H.G. Bissinger once left his job at the Philadelphia Inquirer to move to Texas to follow high school football. The risk he took led to one of the greatest rewards in sports writing history: Friday Night Lights.
Bissinger made high school football appealing and it is the pilgrimage I want to take the most. To drop everything and live in Texas for a few months would be awesome and the experience of a lifetime. While Texas would be the best place to see high school football, it isn’t the only place and I would want to go somewhere with more sports. Here are the top places I want to experience that have extraordinary college athletics.
I’m from San Diego so I’ve been called crazy for wanting to leave. The weather is the only reason that people can name. While people may hate cold weather, I believe that the excitement from gamedays would make it worth it. One of my dreams is to go to a real college football game where the stadium is full of rocking fans. Sports rule me and I have to see more than what San Diego and California have to offer.
If you have ever watched Oklahoma State football on television, you will know why I want to go there. The atmosphere looks insane. That Cowboy Orange looks like one of the best tickets in the country. Then you also have their basketball team. That atmosphere is breathtaking to watch. If I ever got to attend a game there I would probably have a heart attack. I can’t think of a stadium I would rather see. Both their football and basketball teams are pretty good too. I’d like to stay in Oklahoma from October to February. That way I get the end of conference football and almost the entire basketball season. Besides Oklahoma St., I would also go to see the Oklahoma Sooners, high school football, and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Iowa is one of the most underrated sports states in America. The University of Iowa and Iowa State both have amazing fans that support each of these high level programs. Living here would give me the chance to see all the Big Ten teams at Iowa and all of the Big 12 teams at Iowa State. Iowa football is one of those places where you have to go. Even when I have watched them on television as an unranked team they have impressed me. Imagine the fans intensity when teams like Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan come to town. On top of football, you have their basketball team which is quite an environment. If they beat some of the top basketball teams in the Big Ten at home, it would probably be one of those moments that you never forget.
Now onto Iowa State. Seeing them host Big 12 football would be fun, but I’m not sure how well they could do. I’d want to be there for basketball. That place gets crazy. I have never seen a stadium more fun. It would be a dream to go there when they play a great team like Kansas and to see them pull the upset. I can’t think of anything I would rather witness.
Going to Allen Fieldhouse has been something I’ve wanted to do forever. I was even accepted to go to school there but I couldn’t afford the out of state tuition. Going here would be like a historian seeing the Declaration of Independence being written. That team is always loaded with NBA talent produced by head coach Bill Self. Sidenote – I can’t wait for Kansas to come to Viejas Arena during the 2015-2016 season. Self is one of my idols.
The Kansas State basketball crowd in Manhattan always blows my mind. What an incredible environment and place to watch a basketball game. Good or bad, I’ve always seen that place rocking. I’m literally salivating writing this. Football in this state wouldn’t be as great as other places, but it would still be great to see Big 12 football. Basketball makes this state worth it for me.
This is one of the best states of all. The University of Minnesota plays in the Big Ten and they play very close to Minneapolis. Even though Minnesota isn’t the best at college sports, the fact they play so close to the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves and Wild makes it completely worth it. Those teams have cheap tickets too. Since I can’t afford to live in a dream city like New York or Boston, Minneapolis would be fine. It would be extremely fun. Exciting sports year round would be hard to beat and it would be ideal for me. This would be my number one realistic choice.
Close but didn’t make the cut: Phoenix, Wisconsin and Indiana.
Besides these cities, there are many more that I want to see. I don’t think I could ever complain about going on a trip to a game. Every trip I go on, I always plan sports around it.
You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP