PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – MAY 10
By Leo Haggerty

POLL QUESTION

First of all, and I will start EVERY article with this paragraph, sports pales in comparison with what is occurring with the Coronavirus. Hopefully, the columns that I, and the rest of our correspondents, provide you is a momentary escape from the trials and tribulations that Americans, and the rest of the world’s population, are experiencing. The COVID-19 is not a video game that you can press reset and get a new life. This is real and dangerous so, above all, be prudent and stay safe.

Before I reveal the opinions of our staff when it comes to this week’s poll question, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the ladies a Happy Mother’s Day.  Please enjoy the day.  You deserve it.

So, without further adieu, let’s get to the poll question.  This week’s query is as follows:

WHAT SPORTING EVENT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST TO SEE IN PERSON?

A lot of different thoughts on this.  In fact, 11 to be exact.

Does any of them jive with yours?  Check it out and see.

KELLY CHAMPION-SMITH – PHOTOJOURNALIST
Bucket list sporting event?  Ohhhhhh, where do I start?
Gymnastics and track and field at the Olympics.  CrossFit games finals.  A Super Bowl weekend including the game.  The Iditarod in Alaska.  Kentucky Derby.  Tour de France.  An Army – Navy football game.  Wimbeldon.  MLB Home Run Derby.
I got to live out probably the best ever this past January and it was at the TOP of my bucket list.  That was A BCS Championship game in New Orleans with LSU in the game and winning!  Geaux, Tigers!
WILL SMITH – AFC EAST CORRESPONDENT
Another great question.  First thing that came to mind when you said bucket list sporting event to attend in person was Game 7 of a Yankees World Series or Super Bowl with the 49ers (yes, I just couldn’t bring myself to pony up the money this year) or finally a Formula 1 race at Monaco.  But then it came to me, Isle of Man!  If you’ve never heard of it, get your butt on YouTube and search for the Isle of Man Gran Prix or TT.  This is something I need to see in person!  I would say the only thing crazier is probably wing suit flying.  Now go enjoy those great videos.
JIM THIES – NFC NORTH CORRESPONDENT
Definitely golf’s The Open Championship! (Understand this is the Open across the pond!). And I’d love to witness the event at St. Andrews. In 2003 my family (wife, son and daughter) visited St. Andrews and got a tour. It was jaw-dropping special to hear and nearly relive several of the many great shots and Opens from the past. My son wasn’t able to get on the Old course but he did play the New course. It was a very foggy day and I have etched in my memory watching him come out of the fog on the No. 18 fairway. I still get goosebumps!
MIKE SCHULZE – GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Indy 500.  My dad raced through much of my childhood on the road circuit and I’ve been to the St. Pete Grand Prix and Daytona but I’ve never made it to Indy.
JASON RUBIN – AFC EAST CORRESPONDENT
Playoff game on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field during a snow storm.
KEVIN NOWAK – PHOTOJOURNALIST
Saturday at the Masters!
T.J. SHARPE – AFC CHEF
Home game at Lambeau Field in the snow.  The bigger events – Super Bowl, Final 4, World Cup, etc… have gotten so glitzy, it would take away from the actual sporting event itself.  Even pond hockey got marginalized by the NHL. Some Olympics events would be in the same vein, although I could probably think of a dozen lesser Olympic events (Ski jump finals! Pole Vaulting! Water polo! Handball!!!) that would be awesome experiences but not qualify as “bucket list”.

But to take in the Lambeau experience in the cold would be the pinnacle of sporting events.  You can’t simply recreate the experience anywhere, there’s no set time it would actually happen, and a dozen other variables would contribute to making it a unique experience.

Runner up 1: Surf competition at Teahapoo in Tahiti – we missed it on our honeymoon by a few days. Would be amazing to sit out there alongside the break and watch these guys battle monster waves.

Runner up 2: FIVB Women’s Beach Volleyball tournament.  For obvious reasons.

LARRY DIBIASE – NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL ANLYST
Since I’m a basketball guy, I’ve always wanted to see a Big Five Basketball doubleheader at the Palestra; one of the mecca’s of college basketball. It’s amazing to have the basketball competition of 5 Philly intercity schools, all within 17 miles of each other!
I mean…the Palestra is likened to Fenway Park, Wriggly Field, the old Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, an on and on! I’ve seen pictures of the red brick building…But havin’ a chance to even walk on the wood floor…To have seen John Chaney go up against Rollie Massimino, Fran Dunphy and Jay Wright…come on…what a basketball fix it would be!
You’d have bragging rights all summer; can you imagine the pick-up games at the Jersey Shore and all the smack talkin’ there…and in the Catholic Churches throughout the Delaware Valley!!
Give me a coke, a big soft pretzel and the Big Five…I can hear ole’ Blue Eyes singing…
“Heaven…I’m in Heaven….”
GABRIEL DIBIASE – NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ANALYST
Mine would definitely be the Granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl….preferably with my Clemson Tigers playing in it!
ANGELO DIBIASE – NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ANALYST
I’ve been fortunate to attend many incredible sporting events, however as a basketball guy going to a game at the University of Kansas famed Allen Fieldhouse and hearing Rock Chalk, Jayhawk! Would be just awesome to attend…they don’t make gyms like the old field house anymore and I’d love to go see a game there. I was able to go to Cole Field House in it’s last year on the campus of the University Maryland and it was awesome. I know going to the Phog would be awesome plus.
LEO HAGGERTY – EDITOR ITS SPORTS MAGAZINE
Here’s my problem.  I’ve already crossed off a lot of sporting events on my bucket list.  A Super Bowl, check.  A Game 7 Stanley Cup final, check.  An NCAA Basketball Championship contest, check.  A Frozen Four final, check.  An MLB playoff encounter, check.  A New Year’s Day Bowl game, double check.  I been REALLY lucky as you can see.
So, here’s the sporting event at the top of my bucket list and it may surprise you.  I want to see in person The United States Open and here’s why.  It’s not just an invitational event consisting of the PGA pros.  It can be any “Tin Cup” golfer in the world as long as you can meet the qualifying score.
It’s a truly worldwide “open” competition and the winner is the best golfer in United States and it’s not necessarily an American.  In fact, in the last 10 years, four of the 10 champions have been from outside the USA.