Thursday, September 14, 2006

Suckahatchee. Mandalay Bay. Sea Preacher. A brief Vegas review...

Since leaving for Las Vegas last Thursday evening, my life has gone through some monumental changes. Finally, nearly seven days after landing at McCarran airport, I have settled down and began my life anew.

No, I’m not a born again, nor have I taken a vow of celibacy. Horses and “strategic communication” are still my passion. I’ve just regrouped after a chain of events that have finally set me free from what was a slow, dragging, unfullfilling existence.

As Alec Baldwin’s “Along Came Polly” character Stan Indursky would say, “Good things, Rube.”

I won’t belabor you with the minutiae of the entire Vegas trip. In fact, half of went down would probably get me mandatory jail time. However, here are a few highlights:

-Mandalay Bay: The Mandalay is a very cool place. Big, but not MGM Grand big. A really great mix of class, spunk and hospitality. The outdoor pool area is a phenomenal respite. Although I managed to only spend about 12 minutes outside all weekend, the Mandaly pool area is certainly a destination to be checked out.

-Mandalay Bay Sports book: Whether you stay at MB or not, you MUST hit up the MB sports book. It was there that the best part of the trip took place. Major kudos to Jay, Scott, Tom, Hugh and the entire Mandalay Bay sports book staff. These gentlemen went above and beyond their call of duty to make sure me and mine had everything we needed. From a reserved VIP booth to playful interaction and banter, these guys know how to do things right. Besides gaining the loyal business of the 10 in my party, I hope others will flock to MB and give them some business. Although I lost, (due to Kansas and Stanford) I had an amazing time and these gentlemen can take a large amount of the credit. If in future visits I somehow manage not to stay at MB, I will certainly be taking my sports betting business there.

-Landing at McCarran: Have you ever watched a textbook, epic desert thunderstorm from 15,000 feet? Until Thursday night I hadn’t either. Attempting to land, we were informed by our captain that McCarran had closed due to severe weather. My America West flight (and who knows how many others) were able to witness a storm of majestic strength, anger and beauty whip itself into a frenzy around greater Las Vegas. We all had front row seats to this natural extravaganza of static electricity. The extra hour added to the flight was a reasonable exchange for the front row seat to this carnival of nature several miles above sea level.

-Staying up all night and playing the horses: Not recommended. I attempted this feat and failed miserably. My lack of physical preparation and disregard for mental health set my touting off to a miserable start. My horse betting schnied didn’t end until I voluntarily pulled the plug. I decided to press with a huge win bet on a “can’t miss” horse in Sunday’s 4th race at Monmouth. Bet down to 6-5 (had I waited to see that, perhaps I would have recanted my wager). Nonetheless, odds on, and a seemingly sure thing, Alan Goldberg’s Sea Preacher began making his move around the far turn when, unfortunately, the horse broke down completely and disappeared from the screen. Empathizing with trainer, owner, jockey and horse, I put away my form and my money. I had invested enough in the Mandalay Bay (as far as horses go) and my weekend of betting horses was officially over. (Side note: I am assuming they put the horse down, as it seemed to be a rather vicious fall. I hope rider CC Lopez escaped without any major injuries.

-Brian Ellerbee: Not sure how many of you know who he is….Ellerbee served as the head coach of the University of Michigan’s Men Basketball team from 1998-2001 and joined us for dinner at “Simon” located in the Hard Rock, Saturday evening. Ellerbee is now in construction/real estate in Las Vegas. Consuming some top notch food and drink, I was fortunate enough to sit next to Ellerbee and exchange war stories from my days in the NCAA coaching ranks.

-My new friend, “Bobby” from Youngstown, OH: After having a near heart attack watching the Boston College/Clemson 2OT game, I sprinted for the bar located smack dab in the middle of the Mandalay. Somehow, I struck up a conversation with a horse playing 54 yr. old gentleman from Ohio named, “Bob”, who supposedly “everybody” knows as, “Bobby.” Bobby and I bought each other several beers, and shot the shit about horses, women, children and life in general. Once again, horseracing proved to be the unbreakable link between a very conservative 54-yr old Ohioan, and a 30-yr. old Jewish kid living in Portland. Thanks to Bobby for helping cheer me up, as despite winning the BC/Clemson game, I was having a hard time coping with the stress – the first time that’s ever happened to me in my life!!

-SUCKAHATCHEE: Though I am not too sure what it means, it is one of the pearls of wisdom I received from Bobby at the middle bar early last Saturday evening. I was too drunk too actually transcribe the actual meaning of this word, so I think we’ll leave it alone for a while and see if it can find a natural meaning. In the meantime, if anyone has any thoughts, I would love to hear them. I am taking personal responsibility to introduce “Suckahatchee’ to the everyday English vernacular.


Anonymous said...

Listen dog I hat to burst your bubble but don't be saying that word to loud around people who were in the delta back in the late 60's. The Mekong delta. It's Vietnamese for a sex act and lets just leave it at that.

Ruben Bailey said...

That comment is fantastic. Thank you, Anonymous!!