Sporting Events: They Could Save the World

I’ve attended many college football games, several NBA and WNBA games, a few minor league baseball games, a few college basketball games, one Major League Baseball game, a minor league hockey match, and two Indy 500 races.

I don’t know where I got my love of sports. It probably came from all those sporting events that I watched with my dad when I was a kid. But watching a sporting event live and in person obviously brings far more excitement than just watching it on television. I’m not sure that there’s many things out there in life that bring me more excitement than getting to attend a live sporting event.

My dad and I would always go to our yearly NBA Jazz games and our yearly trip with the local church group to BYU football games. Sometimes the whole family would attend. My sisters and I always looked forward to getting a cup of ice cream and a salted pretzel during each game. When we went to the BYU games, we would always root for the visiting team. (My dad and I both hate BYU, like father like son.)

Casey and I began going to Utah football games pretty early in our marriage.  We tried to make each home game until Casey got too pregnant with Addie to get to the top of the stadium, which is where I prefer to sit. I just didn’t feel comfortable asking my pregnant wife to waddle up to my favorite seat in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

We moved to Indiana shortly after Addie was born, which only allowed us to attend Utah football games that were held close to Indianapolis.  Unfortunately, Utah has only played a handful of games since we moved here.

We gradually began attending other local sporting events. The one that made the greatest impression is easily the Indianapolis 500.  My wife and I have both attended the Indy 500 twice (only once together). And we’ve loved it each time.

Although attending the race will not turn into an annual event for our family, I hope my kids get the opportunity to go with us one day. However, I am even more excited to take my daughters to their first Utah football game. It probably won’t happen for a few more years, but I want Addie and Vivi to experience the college football atmosphere and the excitement it brings.

This may sound weird, but I really think that going to more football games and other sporting events with my wife would have strengthened our marriage. I can’t think of a single fight or disagreement my wife and I have had while at a sporting event. In fact, outside Utah’s recent loss to Notre Dame, all I can remember about those games is happiness.

Here are some pictures of sporting events that Casey and I have attended over the past few years:

  • The Borg-Warner Trophy 1 of 20
    The Borg-Warner Trophy
    This is the trophy for the Indianapolis 500. The winner has a silver carve-out of his/her face placed on the trophy. The Motor Speedway's Pagoda can be seen in the background.
  • The Borg-Warner Trophy 2 of 20
    The Borg-Warner Trophy
    Here is another picture of the trophy surrounded by two Indy cars and the official pace car of the Indy 500 that year--the Camaro.
  • Indy Car Driver 3 of 20
    Indy Car Driver
    Casey had a media pass that allowed her to take pictures from the track on Pole Day. She got some amazing shots of the drivers while they were sitting in their cars.
  • Indy Cars 4 of 20
    Indy Cars
    Sometimes it seems like the cars look just like that as they zip by at 220 MPH.
  • Tom Carnegie 5 of 20
    Tom Carnegie
    Casey hung out a bit with Tom Carnegie two years ago at the Indy 500. He was the legendary announcer at the Indy 500 for many years. Sadly, he passed away in 2011.
  • The Yard of Bricks 6 of 20
    The Yard of Bricks
    The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is also known as the Brickyard. The track was originally paved with brick. All of the bricks were eventually removed except for this one yard of bricks that are kissed each year by the winner of the Indy 500 and other tourists who get the opportunity to get on the track.
  • Dan Wheldon 7 of 20
    Dan Wheldon
    This is a picture of Dan Wheldon in 2010 following that year's Indy 500. He won the 2011 Indy 500 and died in a crash later that year in Las Vegas in an Indy car race. The Indy 500 in 2012 gave a fantastic tribute to Dan prior to the race.
  • The Big House 8 of 20
    The Big House
    My wife and I attended a Utah vs. Michigan game at the Big House in 2008.
  • The Masses 9 of 20
    The Masses
    The Big House was in my top two stadiums I wanted to attend. The Big House is the largest college football stadium in the country.
  • The Big House 10 of 20
    The Big House
    It's amazing how quiet 100,000 people can be when their team is losing.
  • The Shirt that Almost Cost me my Life 11 of 20
    The Shirt that Almost Cost me my Life
    Here's a shot of the scoreboard after the game. Utah won the game. My shirt reads, "Take the Big House." Sounded like a good thing to wear prior to the game, but I was second guessing my decision as Michigan fans started throwing things at me and attempting to punch me as I walked to the stadium. I haven't been to many other stadiums where the fans acted in such a manner. Although, I've heard that kind of behavior is rare at the Big House.
  • An Empty Stadium 12 of 20
    An Empty Stadium
    An empty Big House looks like a bunch of bleachers. The stadium is less than impressive when empty. It gives you an idea of just how much they pack people in, in order to reach 100,000 plus.
  • Notre Dame 13 of 20
    Notre Dame
    Notre Dame Stadium was the stadium I wanted to see the most in college football. It was everything I had imagined. Great tradition at that stadium.
  • Notre Dame Atmosphere 14 of 20
    Notre Dame Atmosphere
    Walking around campus is an absolute must if you are going to attend a Notre Dame game. The atmosphere is fantastic. The fans are hospitable and friendly.
  • History 15 of 20
    The Notre Dame campus is filled with tradition and history. Lots of things to see before the game.
  • Notre Dame Rushes the Field 16 of 20
    Notre Dame Rushes the Field
    Unfortunately, Utah showed up to this game and laid an egg. Bad outcome to the game, but we still loved our trip.
  • Louisville 17 of 20
    Casey and I attended a Utah vs. Louisville game in 2007. I need to talk to her about using Blue when writing messages on the photos.
  • ESPN 18 of 20
    Our seats were on the front row of the visitors' section, which landed us on ESPN several times.
  • Players Stormed the Stands 19 of 20
    Players Stormed the Stands
    Utah wasn't expected to win that game but did anyway. The players and fans were so excited that several of the Utah players jumped into the stands right where we were sitting. One of my top live sporting moments of my life.
  • Pittsburgh 20 of 20
    My friend and I drove to Pittsburgh last year for a Utah vs. Pitt game. A family friend had field passes and was gracious enough to share those passes. I got to watch a quarter of the game from the sideline. This is by far my favorite live in person sporting moment.

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