This year’s festivities got off to the earliest start yet as Woz and I couldn't wait for Friday and so we came in on Thursday. There was a game that started at 4:30 local time and with my flight scheduled to at 4:06 I didn't think I could get there in time. But the flight arrived 15 minutes early so I
quickly got off the plane - stiff-armed the handicapped and elderly out of the way, rushed through the world’s longest cab line and got to the hotel with 5 minutes to spare.
Friday morning, Woz and I were going over our picks when this old guy who looked somewhat like Big Al kept asking us about various teams and who we would bet. He would ask about a team, listen and then go away. 5 minutes later he would come back ask about a team (including some repeats) listen and go away. This went on for at least an hour. Nice guy but it was getting annoying. Finally, after Woz wanted to lay this guy out, we just up and moved to get away - but in the back of my mind I think Big Al was channeling through the guy.
Disappointed, Pat and I started looking round for some games to play - when an older lady sweeping the floors saw our shirts and said Go Green. We turned around said Go White. Smiling, she asked if we were from East Lansing. We said we went to State to which she replied "Then you must have known Pinball Pete's. My husband and I used to own it". Turns out her husband was a pinball fanatic and after he sold Pinball Pete's - he took his collection of 2000 machines and moved them to Vegas where they retired and started the Pinball Hall of Fame. Well that got us over our disappointment real quick as we talked about the old Pinball Pete's, shared stories about stumbling drunk out of the old Dooley's to play a few rounds, different games we like to play and on and on for a good half hour.
We then played a few games (Woz won naturally) and started to leave. I went back the to ask the sweeping lady if they had an old game that ROK and I used to play called Satin Doll a.k.a the Satin Bitch. They not only had it they
had two - but they weren't in the rotation out in the floor. She also told me about the secret spot by the bitche’s head that if you hit it just right you got a free game. If anybody has ROK's email address let me know so I can forward him the info.
With game time for the Friday night games closing in we started to walk back the 5 miles to the Hilton looking for a cab. We finally came by a small cab after about a mile - so we all piled in. Pete in front, Mike, Woz and I in the back
with Pat sitting in Woz's lap and laying across my chest. Woz tried to surprise Pat with a small woody but the sheer mass of overweight Irishman who has had too many Guinesses kept all the blood flow out of Woz from the ribcage
on down. For good measure Pat threatened to leave a freep right on Woz's Mr Wonderful if he even tries that stunt.
As game time neared, Joe was waiting for us in the Sports Book.
Sitting down for the Friday games - Pat turned to me and put down $20 for his winning ticket from the night before. I said "Hold on there camper - maybe I can get a better offer" and turned to Woz and see if he was willing to enter into an auction for the ticket now worth $38. With the blood was finally returning to his lower extremities - Woz declined and Pat won the aborted bidding war.
Then a huge controversy broke out - Is the Big Al rule - don't bet against UConn on VEGAS BABY or is it don't bet on the UConn game at all? We decided to test the theory by betting on UConn giving 6 at Rutgers. We also went with OK State laying 24 at UL Lafayette. The answer came through loud and clear - UConn made a freshman QB for
Rutgers look like first team all Big East as Scarlet Knights rolled 27-24. Not only that but ULL was leading at the half
21-17. Apparently, there is a spill over aspect to the Big Al rule and he was going to get us on the next game too. Seeing us fully chastised, however, he relented and let OK State go up 54-28 with 5 minutes to go getting us the win. So now we know - the Big Al rule is do not bet the UConn game at all on VEGAS BABY weekend or he will get you on that game and any other game that night too. And we certainly do not want to see if the spill over effect for violating the rule would go through the entire weekend - that's for sure.
Another controversy was also brewing in the proper spelling of Caril's name. Is it Carol as Pete says or Caril as Joe, Pat and I remember. Sure enough - around 10:00 Cari(o)l stopped by, her hands still trembling, showed us her name tag spelled (wrongly) Carol. Although she denies it - seems as though she is the evil twin of our beloved Caril.
We spent the rest of the night catching up on things, talking about the Spartans, other picks for Saturday, dodging a bullet on the Big Al rule and drinking until the wee hours of the morning.
Saturday morning we all meet in the Sports Book around 7am anticipating a great day of college football. FFDY!! The Official Big Flippy (OBF) made an appearance - a beautiful gold coin with James Madison on one side and the Statue of Liberty on the other side. Despite having history majors and teachers in the entourage -none of us could figure out what James Madison was famous for. Pat thought it was because his wife Dolly invented cupcakes. Seeing how that was the lamest answer given we went with that. After flipping the OBF brought about 85% tails (meaning to take the visitors) Mike thought the OBF was defective. In reality, the defect was more likely with the Flipping Actuator Genius (FAG).
The second surprise guest also made an appearance – Pete B. The Executive Committee was unable to convince Pete to come since he had ready made plans to see his brother in law during VEGAS BABY weekend prior to the annual Sullivan Wedding. Pete quickly had Kathy say hi to the gang and the hurried her out of the Sports Book so as to not violate GO JUMBO rule 1 - no spouses in the Sports Book.
White. By now Paul had arrived and consulting the BBofG split his bet taking some with the points and some with MSU and the money line too. Fuss was also in the house and took the Spartans as well. All in for Sparty!
The game started out slowly as the MSU defensive strategy was working to perfection - let UM get yards but keep them to field goals. Meanwhile when MSU got its first TD to lead 7-3 we let out a huge cheer and high 5's all around only to see a flag on the play - excessive celebration. Knowing that it was us that were being flagged we gave polite golf claps for subsequent great plays for the rest of the game.
With the penalty assessed on the kickoff - playing with a short field UM went down for a TD that was entirely our fault. Sorry coach - won't happen again. Though QB Kirk Cousins was shaky in the first half, the defense was stout
and the running game was pounding and the Spartans lead 17-10 at the half.
In the third quarter everything clicked, Cousins threw a TD, the RB's kept pounding away and the defense was great. By the end of the third we were up 31-10. Joe finally decided to officially call the game with 5 minutes to go and we were up 17. Good call. Final score MSU 34 UM 17. The celebrations continued through the rest of the day.
Paul then called his wife and proudly told her how much he had won on the game. Bad move as she immediately wanted to know what he was going to buy her. Note to Drunken Bums - if your spouse asks you how the betting is going the only correct answer is "about even". If you are winning they will want the profits spent on jewelry or such and if you say you are losing they will rag on you "Not only are you spending money getting drunk with
your fat stupid friends - your losing money too"???? Trust me I've been there - not pretty.
"Wannstedted" us by going to the victory formation late in the game underneath the ND goal posts needing a useless FG to cover. This year we decided to not get Wannstedted by betting on ND. Late in the game ND stopped Pitt on downs - deep in Pitt territory. Rather than get a cheap useless FG to cover ND went into the victory formation. Crap we got reverse Wannstedted.
We therefore established the Wannstedt rule - no betting on games coached by
Dave Wannstedt!. If this keeps up - we won't have any games to bet on.
As the night rolled on and the football watching continued Joe was reviewing the BBofG for some late night picks when he came across a sticky note in the back. He determined that it must be the only accurate info in there since it was the only thing not on a printed spreadsheet, carefully laminated and three hole punched - rather it was hand written and stuck to a piece of paper in the back. Turns out it was the answers to the question as to what teams had perfect 5-0 and 0-5 records against the spread for VEGAS BABY weekends. The 5-0 teams were Missouri and Arkansas while the winless teams were Tennessee and Colorado. Amazingly this streak will continue into next year as Arkansas and Missouri both won and Colorado and Tennessee both lost. Missouri actually beat Colorado over the weekend in the 20th anniversary of the infamous 5th down win by Colorado back in 1990. The BBofG must have missed its own bit of info (seeing how it was handwritten) and lost by taking Tenn. It did correctly take Missouri
and Arkansas however.
Sunday morning we met at the same time but made perhaps the largest change in logistics ever in VEGAS BABY football watching. We decided to watch from the tables rather than the chairs. A momentous decision fraught with danger if we got on the wrong side of Lady Luck.
As we were going over our picks for the day we decided to do a Drunken Bums Super Teaser Parlay. We each gave our best pick for the day and played it on a ties win super teaser parlay card and put in $10 each. Before leaving for the weekend - Pete B gave his best pick of Rams +13 before leaving for the weekend. That turned out to be one of the worst picks of the entire weekend as the Lions won by their biggest margin since 1995 44-6 over the Rams. Nice
going away present -Thanks Pete! The BBofG continued its streak for VEGAS BABY Parlays - 0 for lifetime.
- won money on the pros. Break up the BBofG!!
After Pete had left and the first set of games were over - the Executive Committee met. Seeing how a quorum was present Pat and I motioned, seconded and approved two motions. 1, Whereas Pete did not stay for any games on Sunday - he therefore was not in attendance for the weekend and therefore can not claim that next year must be the year to go back to the Mirage and 2. Whereas we got too drunk on Friday and forgot to have the Ugly Shirt Contest and since Mike called himself the winner and it being a good and proper call - Mike won the ugly shirt contest! Further, the shirt is retired and can no longer be used in Ugly Shirt Contest and further still - since Mike was thinking about using a Michigan shirt which would automatically have won - No Michigan shirts are allowed in the Ugly Shirt Contest.
As the games came to a close Pat went off to win on the slots and Paul ventured over to play Black Jack. We decided to become Paul's krewe and ventured over to his table. Not a good move as he started losing quickly. Knowing that I must be Black Jack bad luck since I had just lost 5 straight hands at the video Black Jack when the dealer dealt itself 20, 20, black jack, 21 and 20 - I left and Paul quickly climbed back to even.
Before leaving Fuss introduced Lupe to the gang. We commended her for being able to put up with Fuss and keep him on the straight and narrow. She deserves so much better.
After everyone else left Mike and I went over to the MGM Mirage to cash a ticket I had won over the summer on the World Cup. On the way in there was a really cool outdoor bar where we watched the Sunday night game and had a few last beers. We then went inside and confirmed that the seating arrangements and in particular the lack of tables at the Mirage meant that the viewing at the Hilton is much better than the Mirage. I also realized that my ticket was for the MGM Grand and not the Mirage. So we decided to walk to the Grand and play Monopoly slots at every casino on the way. 3 hours and several cocktails later we cashed the $16 ticket at the Grand, took the monorail back and
called it a night.
Another Great VEGAS BABY weekend
GO JUMBO and see everyone next year