Earlier this month, I spent five days in Las Vegas. It was my first trip to America’s favorite holiday destination. I’ve always wanted to go and see the calibre of the shows as that’s the pinnacle of all stage events, which many people aren’t aware of; but I am a big fan of live theatre. I don’t proclaim to be an expert, I just think when comparing to a sporting event; it is a way safer way to spend $100 or more when it comes to entertainment.
The first night, we checked out Rock Of Ages; which is right up my alley as far as 80’s Hair Band music is concerned. It didn’t disappoint. I knew the words to every song (I don’t care if you laugh, I’m proud of this boast) and the two hours was over in what seemed like twenty minutes. The story wasn’t real deep, but nothing in the 1980s was well thought out when it came to that sort of lifestyle. Even a non-1980s rocker would have enjoyed it because you would know the songs just by accident. For me, it was cool to hear the 2013 version of these songs, performed by very talented actors.
The other show I saw was Absinthe, which was not something I would, ordinarily, attend. I was on the fence for whether or not I would go; but I am glad I did. All the people that have told me they like my newspaper column should go to this show, because the things that are said are things we’ve all thought about saying but stopped short of it because we just might offend that one person in a crowd of a thousand. The laughs were non-stop. The performers were straight out of a circus. There was tight-roping, humans balancing other humans, and a guy scaling stacked kitchen chairs about forty or so feet into the air. Again. Two hours gone in what felt like twenty minutes.
Def Leppard is in Vegas in March/April and performing the entire Hysteria album. Who’s coming with me?
I’m going to pick Baltimore to win the Super Bowl on Sunday. I have to, seeing as how I placed a serious $20 bet on them to win a couple of weeks ago (before the New England game) when I was in Vegas. As much as Ray Lewis annoys me, his teammates love him and are going to get it done for him. (I also threw down a heavy $20 on the 8-to-1 odds St. Louis wins the Stanley Cup.)
While in Las Vegas, I went to a club to watch the two conference championship games and the atmosphere was nothing short of electric. It struck me as to, perhaps, why hockey will never catch on in the United States. In football, baseball, and basketball you have the prospect of something exciting every single second. For as slow as baseball is, each pitch is a major deal. Every down in football could mean a serious change in the flow of the game. Even basketball (with steals, alley oops, dunks, etc) keeps a person glued to the television set. But, hockey is like a game of ping pong going back and forth and a goal may take you by complete surprise. I’m not complaining, I’m just comparing. Canadians understand this and are willing to watch a lot of neutral zone play and blocked shots in order to wait it out for a game changing goal, save, or hit. Americans aren’t nearly as willing. So, if the NHL wants to continue pimping out the game to make it better for Americans, then go to a 4-on-4 where the action is non-stop. They should also put fighting back in too. I look at the popularity of the MMA, and it’s a no brainer. Sure, there are the concussion police out there, but these guys are adults. They know the risk. And, when I see the brutality of the MMA, I can’t believe the NFL and NHL are subjected to the scrutiny and criticism that they are.
I saw the Nail Yakupov celebration last week that has come under criticism and I don’t understand. Let him go nuts. It’s fun for the fans to watch and it’s great water cooler chatter material. Just because he slides the length of the ice alone doesn’t mean he’s a bad team player. Let’s find some perspective here.
I will give full marks to Brendan Taman for going out and grabbing Geroy Simon from the BC Lions. Sure, Simon is 37-years-old and has lost a step; but he still should fit in as Saskatchewan’s number two receiving threat behind Weston Dressler. The Riders, likely, overpaid a little for him as well but you do what you need to in order to get a player the calibre of Simon. If Simon can grab 6-9 touchdowns from Darian Durant then it’s a good move. Hopefully, he can stay healthy. Look for the presence of Simon to make Chris Getzlaf a little better too as he’s much better suited to being a number three guy (less attention from the defense). To get Simon, the Riders gave up Justin Harper, who has the talent to be a pretty impactful player in his own right.
Nice person mentions this week to Rob Hart, Greg & Pearl Petrychyn, Tracy Kingdon, Jim Pollock, and Mark Schendel.