I have been fortunate to attend many great and famous sporting events over the years. I decided to make a list, just in case I forget, in my later years. This is my Sports Fecta of a lifetime. I wish my Dad was still alive so we could go together. Here they are, in no particular order.
1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles
I saw the tennis and boxing, where Evander Holyfield was disqualified. My friend Brad and I polished off several Heinekens and Carlsbergs on this hot summer day.
1998 and 2000 U.S. Open Golf Championship
Olympic Club in 1998 when Lee Janzen won, and 2000 at Pebble Beach when Tiger won by 15 strokes! And I have gotten to play both courses already. Oly Club has the most unique burger, in that it fits into a hot dog bun for ease of eating while playing golf.
1972 NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship Game
At the old Los Angeles Sports Arena, won by, none other than Johnny Wooden and the great UCLA Bruins. It was not the circus that it is now.
1984 Super Bowl in Palo Alto
Won by our San Francisco 49ers over Miami. The two Miami quarterbacks ate in my friend’s sushi restaurant in Los Altos earlier that day. Maybe they got some bad fish?
2008 Kentucky Derby
Won by Big Brown, a great horse and we held a winning ticket. We loved the champagne, Mint Juleps, and big hats. And the Maker’s Mark bourbon and lobster rolls.
1982 U. S. Open Tennis Championship
Held in Flushing Meadow, NY, next to the Old Shea Stadium and LaGuardia Airport. Too bad it is held in NY, or I would go again. We sat in a box seat near Dan Rather and Althea Gibson.
2007, 2008, 2009 Indianapolis 500
Won by Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, and Helio Castroneves. I under estimated how much I would enjoy this. But my favorite is Danica. I plan to go next year too.
Davis Cup Tennis
The Finals in 1979 were held in San Francisco at the old Civic Auditorium. The U.S. was led by John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis. The doubles team was Stan Smith and Bob Lutz, and we beat the Italian Davis Cup team 5-0.
The Big Game
Always near the top of my list since I went to Cal twice. But we usually ended up on the short end, since Stanford can let anyone enroll. I must have seen about ten of these in person, some horizontally, I might add.
The Warriors won in 1976 with a rag tag team coached by Al Attles. Former Cal star, Charlie Johnson, was a guard on the team. We had to watch the game at the old Cow Palace since the Oakland Coliseum had the circus or some other event. And I was given the tickets, since few games sold out back then.
I went several times, back in 1972, 1973, and 1974 when the Oakland Athletics won three in a row. I also went when the A’s won the Bay Bridge earthquake interrupted series in 1989.
Major League Baseball All Star Game
My son and I went to the All Star game and Disneyland back in 1989. Bo Jackson was the big star of the game and chosen MVP. My son got to meet all the Oakland A’s players the next day at the airport.
Masters Golf 2004
My only trip to Augusta Georgia, when Phil Mickelson won the green jacket. Fun, but in the middle of a old, white ghetto. I would give almost anything to play this course and Cypress Point.
All England Lawn Tenis Champiosnships (Wimbledon) 2009
I made it here this past year. I was able to see all the greats, including the Williams Sisters, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Juan del Potro, The Bryan Brothers, and the young American sensation, Melanie Oudin. One of the best parts of the trip was standing in line and making friends from all over the world.
So, what is left for me to see? I am waiting for my California Golden Bears to win the Pac 10 Football Championship, and participate in the Rose Bowl. I hope it happens during my lifetime!