SIN CITY, NV – First off, apologies to our staff and readership (our moms) for our sudden disappearance. But when Nemo, Vegas and the plurality of the “The Matts” is in name only, this baby can be shut down in an blink by any of the aforementioned. Combine all three, however, and you a death sentence. Now put those three elements in on a plane, trapped on a tarmac, with no cell phone… Nemo + Vegas + The Matts = Tarmac Tussle. This could be the next big Reality Sport.
Here’s what happened:
–Wednesday night: Fly to Vegas to cover the Las Vegas International 7s, Friday -Sunday.
-Check into the cheesiest hotel, Circus Circus, that is on the current strip. The last time this place was happening/clean was when Joey Heatherton and Burt Bacharach had their act there… After check-in/debriefing on theft, wild animals and bed-bug counsel, we’re told the Internet may not be functioning properly… “But we’re working on it.”
–Thursday… head to Sam Boyd Stadium, 15 miles in the middle of nowhere – after already being in the middle of nowhere – only to discover that our laptop doesn’t work properly. Something about getting drop-kicked by a baggage handler.
–Friday: Get word that Nemo has rendered pummeled you Northeasterners, and Cheesy Bruin’s chances of the cable company making their way to his “bachelor pad” to install the Internet. (This impacts Sunday’s column).
–Friday night: Laptop functional, but no Internet at the hotel. Short Matt is showing signs of wear.
–Saturday: MTM cameraman is now whiny about things (breakfast) and is not exactly eager to work. Short Matt finds Dr. Diz is missing (note the oxymoron thingy there) and there is no Saturday column on MTM. Fittingly, the Doctor texts that he is ill and forgot to let the MTM Editorial Staff know… After “breakfasting” we stop in remote location to shoot bit in desert, then hit the tournament for a day of shooting interviews and segments with players, coaches and fans.
Saturday night: Back at the hotel, find that the footage from the desert – shot by the increasingly whiny cameraman – is out of focus. NOTE: This is HIS camera. A re-shoot will now have to be scheduled. DJ Eberle takes one for the team with a late night, pinch-hit double for Cheesy Bruin – who was TKO’d by Nemo.
Sunday: After arguing with cameraman about “a proper breakfast” being more important that being early for the the upcoming interview with the CEO of USA Rugby – the governing body of our national teams – we get to the stadium and scramble to set up the interview. We do get it, though! The rest of the day goes very well with interviews in the stands and with players and coaches… Sunday night: The big tourney party is in full swing. The cameraman doesn’t want to shoot interviews of the international stars – who can now finally relax – because A) He’s done and B) He’s done. Short Matt snaps.
–Monday: With a 1:38 PM flight to JFK looming, our heroes arise early to get “breakfast” before going to shoot players that were missed at the hotel. After landing the Bill Belichick of rugby, Gordon Tietjens of New Zealand for a brief, funny bit, it is discovered that the sound was not recorded. The cameraman than points out that the sound may not have been recorded on much of the in-stadium footage throughout the entire weekend. Short Matt is now Michael Douglass in Falling Down… Time is ticking… A mad dash to the remote desert spot may or may not result in a missed flight… The re-shoot is completed at NOON. We still need to gas-up the rental, drop it off at Dollar Rent-A-Car and get thru security at the airport. We’re on the shuttle to the airport at 12:55 after some Jackie Stewart driving by a now insanely giggling Short Matt. We race thru security and make it to the gate at 1:20… All good. But… the cell phone is dead.
-After 15 minutes and a conversation with a Canadian woman about being stuck there since Friday, JetBlue announces a delay of an hour because of fog in NYC. After the hour, we get on the plane… The captain comes out, addresses the passengers in a charming, funny and reassuring way. Things are looking up. 25 minutes later, he announces we have been pushed back for at least 2 hours but can’t deplane… The infants to Short Matt’s left and right start crying. Short Matt snaps and…
Nemo + Vegas + The Matts = Tarmac Tussle.
Angry Ward, who snaps every Tuesday night, tomorrow.
P.s… Email this morning from the cameraman: “Left my camera in the cab. They don’t have it.” That camera had the re-shoot of the desert piece on it.