The sights. The sounds. There’s nothing quite like a live sporting event. But what if you could only hear the action and not see it?
College football and hockey super fan Patrick Yarber of Nashville says he has seen home games in all 131 of the FBS Division I football stadiums as well as more than 1,100 hockey games.
But, what makes Yarber's story unique is that he’s heard them more than he’s seen them. Yarber has lost 90 percent of his vision.
"The last five years have been really difficult," Yarber said. "You know, I know my days are numbered, but thank goodness I can pick up the game on my radio, and the playing surface is nice and light, and I know enough about the sport to know what’s going on. So it’s just fun to get out and see new venues, new teams and new fan bases."
Recently, Yarber made it out to San Jose and caught a doubleheader at SAP Center. The San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League in the afternoon and then the San Jose Sharks that night. This first was the latest in what has turned out to be a lifetime pursuit of first-time visits to hockey arenas and college football stadiums all over the country.
"You know, when I get my frequent flier miles and I take a trip, I want to take it as far as I can," he said. "And it’s awesome to be able to see an AHL and an NHL game in the same building on the same day."
Yarber also had high praise for the Barracuda broadcaster.
"This San Jose guy is good," he said. "He’s got a good voice to listen to. You know, he paints a picture."
Yarber said he just decided to venture out and see two or three new places a year, and they just started piling up. And he's not letting eyesight affect his passion.
"If there’s a hockey game somewhere," he said. "I want to be at it."