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Where To in February

February 2, 2010 - Al Stephenson
As promised in my last blog, I am going to give you a chance to choose what sporting event you would like to go to in the month of February. If you read my last blog, I chose the NCAA national championship football game as my January event.

The rules for this wishful thinking exercise are simple. You (supposedly) can attend one sporting event in the month no matter where in the world it takes place. I can give you some possibilities, but you may have completely different ideas. Since you aren't actually going to any of these things (hey, if you are that's great - but I can't send you there!) you can pick the one event that you would most like to go to. If only...

February happens to be a leap year of sorts in 2010. No there are not 29 days, but this year the month includes the Winter Olympics which will take place in Vancouver. This might sway some of you and it intrigues me as well. I would like to see the opening ceremonies in person. Watching all those athletes parade would undoubtedly send chills up my spine.

Picking which event to witness would be tough. Ice hockey, speed skating, slalom skiing or ski jumping, as well as bobsledding (bobsleigh on the website) would all be fascinating. I am a little disillusioned with the Olympic games however. Once we sent NBA players to the games, I lost my enthusiasm. Our argument that other countries send professionals doesn't cut it with me. There is something much more gratifying about watching 18-22 year olds compete for their country rather than watching NBA players strut around like they are doing us a favor by being there. Just my opinion mind you, but I think I will look elsewhere.

There are two other events in February that come to mind. One is the Super Bowl. That will take place next Sunday and I will be watching. Being there though is not at the top of my bucket list. If the Browns were to make it (anything is possible I guess), going would be more seriously considered, but I'm still not sure if I would go. I know I wouldn't if I had the chance at another event.

The Daytona 500 would be more to my liking. I know, I know. Going round in circles, another right turn, I've heard it all before. For me though there is great excitement in being at a Nascar race. I've been to races at Michigan, Indianapolis (the original Brickyard 400), Sonoma and Bristol. I would love to see the pack racing that takes place at the restrictor plate tracks and what better place to be than Daytona for the 500. Nascar's biggest race and it starts the season. 200 mph, door handle to door handle. This would be hard for me to pass up.

The only other event in February that gets my attention is the PGA Tour's Pro-Am at Pebble Beach. The former Bing Crosby Clambake is one of the best events in golf. I have been to Pebble, though I have never played the course. I did sit on the fence at the 18th tee, arguably the most famous golf hole in the world. A la Jack Nicklaus when he stared out over the bay before playing his last hole of competitive golf there, I had my wife snap my photo in the same position. I've seen Jack golf and I know how I golf. The only chance for me to emulate Jack Nicklaus was to sit on the fence!

The view from my seat suggests that my February event would be the Daytona 500. That is unless I would get an invitation to play in the pro-am. In that case the race would be viewed from in front of a TV, you know, like it actually will be.


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