After the last unbelievably wild 48 hours in the soccer world, I can’t help but think about one of my favorite quotes from 30 Rock, where Liz Lemon turns to Jack Donaghy and says “What a week, huh?” to which Jack cuts in with “Lemon, it’s Wednesday.” We are all a little bit Liz Lemon today, as I think it’s safe to say that we are all ready for this week/season/weird bizarro timeline to come to and end.
For today’s CF, I figured that we can step away from the Arsenal & ESL madness and talk about something a little more enjoyable - stadiums. Since COVID put a halt to live events, it has made me miss the pomp and circumstance of a live sporting event. Seeing empty stands at the Emirates and watching the NBA and NHL bubble is a stark reminder of that void that the pandemic has caused.
I miss it, folks. And not just the events. I have even begun to miss the annoying parts of it. Waiting in line for woefully unhygienic bathrooms. Paying way too much for a pretzel. Butt-numbing metal bleachers. Hell, I almost miss the throngs of aimless, meandering stadium patrons who are slightly more ambulatory than traffic cones but just as annoying. But I absolutely miss the spectacle of being in a stadium.
My family are season ticket holders for Florida State football, and one of my favorite highlights of the fall is the trek from our parking spot to Doak Campbell Stadium for home games. There is a pageantry to a game day, especially when it comes to college football in the south, and stadiums are part of that appeal. Doak is nothing special in many regards, but it has a charm with it’s red brick façade, the statue of Chief Osceola atop Renegade with a flaming spear outside, and the Marching Chiefs taking the field. FSU is also my alma mater, so the nostalgia of it all keeps it in a special place in my heart.
So, all of this brings me to the question - what are some of your favorite stadiums you’ve been to? I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some iconic ones - Camden Yard and Highbury are two that top my list. What about you folks? Are there any stadiums that are on your bucket list? Any that you can’t wait to return to once the pandemic is managed a little better? For me, it starts with the Emirates, for obvious reasons. But let’s hear it!