Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The best tour in Sport

Here's a nice debate post:

Given the amount of sports tours that get plugged by sports travel companies - most famously featuring Kerry O'Keefe - we are debating today what would be the BEST sports tour that you could go on. A couple of simple rules:

1. No World Cups

2. No Olympics (as if anyone here was thinking about it)

Reason for these exceptions is that I think there would be too much consensus here - all of us would probably be all over the soccer world cup and it would be a little boring.

Professor Chaos: Anyway, let me get all patriotic and throw my hat in the ring with Le Tour de France.
- Yes, it is possibly a reaction to the Evans tilt capturing the imagination so massively.
- Yes, cycling is BORING; you see the peloton flash past once and you are done.
- However, the goodness is that it is a TOUR. A TOUR of FRANCE. The peloton flashes past and you are good for the rest of the day; eating French food, drinking regional wine and trying to nail a French bird. A bird who could cover my smoking, stocking and pit hair fetishes in one foul swoop. We haven't even touched accents yet...

Game over.

Though, I might have to beef up the sporting side of things a little bit.
Easily done.
July has some fantastic racing in Britain. Watching the likely Australian tilt at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot would do nicely.
And maybe, just maybe sneak to the 72nd hole at the British open to watch another Norman choke.

The Captain: Mine is an American sports tour of my own choosing which I am looking at doing just over a year from now. I'm also incorporating other aspects into the tour; I've always wanted to go to Alaska, and the response from friends has been overwhelming when told of my plans for a second wedding conducted by a fat Elvis who doesn't really look like Elvis! You can even have him drive you to the chapel in a pink Caddy!

Viva Las Vegas! The missus is very brave honeymooning/letting me loose in the gambling capital of the world; and there are some sweet sports bars over there...

I'll definitely be catching an NFL game aboard the pirate ship in "Buccaneer Cove" at Raymond James stadium, home of my Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aaarggh me hearties!

TD Bucs, load the cannons!

Some NBA is also on the agenda, if possible I'll catch a Phoenix Suns game; if not, after promising the missus some Disneyland frivolity and being an admirer of Dwight Howard's work, I might check out the Orlando Magic. Another major part of the tour will be a trip to Talladega Superspeedway; and not because of "Talladega Nights". The title promised so much yet the film delivered so little...Anyway, I've always wanted to catch a race there as it's the fastest track in NASCAR and the possibility of carnage is massively high. We're talking 10-20 car pile-ups, cars flying through the air, cartwheeling through the infield, motorsport at it's destructive best. We're also looking to go to the Big Apple and I vaguely remember the missus once saying "tennis is alright". Yes, she sure does love her tennis, so off to Flushing Meadows we go for the U.S. Open! Not a big ice hockey or baseball fan but as Ron Burgundy likes to say out of context, "When in Rome..."

JB: The drama I have here is to balance a tour which takes account of the bit of travel I have already done and where I would like to go and mix it with sporting events I would kick myself for missing. As it stands, I would have to throw my support for the Socceroos WC qualifying campaign. First game is away to Uzbekistan, I have always wanted to do a 'stan' tour through south Asia, taking in a bit of the silk road and who the f*#k knows what else is out there, one hell of a sporting event and one hell of an adventure. Next up and we have Bahrain, and if you want to talk troubled areas of the globe then surely, the Middle East is the only contender that could match it with the "stan" region. The beauty of Bahrain is that this archipelago whilst being in the Middle East is safely located in the Persian Gulf and with petrol prices the way they are, there would be no better souvenir at this time then a barrel of crude. Next stop and it's Japan. Japan is fastly becoming Australia's no.1 football rival ahead of Iran and Uruguay. What can I say about a country who on the one hand has given us Sony and at the same time some of the best tv game shows known to man. The tour ends with Australia's new whipping boy Qatar which has the highest income per capita in the world. A nice win and another duty free barrel of oil are all but packed in the carry on luggage. Throw in a few nice home games scattered around Australia and we have not just a tour but a campaign. For those who wanted to extend the trip, there are a few Asian cup qualifiers being played in and around these matches.

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