Posted: January 24, 2015
We have just wrapped up one of the most exciting seasons on The Quest, with trips to Michigan, LSU, Rice, and Houston. Michigan and LSU are certainly two of the premiere programs in the country and we had a great time at both schools. College Football Quest even gained national exposure with an article in USA Today!
One of the most common questions we are asked everywhere that we go is….
”You are only going to 4 per year. That is going to take forever. Why don’t you speed it up? You can hit 10 per year easy.”
Well, I thought I would take a moment to address that very question:
1. The biggest reason for the pace that we are on, is that we want to enjoy the journey. I am definitely a person that in my daily life tends to focus on the end game and does not enjoy the journey of life. This is something that I would like to correct through my entire life. Life is not about the end, it is about enjoying all the steps along the way. I have been guilty of losing sight of that during day to day life. The Quest plan is deliberately set to allow us to enjoy all the details of the journey.
What does this mean? Well, a few things.
- First, we do not travel just for the game. We travel to have an experience, and a unique one on each and every trip.This means a full weekend at almost all schools so that we can enjoy not just the game and seeing a stadium, but soaking in the entire environment. This is anything from the tailgating and/or many of the non football things that we can do in a weekend. For example, we have been to the state capital’s in Nebraska and Texas. We may never be in these cities again, so we want to see and do as much as we can, and not just football. This could be taking in as many of the other sporting events the school has to offer, such as; women’s soccer and field hockey, basketball, baseball, and club ice hockey or things like tourist attractions.
- Secondly, I enjoy the planning. Much thought and effort goes into each trip. It is not as simple as getting on a plane and going to a game. We seek to find out the things to do, places to eat, and character/charm/tradition of each location that we go to. That is not easy. Sure, a Google search gets you much information, but we try to go beyond that. We reach out to contacts, network with students, locals, and business owners, and get the inside story. Sometimes that fits with what you find on the internet, sometimes it does not. In planning ten of these trips a year, it would be impossible to get as much depth as we do. Four is manageable, barely.
- Third, as you may have heard travel, is not fun. We hit delays, weather, the TSA, and all other things that make air travel not as glorious as the old TWA ads made it seem. Add in that we have to deal with the disaster that is Laguardia Airport at least once a year. Four trips per year allows us to not stress about all those factors when travelling every weekend would simply drive us nuts. Plus, I hate packing.
2. Simply put, money. These trips are expensive and current budgets are already stretched. Additionally, our wives get equal treatment, so each trip we take costs double the actual cost. If you would like to sponsor us, we are all ears.
3. Related to item 2, divorce is unwelcome and expensive. Despite indications to the contrary, I love my wife. Four Quest trips plus a Gator trip is already pushing the limits of leaving my wife at home with two needy kids and a dog. I expect this demand will lessen and she may actually want to go with me to California or Hawaii, but for now, any more time away equals marital problems.
I must mention that Beth did agree to this Quest when it was proposed and I would not have taken it on without her blessing, but her blessing was probably…”yeah sure go do it. If history is any indication, it will never happen”. This goes along with the fact that her family thought I would grow out of my college football insanity when we first met and I cancelled our first date because Florida made the SEC Championship and had to postpone Hanukkah the next year for the same reason. But the flip side is, she should have known from the beginning.
4. The Florida Gators. Al is already pissed at me for all the restrictions I put on scheduling due to the Florida Gators schedule. I do make an annual trip to Gainesville for a Gator game every year. And, I still want to watch all of their games. This is impossible when we travel because game times are unknown until two weeks before games and other conflicts would arise. I am simply not ready to give that up and doubt I ever will. In happier times, the Gators played a few extra cupcakes a year, and I was willing to travel those weekends. However in more recent times, with the balance of power shifting in the SEC, each game is a must watch.
Maybe when the kids are out of the house and things settle down we will do a few more games per year, but it is not the intent to do this as a sprint. This is a marathon and we are enjoying the journey. If I am still doing this when I am 70, I do not have a problem with that, and neither does Al. And if we ever do finish, we will have to add bowl games, neutral site games, and FCS teams just to keep it going.
I never want it to end.