Fine art, literature and sport, what do they all have in common? They all possess the ability to move us, to affect deep emotional change in our lives and to allow us to escape from the drudgery of our often monochrome lives.
If that sounds fanciful then perhaps you have not experienced the thrill of your team snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Or you can’t fathom how a crowd of 45,000 strangers can, in one brief moment, become one.
If you want to experience moments that transcend sport, then read on to find out about 3 Bucket List sporting events that can help you do just that.
If you already have your own story about a moment when sport took you to the brink of ecstasy or the pits of despair, let us know about it in the comments section below.
The NBA Finals
North American sports have traditionally fared poorly outside the continent, not tending to appeal to European and farther flung audiences. One sport that has bucked that trend is basketball, largely thanks to the appeal of high-profile elite stars such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.
The former, Michael Jordan, sparked a revival in basketball’s fortunes away from these shores, decades after his retirement when The Last Dance – a documentary following his last season at the Chicago Bulls – aired on Netflix.
The pinnacle of the basketball calendar is the NBA Finals, which is an annual seven game series between the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences. These series have produced some of the most spine-tingling moments of sports drama ever seen on a basketball, as viewers of The Last Dance will testify.
If you have the money (tickets usually cost around $900) then get yourself court side for an NBA Finals game. If you can’t justify that expenditure just yet, get the game on the TV, the current NBA Finals Odds are tipping the Golden State Warriors for success, but it’s expected to go down to the wire!
The Super Bowl
The United States’ most popular and adored sport, Gridiron, is unfortunately a sport that has failed to take off with foreign fans. That doesn’t make it any less worth watching than basketball though, especially when it comes to the Super Bowl.
Every year, the culmination of the post-season play-offs see’s the two hardy teams that have battled it to the very end facing off against one another for ultimate glory. As well as being one of the most spectacular sporting events on the planet, the Super Bowl is also a must-see entertainment show.
Last season’s Super Bowl half-time show, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent raked in a television audience of 103.4 million viewers.
It goes without saying as well that, with so much at stake and so many viewers tuning in, the occasion draws out Homeric efforts from the main protagonists, the players.
The World Cup Final
Despite American and Canadian indifference toward the Beautiful Game,
soccer football remains the planet’s most popular and most-watched sport. Every four years, countries from all across the globe descend upon one host nation to commence a month long tournament in which the World Champions are crowned.
The mere fact that nation states are competing against one another already adds more drama and intrigue into games than you could ever get from a club game, contested by two indistinct franchises.
In 1998 for example, when goals from Hamid Estilli and Mehdi Mahdavikia condemned the USA to defeat against Iran in the Group Stages of the France World Cup, it was much more than a mere game of football – it was a politically charged encounter against two nations diametrically opposed to one another.
It’s not just politics and diplomacy at stake though, success in the World Cup can also help to define a nation, like when Germany won the 1990 final against Argentina in Italy, to signal their rebirth after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This year on Sunday, December 18 two nations will once again compete to be crowned World Champions, will you be there?