Archived Story

A sports fan’s bucket list

Published 8:49am Thursday, February 24, 2011

Column: Jon Laging, Talking Sports

“The Bucket List” movie had Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman making lists of what they wanted to accomplish before they died. I enjoyed it and the following is a bucket list, in no particular order, of what a gung ho sports fan, like me, might want to do.

Jon Laging

1. Climb Mount Fuji. Fuji is an easy climb I understand. Much like walking up a steep hill for a couple of days. There are rest areas where a person could stop and rest and even sleep overnight. What better way to meet the Japanese and their culture than climbing their mountain?

2. Bail out of plane. Free fall for a distance, pull the ripcord and float down. If George Bush the senior can do it, so can I.

3. Attend the Summer Olympics in London. Meet the English people. Go to an English pub, drink a Guinness or two, lose a game of darts and stay until the Pub closes. Ride the “Big Wheel” and of course, root for the U.S.

4. Attend the Winter Olympic’s women’s singles skating. Where else can you see such beauty, strength and athleticism?

5. Attend the seventh game of the World Series at Target Field which would present the best team and the best stadium in the majors. The Minnesota Twins defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 with Francisco Liriano pitching a shut out and Joe Mauer driving in the winning run in the ninth inning with a ringing double to right field.

6. Fly to Hawaii for a two-week vacation. And while beach combing meet a wahine wearing a puka shell necklace.

7. Attend a Minnesota football game in the Gophers’ new stadium playing Ohio State for the Big Ten championship.

8. Go deep sea fishing off the coast of Mexico: (I’m including another daydream in my bucket list.) After a day of watching dolphins play and trolling for sails on a two man crew wooden boat, a sailfish is hooked. He fights hard and rises in the air, silver and blue, but after an hour, 10 feet of courage, beauty and grace is boated. After consulting with the captain he is returned to the sea. Cervezas are drunk and we head home.

9. Fly to Australia to see the finals of the rugby championship and to see if Fosters is really Australia’s name for beer.

10. Watch my grandsons win their Alaska baseball tournament with my son coaching.

11. Go on an African Safari photo shoot, getting close enough to an elephant or lion to be scared.

12. Go on a ‘round the world cruise winning the ship’s shuffleboard tournament.

13. Enjoy watching Joe Webb lead the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl championship played in an enclosed stadium entirely financed by the Wilfs.

14. Attend a game in the new Yankee Stadium to watch them be defeated by the Twins.

15. Watch a game played in the most iconic of all baseball stadiums: Fenway Park in Boston.

16. Attend the All England Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, eat strawberries and cream for breakfast and watch the Queen and her subjects.

17. Enter and win an ice fishing contest.

18. Go Halibut fishing off the coast of Alaska with my son, wife, and grandsons.

19. Go to lunch with my family, Ron Gardenhire, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

20. Lastly, have my ashes scattered on Target Fields’ infield concentrating on the shortstop position. Maybe they could be mixed with some of the dirt Joe Nathan brought from the Metrodome mound.