I have many dreams. One of them is to travel the US attending one NFL game a week while spending a long weekend in that particular city. I’m not going to be accomplishing this particular dream in 2016, but let’s say I was going to attend one NFL game a week this season: What games would I attend?
One rule before I begin. I’m limiting myself to only visiting a particular stadium once and not seeing the same team more than three times. That way there’s some variety because one of the objectives of this road trip would be to see all of the league’s marquee stadiums and go to as many of the best American cities as possible. Plus, I would avoid any bias towards seeing my Patriots every game, which I suppose I could jot down as another journey I’d like to go on at some point.
Anyway, let’s begin.
Week 1: Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field; Denver, CO
It’s only natural to start this hypothetical roadtrip at the home of the defending champs, right?
Week 2: Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
US Bank Stadium; Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota’s new stadium looks dynamite. It’s probably best to see it when they play against their biggest rival, too.
Week 3: Atlanta Falcons vs New Orleans Saints
Mercedes-Benz Superdome; New Orleans, LA
If I’m going to go to the Superdome, I might as well attend a night game like this one. Apparently that’s when Saints fans are at their rowdiest.
Week 4: Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, CA
I’m happy to have crossed Levi Stadium off my bucket list last February, but since it was probably the nicest stadium I’ve ever seen, I’d absolutely want to go there again.
Week 5: Washington Redskins vs Baltimore Ravens
M&T Bank Stadium; Baltimore, MD
M&T Bank Stadium seems like a great place to watch a football game in the fall. I’d love to see a 1:00 game there on a crisp October day.
Week 6: New York Jets vs Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium; Glendale, AZ
Is that not one of the sleekest stadium designs on Earth?
Week 7: New England Patriots vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Heinz Field; Pittsburgh, PN
Can’t believe it has taken me this long to see my Patriots. But there’s no better time to see them then in late October at Heinz Field.
Week 8: Philadelphia Eagles vs Dallas Cowboys
AT&T Stadium; Dallas, TX
It’s not an NFL stadium tour until you visit Jerry World.
Week 9: New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins
Hard Rock Stadium; Miami, FL
Was anyone else aware that the Dolphins essentially got a new stadium? That’s one heck of a renovation!
Week 10: Seattle Seahawks vs New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA
Night games at Gillette. Nothing better.
Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, MO
Visiting Arrowhead is similar to going to Dodgers Stadium: Neither are their league’s sexiest stadiums anymore, but if you’re a true fan of the sport, you’ll visit the stadium simply out of respect.
Week 12: New England Patriots vs New York Jets
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ
To be frank, there really isn’t much to see at the new home of the Jets & Giants. I’d make this visit just to see the Pats.
Week 13: Carolina Panthers vs Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field; Seattle, WA
Like I said about the Superdome, if I’m going to go to a Seahawks game, I’d go to a Sunday night contest where many say the experience equates to being in an earthquake.
Week 14: Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field; Green Bay, WI
As for Lambeau, I suppose it’s best to go to the Frozen Tundra when it’s….well when it’s frozen.
Week 15: Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears
Soldier Field; Chicago, IL
Bears/Packers at Soldier Field. Enough said.
Week 16: San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum; Los Angeles, CA
I can’t wait to see the Rams’ new stadium in Inglewood; but for now, I wouldn’t mind seeing some NFL action at the LA Coliseum.
Week 17: Kansas City Chiefs vs San Diego Chargers
Qualcomm Stadium; San Diego, CA
I have a choice here: I can enjoy a game–albeit at a dumpy stadium–in beautiful San Diego, California or I can freeze my ass off at some cold-weather stadium. I think I’ll choose the former.
Final Stop: Super Bowl LI
Reliant Stadium; Houston, TX
How else do you end a stadium tour?