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year - admittedly in slightly worse seats.
  • Assembly Hall (college basketball)
    • Indiana's gymnasium is the first place that I saw a college basketball game, and at this point it's the last one I've seen one. Throughout the years I was taken there by my parents, and I've come to make a pilgrimage there once a year as an adult. I love the place.
  • Cintas Center (college basketball)
    • This is another place where I've seen Princeton's state title hopes end unsuccessfully and thankfully stay alive a number of times. It's often where the first few rounds are played and always where the Cincinnati area's final four representative is decided. Once since I've been at Princeton that representative was that Vikings.
  • PNC Park (baseball)
    • The Girl and I have made a number of rounds to various major league ballparks over the years, not having visited a new one for a long while now, though. The Pittsburgh stadium, at the confluences of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers is absolutely the perfect stadium. It's marvelously well designed and gorgeous.
  • Wrigley Field (baseball)
    • Without romance, without beauty, without the marvels of baseball, this is an aging, outdated, cramped stadium. With the romance, with the beauty of the ivy, with the marvelously picturesque, it's near perfection.
  • Mud Hollow (soccer)
    • Sure, this is because I lived in the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house and was able to watch a soccer game on our land, haranguing the visiting goalie from over his shoulder - we weren't allowed to stand right behind the goal. Once we were even told by the university that we were being too nasty and negative and had to move to the sidelines. I'm not proud of it, but those were some good times.
  • Little Giant Stadium (football)
    • For the homecoming games and parades and beauty pageants alone... 
I've been two NFL stadia - the Hoosier Dome and Paul Brown Stadium (only from the concession stands, never seeing an actual game).

I've been to a number of major league baseball stadia...
  • Atlanta - Turner Field 
  • Baltimore - Oriole Park at Camden Yards
  • Chicago - Wrigley Field, US Cellular Field
  • Cincinnati - Great American Ballpark, Riverfront Stadium
  • Cleveland - Jacobs Field
  • Detroit - Comerica Park
  • Miami - Sun Life Stadium
  • Milwaukee - Miller Park
  • Minneapolis - Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome (now torn down)
  • New York - Shea Stadium, Yankee Stadium (both now torn down)
  • Philadelphia - Citizen's Bank Park
  • Pittsburgh - PNC Park
  • St Louis - Busch Stadium (now torn down)
  • Washington, DC - Nationals Park
...and a few minor league ballparks - Durham, Indianapolis, Louisville, Dayton.

I've seen big-time tennis in two cities - Cincinnati and Indianapolis, including the Davis Cup in the latter.

I've seen one major league soccer game - the Columbus Crew when they were playing at The Horseshoe on Ohio State's campus.

I've seen high school basketball in dozens and dozens of other gymnasiums - mostly in Indiana and some in Ohio.

I've seen a couple of minor league hockey games - in Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

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