Monday August 10th, 2009

1. Short-season Rookie League games

Not sure where, but in places like Billings, Mont., and Casper, Wyo., with the sun setting over the left-field fence, with purple mountains majesty above thy fruited plain. Preferably with a local micro brew in my right hand.

2. Texas-Oklahoma (when both are ranked in the top five)

I want to start Thursday night at one campus, then move to Dallas on Friday night for dinner at Bob's Steak and Chop House, then go tailgating starting about 7 a.m. Saturday morning at the game. I wouldn't mind seeing a Saturday night game at LSU either.

3. Manchester City at Manchester United

I saw City play this spring, and the energy level for a match against Blackburn was splendid. I can only imagine what the locals do when they're playing the other locals. This time I'll dress better. I bet there were 5,000 men with coats and ties at the Manchester City grounds.

4. Maple Leafs-Canadiens in Montreal

I've seen the two teams play at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, but I was in a box for the game. I want to be down near the ice, with the two teams fighting for playoff seeding -- or, better yet, in a playoff game -- and the locals in full throat. I just have to see hockey in Montreal. Pierre McGuire has invited me, and I am bound and determined to take him up on it.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers intrasquad scrimmage/practice

It takes place at Latrobe High School on the second Friday night of training camp, a tradition I've heard is unlike any other in all of training-campdom. The players take yellow school buses to the site and sign autographs 'til the cows come home. Only in western Pennsylvania, folks.

My favorite: Professional: The Pedro Martinez-Roger Clemens Red Sox-Yanks Saturday afternoon playoff duel at Fenway in 1999. Amateur: The 14-inning, 3-2 Montclair (N.J.) softball victory over rival Cedar Grove in the Essex County Tournament quarterfinals in 2003. Southpaw Mary Beth King threw all 187 pitches for winning Montclair -- and scored after tripling in the bottom of the 14th to win it.

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