Most people have not seen as much college football as Billy Goldberg.
In 2006, Goldberg embarked on a quest to see every Football Bowl Subdivision team play in person by the time he turns 65. When he started he had already seen 63 teams, and now, at the age of 43, he has seen 82 of 120 current teams.
“I really love the religion of college football,” Goldberg said. “It is not just getting to see a lot of games. I love the tailgating and the different cultures and people I get to see by doing this.”
Goldberg was born in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 12, 1969. As the child of two Ohio State graduates, Goldberg attended Buckeye games from an early age. From Ohio, Goldberg moved to California and became a UCLA season ticketholder.
“Between living in Ohio and California, I realized I had seen a ton of football,” Goldberg said. “That realization got me thinking that I wanted to see as much as I could. It started as a whim and turned into something great.”
Goldberg said that at least once a season he will take a trip with his wife and two brothers to see a big game in a new place.
This week Goldberg will fly into Miami on Thursday to watch the Virginia Tech and Miami game before driving to Baton Rouge for Saturday’s clash between No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 LSU.
“I’ve seen some great football and experienced some really special culture traveling the Southeast,” Goldberg said. “I’ve never been to Baton Rouge and am really excited to go. People always tell me what a special atmosphere Death Valley is.”
This trip won’t add to his numbers since he has already seen LSU and Alabama play. He attended the 2007 edition in Tuscaloosa when LSU beat the Tide and their first-year head coach Nick Saban 34-31 en route to a BCS National Championship Game victory against Goldberg’s beloved Buckeyes.
He said he won’t hold that against the Tigers on Saturday.
During his travels, Goldberg has kept a blog and plans on writing a book. He said the book isn’t so much about his quest as much as it is about everything he has gotten to experience after he deciding to chase his passion.
“Most people would say what I do is stupid and trivial,” Goldberg said. “I think it’s important to do what you are passionate about. Set a goal and do it.”
Early in his quest, Goldberg took a trip to see North Carolina State play Florida State before traveling to Columbus to see the Buckeyes play Bowling Green. During the trip, he stopped to visit his sister.
She died a week later.
“If I hadn’t followed my passion, I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to see her,” Goldberg said. “That kind of pushed me and confirmed that I was doing the right thing.”
As of today, he is 38 teams away from his goal and has 22 seasons to finish his quest.
This weekend, Goldberg predicted that LSU will win because it’s at home, and he said the Alabama offense is overrated.
Pay some attention to his prediction — he has watched enough football to know.