Bradley Associate Athletic Director Bobby Parker offers his take on Bradley Athletics and the sporting world in general in his "Blogging with BP" feature on BradleyBraves.com.
As I mentioned in Tuesday's blog entry, ESPN.com recently published a NCAA Bucket List, which got me thinking about what should be on my Bucket List. The concept of a Bucket List is kind of morbid, but like most people, I have dreams and aspirations. So here is my Bucket List, and as you will see, it is much more than just a sports list:
- Cutting Down the Nets - No pressure, Geno, but I want to climb the ladder and snip a piece of net. The tradition of cutting down the nets after winning a basketball championship goes back to 1947, when North Carolina State head coach Everett Cass decided his Wolfpack needed some souvenirs from the Southern Conference Tournament. I guess he had a good idea and the simple task is a great reward for all the hard work the players and coaches put into winning a title. I'm not sure how my work translates, but I still want the opportunity and I'll set for a conference tournament championship snip. If it's good enough for the tradition's founder, it's good enough for me.
- Wedding Day Dances - While my Bucket List has some sports themes, I am a bit of a sentamentalist (ok, sap). I am the proud father of two beautiful daughters and I cannot imagine any better experience than sharing a dance with them on their wedding days. No hurry, though, I'm willing to wait a few years on this one!
- Touring Europe with My Wife - My wife makes a great number of sacrifices to allow me to live the life of a college athletics administrator and I'll never be able to match those sacrifices, but the chance to take her around Europe, and specifically Italy, would go along way toward evening the scale. I'd like to see the sights myself, but the chance for her to see the sights and walk the streets of her ancestors would be even more rewarding.
- Running Down The Hill - Growing up in South Carolina with season tickets for Clemson Football, I have witnessed "The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football" on a number of occassions and I have touched Howard's Rock while standing at the top of The Hill in the east endzone at Clemson's Memorial Stadium, aka Death Valley, but only the players, coaches and staff actually have the opportunity to run down The Hill with 80,000+ people cheering their entrance. I can't imagine the rush the lucky few must experience as they ride they bus around the stadium with fans banging the sides, then exiting to the sound of Tiger Rag and the screams of the crownd and ultimately charging down The Hill when the cannon blasts. Clemson fan or not, who wouldn't love that experience, just once. As a runner-up exprience, I might even enjoy "Dotting the I" at Ohio Stadium or running alongside Ralphie in Boulder.
- Balloon Ride Over the Illinois River Valley - I have a bit of an adventurous streak, though that spirit probably has tamed a bit as I have aged. While driving to Orlando to work an NCAA Regional while in college, my buddy and I pulled off the road in Panama City, Florida for the opportunity to bungy jump off a 25-meter platform, a teammate and I treated ourselves to a skydiving experience over the Arizona desert for our college graduation and I love the big roller coasters as much as the next guy (though my head wasn't quite right after my most-recent coaster ride). I don't have any aspirations to plummet from the basket, but a Fall flight over the Illinois River Valley in a hot air balloon would have to be pretty breathtaking.
- Experience All Our National Parks - Can you believe that I spent five years living in Southern New Mexico and I never visited Carlsbad Caverns? To be honest, I did make it to the entrance of the caverns, only for a bomb threat to be called in, resulting in the closing and a minimum three-hour delay before their re-opening. So, I have never actually been inside Carlsbad Caverns. I have been to many of our countries National Parks and we are blessed to have so much beauty and history preserved within our vast land. There are 401 national parks, so it may be a bit ambitious to take them all in, but the more I can experience with my girls, the better.
- Visit Disneyworld with My Nieces and Nephews - When I was 10 years old, my uncle took me to the Magic Kingdom for my second visit to the Happiest Place on Earth and I just thought that was the coolest experience. Now I have three nieces and four nephews and I have been to Disneyworld with two of them as part of a massive family trip. I doubt I'll be able to afford five more individual trips, but if the eldest can hold out a few years for my 50th birthday, I'd like a few years to organize the trip for all of us.
ESPN.com's NCAA Bucket List has some pretty good options I'd like to take in and I'm sure I could come up with many more non-sporting experiences, but this list is a pretty ambitious start. There is a much simpler Bucket List, though, and I direct you to Jim Valvano's acceptance speech of the Arthur Ashe Award at the 1993 ESPY Awards. If you can laugh, spend some time in thought and allow your emotions to bring yourself to tears, all in one day, you've had a pretty good day. Start small and work your way up.
They say duplicating ideas is a great form of flattery. For you readers who may be Facebook users, feel free to share your Bucket List below. I'm sure I'm missing out on some great experiences.
Until next time ...
Blogging with BP
Aug. 20, 2013: Bradley Soccer Promotions Review
Aug. 19, 2013: Bahamas Delinquency and Soccer Hype
Aug. 15, 2013: Random thoughts from the Bahamas
Aug. 14, 2013: A true Hall of Famer
Aug. 12, 2013: Perspective Check Monday
Aug. 11, 2013: Travel recap
Aug. 9, 2013: Live Stats for the Summer of Thunder Classic
Aug. 8, 2013: Bradley Athletics Provides Family-Friendly Entertainment Options
Aug. 7, 2013: Recapping the Bahamas Preview Luncheon and Scrimmage
Aug. 6, 2013: Check out the Bradley Team Store
Aug. 5, 2013: Introduction and Bahamas Preview
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