Super Bowl

A Sports Fan’s Bucket List

I went to a college gymnastics meet last night.  During the meet, Nebraska senior Janelle Giblin scored a perfect 10.0 on the uneven bars.

Even though Nebraska is a top ten team, it was quite unexpected – the 10.0 was Nebraska’s first in any event since 2011, and only the second in school history on bars.

It was also pretty cool to witness; one of those things that as a sports fan I’ll be able to claim for the rest of my life.

The perfect 10 got me thinking:  what other accomplishments and feats should every sports fan aspire to see?  A sports fan’s bucket list, if you will.

I’m not talking about sporting events you want to attend (Super Bowl, The Masters, Olympics, Game 7, etc.), but the moments and feats that every sports fan should hope to witness.

My sports fan bucket list is broken out by sport.  I’m going to try to limit this list to the universally known items (a walk-off home run) and avoid the obscure, once in a blue moon events (like the one point safety in the 2013 Fiesta Bowl).

Feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments.


  • Walk-off home run
  • No hitter or perfect game.
  • Batter hits for the cycle.
  • A triple play.*

*A personal aside:  back in the mid-90s, I went to a Royals – A’s game with some buddies.  In the top of the 3rd inning, I headed to concession stands when Oakland was batting (as a lifelong Royals fan, I wanted to watch the Royals bat). 

While in line, I heard a loud roar from the KC crowd.  I returned to my seat to learn that the Royals had just turned a 5-4-3 triple play.  My friends who saw it were, of course, the ones that didn’t care about baseball.  They knew they had witnessed something special, while I, the baseball fan, had unwittingly traded a once in a lifetime opportunity for a hotdog and a Coke.

I am still very bitter about this. 


  • A triple-double.
  • Game winning buzzer beater from well beyond three-point range.


  • A hat trick.
  • Goal scored by a goalie.


*I really struggled coming up with bucket list worthy football items.  What I came up with were more about the game than individual performances, which is not what this list is about.  

Sure, game winning field goals can be exciting, but they can also be rather automatic and generic.  I’ve seen some amazing individual accomplishments (a 300 yard rusher, a 500 yard passer, a receiver who had 400 yards in a game) but those are more arbitrary numbers than true bucket list items.  Regardless, here is what I came up with:

  • A tear down the goal posts win.
  • A back and forth, multiple overtime game (high school or college)
  • A touchdown involving three or more players touching the ball (trick plays, multiple laterals, etc.).

Other Sports

  • A perfect 10 in gymnastics
  • Hole in one or a double eagle (witnessing one, not hitting it).
  • A world’s record in any Olympic event (track & field, swimming, etc., but not necessarily AT the Olympics)
  • A 300 game in bowling

What items are on your sports fan bucket list?

The Super Bowl of Adoption

Author’s note:  I’m a little late to the party on this, but I wanted to share my two cents…

As part of the non-stop hype and build up to last week’s Super Bowl, media members from all over the country explore every conceivable story angle on the players – especially those in starring roles, such as San Fransisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  Kaepernick is a pretty interesting story:  not widely recruited out of high school, becomes a star QB and helps boost Nevada football to respectability.  Gets drafted by the 49’ers and takes over the starting job midway through the season, helping to ignite the team, leading them to the Super Bowl.  Kaepernick was also adopted by white parents, adding another level to his already unique story.

Although progress is being made, adoption is still a rather mysterious subject for a lot of folks.  Add in the layers of open adoption (where the adoptee has some level of contact/relationship with their birth family) and transracial adoption (my wife and I are white; our children are not) and it definitely makes for an interesting angle for the hundreds of media members looking for something new to report/write/talk about*.

*As an aside, Kaepernick was not the only transracial adoptee playing in the Super Bowl.  Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher was also adopted by a white family, but his story (or at least a Hollywood version of it) has already been told in the Sandra Bullock movie The Blind Side.

One of the questions Kaepernick was asked during the Super Bowl media day was if he was in contact with his birth parents.  Kaepernick was placed for adoption by a 19 year old woman, who knew that she would not be able to adequately provide for him.  He said that he had not been in recent contact with her (she had sent a letter for his 18th birthday), nor did he have a desire to do so.

This is where ESPN columnist Rick Reilly comes in.  Reilly adopted one of his daughters from Korea, and in a recent column he related a personal story of how his daughter reunited with her birth mom and biological siblings during trips to Korea.  According to Reilly, the experience has been very positive for his daughter.  Terrific.  I am a big believer in open adoption.  And hearing about positive and healthy relationships between adopted children and their biological family makes me happy.

But then Reilly expresses confusion over why Kaepernick refuses to meet with his birth mom.  He cannot understand why Kaepernick is not behaving like other adopted kids who are “crazy curious about their birth parents”.  Reilly offers a pet theory for why Kaepernick does not want contact:  Reilly thinks that a relationship between Kaepernick and his birth mom would be disrespectful to his adoptive parents.  Maybe he’s right.  Maybe he’s not.

*A side note – the other thing about Reilly’s piece that drove me up a wall was his use of “gave him up” to describe the birth mother’s decision to place her son for adoption.  I’ve never met Colin Kaepernick’s birth mom, but I can guarantee that she did not “give up” on him, and to imply that any birth mother “gives up” on their child is insulting to the birth mom and the child.  If you use a variation of “give up” when talking about somebody who was adopted, please stop.

But here’s the thing:  Colin Kaepernick gets to choose what level of contact, if any, he has with his birth family.  He gets to decide if he is “crazy curious” about the woman who carried him for nine months before making what was likely an impossibly hard decision.  He gets to decide how he processes and handles that loss.  And he definitely gets to decide if he discusses all of this in front of the national media before the biggest game of his career.

Look:  I hope that Kaepernick can have a strong relationship with his birth mom, just as I want my own adopted children to have good relationships with their birth families.  I’m very proud of the relationship we have built with my daughter’s birth grandma, great-grandma, and half-sister.  And we continue to make every effort to establish a better relationship with our son’s birth parents – when they are ready, we will be readily oblige.  While they are young, we will do everything in our power to establish those relationships, develop them, and always ensure they are positive and beneficial for our children.

But I acknowledge that a time will come where the decision to maintain or break contact will no longer be mine.  I’ll certainly encourage them to maintain some level of communication, but if they choose to break contact, I’ll listen to them, try to understand their reasoning, and respect their decision.  And I won’t have a lot of patience for outsiders like Reilly who tell my kids how to live their lives.

Super Ads II

Last year, I reviewed all of the Super Bowl commercials, and I’m going to do it again.  I’m going to review and rate each of the commercials in the Super Bowl.  I watched the game in real-time (or as close to it as one can get with a wife and three-year old daughter who went to bed somewhere in the 3rd Quarter), compiling notes as I went.  After the game, I went back, using the magic of DVR technology, and took a second, third, and sometimes fourth look.

Let’s get to it…(note – the names of the ads are my own, since I didn’t feel like looking up the names for 50 some ads.  Also, I didn’t link to any of them.  They are all on YouTube if you need to see them again).


Super Ads

I’m going to try something that I’ve always wanted to do…I’m going to review and rate each of the commercials in the Super Bowl.  I watched the game in real-time (or as close to it as one can get with a wife and three-year old daughter who went to bed somewhere in the 3rd Quarter), compiling notes as I went.  After the game, I went back, using the magic of DVR technology, and took a second, third, and sometimes fourth look.

Let’s get to it…(note – the names of the ads are my own, since I didn’t feel like looking up the names for 50 some ads.  Also, I didn’t link to any of them.  They are all on YouTube if you need to see them again).


Bud Light Platinum “Gold into Platinum”- Six minutes of game time elapse off the clock before we get to the first ad of the night.  As is tradition, Bud Light is up first.  But what is this?  A serious commercial?  For something called Bud Light Platinum?  Where are the talking animals?  The dogs doing tricks?  The beautiful women?  The kicks to the groin?  I keep waiting for the punch line and the closest I get is describing a Bud Light product as “Top shelf taste”.  D-

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