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Gary’s Blog: Going Places

Ok, it’s July, and we’re all waiting for team sports to resume. We all deserve team pro sports to resume. Also, you all deserve a break from me writing about ticket refunds and all the awful things that’s happened in 2020. So I’m gonna try something different today. I’m going to write about my favorite arenas, stadiums, etc. with a few pictures at the end.

What makes these venues so special is mostly the atmosphere, or a very special game that I watched there. It’s hard to list these places in order. But I can tell you my number 1 venue, my all-time favorite.

My favorite place to watch a sporting event is Madison Square Garden in New York City. There’s a feeling I get just walking in, still today, that’s unlike anywhere else I’ve been. Whether it’s a NY Knicks game, a NY Rangers game (that’s hockey, in case you didn’t know), or a concert, I sometimes get chills by walking in. To show how special it is, I never miss the National Anthem. The crowd gets so into it, not disrespectful, but LOUD towards the end, and it’s the atmosphere that is second to none that makes it so special. Think about this: Kobe, Michael Jordan, LeBron and others have all said it’s their favorite place to play. Now if the Knicks were actually good again, it’d be even better. But that might be asking for too much.

Other venues that I cherish (again, in no order) include the Stan Sheriff Center. It’s just home to me. I’ve enjoyed some of my favorite and most memorable sporting events here. So many in men’s basketball, including the win over Michigan State for Riley Wallace’s 300th career win and the win over #2 Kansas in 1997. Dave Shoji’s historic wins over the years, like win #1,100 over Texas. Men’s volleyball in the last few years, some unbelievable wins, including the last event at the SSC, the reverse sweep over BYU in early March of this year.

The last time I watched Maryland play at the Xfinity Center they beat Duke on Senior Night. I’ve been to 7 or 8 games at Maryland, 4 vs the team I despise the most, Duke. And I’ll say this: The best atmosphere I’ve ever been to in my life were at College Park with the Terps and Duke. The students create an atmosphere that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. The arena is full one hour before tipoff with fans chanting as loud as they can. I wish everyone could experience that feeling. Boy, I miss those days.

Two more I want to mention: One is Fenway Park in Boston. It was like walking into a movie, you feel the history as you walk in. I’ll never forget going there. Wrigley Field in Chicago was great, too, but not quite like Fenway. And I saw Manny Ramirez hit two home runs when I went, and of course there’s Sweet Caroline.

Last on my list is a pretty old venue, The Roman Coliseum. I mean, it was built in the year 70. Yes, 70. That’s 1,950 years ago. How did they build that? What construction company was around then? The tour was great, I found out the gladiators were all prisoners that were given a chance at freedom if they won their fights.

I could list more, but these are my favorites. I hope you like the pictures. This might be the only time you see me wear shorts.

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