50-50: Fifty States, Fifty SportsLifer Memories

I am a proud member of the 50-State Club. From Maine to Hawaii, from Alaska to Florida, from sea to shining sea, I’ve visited all 50 states in America at some point in my life. Been to em all.

Some states I’ve lived in, all I’ve visited, some once, others many times. Lived in New York, California, Massachusetts, and Florida. Drove over the border to touch down in Mississippi, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

About five years ago, after a soul-cleansing three-week  journey through the Rocky Mountains, I realized I was near a lifetime ambition.

So I knocked off Michigan, New Mexico and finally Alaska. 50 for 50.

What’s my favorite sports memory of each state? Played a little word association…check that, multiple word association…., in my mind.

Anyway, here’s what I came up with:

50/50

Alabama — Steely Dan’s Deacon Blues (“They call Alabama the Crimson Tide”)

Alaska — Yankees 5-game sweep over Red Sox  while touring Denali, 2006

Arizona — Giants upset the unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII in Glendale

Arkansas — The Razorbacks

California — Willie Mays belting a grand slam at Candlestick Park, 1962

Colorado — Rockies vs. Mets at Mile High Stadium in Colorado’s inaugural season

Connecticut — Giants vs. Jets preseason football at the Yale Bowl

Delaware — Tubby Raymond and the Blue Hens

Florida — Monday night football at the Orange Bowl the night John Lennon was shot

Georgia — 49ers Deion Sanders returns to Atlanta, returns interception for a TD

Hawaii — Watching the 1996 MLB All-Star game in the early afternoon

Idaho — Riding a bicycle on the Hiawatha Trail through tunnels into Idaho

Illinois — Doubleheader at Wrigley Field

Indiana –Hoosiers with Gene Hackman

Iowa – The Hawkeyes, wrestling dynasty

Kansas — Wilt Chamberlain and the Kansas Jayhawks

Kentucky — The Kentucky Derby

Louisiana — Louisiana Lightning, Ron Guidry

Maine —   Those standout University of Maine baseball teams

Maryland — Almost catching a foul ball at Camden Yards

Massachusetts — Bucky Dent and the 1978 Yankee-Red Sox play-in game

Michigan — The Big House on Saturday afternoons in the Fall

Minnesota — Seeing Johan Santana pitch at the Metrodome

Mississippi — The Mannings, Ole Miss

Missouri — Driving past Busch Stadium in St. Louis, 1976

Montana — The Griz, University of Montana Grizzlies

Nebraska — Lincoln, Nebraska’s third biggest city on Saturdays when the Cornhuskers play football

Nevada — Sunday afternoon in a Vegas sports book during the NFL season

New Hampshire — High school football, Nashua (NH) vs. Fitchburg (Mass.)

New Jersey – Lawrence of the Meadowlands and the New York Giants

New Mexico — Watching the 2005 baseball playoffs in Santa Fe

New York — The Yankees

North Carolina — Fabled Pinehurst

North Dakota — Roger Maris, Fargo

Ohio –The great Jim Brown and the Cleveland Browns

Oklahoma — The Boomer Sooners of OU

Oregon — Giants vs. Redskins, Sunday night game, Portland, 1995

Pennsylvania — Bill Mazeroski, nuff said

Rhode Island — Ernie D and the Providence Friars

South Carolina — The old ball coach and his Gamecocks

South Dakota — Watching sports in Wall, SD, Labor Day, 2003

Tennessee — The Tigerbelles

Texas — Clemens beats the Rangers at old Texas Stadium

Utah — The 2002 Winter Olympics, snowmobiling, ski jumping and speed skating

Vermont — Cross country skiing at Prospect Mountain, Kamping at Woodford

Virginia — Iona Prep’s Dick Ambrose, UVA

Washington — Game Five, 1995

West Virginia — Zeke from Cabin Creek

Wisconsin — The Ice Bowl

Wyoming — Birthplace of Curt Gowdy

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