What is the perfect lineup?
It’s a common question asked this time of the year. With Bonnaroo and CMA Fest both within earshot of McMinnville music lovers, fans daydream of which artists they’d most want to see over a four-day festival.
My favorite suggestions are when people suspend belief, conjuring up time machines to bring back to life their favorite acts. If we’re going there, give me Rat Pack Frank Sinatra, skinny Elvis, the Temptations (with David Ruffin) and the Avett Brothers.
But really, if I had a time machine to control events so I could see them over a four-day span, I’d take myself to all my favorite sporting events once again. My four-day event would look a little something like this:
Day 1 – Sept. 19, 1998 Tennessee vs. Florida
Most people may prefer the Florida State game a few months later, when the Vols hoisted their first-ever BCS championship trophy (Yes young kids, Tennessee was good at football at one point in time). Me though? Give me the 20-17 OT victory against the Gators.
This game is easily influenced by the fact I was there live as a 12-year-old with my dad. There’s moments of true joy you’ll remember the rest of your life. One of those for me is the shared moment with my dad the seconds after Collins Cooper’s short field goal sailed wide in overtime.
Day 2– April 22, 1995 - The NFL Draft
Please let me flash back to that time just so I can convince myself to not become a Jacksonville Jaguars fan because they drafted James “Little Man” Stewart. I’ll bring my iPhone just so I can show highlights of Blake Bortles to younger me.
Day 3 – Sept. 22, 2012 – WCHS vs. Cookeville volleyball
To this day, it’s my favorite game I’ve covered since I started doing this job in February 2010. It is the shining example of what happens in Warren County when you take a talented group of players who all push each other to the highest level possible. The added flair came when the Lady Pioneers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Cookeville for the first time in 26 years.
I was given a signed volleyball from that 40-win squad following the season, as a token of their appreciation of my coverage. It’ll probably be the one thing I take from this job long after I’ve stopped writing.
Day 4 – June 15, 2014 – Spurs vs. Heat
We weren’t getting through this without a Spurs reference. This was the night the Spurs dethroned the King, and the legend of Kawhi Leonard began to grow. I’ve watched this game probably 100 times in the last four years. Chances are I’ll watch it at least 100 more times.