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8 Notre Dame Football
If you can attend only one more football game in this lifetime, find your way to South Bend. To set foot on the campus is to venture into a kind of spiritual theme park. Even if you despise the Fighting Irish, it's tough to sustain that while lighting a candle in the Grotto or seeking a moment of solitude in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Alumni and undergrads are also famously welcoming, which can annoy opposing teams and their supporters but has always worked for this visitor.
9 Bruins at Canadiens
The principal language of Montreal is French. The secondary language is English. And when the hits and the goals keep coming, the language at the Bell Centre for a Canadiens-Bruins game is Spanish. The 21,273 faithful transmogrify into a European soccer crowd, serenading the bleu, blanc, rouge with "Olé, olé." If nothing else, this vibrant Original Six rivalry promises to be educational. You are guaranteed to learn a new French word: frisson (goose bumps).
Ask people what they love about Wimbledon, and they invariably tick off a list of endearing features: the charm, tradition, gentility; the manicured lawns, the stately Centre Court. But Wimbledon's appeal also stems from what the All England Club lacks. There are no luxury suites. No cloying mascots. Zero peppy men air-cannoning T-shirts or Bachman-Turner Overdrive blaring during breaks. This is a sports cathedral. And best of all, the athletes recognize it and respond accordingly.
—L. Jon Wertheim