Wednesday, September 09, 2015

101 FBS Stadiums and Counting, Part 1

So to start off, I have to say that my title is slightly misleading.  I have actually been to a lot more stadiums than 101, including pro, college, and even high school.  But it takes more words to be precise, so I usually opt out.

My name is Aaron Terry, and I am on a crusade to see all 129 FBS teams play at home.  This dream sort of started back in 2001, when I lived in Minnesota and I was BORED OUT OF MY MIND!  I liked football, so I said, meh, why not go see some nearby stadiums?  It was sort of fun, but out in the Midwest things are kind of far apart, so there were only about 8-10 stadiums within driving distance, so I didn't do a ton.  But I did hit the pro stadiums along the way - more on that later.

Anyway, I got sick of living in Minnesota, so I went off to grad school, just so I could make mad money to continue my crusade.  Not really, I just got tired of the cold - one time I came out of the office, and my car was literally encased in a sheet of ice.  Yeah...

While in grad school, I happened to pick up a couple more stadiums.  But fast forward to 2005, when I moved to North Carolina, and lo and behold, DOZENS OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL STADIUMS were now within my grasp!  Mu-wah ha ha ha ha!  This is when my crusade began in earnest - that first year I saw 34 games in different stadiums all over NC, GA, VA, MD, TN, and other states.  That's when I decided, why not see them all?  Thus the crusade was born.

In 2006 and 2007 I probably saw about a dozen each year, and then in 2008 I got married, so the dream got put on hold - only for a year or two though.  By 2010 I was back to it in earnest, only by that time I had exhausted almost all of the ones within driving distance, so I started flying to games.  And then in 2014 I finally saw my 100th stadium - again, this is not technically accurate, as I have been to a couple stadiums for neutral site games where I did not see the home team play, or where there isn't a home team that plays there, like the Cotton or Citrus Bowl.

So as of August 31st, 2015, I had actually seen an FBS game in 107 different stadiums (the 100 teams I saw at home, including a few that play at pro stadiums like the South Florida Bulls or the Temple Owls, plus the Citrus Bowl, Marlins Park, Bank of America Stadium, the Cramton Bowl (all four of these for bowl games), Fedex Field (the Army-Navy game), Sam Boyd Stadium (WAC Championship), and the Cotton Bowl (Red River Rivalry).  Along the way, I have seen a game in every NFL stadium, including the Meadowlands twice (once for the Giants and once for the Jets), as well as two different Cowboys stadiums - because every town with a pro team has an FBS team nearby.

The secret to my success?  Multiple games in the same weekend, baby!  Road trips, I mean - for example, a couple years ago I flew to Seattle, then drove 4 hours to Pullman for a Thursday night game, then got up early the next morning and drove 10 hours to Corvallis, OR to see Oregon State on Friday night.  But wait!  Then on Saturday morning I drove all the way back across the river from Pullman to Moscow, ID, to see Idaho play on Saturday, then back to Seattle on Sunday to fly home.  24 hours of driving in 3 days to see 3 games, all in the pursuit of a dream.

So that is how it stood at the beginning of the season - check back for my next post to hear more of this story.  And if you are bored, you don't love football...
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