Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How Do Our Sports Cities Compare to GQ's?

In January, FranT and I drafted 5 sports cities each that we'd like to live in. Today, another cultural tastemaker, GQ, published "The Best Sports Trips to Take in 2014". The criteria for each are different, but I couldn't help but notice the similarities. How many cities overlap? 

Here's GQ's full list:

  • Texas football road trip
  • Staples center NBA double header
  • The NFL Draft, Day 2 & the Little 500
  • The Masters
  • Kansas University home basketball game
  • The Boston Marathon
  • Kansas City Chiefs home game
  • LSU Football home game
  • Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field
  • Packers game at Lambeau Field
  • FC Barcelona game
Here's where How Blank's top 10 sports cities agree...

The Boston Marathon


GQ: "This is why you should be there in 2014. Not just because you'll see world-class sports, but because you'll experience humankind at its finest exactly one year after this town saw humankind at its worst.

This year on April 21, Kenmore Square, where the Sox play, will be filled. Copley Square, where the marathon ends, will be overflowing. History will be respected, remembered, and remade. And pilgrims from all over the world will gather to shake hands, slap hands, bump fists, and say—in so many words or none at all—Here we are." - Dennis Lehane
FT: "Lastly, the Hub has the Boston Marathon. The race was always a great event but in the next few years, New Englanders will show up in force to give a collective middle finger to terrorists everywhere. It will be similar to the atmosphere at all those New York baseball games after 9/11".

LSU Football Home Game

GQ"It's what you'd expect out of Baton Rouge: people tailgating with shrimp étouffée, everything from alligators roasting on a barbecue to dishes that you would get in the French Quarter. These people are serious and they are legit and they're ready to go." - Erin Andrews

BK: "New Orleans itself kind of bleeds into Baton Rouge on fall Saturdays and the entire Bayou cries "Geaux Tigers" for LSU. If you make the trip to Death Valley, the LSU fans are notorious for having a second wind, a third wind, and a fourth wind when it comes to tailgates and partying. If you can make it into the stadium still standing straight, Tiger Stadium has been described as "the best place in the world to watch a sporting event" by ESPN's Wright Thompson as recently as 2008."

Wrigley Field


GQ"Even an antiquated Wrigley Field is still the most charming big-league ballpark [...] skip the famed outfield bleachers atop the ivy. Instead, sit along the infield walls, or in the outfield club box that made Steve Bartman famous [...] Do all of this in September, when only a short seventeen-game winning streak separates the Cubbies from a .500 record."

FT"Most people see Wrigley Field as a great venue to party*, catch some sun, and see a great ballgame. Oh, and those "lovable loser" Cubs play there."

*I would have said "great venue to drink some Old Style," but unfortunately that's no longer the case.

The NFL Draft (New York City)

GQ: "Be there when history is made as Mizzou defensive end Michael Sam becomes the first openly gay player drafted onto an NFL squad".

BK: "In a city that's hopelessly obsessed with its stars and big sports personalities (players, coaches, execs), there's never a dull moment. And speaking of excitement, the venues may not be quite as great as those in other towns in terms of aesthetics, but there's still no better spectacle than the NY venues."

The Indy 500 & The Little 500

GQ"Skip It: The Indianapolis 500**
You get tinnitus in a seat somewhere near the Illinois border and then idle in seven hours of traffic trying to leave the raceway.
Worth It: The Little 500
Down the road in Bloomington, this rowdy bike race is all about single-speed Schwinns screaming around a quarter-mile cinder track."
FT:  "I never took advantage of it during college, but the Indy 500 is supposed to be one of the coolest in-person sporting events in the country. It apparently leaves you without much of a voice and disables your hearing for a few days, but those are small trade-offs. Some day I'll attend The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."
**GQ = hater

The Masters

Neither of us chose Augusta or even Atlanta as a sports city to live in. GQ bemoans the stuffiness of the Masters and offers a 5 step plan to get through it and have fun. How about my one step plan: go to the Phoenix Open instead!

GQ: "Every hotel within thirty miles charges double or triple rates during the tourney. Screw that. Recruit some buddies and rent a house. Try the neighborhoods around Walton Way and Wheeler Road. Hell, you don't even need to go to the tournament. Just hunker down with a keg and a cooler full of hanger steaks, and fire bottle rockets at the fourth green. Jim Nantz will be SO pissed."

BK: "To top it off, you get to go to the Phoenix Open. Its 16th hole has been called the most boisterous hole in golf. Even Tiger Woods gets into it. If you love the intersection of golf and drinking like I do, this has to be on your list."

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Follow FranT on Twitter at @frantweet and follow Brian Kavanaugh at @btkav

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