Crio’s bucket list

by Chris Riordan

Seemingly unrelated matters have latterly caused me to reflect on great times and, indeed, the quick passing of time.

Marto texted when he heard of Lionel Rose’s passing – “more memories of growing up”.

Years are most easily remembered by events. Marto was with me at St Andrews in 1984 to see Seve’s famous finish and flamboyant flourish. News of the Spanish maestro’s death, at just 54, had me reminiscing not just on his fantastic legacy, but also on one of the great weeks of my life.

The topic of meaningful occasions was certainly pertinent to me and some new buddies leaning on a Warrnambool bar last Wednesday, basking in what is a “Grand Annual” and, appropriately, vowing to be back next year. (To any inquiries or critics, the advice is simply to “go and see for yourself”.)

Not surprisingly, the conversation moved (from Mildura trots specs!) to other “must do” noms.

I declared the ‘Bool along with Stawell and an Open Championship.

My shout argued that a real bucket-list needed something new.

Their tip…one they’ll fulfill in September, is the Listowel Races.

I’m thinking maybe The Kop at Anfield and there’s a very solid push for the Swan Hill Carnival.

Any advice?


  1. Peter Flynn says

    Galway Festival. I’ll get there one day.

  2. Don’t doubt that you will! I got put off Irish drink/betfests by the samples at Flemington the last few springs, but have been guaranteed Listowel.
    I’d not formerly wanted to go to Auguista but you and others have identified it – especially yout Reece Witherspoon anecdote – as a MUST…I guess live you get the 3D and miss the schmaltzy music, Drummond Golf and log cabin.
    A Test Match at Capetown must be pretty special?
    And an Hawaii Pipeline.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    And you miss the annoying Aussie TV link man being Captain Obvious.

    Augusta is better than what you think it going to be.

    An Eden Gardens Test for mine.

  4. Dan Crane says

    I can recomment the Kop at Anfield mate, spent many matches on there, none bigger than Champions League semi 05 vs. chelsea……….for normal games it can be a bit quiet(but nothing like the cemetary that is aami stadium)

    hows about pebble beach ? both that and augusta are on my bucket list……

    wouldn’t mind having front row seats at a big NBL game as well, reckon it’d be fun especially if sat next to jack nicholson!

  5. For some reason – no doubt cultural – US sports have rarely featured as must-dos. However, if I were to go to the USA, it would be NY, and I’d want to take in a baseball and/or basketball game.
    I see they got 150,000+ to the Derby on the weekend. Never crossed my mind to want to go to that either. Wouldn’t mind a runner in it though.
    Pebble Beach looks fantastic. I’ll never be good enough to hack around there.

  6. Peter Flynn says


    I’ve been to the Garden to see the Knicks.

    Really enjoyed it.

  7. Dan Crane says

    How about a tour of the caribbean? would need an extensive leave pass from work, wife etc but would be worth it (perhaps i would also need to tee up a liver donor)

  8. Dan,
    A former brother-in-law did tha World Cup in the Windies with a couple of mates. Young and naive, they had a ball. I might be past that.

  9. smokie88 says

    Regarding your comment on US sports…High on my list is a visit to
    South Bend, Indiana, to watch Notre Dame (the Fighting Irish) take on
    Penn State in college football game. 80-odd thous capacity.
    I once saw the Pittsburgh Pirates play a double-header at the old
    3 Rivers Stadium…to say I was tired and emotional after two games
    of baseball would be a massive understatement.

  10. Smokie,
    Did you do the whole beer and hotdogs experience?

  11. David Downer says

    Great topic Crio.

    I’ve been incredibly fortunate to tick a few off already (Ashes at Lords, Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, Le Tour) …and given these happened to “conveniently fall” while on honeymoon, it did involve some of the shrewdest early marital strategising ever seen!

    On home soil I’d still like to get to Warrnambool, maybe the Darwin Cup one day, and the Adelaide test match. Always wanted to see the Illawarra Hawks at the old Snakepit too! (I’m an old NBL tragic).

    More extravagant …the Arc De Triomphe, races in Dubai (to witness the sheer extravagance), and some of the other notable UK/Irish racetracks like Newmarket, Epsom Downs, the Curragh. Throw in a big Darts tournament as well, looks a heap of fun. Would liked to have seen Southampton play at the Dell back in the day.

    Agree with Capetown and Eden Gardens. And if Pakistan ever again play at home, a test match in say Karachi or Faisalabad would be about as hardcore as it gets. Is there a ground in Abbottabad??

    Smokie, make that two almanac DD’s to have graced Three Rivers Stadium. In 1999 I saw the Pirates rout Montreal in a 17-6 run-fest. It featured a firework display after each Pittsburgh run – a resulting lightshow that would have enchanted a particular former AFL chief. Beer service in the seats (Rolling Rock the brew of choice) a highlight. I drew the line at singing “Take Me out to the Ball Game” during the seventh innings stretch however!

    But if I do get to the Darts one day, I’ll be all over Planet Funk’s “Chase the Sun” like a rash!


  12. The Darts might come to Melbourne but I think the trashy experience needs to be British.

    Any readers been to a major surf week? Love to know what it is like.

  13. smokie88 says

    Baseball is not really my thing, but as a once-off it is a slightly surreal experience.
    Plenty of hot-dogs. Plenty of beer.

    Don’t think too many of us could claim to have been to Three Rivers Stadium. Sounds like your game was a bit more entertaining than mine.
    Interestingly, the day prior to my baseball experience, I was walking past the stadium and looked in through an open door to see some of the Steelers players training there. When the security guys realised I was from Australia, they escorted me inside and let me watch the training session!

  14. Mick Jeffrey says

    First thing I’m doing is to watch a game at all the current AFL Venues. Ticking off Subiaco and Carrara in the next month, hopefully Adelaide, Sydney (both venues), Cairns (if they host more games in later years) Geelong and Launceston in years to come. Have conquered The Gabba (3 times), MCG (plenty of times), Docklands (3 times), Manuka (last weekend) and Marrara (Once)

    As a cricket fan in Australia, I always try to make it to the first day of the first test at The Gabba (done this for the last 2 seasons) and Boxing Day at the MCG. But for a test match fan, to get into Day 1 at the Sydney test is an aim, as is Adelaide before they ruin the ground with the concrete canyon and drop in pitch (may happen this year). WACA and Bellerive not on the radar yet but I’ll certainly pass by the former home of night football next weekend when I’m in Perth.

    Other events in Australia I’d like to attend would be a Bledisloe Cup match, a State of Origin RL match at Lang Park (very hard to get tickets, they sell out within an hour), and perhaps even a ground pass to the Australian Open on the first 4 days of the Open where you could very well see Top 10 players on an outside court.

    As far as overseas tours are concerned, I’m looking to at least do a Test Match tour of India (not any 20 over garbage) and maybe an Ashes tour and an overseas World Cup before I pass on (perhaps Russia 2018). Probably too much to ask for a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, but perhaps seeing an NFL game at Lambeau Field (home of the Green Bay Packers), a MLB game at San Francisco (where home runs can land in the water behind Right Field), an NHL game in Canada and perhaps a UFC event could see out America. If I lived in England permanently I’d try to watch a game at all 92 league venues in a season, but realistically watching a Premier League match would top the list (some venues are easier to get into than others, so target them). Finally (yeah I’m asking a lot), how about finding a spot on L’Alpe H’Duez when Le Tour passes through there, or any other mountain stage for that matter.

  15. Alovesupreme says

    Re the 92 (English) Football League venues in a season: some time ago I read a book by a journalist who accomplished that task (in approximately 2000). I’m racking my brains trying to summon up his name definitely begins with the letter “A” and I seem to recall a given name David. He wrote very entertaining accounts of the matches in the spirit of the Almanac reviews of AFL matches.
    On my English team’s supporter website, there are periodic posts with competing claims of how many of the 92 plusgrounds (because of promotion and relegation at the bottom of the 92), that people have been to over their spectating career.
    I have a minor issue with the concept of a bucket list, although I understand where Crio is coming from. It’s just that sport is about the occasion, and we’ve all experienced the match which we thought would be a great one, and that turned out to be a fizzer, or the game/event where we thought it would just be a routine one and it turned out to be one to be stored in the memory bank . So often, for me it’s not attending a particular venue (however famous or significant) as how the match plays out which makes a sporting occasion memorable.

  16. Very true Alovesupreme.

    John Woods visited every test cricket venue (he loves Islamabad!) and wrote a most informative book. Think he may have done similar with Union.

  17. Peter Flynn says

    Met him at the Pub one day.

    Great pursuit and useful tome.

  18. He’s a really good fella. Friends all around the world. Never misses Boxing Day in Melbourne. Daff in terviewed him once when his book came out – I always reckoned he should be stand-by for any rain delay on ABC. An Irishman, he can craic for hours.

  19. I’d like to be at Cardiff Arms Stadium for a Wales vs Wallabies Test Match. Elland Rd to see Leeds U play. And with mild embarrassment would also like to make it to the MCG one day. Unless you could the occasional pre-season game at Cazaly’s in Cairns, all my AFL viewing has been at the Gabba.

    Highlights include first days of the Test Matches at the Gabba from about 74 to 77. (Lillee and Thommo!) Ballymore for many great games. Can’t split the Bledisloe clinching Test where Paul Carozza got his nose smashed by a Loe blow (and scored two tries) or the Test vs the French that was end to end.

    There’s many the suburban ground that has also had an impact. Western Districts at Chelmer. The Morningside ground, encircled by a bike track, and I always liked the stand of paperbark at Palm Beach-Currumbin’s ground by the creek. Maybe a visit to the Tamar River to broaden the horizons…

  20. Stainless says

    I agree with AloveSupreme on this. I know a couple of people who’ve recently done one of the popular bucket list selections – a visit to Anfield – and because they’ve been on pretty low-key match days, the expereince has been less than brilliant.

    In the same vein, I think the Bucket List changes over time. I reckon a day on the Kop or an FA Cup Final would have been much more fun in the old “standing room” era (in a “taking your life in your own hands” sense). Similarly, I would have had a test match in the West Indies near the top of my list 20 years ago, but definitely not today. In this respect, I feel privileged to have been to all the old suburban VFL grounds that still hosted matches in the 70s and 80s. That’s an experience that can never be replicated.

    I’d happily pass up any of the international bucket list suggestions to be at Richmond’s next Premiership!

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