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Burgess Meredith died on September 9, 1997 at the age of 88.

September 9, 2017.

In my end-of-week post yesterday, I wrote that “I’ve always rejected the idea of a Sports Bucket List,” and I do believe that: The fun of going to sporting events is that anything can happen, at any time, no matter the level of play or the venue. It’s still just as much fun to go to a Cardinals game or a Georgia basketball game for the 50th or 100th time as it was the first time. (Here is your periodic reminder that you should sign up for SportsPassport.com to mark all your sports experiences. It is a wonderful, invaluable site. Here’s my page.)

But that said: I think I kind of want to make a stadium bucket list. I’ve always been entranced by the stadium as a concept, the idea, a few days a year, 100,000 people or so will gather in a confined space to be collectively entertained. (Rafi Kohan just wrote an excellent book about this.) We’ve become far too isolated and stationary a society: We try to interact with strangers as little as possible. Sporting events force strangers to become friends: They force us all to gather together and share something. Plus: You get to drink and scream and get out all sorts of emotions that would otherwise be unwelcome in polite society.

In about an hour, I’ll be heading to the Georgia-Notre Dame game at Notre Dame Stadium, which would be on this list if I weren’t about to head out the door. So, here are 10 stadiums/arenas that I’ve never been to, but would like to before I die. One might even call it a Sports Bucket List.

Beijing National Stadium (the Bird’s Nest), Beijing, China

I remember watching those Olympics and thinking, “They build this, and we build the Edward Jones Dome. We’re doomed.”

Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke

Hey, you don’t have to cheer for the home team.

Emirates Stadium, Arsenal

It’s weird to me to have a favorite team who I have never seen play at home.

Hinkle Fieldhouse, Butler


As a college basketball honk, it is embarrassing that I’ve never been here before.

Michigan Stadium (“the Big House), Michigan


I covered an Illinois-Michigan game at Crisler in college, but never here.

The Palestra, Philadelphia

I’m doing a Sports Tourist/Leitch Across America in Philadelphia the end of this month, and it kills me that college basketball won’t have started yet.

Phog Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas

I know there’s a lot of college basketball on here, but hey: I’ve seen (almost) all the baseball stadiums.

Rose Bowl, UCLA

Georgia plays here in 2025. I’m not sure I want to wait that long.

Rungado First of May Stadium, Pyongyang, South Korea

This is the biggest stadium in the world, holding 115,000 people. (It has made it up to 190,000.)

Tokyo Dome, Japan

The only dome worth considering.

If I get to half before I die, that’ll work.

Here is a numerical breakdown of all the things I wrote this week, in order of what I believe to be their quality. (This is an attempt to have an objective look at the value of my work in a way that I suspect will be difficult to sustain.)

1. Musings on the State of the NFL, Sports On Earth. I always like it when the headline writers just give up and just say, “Oh, Leitch is just musing.” (They’re not wrong.)

2. Someday, We’ll All Pretend We Didn’t Hate the Patriots, Sports On Earth. Nostalgia is a powerful drug, folks.

3. Review: “It,” Paste Magazine. Everyone else, including Grierson, seems to like it more than I do.

4. We Updated Our Stephen King Rankings, Vulture. Still a fun read if you missed it the first time.

5. NFL Confidence Pool Week One, Sports On Earth. Not too late to join! Everybody missed the Patriots game anyway!

6. NL Wild-Card Breakdown, Sports On Earth. I did not pick the Cardinals.

7. AL Wild-Card Breakdown, Sports On Earth. I did not pick the Cardinals here either.

8. Dive Dive Dive, Sports On Earth. (These now included weekly Illinois and Georgia predictions, to keep me interested.)

As I say every week: If you are the sort to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, I would have to think it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to subscribe to one of the three podcasts I do. You don’t even have to listen to them! Just download them. Here they are:

Grierson & Leitch, we previewed the Toronto Film Festival and discussed “Good Will Hunting” and “11:14.” I still don’t get the “apples” joke.

The Will Leitch Experience, previewed the NFL with Jason B. Hirschhorn.

Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, Notre Dame preview! That’s where I am right now!

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’m off to go drink like a champion today.


Best,
Will