Angry Ward Wednesday: Nuptials, New Stadiums and Other Assorted Nonsense in Las Vegas

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BRONX, NY – Just took the redeye back from my friend’s wedding in Vegas and, on this rainy Monday afternoon/evening, I figured writing this week’s column was the perfect task to help me power through to my normal Eastern Standard bedtime and reset the old (and it is old) body clock. Besides, being in Vegas gives one plenty of opportunity to talk about all kinds of sports.

Vibrator toss? No wonder she looks so sad.

Sports Book Ghost Towns. If you’re ever looking for a relaxing retreat away from all the hustle and bustle of daily life, a place where you can find some true peace and quiet, I would strongly suggest visiting any Las Vegas Sports Book the week after Super Bowl Sunday. I walked through a few Sports Books in Sin City and you could hear crickets farting. Betting choices, even for action junkies, were pathetic. What, you like some action on first week of XFL? The Pebble Beach Pro-Am? How about a late west coast college basketball game between Cal Poly Pomona and East Fresno Tech? Sh!t, even ESPN was broadcasting Professional Cornhole!!! How is this even a thing? Anyway, March Madness can’t come fast enough for parched parlay players.

Poker. Yet another pastime that ESPN loves to promote is poker and, naturally, Vegas is crawling with bros who think they’re pros. I like Hold ‘Em and other poker variations as much as the next guy, but I prefer playing in someone’s basement with my jackass friends rather than in a casino. What I find to be a better poker choice is the video variety sitting barside. Yes, it looks pathetic, but it’s not without its skid row charms. In most casinos you plunk 20 bucks into one of those machines and you are drinking free as long as you’re playing. I got in late Friday night but was still able to knock back a couple/few of glasses of rye, tip the barkeep, and break about even on the gaming. Not bad. Hey, speaking of poker…

Prostitution. Sex is a sport, right? There’s different types of venues and playing surfaces—bed, floor, jacuzzi, conference room table, Burger King bathroom, etc.—and some moves involve a certain amount of athleticism. You could even argue that most of the time there are winners and losers. That should be enough to qualify. In any event, this was the second time in my last three visits to Vegas that I got propositioned by a super-friendly female bar patron. Just to be clear, no one should consider this a compliment. When you start looking like solid client material for one of these hard-working ladies, it’s NOT because they think you’re some debonair high-roller. It’s because it’s late, you have enough money to drink and gamble, and you’re old enough that it looks as though you’ll tire out quickly. Working girls are better scouts than anyone the Giants or Jets have employed over the last decade. They know their stuff. They’re not looking for a Hollywood Pretty Woman fairytale ending, they’re looking more for something in the Best Animated Short category. This weekend I got nominated. Let’s move on.

The Raiders are Coming! The Raiders are Coming! No, that’s not what Al Davis used to scream out in bed… well, maybe it was… but smack dab outside my hotel window on Floor 28, I could see the new Raiders football stadium being built. Actually, this black monolith in the desert is pretty far along by the looks of it. And someone at MGM must’ve really greased some political palms, because it’s like a two-block walk from one of their casino properties.

As much as I hate to see teams with long histories in certain cities move, I gotta say the Raiders are going to pack them in… even if they suck. Putting pro sports teams in Vegas was a no-brainer. Having the Raiders there guarantees more guests staying in their rooms through Sunday, which is usually a clear out day for dejected, debt-ridden, degenerates. And that doesn’t even take into account the additional traffic on Mondays and Thursdays. Raiders Apparel shops are already open and doing a brisk business. As far as I can see, the only thing they messed up was not going all-in and making the stadium look like Darth Vader’s helmet but, y’know, Disney and those pesky licensing fees.

One last piece of business. I did get a Double Double from In-N-Out Burger courtesy of my pal Dennis before I took that redeye back. It was superb, as always.

OK, I’m outta here. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz. I assume he’ll be talking Knicks or Spring Training baseball, because there’s really nothing else going on.

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Wednesday: Angry Ward, who has admirers at the NY Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way conservatives embrace Mitt Romney. While the Vikings tease him incessantly with flirtations of success, the Golden State Warriors, "Don't have a enough short, white angry guys but I don't dislike them... that much." A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, The Franchise.

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