Best Games I've Ever Been To

II’m not a big “go to the game guy.” Between the crowds, the expense and the carbon footprint, I’d rather stay home and watch. To say nothing of my phobia of public restrooms.

That said, at the right moment, in the right place, and with the right teams, being there can be a memory that lasts a lifetime.

Here are the best games I’ve seen live:

1. 1993 Alabama at Auburn: It was only the second time the dreaded Tide had visited the Plains. 11th ranked Alabama came to Jordan-Hare Stadium with an 8-1-1 record while the #6 Tigers were 10-0, looking to finish their season undefeated. It was my first quarter at Auburn, my first Iron Bowl, the first time I ever felt a stadium literally move from a cheering crowd, and a thrilling game ended with a 22-14 Tiger win. It’s hard for me to imagine anything ever topping this.

2. 1994 Florida at Florida State: Florida State was 9-1 and ranked 7th in the nation, Florida was also 9-1 and ranked in the top-10. The Gators raced to a 31-3 lead after three quarters at Doak-Campbell Stadium, but 28 unanswered Seminole points – a then NCAA record 4th quarter comeback – ended the game with an FSU 31-31 win. Yes I stayed for the entire game and afterwards someone I was with spoke some of the truest words I’ve ever heard, “this is why you go to school here.”

3. 2006 Rose Bowl – Texas vs. USC: #1 vs. #2. Undefeated college football blue bloods playing for the national championship on the game’s greatest stage. More stars than Oscar night: Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Dwayne Jarrett, Dominique Byrd, Steve Smith, Winston Justice, Vince Young, Michael Huff, Michael Griffin, Limas Sweed, Selvin Young, Jamaal Charles, Jonathan Scott, Rodrique Wright. Perhaps the best college football game ever played, a 41-38 Longhorn win.

4. 1997 SEC Championship Game – Tennessee vs. Auburn: Peyton Manning’s only SEC title came in a 30-29 thriller over the Tigers at the Georgia Dome. The Vols were ranked 3rd in the country, the Tigers 11th.

5. 1993 Florida at Auburn: Terry Bowden and the Tigers jumped into the national consciousness knocking off 4th ranked and undefeated Florida at Jordan-Hare stadium 38-35 in a breathless, exhilarating, electric, back-and-forth contest in front of one of the loudest crowds I’ve ever heard.

6. & 7. (in no particular order) 1995 & 1997 Alabama at Auburn: Wins over the Tide never get old, especially when they’re close and on the Plains.

8. 1994 Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers – Milwaukee County Stadium: The last Packer game ever at County Stadium was a 21-17 win thanks to a last minute rushing touchdown from Brett Favre. After years of misery watching awful Packer games at the home of the Brewers, the final memory there is a great one and signaled the dawn of a new era for the GBP.

9. September 30th, 2008, Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers secure their first playoff berth in over 25 years behind a go-ahead homer from Ryan Braun in the 8th inning and a complete game masterpiece from CC Sabathia.

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