Sports defines friendship

Three smiling football fans entered the Hall of Fame on Tuesday. As they shivered from the cold morning in Canton, they were warmly greeted by the Hall’s box office attendant, Barb Smith.

“Welcome! It’s a GREAT day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Smith exclaimed.

Indeed it was for Rob Esteva from Leeds, England; David Gough of Dublin, Ireland; and Jorge Vazquez of Mexico City who traveled great distances for a sports trip that would make any fan insanely jealous. The trio, who met in Switzerland while working on sports masters degrees and now all work in sports, has been planning this trip for five years.

The journey began when Esteva and Gough flew into Chicago last Saturday and drove to Green Bay to attend the Packers-Patriots game at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Esteva is a Patriots fans while Gough is faithful to the Packers. After watching the NFL classic, the two drove to Cleveland and were joined by Vazquez, a Raiders fan.

The friends were excited to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame today.

“We threw the ball around on the pitch outside,” Esteva explained before correcting his terminology to ‘field’ in reference to the fun being had on the Hall of Fame’s 70-yard FieldTurf Field.

The incredible sports trip, that includes four NFL games in eight days, continues tonight when they attend the Cleveland Cavaliers game before taking in Notre Dame vs. Michigan State basketball tomorrow.

Esteva, Gough, and Vazquez will then travel back to Chicago for Thursday night’s Bears vs. Dallas Cowboys game at Soldier Field. They’ll stay in the “Windy City” to go to Chicago Blackhawks hockey game on Friday.

On Saturday, they stop in Detroit for more NHL action and will be joined at the Red Wings game by their friend Rob from Ottawa, Canada. Until this story is read by Rob, the game was supposed to be a surprise.

“He doesn’t know about it yet. He thinks he’s going away for a romantic weekend with his wife,” shared Esteva who thought breaking the news to his friend through the Hall’s website is ‘priceless.’

The group will travel back to Cleveland to attend the Browns home game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium. They will then return to Lambeau Field for the trip’s finale on Monday night when the Packers host the Atlanta Falcons.

The trip of a lifetime speaks volumes about how sports bring people together from all over the world. Listen as these friends describe what sports means to their friendship.

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