Sports fans vote Indy 500 the top 'bucket list' eventThu, 22 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Just days away from the 98th running of the Indianapolis 500, the so-called "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" has been selected as the "Best Bucket List Sports Event" by sports fans.
Or at least those sports fans polled by USA Today.
In case you're unfamiliar with the concept of a bucket list, it's a compilation of cool stuff you've gotta do before you shuffle off this mortal coil. The FIFA World Cup Finals, Kentucky Derby and the Olympic Games were all in the running
Frankly, we were a little surprised by the result. We love racing, you love racing, but does Joe Six Pack really care about what happens the Sunday before Memorial Day more than he cares about the near-religious experience that is the Super Bowl?
The answer is, apparently, yes. And it does make sense. When something has been happening for over a century (2014's race may be the 98th Indy 500, but the first was in 1911), it becomes more than just a race -- it becomes a tradition.
Plus, there's one thing that the Indy 500 offers that many of the others, like the super-exclusive Masters or globetrotting Olympic Games, can't compete with: accessibility. You don't need to jet off to Russia or snag a coveted pass to get through the gates at Augusta. Just make your way to centrally located Indianapolis and fork over $40 for a general-admission ticket.
Heck, there's probably still time to pack the car and road-trip your way to Indy in time to hear Jim Nabors belt out "(Back Home Again) In Indiana" one last time.
The complete top 10 list is as follows:
1. Indianapolis 500
2. Olympic Games
3. The PGA Masters
4. NFL Super Bowl
5. Kentucky Derby
6. FIFA World Cup Finals
7. College Football Championship
8. World Series of Baseball
9. NFL Stanley Cup
10. NCAA March Madness
The Indy 500 and the Kentucky Derby were the only two racing events to crack the top 10, but head-to-head competition in general seemed to get fans' blood pumping. The 24 Hours of Le Mans drew a good chunk of votes, as did the America's Cup yacht race and the impossibly glamorous Monaco Formula One Grand Prix.
We're dying to get to Monaco, but it'll have to wait until next year: This weekend, we're heading to Indy. Of course, if you can't make it to either race, keep up with the action right here.
By Graham Kozak