It has been a crazy year of Big Sporting Events. I have been to the BCS Championship game, SuperBowl, NCAA Final Four, and NBA Championship game 1.
In January, my brother and I took my father to the BCS Championship game. It was a birthday surprise for his 70th. We flew to Florida and spent a couple quality days together…just the boys. We had huge steaks at a fancy steak restaurant and then enjoyed a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean from our hotel suite. We passed the time by telling stories and playing cards.
My dad is a huge OU Sooner’s football fan but he has never been to a gameUnfortunately, the BCS Championship game location was a hostile environment for the Sooner fan base. From our fine perch in the 3rd level hovering the 50 yard line, approximately 80% of the fans were wearing Gator colors. In the end, Tim Tebow led his Gators over the Heisman winner, Sam Bradford. While the game was disappointing, the trip was once in a lifetime for my father, my brother, and me.
Less than a month later, I was in Florida for Super Bowl 43 to watch my Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Arizona Cardinals. This time I went with my work family, OCA Ventures. We were celebrating our Fund II final close and decided to wait until after the holiday season to celebrate. We spent 3 days in Tampa and partied with the thousands of Steeler fans (6:1 Steeler to Cardinal fan ratio). I didn’t actually go to the game because ticket prices surged before kickoff because of Steeler nation, so most of my work colleagues didn’t want to pay the high prices. I was torn about whether to sit in the stands by myself or go to a bar with my work colleagues.
It was an awesome game and a super finish. As a lifelong Steeler fan, I was more than pleased with the outcome. I probably could write on and on about the Steelers; perhaps another time.
NCAA Final Four
Two months later, I was in Kansas City for a work event. That night, we went to the NCAA basketball hall of fame. I competed in a 3 point game where you shoot as many 3 point shots as you can in 40 seconds. I tried about 5 times, and on my last time, I made 13 out of 16 for 39 points; the second highest score of the evening was 24 points. Ironically, I got a call from my lawyer buddy, Al Liou, later that night. Al and I met in Taiwan back in 1992; we spent the better part of that summer playing hoops.
On a night in which I was at the college basketball hall of fame, my 3 point shooting buddy tells me that he has tickets to the Final Four in Detroit the upcoming weekend and that he couldn’t go. Al offered me the tickets, so I called my brother up and he re-arranged his weekend as well so that we could go to Detroit to watch UNC, Villanova, Michigan St, and U Conn. My brother and I both arrived on Saturday and watched a close game as the Spartans upset the Huskies. In game 2, we snuck up close to the first level and watch NC defeat Nova pretty easily.
Not much to do in Detroit on our day off. We ended up finding a Bikram Yoga studio. Monday night, we watched Roy Williams’s Tar Heels beat the local Michigan St team. While the Spartans had 80% of the crowd, the Tar Heels were clearly the superior team.
NBA Championship Game 1
Fast forward to June and I have to thank my friend Al again. He hooked me up with NBA Finals Game 1 tickets in LA…Lakers vs Magic. It was pretty amazing to watch a determined Kobe Bryant score at will. The Lakers took game 1 pretty easily. It was cool to see all the stars…Jack Nicholson (in row 1 courtside), Billy Idol, Kevin Connolly of Entourage, and Randy Jackson of American Idol.
It has only been 6 months into 2009, yet it has been a year of championship highlights!