SAN DIEGO — Joe Connor spent roughly two years traveling around the country, watching a sporting event every single day.
The Tierrasanta resident returned just a few weeks ago and says he’s happy to finally be home.
“I had to end the trip in San Diego and five being my favorite number, 675 seemed about right,” said Connor.
He began his journey on Feb. 5, 2018, when he set out for Cal Baptist University in Riverside for a basketball game. From there, the 46-year-old logged more than 150,000 miles taking in one sporting event every day.
“I have this goal to see these certain teams in these certain markets,” he said. “I did a lot of driving and people say, ‘did you get tired?’ and I say, ‘no it’s all adrenaline.’ ‘Were you bored?’ and ‘no.’ I was thinking in my head, where am I going next? And there would always be logistical things that would challenge you.”
One of those challenges came in Springfield, Missouri, where Connor was hit in an accident, leaving his car totaled. But he managed to get a new one — painted to salute veterans and first responders.
“My late father served in the Air Force. I have a lot of family members that serve in the military. Obviously San Diego is a military town but not just that. When you think about our police and firefighters and first responders, I want to have a moving billboard to thank these folks,” said Connor. “I just want the car to speak for itself.”
Connor watched mostly college and professional basketball, baseball, football and hockey, including friends and family along the way.
“The youngest sport I saw was the Little League World Series in Williamsport,” he said. “That was a lot of fun. I saw lacrosse. I’m learning lacrosse. I saw auto races. I’m learning auto racing. I’d only been to Daytona so I went to the Indy 500.”
But his favorite stop was Talladega.
When it came to costs, his most expensive ticket was $50 for a Monday night football game between the New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans.
A self-employed career coach, some might wonder how he afforded his cross-country trek.
“One, I’m single. Two, I’m not married, don’t have children. Three, I basically put all my income in rental properties and so I let my tenants essentially pay for my trip,” said Connor. “Now having said that, I spent way more than I budgeted for. I did not budget to buy a new car. But it was a trip of a lifetime and I’ll never forget it. It was amazing.”