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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas/NC

    Best Sporting Events of All-Time

    This has been talked about on a few other threads, so I thought I might give it it's own thread. I think it is particular relevant on the heels of the final four and with the masters coming up.

    Okay, I'm going to try my hand at this. First, one initial thought

    - Big events with lots of neutral fans just don't cut it. EX: The olympics are awesome, but there just isn't enough atmosphere 99% of the time to make a top 10 list. Fan's make the events truly great. With that said, here we go...


    10) Stanley Cup Game 7
    9) British Open at St. Andrews or Masters at Augusta
    8) NBA Finals Game 7
    7) New Zealand (All Blacks) v Australia (Wallabies) Rugby
    6) Barcelona- Real Madrid at Camp Nou or Rangers-Celtic
    5) Michigan-Ohio St College Football
    4) Il Palio Horserace in Siena
    3) World Cup Final
    2) Red Sox- Yankees Playoff Game 7
    1) Duke-Carolina at Cameron Indoor

    Notes-
    Olympics- Great event, but not enough fervor around one particular event
    No NFL??- The obvious choice here would be the superbowl, but there are just too many casual fans without unbridled passion for a team.
    Two soccer matches?- It is just undeniable that soccer fans as a whole are crazier than any other sport's fan base. That's just the way of the world, and since this is about best sporting events with regard to atmosphere...
    Il Palio??- The most fervent atmosphere in sports since everyone is packed in to one little piazza and everybody there has a horse that they would kill for. It's borderline terrifying (not joking).
    Duke- Obviously I'm biased...
    Where's the Final Four- Arena's are too big and if you aren't a fan of one of the teams it is good but not great

    What are your thoughts

  2. #2
    I'll add two:

    (1) Daytona 500. Regardless of whether you like NASCAR or not, the atmosphere is electric. It is awesome.
    (2) Glasgow Rangers v. Glasgow Celtic in soccer. The passion behind religious differences is channeled through to the soccer field, and the entire city is on edge.
    My Quick Smells Like French Toast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas/NC
    Quote Originally Posted by steven52682 View Post
    (2) Glasgow Rangers v. Glasgow Celtic in soccer. The passion behind religious differences is channeled through to the soccer field, and the entire city is on edge.
    It's in there... look again

  4. #4
    I'd say Alabama/Auburn is as intense as Michigan/Ohio State. The schools aren't as big, but the hatred is as strong as anything. I honestly think the people from both schools genuinely look down on the other as inferior human beings. I think they'd make each other their slaves if they legally could.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dillon, Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueintheFace View Post
    6) Barcelona- Real Madrid at Camp Nou or Rangers-Celtic
    Isn't Atletico/Real a bigger deal?
    As suburban children we floated at night in swimming pools the temperature of blood. -- Douglas Coupland

  6. #6
    I would add the slopes of Alpe d'Huez or Mont Ventoux for Le Tour de France. Talk about crazy fans and excitement. It appeals to multiple nationalities and generations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Where's Duke-UNC football? The passion, the excitement, the history, the clash of traditions of excellence, the national title implications?

  8. #8
    No Ping-Pong China v. USA--these colors don't run!!

    No Halo tournaments?

    No Badminton?

    That list is a joke.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by BlueintheFace View Post
    It's in there... look again
    The Old Firm match should definitely be in there, but if you're looking for another alternative you need to look to a different Spanish speaking country: Argentina. River Plate Boca Juniors is maybe the only rivalry that approaches Rangers Celtic in my opinion.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Toledo
    My top five American sporting events:

    5. The U.S. Open (Golf) - Arguably the greatest and deepest collection of golfers all together at once, vying for the one of the most distinguished honors in American sports. Winner take all

    4. Ohio State-Michigan at Ohio Stadium - When Keith Jackson would roll out the ole "On the Olentangy River" you knew you were watching greatness. Ohio Stadium is one of the all-time sporting venues. Like Cameron, it breathes mystique

    3. ACC Men's Basketball Tournament in Greensboro - There is nothing else quite like the Grand Daddy when it's being played in the birthplace of ACC Basketball, the state of North Carolina, in the legendary Coliseum. The city becomes the basketball capital of the world when the ACC moves into Greensboro

    2. Duke-North Carolina, Durham, North Carolina - Best rivalry in sports, inside the most historic basketball gymnasium in the United States. Any game inside Cameron Indoor Stadium is an event, but, when Carolina comes to town, the gothic hoops cathedral becomes Heaven

    1. Thursday and Friday, NCAA Tournament First Round - Nothing in American sports can come close to the drama and excitement of the NCAAs opening rounds. Nothing. Back to back days of 12 hour basketball on national television. From unforgettable names such as Valpo and Bryce Drew to everlasting performances such as "The Show's" 36 first rounders in '99, the NCAA opening round games are bigger than the Super Bowl. An event that literally brings a country together, these are the two best days in sports

    Honorable-Mention: The Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs - As sappy as it may be, My Old Kentucky Home is about as touching a sports moment as there is. And the race itself is one of the most classic and tradition filled events in all of sports. A truly amazing gathering
    Last edited by Cameron; 04-09-2008 at 08:13 PM.
    "Duke is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something you don't pass up on." -Amile Jefferson

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post

    5. The U.S. Open (Golf) - Arguably the greatest and deepest collection of golfers all together at once, vying for the one of the most distinguished honors in American sports. Winner take all
    I agree that the U.S. Open is a great event, no doubt, but...if you're going to roll the golf route, I have seven words for you:

    "The Masters, a tradition unlike any other."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus000 View Post
    I agree that the U.S. Open is a great event, no doubt, but...if you're going to roll the golf route, I have seven words for you:

    "The Masters, a tradition unlike any other."
    I think you're both wrong. The Ryder Cup trumps them both. There is something incredible about athletes representing more than just themselves. It can be peers (college sports), religions (The Old Firm), class (Boca/River is about rich/poor), or nations (Olympics, Ryder Cup, etc.). If you're looking for a common theme, in my opinion, that is it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Texas/NC
    I thought about Boca v River Plate, and I almost put it down, but I left it off because the venues for Barca-Real and Rangers-Celtic are so much better than La Bombanera or El Monumental...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Toledo
    I agree that the U.S. Open is a great event, no doubt, but...if you're going to roll the golf route, I have seven words for you:

    "The Masters, a tradition unlike any other."
    Words are overrated.

    IMO, nothing comes close to the historic U.S. Open, the oldest golfing tournament in the United States. The event is an institution. Jim Nantz's little poem is nice, but I think the Masters' are a bit overhyped. I think the best golf is played at other events--The U.S. and British Opens, and the possibly even the Ryder Cup, as mentioned above.

    Don't get me wrong, Augusta National is an amazing place, but I just happen to enjoy the U.S. Opens' "anyone can win" mystique the best.
    "Duke is a once in a lifetime opportunity and something you don't pass up on." -Amile Jefferson

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC

    My list of things I've attended

    5. NCAA subregional (2004, 2008...also regionals in 2000)
    17. Michigan-Ohio State football (numerous times)
    20. The Stanley Cup playoffs (Game 2, 2002 Stanley Cup Finals)
    27. Tailgating in the SEC (Tennessee-Duke game, 2003)
    42. An NBA game from courtside (Pistons)
    43. Baseball All-Star Game (Texas, 1995)
    62. Midnight Madness (Lights, Cameron, Action 2003)
    64. Camp out for tickets (duh!)
    88. "Monday Night Football" (Detroit Lions)
    91. Little League game (duh again)
    92. A Permian High School football game (haven't been to one of these, but any high school football game in Texas on a Friday night is a must-see)

    Notes:
    -Barca-Real Madrid is much much bigger than Atletico-Real. I'd love to see one of these, but as a Real fan, I'd see it at the Bernabeu.
    -the Iron Bowl is intense, but nothing like Michigan-Ohio State, IMO. My mom is from Alabama, and I spent much of my childhood vacations in rural Alabama...it's intense, but a Michigan-Ohio State hatred it is not.
    -The Final Four should definitely be on the list. I've been to the Women's FF in 2003 and the Men's FF in 2004.
    -Went to MLS Cup 2007 here at RFK Stadium. A very fun game to attend if you're a fan of soccer. Plus, the tickets are very reasonable. I got 2 tickets 15 rows from the field for $50.
    -I've always wanted to go to England and catch an EPL match. I'm determined to cross a couple games off the list this fall by going to London and catching a couple games.
    2003-2004 HLM

    Duke | Mirecourt | Detroit| The U | USA

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    Words are overrated.
    I just happen to enjoy the U.S. Opens' "anyone can win" mystique the best.
    OK, I'll accept this as a more-than-valid reason. The fact that it's an 'open' tourney and amateurs are there competing in hardcore fashion IS pretty dang awesome. I do really enjoy that aspect of it.

    ...ugh, I can't believe you guys are all talking about soccer. El gross.

  17. #17

    Report from the Horse Racing Precinct..

    I'll cast my vote for any horse race where there is a big unsettle question on the line. That usually is the Kentucky Derby every year or going for the Triple Crown when eligible. I have attended the following events and would list them in order:
    1) Ruffian vs. Foolish Pleasure Match Race - Amazing build up. People wearing Him/Her buttons days in advance. Soupy atmosphere weatherwise. Packed, Standingroom only at colossal Belmont. Coal Black filly vs. Male Hope. Unforseen, Poignant, Unforgettable End to Fabled Career.
    2) Affirmed vs. Alydar Belmont to win Triple Crown - neck and neck for 3 furlongs. Alydar's only chance to win is if Affirmed didn't see him coming. Affirmed had an amazing will to win evidenced by making up 15 lenghts on Sensitive Prince in the Jim Dandy later that year. Tough Horse.
    3) Spectacular Bid goes for Triple Crown - and is defeated by a safety pin and a Peter Panish horse named Coastal.

    In Harness Racing, all folks agree that a trip to Delaware Ohio to see the "Little Brown Jug" is a must. A small town swells to accommodate the best pacers in the world on a "Thursday" to run a triple crown race. Not run in a commercial sweet spot, but amazingly well attended and loved race.

    Watching any Duke Basketball Player in a game of HORSE has to be included on this list; obviously

    Larry
    DevilHorse

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario (unfortunately, no longer in London England).
    Quote Originally Posted by steven52682 View Post
    (2) Glasgow Rangers v. Glasgow Celtic in soccer. The passion behind religious differences is channeled through to the soccer field, and the entire city is on edge.
    Being Scottish, and being from just south of Glasgow (about 45 minutes on the train), I'd call it religious bigotry rather than religious differences. Just the stories from my own family would make you shake your head and cause you to think that the whole Duke-Carolina thing is nothing more than a mild misunderstanding. At least when they play and I am there I can avoid wearing either team's colours and fall back on being from Canada to keep myself from getting dragged into anything.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario (unfortunately, no longer in London England).
    Quote Originally Posted by Lotus000 View Post

    ...ugh, I can't believe you guys are all talking about soccer. El gross.
    I agree. Soccer is the second most boring team sport in the world. Cricket is the worst. Baseball comes in third.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario (unfortunately, no longer in London England).
    Quote Originally Posted by ugadevil View Post
    I'd say Alabama/Auburn is as intense as Michigan/Ohio State. The schools aren't as big, but the hatred is as strong as anything. I honestly think the people from both schools genuinely look down on the other as inferior human beings. I think they'd make each other their slaves if they legally could.

    Dude, we're talking about Alabama here. Don't give them any ideas.

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