Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Badger Basketball Lists: Second in a Series

So recently we went over the worst Badger basketball season ending losses in the last ten seasons. Now I'd like to be a little more positive and go over the top NCAA tournament wins in the last ten seasons. Since I botched making the last list suspenseful I will list in reverse order this time with ten coming first and then down to one. How lame of me before. Also I forgot to note last time, feel free to leave comments and put your thoughts in if you disagree. I'd like to hear if anyone has any other thoughts than my own (really). I also think this is much harder. As much as great big wins are, I think it's always easier to remember the losses. So enough rambling, on to the rankings.

The First Round Games:
14. St. Johns (9) 1st Round 2002 80-70
Why?: Not a very exciting game although it was Bo's first tournament win with Wisconsin.
13. Weber State (12) 1st Round 2003 81-74
Why?: Game was never as close as the score indicated. Wisconsin was up 15 at half and coasted to a victory.
12. Fresno State (9) 1st Round 2000 66-56
Why?: The win that got it all started for the Final Four team, but even with being down four at half and 7 three pointers by Jon Bryant it was only ho-hum.
11. Richmond (11) 1st Round 2004 76-64
Why?: The game before the worst loss was a little too close in the first half when they were down 13 in the first half, but scoring 51 in the 2nd half made this somewhat of a blah game. No standout memories from this either.
10. Cal State-Fullerton (14) 1st Round 2008 71-56
Why?: It's fresher in the mind than the honorable mention games. The game was 31-30 for the first possession after half. A guy (Josh Akognon) scored 31 of Fullerton's 56 points. There really isn't anything too exciting about a 3 seed beating a 14 in the first round usually. This was no exception.
9. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (15) 1st Round 2007 76-63
Why?: Same thing as the Fullerton game. The Islanders kept it competitive early even being up 18 points in the first half. Second half was a different story and the Badgers won comfortably, but even with the scary first half the game, not that great or memorable.
8. Northern Iowa (11) 1st Round 2005 57-52
Why?: This is the last of the 1st Round games. None of these first seven have been really all that exciting, which is part of Wisconsin being the favored team in every game. They have either been the higher seed or in the 8/9 game. This game was much closer than the others as They pulled out the game with only having been up 3 with 4 seconds left before icing the game with some clutch free throws.

The Rest
7. Bucknell (14) 2nd Round 2005 71-62
Why?: Ok so the game wasn't all that close, but Bucknell did have a 44-43 lead at one point. It's a second round game though which if the first round game isn't a buzzer beater or upset is almost guaranteed to be better.
6. Kansas State (11) 2nd Round 2008 72-55
Why?: This game was pretty great because of the dominating that the Badgers did against Michael Beasley in the second half. I was not a fan of Beasley and still am not. This was also fun because we had a big basketball party at my house and it included Kevin's halftime rendition of "Rocket Man" and also a stupid quiz game in which I dominated.
5. LSU (4) Sweet Sixteen 2000 61-48
Why?: I couldn't put 3 of the 2000 games in the top 4 and a pretty dominating win. The Badgers held future NBA-er Stromile Swift to only four field goal attempts. That in itself is pretty amazing let alone holding a four seed and the tenth ranked team in the country to 48 points. A great game and win but only the third best win of this year.
4. Tulsa (13) 2nd Round 2003 61-60
Why?: Two words: Freddie Owens. The second highest rated game that's a second rounder, but it was a huge win. The win set up a date with #1 team in the country Kentucky and also it was a one point victory with shot made by one second left. Not only was it a game winner it was a 3 pointer for the win rather than the 2 to tie. I remember just being in utter shock after that of all people it was one of the favorite whipping boys Freddie Owens or as I called him for some reason Fred-Ro. Good times.
3. North Carolina State (10) Sweet Sixteen 2005 65-56
Why?: Big win over the Julius Hodge led team. A game where Wisconsin was down 9 at half and as I mentioned before I was lighting newspaper on fire at half because I was disgusted. Then they come out and score 41 points in the second half for a big win and a date with UNC and we all know how that turned out.

2. Purdue (6) Elite Eight 2000 64-60
Why?: No explanation needed, it got the team to the Final Four and against a conference opponent nonetheless. Jon Bryant again is the man. 5-9 on threes, just a killer in this tournament. Also, they beat a team with Brian Cardinal on it, not a bad thing at all. Purdue was ranked 25 at the time also. Badgers were 2-1 against Purdue prior to this game, so 3-1 on the season.

1. Arizona (1) 2nd Round 2000 66-59
Why?: Number eight seed Wisconsin plays against 4th ranked team in the country and number 1 seed Arizona. Not a soul in the world thought the Badgers would win this game, myself included. It doesn't matter that Loren Woods didn't play in this game, biggest win in the last ten years hands down. Badgers leading scorers that game were Vershaw with 15 and our old friend Maurice Linton 14. I just remember being so excited after this game.

So there you have it. As promised, not as fun as the loss list, but a solid list still. I guess that since they have only made the Elite Eight twice during this time, there aren't as many memorable wins as demoralizing losses. That's just how it is though, negative is easier to think about than positive sometimes. Coming next in the Badger lists? Don't know yet, but it will be a good one. Thanks for reading and this was completed while listening to Bill Simmons podcasts from ESPN.com and then an Adam Carolla podcast from the new website carollaradio.com check out the one from 2-27 with Simmons. Check it out, it's great stuff. In a related story I am also glad that I know longer look like that, wow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Badger Basketball Lists: The First in a Series

Modern University of Wisconsin Basketball is what I consider to start in 1998-1999 when they started their current streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Some could argue that you could start all the way back in the Finley years with Stu Jackson, or to start with Bennett's first year, or even to only start with Bo Ryan's first year. I will go back to the season that started the current streak though as that seems like the best reference point for me. That would have been my freshman year of high school. I weighed under 100 lbs and was probably about 5'6" when this all started, good times. Anyway what I'd like to is try to come up with several top ten (maybe 15) lists of bests and worsts over the last ten years.

I am going to start with ranking the season ending (NCAA Tournament) games from 1-10 with 1 being the worst loss. This has a lot to do with expectations of that particular season. When expectations are higher a loss hurts more. I hate to start with the negative, but it's always easier to remember those because only one team goes home happy a year.
1. 2004 - Pitt 59-55 - 2nd Round

Why?: This is number one because it was Devin Harris' last game. He is what I believe the best player to go to Wisconsin in our generation. He wasn't able to save this game and this was easily one of the better Badger teams over the years.
The Fallout: I really thought that if Devin (right) were to come back for the next year, the Badgers would have had a legit shot at a national title. Maybe losing this heartbreaker helped him make his decision to leave early.

Opponent: Pitt went on to lose the next game to Okla St who made the Final Four.
Where Was I?: At my parent's house on spring break soph year of college. We sent my sister on a Culver's run, for some reason I ordered a pork tenderloin, I haven't eaten one since because first, it wasn't that good and second because of this game. This is the closest I have been to crying from a sporting event since the Packers lost Super Bowl 32. I laid on my bed face down for somewhere between 30 min and an hour after the game.

2. 2007 - UNLV 74-68 - 2nd Round

Why?: Tucker's last game (and Taylor's). What a waste of the best season in team history to that point. Kevin freaking Kruger.
The Fallout: Tucker (left) goes on to be drafted, nobody thinks Wisconsin will be able to do anything the next year without him. That turned out to be false. A team that was once ranked number one in the regular season loses in the second round and is the only high seed to lose early.

Opponent: UNLV went on to lose to Oregon who lost to Nat'l champ Florida in the Elite Eight.

Where Was I?: I honestly can't remember my exact location for this game. I think I was at Pack 'R' Place but I may have been at the old Main St apartment. I remember watching the first round game at PRP for sure this year, but I can't pinpoint this game. They kind of run together actually because they were down for much of the game, made a comeback, but only won the first game. The more I think about it I am pretty sure I was at the bar for this and was highly disappointed but did not cry, drank instead.

3. 2005 - UNC 88-82 - Elite Eight
Why?: This game was won. Sean May stole it from us. Although they weren't expected to be there, they had the best team in the country beat playing their game until the last minute.

The Fallout: The Badgers missed another chance at beating arch-rivals Michigan State and Illinois. MSU would have been their Final Four opponent and Illinois made the finals. Wisconsin had a respectable season but only went 1-4 against those two schools combined losing to Illinois three times. Damn you Dee Brown, Luther Head, and Deron Williams. Yep that's our old friend Sharif Chambliss on the right.

Opponent: North Carolina boasting of Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, Sean May, and Marvin Williams ended up beating Illinois 75-70 for the title.

Where Was I?: Again on spring break for jr year of college and sitting in my parent's living room. I know exactly where I was sitting and where I pouted for an extended period after things didn't work out. Man they had this game (Devin should have been there) but it was a good year. If they had lost to NC State in the Sweet 16 I could have said I was at Tommy, Kyle, and Witt's place on Brooks St lighting newspapers on fire and almost causing a problem. But I wasn't there, so I won't say that.

4. 2000 - Michigan State 53-41 - Final Four

Why?: A lot of people may have this higher, but I can't seem to do it. The Badgers as an 8 seed made the Final Four, I mean we really couldn't be that disappointed. Worst part was the lack of offense and crap play on the national stage. That's when the world decided to hate Wisconsin basketball and not ever realized it has evolved since then.

The Fallout: Wisconsin completes their best season since their National title year in 1941 and they were a number 8 seed. We can't really complain about anything at all. They beat 3 top 25 teams including number 4 and number 1 seed Arizona on the way. Jon Bryant (right).

Opponent: Michigan State beat Wisconsin for the 4th and most heartbreaking time of the year in the Final Four. All four were in less than 2 months and MSU was ranked 6, 6, 5, and 2 during the games. State goes on to beat Florida and Mike Miller for the title.
Where Was I?: At my parent's house in my bedroom where I pretty much quarantined myself for the entire tournament after I started watching all the games in there. Superstition overruled comfort in this tournament. My mom got pretty mad when I refused to come down for supper for the Arizona game in round 2. I had went out and bought the Badgers Final Four shirt in between the weekends of the games. I still wear it as my lucky shirt.

5. 2008 - Davidson 73-56 - Sweet 16

Why?: Let's see it was their best season record wise in school history and could have faced a great Kansas team in the next round. Stephen Curry was so played out, I am still sick of him. We get it, he's good and at a small school. What's that you say? He's Dell Curry's son? Really? I did not know that. No I'm not bitter. Maybe this should be higher.

The Fallout: Wisconsin loses a trio of contributors in Mikey Flowers (right), Polar Bear Butch, and Stiemsma. The team goes on to struggle to find an identity somewhat in 2009. Just a terrible game to be a part of, they really didn't show up to face a team that although very good, I am not convinced was better than Wisconsin (or Georgetown for that matter).

Opponent: Davidson went on to lose to eventual champion Kansas by 2 in the Elite Eight. Maybe Flowers and Co. would have gotten crushed by Kansas, but who knows. Chances are they would not have been able to get past UNC and Memphis both if they did beat Kansas anyway. But Davidson, should have won that one.

Where Was I?: Basement of my current resident on some stadium seating. We had Badger parties for all the big games last year and this was no exception. Everyone was over and enjoying beers then the bad part came: the game. I know there was one night when we were all down there watching basketball where I suddenly became sick and even stayed in instead of going to the bar. This may have been that day. If it wasn't then I probably proceeded to get wrecked.

Those top 5 are all very tough losses that happened in very promising seasons. They were all hard to stomach and get over and it sucks even thinking of them now. Now on to the remaining five.

6. 2003 - Kentucky 63-57 - Sweet 16

Why?: Wisconsin was coming off of a 1-point win against Tulsa and facing number 1 in the nation and tournament favorite Kentucky. I wasn't too confident going into the game, but soon after it started they sucked me in as usual since I am a huge homer. My boy Wilkinson is on the left sporting some nice Wilkies.

The Fallout: Wisconsin uses this game as a springboard for the next season (the Pitt year). It was Tucker's first year with the team and only where he played with Harris. If they ever could have played a full season together beside this one. Well you get the point.

Opponent: Tourney favorite Kentucky went on to lose to Wisconsin's in state rival Marquette featuring Dwyane Wade in his coming out party in the Elite Eight. Marquette then bowed out to tournament runner-up Kansas.

Where Was I?: Spring break freshman year in Swain and Tommy's dorm room in Ogg (now destroyed). Got pretty drunk during the game, puked then some girl gave me her toothbrush and I brushed my teeth in the girls bathroom in another dorm I think then slept in her dorm room. Weird night.

7. 2001 - Georgia State 50-49 - 1st Round

Why?: Ah the first of the first round exits to make the list. Let's see; Vershaw (left) missed some free throws in a one point loss, G-State made a halftime buzzer beater, um it was a ONE point loss! This was their only one-point loss to choose from thankfully. For the record I am a Vershaw backer who doesn't think the game was his fault as so many others did at the time.

The Fallout: The Dick Bennett Era officially ended here as Brad Soderberg was not retained as head coach. Bo Ryan was brought in and the rest is as you remember.

Opponent: The power that Georgia State is went on to get rocked by Maryland in the next round. Yes the same Maryland who made the Final Four and had the famous loss to eventual national champion Duke there. Did you know that Georgia State coach Lefty Driesell was once the coach of Maryland? Yeah me neither.

Where Was I?: Probably the worst of all locations. I watched in a classroom. I don't recall exactly what happened but it was something like watch part of the game, go to lunch come back and watch the rest. I was in the German classroom right next to my locker and wanted to punch people in the face who didn't know what they were talking about. I think I actually had the class and wasn't just in there for the heck of it.

8. 1999 - Southwest Missouri State 43-32 - 1st Round

Why?: This is the game that started it all. The first in the streak of ten (and counting)? It was against a team that I as a 15 year old had not heard of. I didn't know every team back then, I think I did by the start of the next season though. They scored a whopping 32 points, which was downright pathetic.

The Fallout: Wisconsin was exposed as a plodding team that had almost zero offensive talent. Their fine regular season, number 5 seed, and best record in years was quickly forgotten. The team would have to improve greatly for the next season. Mike Kelley was a defensive stud (right).

Opponent: SW Missouri State would go on to clobber 4 seed Tennessee by 30 and then lose to Duke who lost the title to UConn in a thriller. Khalid El-Amin baby.

Where Was I?: At school again. This time I think it was 7th hour and I somehow snuck out of the classroom and found a tv in Mr. Lawrence's room and watched with him and another couple people until the class ended. Then I quickly ran over to the bowling alley for my Friday afternoon league and watched the remainder there. I want to know how I got out of the classroom, I was still the kid who could do no wrong at school at that point.

9. 2002 - Maryland 87-57 - 2nd Round

Why?: It's kind of hard to be too upset when the team was an 8 seed facing the number 4 team in the country in a new coaches first year.

The Fallout: It was Bo Ryan's and Devin Harris' first year and this would be used as a game to build on for the future. After an awful start, the team tied for a Big Ten title, unheard of at the time. Bo's Badgers were born. No hard feelings. Kirk Penney at the left was a star on this team.

Opponent: Future national champion Maryland starring my boy Juan Dixon went on to cruise to that title and win me a jersey in the process. Found a Mountain Dew Maryland cap in the garbage.

Where Was I?: Kevin's basement, pretty much where you could find me or any of us on any weekend day from summer 2000 to summer 2003 before his parent's moved. We were not happy at the time, but it was a complete beat down to a good team after a season that had it's ups and downs.

10. 2006 - Arizona 94-75 - 1st Round

Why?: To be honest, I don't really remember this game at all. It was a Friday morning game on St. Patrick's Day my senior year of college. I didn't have a chance in hell at remembering this game. We started drinking at approx. 5:00AM so even if it was the first game of the day I had 6 hrs of drinking already in at that time. Taylor at the left in his jr year.

The Fallout: For a team that started 14-2 and ended 19-12 this wasn't all that surprising. Landry and Stiemsma both botched it and didn't play the second half of the year. Team gears up and comes back better than ever in 2006-2007.

Opponent: Arizona was beat handily by Villanova which lost to eventual champ Florida with douche bag master Joakim Noah.

Where Was I?: After we spent the morning at the Pub in Whitewater from 6-10 we went back to a party at Noah's place on Janesville Street and that's where I watched the game. I think this was the year that Tommy and I found each other at Noah's at about 9:00 though it was around 2:00AM realized it was only 9:00PM and high-fived and went back to the bar. All in all, I ended up drinking for a solid 23 hrs. 2nd only to my previous best of 23.5 hrs on St. Pat's '05.

So that's it for the first list, more to come and I promise they will be more positive than this one. Let's Go Red

Thanks goes out to uwbadgers.com, wikipedia.com, and Hall and Oates for creating the song "Rich Girl" only the best 2 minutes 26 seconds you can ever have in your life. No I don't think that it's pathetic that it is 2nd on my iTunes in play count either. This was completed in time to watch Mystic River on AMC - great movie, great channel.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Las Vegas Trip 2007: Are You A Juke Box Hero?

I just returned from my third and maybe my best trip to Las Vegas and I took notes the entire way. From start to finish, everything noteworthy has been recorded. In the following post, I will chronicle that trip. Please enjoy.

WARNING* This is really long and if you don’t want to read something really long that may not make sense, don’t read it. I am not responsible for anyone who does not like this. Maybe print it out and leave it in the bathroom I don’t know. This took me over nine hours to complete, I think I spent more time on this than on any of my final papers in college, but anyway here it goes. Enjoy Wayne Newton.

For all intents and purposes, our trip started at the Dry Bean at approximately 8:00 PM on January 10th, 2007. Why am I at the Dry Bean, you might ask? Well I am watching The Sharp and Harkins Band of course. I am an extreme groupie, although this trip did cause me to miss two shows, but it’s ok I think they understood why. So as I am enjoying myself and having a great glass of water, Sharp decides to send us a shout-out by singing “Where Did the Rockies Go?” which is a song dedicated to our first Las Vegas trip in August ’05. The song was aptly titled, as most of the 11 attendees on the trip never actually saw the Rocky Mountains due to us driving through Colorado at night both there and back. I always enjoy the song as it brings me back to that wonderful 30-hour road trip. Well anyway, we stay until slightly after 12:00 AM and we even get one more shout-out and get the song played again. Good times. We wave our goodbyes and head for the open road, but not before a quick detour back to Stoughton. Once returned to the good old S-T-O, Kevin, Clay, and I call Koontz to tell him to get ready to go. So of course, Koontz doesn’t answer, he’s sleeping. This is a classic Koontz moment, so we go to his girlfriend’s house get him up and then we are ready to depart again. Since we have to drive to O Hare in Chicago, we decide to stop at our local Kwik Trip before we hit the road for good. So we roll into Kwik Trip and we see Paula, one of our favorite workers, and along with Paula we see three cops inside. We immediately think that this is some sort of police sting on us, as we do not always behave in our post bar-time visits. Luckily, another cop shows up and then a Sheriff, yes that’s right five total cops inside with us. To satisfy our needs, Linebacker Subs and Mountain Dew Amp Tall Boys are the items of choice. Hopefully these will keep us rolling all night and prepare us for a big day. After finally evading the police, we depart for good on our trip at 12:50 AM CST January 11th, 2007.

Since Kevin has one of those iPod connectors to his tape deck in his car, we plug it in to listen to a little bit of Foreigner. Yes, the great band who brought us such classics as “Cold As Ice,” “Dirty White Boy,” and “Hot Blooded.” Of course we don’t listen to those, we start it up with “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which has become somewhat of a road trip anthem for us and then finally “Juke Box Hero.” As soon as those two songs finish, Kevin’s player dies and we throw on mine for the rest of the ride, getting even more Foreigner. In fact as strange as this sounds, a Foreigner song just came on my computer, no lie. Ok, back to reality. On the way to the airport we see a truck fly by and get pulled over, always a good time. A car with a Washington license plate keeps flying ahead and then falling back, not to mention it might be the dirtiest car ever. We have heard a total of two songs that mention Joe DiMaggio in them, a guy in car next to us has some really sweet sideburns, we pass through four damn Illinois tolls and we swear that two had the same worker guy. Those tolls cost us $4.10. Meanwhile Koontz and Bulldog (that's Clay for anyone who didn't know that, but hell everyone knows) are sleeping in the backseat and Kevin and I are the only two awake, not surprising. 2:33, “What the fuck was that?” Kevin yells that as we run over something, hoping we did not get a flat tire, luckily everything turned out ok and we never found out what we ran over. At the 115,000-mile mark on Kevin’s Geo Metro odometer we pass Medieval Times. Good times, I haven’t been there since our class trip in 6th grade. Remember eating Cornish game hens and then drinking Pepsi? Yeah I thought you did. Just passed IKEA, a place I don’t see myself shopping at too often, but you never know, at 2:41 we finally see a sign for O'Hare. Bulldog picks his nose at 2:42, we see a dead mouse at the last toll at 2:52, and everything is going great. We arrive at the airport parking lot at 3:00 AM and thanks to the advice of Sharp’s dad we park at the economy parking. We parked in aisle A4 in case you were wondering.

So after waiting for the train to take us to the airport, which seems like it is taking forever, we finally get to the airport, but of course we can’t have anything run smoothly. I have my skater backpack (thank you Nick Koshollek,) Kevin has his backpack, Clay has his backpack and another small bag, but Koontz of course has a monster bag on wheels. We use that electronic ticket thing and get three of the four tickets, but it won’t let Clay for some reason. So Koontz needs to check his bag, and Clay needs to go see a representative for some reason. While we are waiting in Terminal 1, I go drink out of the water fountain, which tastes like pool water. Later someone else comes back with the exact same description of the water, let’s just say it wasn’t very good. I brought two oranges to eat while waiting and pull them out for Kevin and I, one is rotten and gross, so everything is not going perfect so far, but we should be ok. Last year Dietz had a rolling bag too, except his was really small and red, so we made fun of him the entire time, I miss that bag and Dietz. Hey look a sign for “Wicked” that one play, oh wait they are everywhere. When I am in an airport I just feel like I am part of some suspicious activity, even when I do absolutely nothing wrong. Every worker gives us a weird look the entire time we are here. Kevin busts out this beauty “Airport workers and DMV workers hate themselves.” We agree wholeheartedly. We are flying United for the first flight to Denver then Ted on the way to Vegas and for the flight home. Ted is part of United. Get it? I love Ted. Clay has been looking a little bit fruity with his small bag, but we’ll let it slide because he is a Bulldog of course. We see a guy with Trek Bicycle box he gets rejected, shitty. That qualifies as Odd Parcel apparently, so does Mr. Sheets of Egyptian Cotton in the next line over. Once we get everyone ready and we all have tickets, we get in the line to get x-rayed or whatever they do. This is where we create the first rule. Rule # 1: Be a Juke Box Hero. As you may recall, we listened to that on the way here and decided that we are all Juke Box Heroes. We see a bunch of people that are definitely NOT Juke Box Heroes, they consist of the guy with a pink hat and white robe, the Trek bike guy, Mr. Sheets of Egyptian Cotton, a lady that looks like J
oan Rivers/Michael Jackson/Cruella Deville/and a Geisha, the Amish beard guy, the guy with his skateboard, the lady in the orange shirt with big boobs who keeps staring at us, Pai Gow Doug aka Pakistani Doug, and Pai Gow Doug’s friends. Koontz finally decides to share with us that his bags might be going to Palm Springs. The lady who took his bag said something along the lines of, “you’ll see your bag in Palm Springs enjoy your flight.” So Koontz gets it straightened out, we hope. Some girl in line starts talking to us because Kevin has a Badger shirt on, she goes to Madison, and we tell her we don’t, but are from Stoughton. She asks us if we know Kelly Shattuck and Tess Peterson, because she does. We say yep, and move along, never seeing random question girl again. Clay cut in line and got yelled at by a worker it was funny. When you go through that security and have to take all your crap out of your pockets and stuff, that’s weird. I went through first wearing a hooded sweatshirt, the guy says to me “You got a shirt underneath? All hoodies got to come off.” I guess I didn’t know that rule; anyway we oblige and head into the gate B21 or something. As we are waiting, orange shirt big boobs still keeps looking at us and then starts pulling random things out of her bra. She’s really starting to scare us and we are all really hoping we don’t sit by her. I think the Newscaster laugh is hilarious; it is so fake when they laugh at each other, but yet entertaining. Our flight departs at 6:00 AM CST. Once on the plane I immediately bust out my Sky Mall magazine, who the hell wouldn’t? It is really great. Kevin and Koontz’s no smoking light doesn’t work, so we decide if they want to, they can smoke. They must have forgotten their Newports because they don’t even light up. Since our flight is only 2 hrs and 16 minutes we don’t get a snack, which breaks my heart, but we do get drinks, I choose orange juice, good stuff. Bulldog and Koontz fall asleep first again on the plane, we are running 13 minutes late. Rule # 2: Always Obey and Respect Ted. Kevin then takes a short nap while I am reading my Sports Illustrated only to pass out during an article about “Pistol” Pete Maravich. I must have slept for about 20 minutes before I am jacked in the back of the head by the flight attendant. What a biotch. They said we are landing, but it is taking forever, I am sweating profusely. We arrive in Denver at 7:38 AM MST.

Since our last flight was late we think we may have to hurry to gate B15 in Denver, which just happens to be the last damn gate in the building. No worry though, we make it in time and get on the Ted, at 8:06 AM. On the way there, we saw a guy wearing a cowboy hat and one of those Mexican rug sweatshirt things and he looks weird. The headphones on the plane are really fun, but I think we were the only four using them on both of the flights so far. The headphones tell us “Ted wants you to be safe.” Thanks for the concern Ted. I love you. Anytime one of us finds a fun song on one of the 15 or so stations we motion to the others, for some reason every time Akon – “Smack That” came on, we had to listen, we heard it three times on the way there. I enjoyed an apple juice on this flight; I definitely prefer apple juice to orange juice. I am once again sweating my arse off and that makes me wonder things like how hot those outfits that the flight attendants wear must be, they look like damn wool. I have been awake for over 24 hours minus the 20-minute nap from the first flight. I put my hood up with about 45 minutes left in the first flight and haven’t taken it off yet. I cannot get my ears to pop as we are landing. This really hurts. I am also now deaf. Hey look, it’s Hoover Dam. Finally the ears pop. I didn’t take my hood off until 45 minutes after the second flight, which means I was a hood rat for approximately three hours.

We are now entering Las Vegas Nevada at 9:10 AM PST. Here’s the challenge: guess what time, Koontz’s bag comes off of the carousel, that is if it is not in Palm Springs.
9:41 the bags start
9:49 Koontz’s guess
9:51 My guess
9:52 Clay’s guess
9:53 Kevin’s guess

We take an informal poll, it says 4 to 0 that Koontz’s bags are in Palm Springs since all bags are gone and we haven’t found it. Then out of the corner of his eye Koontz thinks he spots it. Sure enough its over in some room waiting, he is now behind glass doors and comes out with the bag at 9:57. Now it’s time to get to the hotel (The Tropicana, home of Dirk Arthur, magician.) We hop in a taxi and ride with our new friend Omar Hirabe to the hotel. We tip Omar generously and hop in the casino. We cannot check in yet we find out because our fifth member of the crew Mr. Dan Adrian has yet to arrive. I would like to thank Dan for taking time off of protecting the streets of Pewaukee to make this trip. Thanks Dan. We decide to head over to the Hooters casino for some food at 10:12. We eat at a place called The Dam. They have good burgers; it feels like it’s about three or four in the afternoon, but its only 10:30, good news, or bad news? We just heard that Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge are now on the Bucks, traded for Steve Blake. After we wander around and watch Koontz and Clay play roulette already, we can check in. By 12:57 PM we are all showered, clean, and ready to hit the streets. I had taken notes consistently up until this point, but from this point on, the notebook is left at the hotel and notes are only recorded in the morning or on random pieces of paper in my pocket throughout the day. Only what we can remember is recorded from here on out.

The rest of night one goes pretty much as we planned, walk down the strip, stop at various casinos and get hammered. Since we are staying at the Tropicana that is our first stop. We hang there and then hit up the MGM Grand, Dan buys us a jello shot, but it is monstrous and we have to use a stick to get the whole damn thing in our mouth. Anyway, we stop at a bodega and buy some silos. We go with Coors Light to represent for our softball team. We stop at Paris and the Flamingo and we start doing this thing where we each throw five dollars on black for roulette and win or lose, we pull the money and move on to the next casino. We have also gone to O’Shea’s, which is a nice low rent place that we hang out at for their cheap tables, dollar beers, and generally nice easygoing drink ladies. We have spent a lot of time here during the last two trips to Vegas. I don’t remember by now if it is dark out or not yet, but we move on. I know we go to the Barbary Coast, which sucks, but Kevin likes it. I know we go through the Imperial Palace and to Harrah’s, but they are in and out so I don’t really remember much from there. We are all starting to get drunk by now. We get dollar slush margaritas from somewhere, once again bought by Dan, who also bought our first dollar beer at O’Shea’s. What a guy. By the way, he has a real job, we don’t. Since we have been putting our money on black all night, we decide to come up with a new rule. Rule # 3 begins as: Always Bet On Black but is changed to Dan’s Mom Is Black about 25 seconds later.
So to recap:
Rule # 1: Be A Juke Box Hero
Rule # 2: Always Obey and Respect Ted
Rule # 3: Dan’s Mom is Black
After these quick hits, we make our way to T.I. (Treasure Island) and hang out for a while, get some drinks, and move along. We have actually crossed the street at this point for the first time, so after that we go to The Mirage, home of Danny Gans, Entertainer of the Year. Kevin loves Danny Gans and wishes he could attend all of his shows. We have never been into the Mirage yet in any of our trips, so this is somewhat exciting, we find their Sports book so we can watch the Oregon/Arizona State basketball game that half of us have money on. We watch the game and meet some nice drink ladies, who are basically just throwing drinks at us and getting us extremely drunk. We have also started horse bets, which become a major theme of the trip. We believe we may have found a Sports book to rival our old favorite: Caesar’s Palace. We did not step foot in Caesar’s at all on the first day, which is strange because I have been there I think all other seven days I have spent in Vegas. I drink my first and only Heineken of the trip here because Kevin and I said we wanted to have one for some reason. I do, its great, and then I go back to my old standby Captain and Coke. So we need Oregon to win by seven points, not a tall order for a team that just beat the #1 team in the nation the previous Saturday right? Wrong. Oregon is up by 13 points with about five minutes left, only to complete blow it and only win by 5, damn point shavers. It reminds me of the old days when I read articles about Arizona State players supposedly point shaving, if I remember correctly, it was Steven “Hedake” Smith or something like that. Anyway, back to the trip, we are now very disappointed in Oregon and vow to never pick them again for the rest of the trip, we are all so drunk now that we have entered “Invincible” stage as well. It has gotten pretty late, but I am not sure of the exact time, as it really doesn’t matter in this city. When we walk outside we ask people to take our picture in front of things all the time, then we ask someone else to take our picture with the first person that took it, so we have some nice randoms in our pictures. We all also have our own personal poses that we do in each picture. My personal favorite was cowboy guy, but I have no recollection of where and when it took place. Since we are all invincible we start just climbing fountains and jumping fences and going in places that the general public just isn’t supposed to be. At one point Dan and I hop on this fountain jump over some water to the main part and then climb half way up to get our picture taken. Could we have gotten in trouble, probably, but we didn’t care. Could we have fallen into the water, probably, but we didn’t care. Then we make it back to O’Shea’s; only to get there we have to cross the strip. To do this we pretty much just walk out into traffic hoping that the 20 cars flying at us from both directions will stop or we will outrun them. Somehow we make it across safely, because after all, we are invincible. Once back here, Dan, Clay, and Koontz start playing craps and casino war very rapidly. Money is flying everywhere, nobody gives a shit about anything, as long as we are getting drinks, and having a good time, all is well in the world. Then things start to get a little hazy. I really have no idea if we stayed here until we left for Margaritaville, or if we stopped at some other places. I’m guessing we went straight to Margaritaville, because it’s right next-door, but I can’t be certain. Last year, on the first night all of us ended up at Margaritaville late the first night, so we kind of started a tradition. Last year, I did not actually drink anything there, or remember really being there besides standing in the lobby and playing this weird game. There is a hook on the wall and a rope with a small hoop on it and you pull it back and try to get it to land on the hook. I don’t know if that made sense, but that’s the best way to describe it. Anyway, there are two of these and I start playing it immediately on both. My goal is to get both on the hooks, I eventually do this after probably 15 to 20 minutes of playing, remember I am completely hammered, I have drank a silo of Coors Light, a dollar High Life, a Heineken, a massive jello shot, a slushy margarita, and 14 Captain and Cokes. Then Dan buys all of us except Kevin a real margarita when we get here. All I can taste is Tequila and I think about harfing, but I don’t and end up only drinking half before I give it to Koontz, who then harfs about 10 minutes later. The reason Kevin does not get one is because he decides to pass out in a lounge chair right next to me playing the hook game. Meanwhile, Dan, Clay, and Koontz are talking to some random girls we met somewhere, but I don’t recognize any of them. Supposedly Dan told them to meet us at Margaritaville at a certain time or maybe he just invited them from O’Shea’s. I actually have no idea where these girls came from and I just remember finding out that two were from Holland and one was from Australia. There was short Holland and tall Holland and then Aussie. So from here on out, short Holland is known just as Holland, tall Holland is known just as Tall-E (rhymes with Wally,) and the other is Aussie. Now that that is clear, I realize Dan is macking hardcore on Holland and I think Clay is giving Aussie a run. Also with us are Dan’s two cop friends, both girls, I can’t remember their names, I think this is pretty much the only time I saw them. Wait, I think they were Kelly and Michelle or something close to that. I decide since I am hammered I am just going to wait for everyone to get ready to leave and take a nap next to Wiggy on the other lounge chair. Not more than five minutes later I am awoken by three (I think, maybe only two) huge dudes. They tell me to pretty much get the hell out. I get up no problem and call Clay and Koontz over to help me get Kevin up. He is passed out hard. The guys watch me and don’t like what’s going on, we finally get him up and I volunteer to walk him home. I believe this is somewhere around 1:00 AM. I leave Dan and Holland, Clay, Koontz, the cop girls, and the other two foreigners behind and attempt the 900-mile trek back to the hotel with drunkass at my side. Keep in mind this kid can barely walk and I am also not considered sober. So we start walking and he’s rambling and I’m just listening, and I have to make sure he doesn’t walk into oncoming traffic. We are doing pretty well, but going very slow, I am thinking that we may never get back. Eventually we show up outside the McDonalds on the strip and he starts walking straight for it. Now, I know he probably doesn’t need to eat because he’s not going to remember a damn thing, but I have not eaten since about 10:00 AM, so even though I despise McDonalds, we enter. As we are waiting in line, I ask him what he wants, I know that about 90% of the time Kevin will get the fish or chicken nuggets, but he gives me no response. So when it is finally our turn, he orders some number, I can’t remember which one, but I was very surprised at his order because it was some sort of crispy chicken sandwich, which is definitely not a Kevin order. I get two dollar menu items and we sit down in of course the biggest booth. He gets a drink and I ask him what he wants to drink, again I get no response, so I grab some Coke. When I get back, he opens his food box and says “Oh, a sandwich” like he had no idea what the hell he was getting. So as I’m eating and making sure he doesn’t do anything too drastic, somehow the half-filled cup of Coke gets spilled everywhere. Luckily it does not get on him, or me but does get on everything around us. I being the genius I am, start cleaning it up with our tray liners and food wrappers. I mean, why would I get up and get napkins, when all of that is available. It doesn’t clean up very well and then Kevin realizes that there is mayonnaise on his sandwich when he’s eaten half already. I guess he didn’t like the mayo because now he just eats the rest of the chicken and leaves the bun. He mumbles a few things to me about being good friends, I agree and we leave. This walk is still taking forever, but we finally get back to the Tropicana. By the time I have shut the hotel door, he is passed out fully clothed on the bed. I am not ready for bed, so I call Clay; his phone is of course sitting on the hotel desk. I think if I want to walk all the way back there at around 2:00 AM, decide it’s probably not worth it because I may not find them, so as I’m about to call Koontz, he walks in. Koontz = drunk. He tells me that he has no idea where anyone is, which is weird since I left him with the other two guys. Koontz gets ready for bed I think, but he maybe went back down to the Tropicana casino floor. Eventually Koontz is in bed next to me that’s what I do know. When I wake up in the morning, I find all four of us are accounted for and we recap the night. Things I found out that happened after I went to bed are as follows; Clay made good buddies with some guy named Gavin at the Flamingo. That guy gave Clay three Scooby Doo shots; we still have no idea what is in a Scooby Doo shot. That guy also gave Clay three $25 chips just for hanging out with him. I wish I had been there, so I could get free shots and money. When Clay got home, he had no idea what room number we were (1029.) He thought someone said some number-29, so he started knocking on all the –29 rooms, 229, 329, etc. I don’t know how many doors he hit until he met a guy who seemed not amused with Bulldog’s confusion and then he asked a security lady if there really was a 1029. She said yes and directed him to it somewhat. He was also in the wrong tower for part of the night. He had a key also and couldn’t figure out why it didn’t work in all the doors he was trying. Eventually Clay made it back and passed out in our room. We also recalled getting our picture taken with Zoltar, the Denny’s sign, and Kevin finding a “lucky rock.” Kevin only rememebered something about mayonnaise from the time we left O'Shea's. As for Dan, he rented an extra hotel room for him and Holland to share at the Tropicana. The cost of the extra room is a cheap $80 since it’s only Thursday, but it is a fun topic of the day. The last thing we talk about from the first night was Koontz leaving us a nice present in the bathroom; we still have no idea how it happened. I was awake for 44 hours straight minus those small naps on the flight. Now on to Day 2.

From what I remember, we woke up and then someone decided that we were going to Mandalay Bay because none of us had ever been there. We are very hungry so agree on this jaunt. The biggest downfall is that it is the opposite direction of everything since it is the last casino I believe. Once we enter, we explore a little and find a buffet as our best option for eating, well the best option for everyone except me. Buffets are completely worthless for me because I cannot get my fill of food for the price of the buffet, I would have boycotted it and waited outside, but there were no cheap food courts in sight and I was not sure if I would eat again the entire day, so I decided to pony up the $20 and enter my first buffet since probably 2001. Once inside, my goal is to eat my weight in shrimp and drink a gallon of chocolate milk. I load up on food that I might like in addition to shrimp, eat mostly the cold shrimp because everything else isn’t good and get chocolate milk. Our waiter is a Hispanic guy who apparently loved Clay because he got refills of his drink about three times before the guy asked me if I wanted one. I was not happy with our server; in fact I wanted to punch him. Eventually I get a refill, slam it and am ready to leave. We get up and I gave him a $0.38 tip because well I am not nice sometimes when I think I have bad service, plus he only got me two drinks and took forever to refill me. Yes I’m bitter. As we leave, everyone is looking at us weird and we have no idea why, until about 20 feet outside the place some guy gives us the camera we left behind. Kevin is taking very good care of Elena’s camera. After our first setback of the day we head down the strip, through Luxor and Excalibur. I am not a fan of Excalibur, I think it’s really corny, and I feel like I’m at the Stoughton Junior Fair. Some lady asks us if we are here for the BBC Convention or something like that, I respond to her, “No, we are here for the JBH Convention.” She gives me a strange look and we walk on. JBH = Juke Box Hero of course. I wrote the letters JBH on my arm on the plane and purposely do not wash them off until we get home from the trip. From here we hop in a cab and head down to the Mirage. The cabbie seems ok, except his really weird music, and his way takes forever, we also see snow out of our window. It couldn’t snow in Wisconsin for pretty much all winter and then we go to a place that is supposed to be slightly warmer and it snows here. Some luck. Once we get to the Mirage, we sit in pretty much the exact seats as the day before and in the same order, which is Koontz, Dan, Clay, Kevin, and then myself. I don’t really know if this is planned at this point, but it happens. I believe the time is around 1:00 PM at this point, maybe 1:30. We survey the college hoops scene for the day and realize there are three games. I decide that Manhattan over Iona by five is my best chance to win, so I make that bet. Manhattan has a winning record and Iona is winless, I really hope I win this one. Kevin and I each put $10 in and make the bet together, Dan and Clay do the same, and I guess this game is the popular pick among us. I try to steer clear of the NBA, because it just seems too unpredictable to me. As we sit here all day, horse bets become the focus since there are no games on this afternoon. We also start planning our NFL playoff bets for the next two days. We are not gambling geniuses. Last night Dan bought us all a big cigar and he bought a pack of those black clove cigarettes. I smoke the cigar, but choose to not smoke the cigs because I have never done it yet and don’t want to blow it on a black cigarette, although we have some debate as to whether they more closely resemble regular cigarettes or cigarillos. Either way, there are a ton left today and Kevin, Dan, and Clay all start going to town on these things. Our horse bets start as us just making our own, but eventually we decide to make Superfecta bets, which are when you pick the order of the first four horses. We pretty much have no chance to ever win this, but think we do and pool our money together, just like we had the night before on roulette. This money is called Group Money at this point. I had been saying the phrase “Blood Money” for no apparent reason for the previous week, I must have thought it sounded cool, because I decided that Rule # 4 is: Group Money is Blood Money. So now anytime we refer to the money we have won on horses or roulette, we ask “how much Blood Money do we have?” Kevin’s lucky rock becomes known as a “Blood Diamond” at this point also. You may be wondering right now if we are kind of weird, the answer is yes. So as we sit here all day, Dan is tm-ing (text messaging) Holland. They are still in contact today after their great night last night. We make friends with our drink lady, her name is Tonia and she is from North Dakota. I am not sure if she is just being friendly for tips or if she is just generally friendly, we tip the drink ladies well every time because there are five of us ordering all the time, so I think she might just be a nice person. Kevin and I decide that she has dorky shoes, like ones that cheerleaders wear. Throughout the afternoon, we start getting really drunk again, Manhattan does cover the bet, which makes us all happy, and we all get Blood Diamonds as a gift from Kevin. He finds them near a bathroom, from a plant or something. There is also an interesting story from the men’s bathroom today. We have kind of started a thing called Bathroom Tales, where anytime one of goes in there and anything remotely interesting happens we tell everyone. Kevin comes back with a report that when you are peeing in urinal and there is someone peeing in the one to your right, you can see the shadow on the floor of that person’s follow up jiggle. I remember that I saw this earlier and refer to it as “Shadowcock.” Kevin thought it was also funny to say “Shadowcock, shuttlecock, shadowcock, shuttlecock.” All in all we have spent the last approximate nine hours in the Sports book and Tonia has been our drink lady for the last eight point five. We were there for her entire shift, and she served us a lot. I drank Captain and Coke again to achieve my goal of 50 on the trip, Koontz drank mostly 7 and 7, and the other three drank mostly Corona. I think Holland and Tall-E met us at the Mirage, but it may have been somewhere else. We are damn near “Invincible” stage again. Aussie could not make it out tonight I guess, don’t really know why, some story about the fourth foreign friend that we did not meet fell and cut her face open or something. We leave Tonia and tell her we’ll be back tomorrow to see her, she says she’ll be working and hopefully see us. We head on out the front door of the Mirage and Kevin says he has to go hunting. I have no idea what this means until I hear his pee hitting the ground from behind a bush off of a ledge. The security guy yelled at him and he almost got in trouble, but managed to get away with it, because the guy says it happens all the time. Kevin is also the same guy who once got a disorderly conduct ticket for peeing in the alley behind the Boar in Whitewater on his 21st birthday. 25 steps later, Koontz and I decide to pee outside, only we go down a driveway a little where cars could come out at anytime. We do not get yelled at though. We are just running across the street again at this point nearly getting hit by cars, but we are doing it to try to get away from Holland, Tall-E, and Dan. We just don’t feel like walking with them. The Venetian is the destination, once there; somebody says something to Kevin about his Wisconsin shirt. He has worn a Wisconsin shirt the entire trip. As normal Wisconsinites do, we talk to these guys for quite awhile; they tell us about the bars in Eau Claire because a friend of theirs lived there, we are just talking about random things outside a bathroom with these guys. Anyway, they seemed really happy to meet us. Clay and I have put in a chew by now, I get buzzed hardcore from this chew and start acting weird. I also drank Koontz’s raspberry Stoli or something on the way over because he didn’t want it, I would rather stick to the Captains I decide. Everyone decides to get a burger from some food place inside the Venetian, but I am not hungry, I sit down at the table and pass out for about a minute, realize I am really drunk and try to sober up a little. I have a glass of water and snap out of my strange funk. By the way, Tall-E decided to sit right next to me on my same chair and I am not amused. Dan and Holland sit at their own table and start acting like a couple that has been together for years, I find this weird. Tall-E really is digging Kevin right now and he wants no part in it, hell nobody does. She was giving it to Clay the night before and he threw it right back. I manage to make it through the trip without her trying to mack on me luckily. My phone dies while at the Venetian, which I am not a very big fan of because it always seems to happen to me at bad times. An advertisement is spotted that resembles our Blood Diamonds, so we get our picture taken with it. The four of us leave the trio behind and walked out some random Venetian door. Kevin pees outside again and nearly gets in trouble again; I cannot believe that kid sometimes. After almost getting hit by about 6 or 7 cars and Koontz almost getting hit by a guy on a Gator, we make it to the Barbary Coast. Kevin and I sit down to play some roulette and actually win a little bit of money and have a few more drinks. We also sat by the lady who pretty much wasn’t wearing a shirt because she had so much cleavage hanging out. By the end of today I will have had 18 Captain and Cokes and 1 Koontz Stoli drink. That brings the total of Captains to 32, which makes the goal of 50 look very pedestrian for four nights. I must have either underestimated myself, or the power of the drink lady. Finally it is getting late and we decide to leave, but of course we have to do the obligatory McDonalds stop. Once we get inside, realize nobody actually wants food, but peeing is again needed. Kevin and Koontz take the urinal and toilet and I can’t wait, so I used the garbage can. I think I just pulled a Kevin move, but he would later make fun of me and say my move was way worse than his. Oh well, we get out of there quick and head back to the hotel. I made some sort of comment along the lines of “I hope Dan’s not getting an extra hotel room tonight because it’s going to cost $130 instead of $80.” At the time we thought this was hilarious because weekend rates are much higher than week rates. Anyway, we start making fun of Dan on the way home and once we get home, a great idea comes to mind. Somehow, Clay jumps on the bed and gets some air as Kevin takes the picture in midair. Koontz and I want in on the action. The drill is you jump from the floor to the bed, land on both knees and propel yourself up and then the picture is taken. There are different poses you can take, there is the parallel pic, where you try to get as high as you possibly can and land straight, there is the face time pic, where you look at the camera in midair, there is the spin pic, where you try to do a 180 in the air and then the pic is taken. Then we graduate onto the double jump, where two of us jump at the same time, or the over the bed jump, where we go over the bed gap and try to do something cool on the second bed and jump over whoever is sitting on the floor, or the triple jump where two jump from one bed to the other and the last jumps from the opposite bed to theirs. I don’t know if that made sense at all, but for some reason this was really, really fun. We had a blast doing it and probably did it for an hour if not more. Then it was bedtime for us. I took a few notes on a piece of paper that day and this what we found in my pocket the next morning. We wrote down how Chris, the guy who attempts to pick the winners in the horse races on TV, sucks. There was a note about “Star Tits and Bar Pussy,” which means those magazines and cards with the almost naked girls on them that the Mexicans pass out to you. If you don’t know what I mean, then you have to go to Vegas, or ask me to show you a card sometime, I kept a few as souvenirs. I wrote down a quote from someone, which said, “I don’t eat well when I have a boner.” I actually do not recall at all who said this quote, but it is pretty funny, if I had my guess, I’d have to say that’s a Kevin or Koontz quote and probably at the Venetian when we ate that night. The other quote I had even had a time 10:51 PM, Kevin – “By the way, I have no fucking idea, where my lucky rock went.” He picked up another Blood Diamond later and then had two, because after that quote he found it in his other pocket about 10 minutes later. The second Blood Diamond broke into pieces, which we named Blood Spears, I kept one and so did Clay. Mine was in the shape of an arrowhead it was cool. So now we are halfway done with the trip and still haven’t entered Caesar’s palace.

Day three is the first of two days with NFL football games. We had all made our bets the day before and our games to watch are the Colts/Ravens and Eagles/Saints today. We figure we better make it to the Mirage pretty early if we want to get seats in the Sports book for the games. We depart and go eat Pizza Hut in the damn Excalibur food court, except Kevin gets Quizno’s, which he said sucks. A cab ride is again in favor, as we’ll get there sooner, this cabbie is really nice, he’s much more normal than yesterday, and takes a fast way, and then Kevin actually calls him a cabbie. Probably not the best idea, but anyway we are to the Mirage by about 11:00 AM and the games don’t start for about two hours. This has the potential to be a really long day. Kevin and I immediately take note of the amazing amount of people wearing football jerseys. Yes football is going on, but is it really legal for grown men and women to wear jerseys? Especially jerseys of teams or players that have nothing to do with the game, we say no. Jerseys should be worn only by: children, the players themselves, maybe if you are at an event, if you are in a rap video, as a joke, or I guess if you are just insane. Today I need to drink 18 Captain and Cokes to reach my goal, which seems totally feasible since I had that many yesterday and we had started drinking earlier today.

WARNING* Non-sports fans skip ahead to next paragraph. Back to the jerseys, Kevin and I started a list of all the different jerseys we saw and some are pretty bad. Of course we didn’t write all of them down as we did drink all day and didn’t always have the time to write them. Here is a quick list: Bob Sanders, Colts, Sam Madison, orange Dolphins, Chris Zorich, Bears, Tedy Bruschi, old School Patriots, Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox, Michael Huff, Raiders, Drew Brees, Saints, Brian Dawkins, Eagles, Ed Reed, Ravens, Jeremiah Trotter, Eagles, Reggie Bush, Saints, Donovan McNabb, Eagles, Eli Manning, Giants, Joey Porter, Steelers, Randy Moss, Raiders, Tom Brady, Patriots, Lofa Tatupa, Seahawks, Randy Moss, Vikings, Peyton Manning, Colts, Alonzo Mourning, Heat, LaDainian Tomlinson, both powder blue and regular, Ray Lewis, Ravens, a Detroit Tigers jersey, Jeff Garcia, Eagles, Carson Palmer, Bengals, Troy Polamalu, Steelers, Lito Sheppard, Eagles, Brian Westbrook, Eagles, Todd Heap, Ravens, a personalized Redskins jersey, Reggie Brown, Eagles, Zidane, France, Ronaldinho, Brazil, Dan Fouts, Chargers, Shawne Merriman, pink, gray, and blue Chargers, Mike Brown, Bears, Terrell Owens, Eagles, Aaron Glenn, Texans, #7 UCLA football, Ryan Leaf, Chargers, Brett Favre, Packers, Joe Montana, 49ers, and many more. Notice how many of these jerseys have nothing to do with the games today, and more have nothing to do with any of the games this entire weekend. That is the part that doesn’t make sense to us, it seems like they thought, oh there is football on today I better wear a jersey.

So, back to reality we are again sitting in the same order in the Sports book and making our classic horse bets to pass the time until game time. We all decide to bet on a bunch of random college basketball games in addition to our football and horse bets. The most money is blown today out of any day in the Sports book so far. I know I lost my Texas Tech bet, my New Mexico bet, my Wisconsin/Northwestern over bet, and my Arkansas bet. The only one I won on today was Nevada. I also lost my NFL parlay because well parlays are sucker bets. It was actually the first and only one I have ever made, but I would have lost two of the three legs of it anyway. I felt like I was the only person in the place rooting for the Ravens, I don’t like Manning, so that’s mainly why. Of course I had to sit next to the Colts’ fan wearing the Bob Sanders jersey, he acted like they were boys or something, I’m sure he didn’t know him. We watch the Badgers beat Northwestern, though it was a little bit of a struggle, they improved their record to 2-0 while I am in Vegas. I am quite sick of the “This Is Our Country” commercials and also the Dodge ones where the red and blue robots fight. I’ve had enough with both of those. Last year the Steelers fans kept whistling along with those Vonage commercials and it became their theme of the day, they were really annoying, I’m hoping for no repeats. I think I am slightly angry at the world today as nothing seems to be going my way. My Nevada bet isn’t even cashed in until the next morning because the game didn’t end until about midnight. The only bet I won the entire time we were there which was about eight or nine hours again, was a two-dollar horse bet. I put on what I thought were my lucky underwear, turns out they weren’t so lucky, or maybe they just aren’t lucky in Vegas. I kept a note sheet throughout the day on a college basketball bet sheet and here is what was written down. Scott Fujita is a cool name. Does Drew Brees’ hair look wet every time you see him? Ed Reed is good. A random quote from someone talking about smoking the clove cigarettes, in which another pack was purchased for those chain smokers; “smoke it to the filter like a high-schooler.” There was a group of older guys standing behind us that thought they knew everything about football and horses. One of the guys was wearing a bright yellow shirt, had flowing white hair, and weird sandals with his jeans. Earlier in the day Kevin said he wished the guy would get a haircut and put some shoes on. Later in the day we saw him again and he actually did put shoes on, this we thought was really funny. Since nobody was having much luck today and we lost all of our leftover Blood Money, we decided to do away with the Blood Diamonds. We did this by putting them in urinal number three, also known as the pube urinal because well there were pubes in there the day before. Kevin went first, then Dan, Koontz, Clay, and I. I then put the Blood Spear in the urinal after trying to draw real blood with it from my arm. I was feeling really weird this day. When I dropped mine in there it made a really loud sound and there were a lot of people in there and since Clay was peeing next to me, we started laughing really loud and finally ran out, thinking it was quite possibly the funniest thing of our lives. These were the urinals with the walls, so that is why I could drop them in without anyone actually noticing, also that is how Shadowcock came about. It was so hot in the Sports book all day that I stripped down to my white tee, I had done this both other days too, and it had become a slight tradition. Holland, Tall-E, Aussie, and other foreign friend with a cut up face showed up again. I was relieved to hear that they were leaving though and just stopped by to say goodbye. I don’t know if I could have handled another day with them, especially since I was reaching my boiling point. I even wrote down on a napkin “The Day James Douglas Macho Went Insane 1-13-07.” The drink ladies were taking too long for my liking, we couldn’t find Tonia, I was losing, pretty much I was being a poor sport, no real reason to being a baby, but I was anyway. I even wrote a note that said “Blood Diamonds are bullshit, pissing on them does nothing!!!,” because I guess in my drunken angered state I thought that peeing on black rocks would make me win my bets. As always, I am an idiot. We finally see Tonia, she says hi to us and that is nice of her, but she is not working our area. The Saints end up winning, which is nice, and I again decline on buying food when everyone else does. Throughout our day at the Mirage, I drank 15 Captain and Cokes and one Coors Light. I think I am not drunk and I really want to do something fun right now. We spring a taxi to get back to the Tropicana, but that is really the last place I want to be. I have to sit next to the drive because everyone else called otherwise before me. As I sit there, we pass Caesar’s; I contemplate hopping out during traffic, but do otherwise. Then we pass the Bellagio, I think about again, but don’t do it. Then I take off my seatbelt and Dan says something along the lines of “Jim is doing something weird, I don’t know what he’s doing though.” I keep looking back and then forward when we are stopped at the stoplight in front of the Monte Carlo, home of Lance Burton, magician. I have never been there and have wanted to go in for some reason. We are in the fourth lane, but I decide it is now or never, I jump out of the cab and cross the lanes hoping not to get in, I run straight in the front door of the Monte Carlo by myself. I heard the next day that the cab driver laughed and never said anything, which is kind of funny. Also, I think Koontz was mad at me because I rode the taxi halfway but didn’t chip in to pay for it, sorry Koontz. Kevin later decided that this was my “Jim Time.” This was probably true, for I just needed to walk my craziness off for a little. I went in checked the score of one my bets, lost it, oh well, I wasn’t mad, then got some cheap food and headed over to the MGM Grand for some roulette. I played for a while won $30 and had my 16th Captain and I was feeling better. Then I found Koontz and Kevin sitting with massive chip piles at a roulette table in the Tropicana. I still think I wasn’t that drunk at this point, but I probably was. Clay was in bed by 9:00 that night, and Dan and Koontz were shortly after, maybe 10:00. I talked Kevin into going out with me to some other casino so we could have some more fun. He agreed as long as we went to Hooters, because it was cheap. I said ok and we were on our way. On 95% of the trips we have ever gone on, Kevin and I are the last two awake and drink the most or near the most of anyone on the trip. Somehow it always happens. We get to Hooters to find only one roulette table, which is currently full, so we wait it out and get drinks while waiting. The drink ladies here are surprisingly efficient, the only downfall is you have to hand them whatever you have left in your drink when they give you a new one. Kevin is very disappointed in the rule and has to give away many a bottom of a Corona. Kevin gets a seat first and we realize that to be honest, that the dealer/spinner whatever you call it, is a massive bitch. Her name is Pat; she is working with Vanita, who is in need of a hair brush. She seems nicer, but also disgusted with Pat. Pat is mad at the world, maybe like I was earlier, so I can’t blame her, but at least I wasn’t mean to the poor people losing money at roulette. Pat pretty much flips out and makes Vanita take over. Shortly after that a guy that we will call Cheater spills his first drink. Vanita and the pit boss Kat are not happy with Cheater. Kevin and I look at each other wondering if this was a good idea coming here. Oh yeah and we got here around 11:00. Eventually we get seats next to each other, which is fun so we can talk, and bet, and have a good time. Cheater spills another drink, and now Kat really doesn’t like him. He is told he can’t have any more drinks, and is not happy with that. This guy also just keeps pulling $100 chips out of thin air it seems, or maybe the inside pocket of his coat. So we have been getting a lot of dealer changes and making friends with them, the drink ladies have started remembering our drinks and we have made buddies with other people at the table except Cheater. Somehow Cheater got more drinks and one time Kevin moved his drink because he almost knocked it over, then he cocked off to Kevin. Have I mentioned that nobody likes this guy? Then out of nowhere comes Panama Jack, a crazy old guy with a hat and a ‘stache and a soul patch. He decides that we look friendly enough to tell us that he is ordering a Menage-a-trois tomorrow night. I am really excited to hear this, well not really, but he thinks we are. He is from California he tells us, and calls us Cheeseheads, which is great. I love that nickname, er wait. So Panama Jack goes and talks to somebody then comes back and now he thinks we are from Michigan and also tells us that if we ever come to California he’ll buy us the best steak dinner we’ve ever had. Then he’s about to write down his phone number for Kevin, which is really great, I mean of course we are going to call this guy, hell we might even road trip it California just to see him. But he never writes it down because he can’t find his $50 (two $25 chips) he just won from betting on black. Our current dealer is Norma, who is very nice to us and she says she gave it to him. I tell Norma that I know where the $50 is, our friend Cheater slipped the two chips underneath his pile of five $1 chips put them inside is coat and then brought the $1 chips back out. He says he didn’t do it, playing drunk and playing dumb. Norma says, she’ll roll back the tape and he’ll get kicked out, he says he’ll give $50 to the guy, but says he did it on accident, which I know is not true. Panama Jack is livid and about ready to kill Cheater. Cheater finally starts counting out chips, when Norma grabs his pile, counts out $50 and gives it to Panama Jack who leaves short thereafter, not of course without coming back to say goodbye to us and remind us of his big night tomorrow. Cheater could have just reached in his pocket and grabbed the actual chips, but of course did not. Later when he did have to bust them out to bet, Norma gave me a look and I gave her the nod that those were the chips. My new goal of the night was to outlast Cheater at the table because somehow they did not kick him out of the table or casino. Meanwhile, Kevin and I are getting hammered as hell and have a rule that when one of goes to the bathroom we watch the chips and don’t even bet so that Cheater wont steal anything. Norma has to go for a while, but not before I get my picture with her for some reason. Vanita is back and in a much better mood, she starts making fun of Kevin for being drunk and wandering around after he has cashed out, and I laugh at him too. I get up to look for him and he’s already gone. I am now alone at Hooters at 3:00 AM. I have been here for four hours at the same table. Cheater is still here, so am I, a few other nice players are here and I have decided I will have better luck with my hat backwards and cocked. I am an idiot. The drink ladies don’t even ask me anymore they just keep bringing me Captain and Cokes, I tip them and they come back, plus it is not exactly packed in here right now. I keep meeting new dealers and making more friends, or so I think. Tanya was a very nice dealer also, one of the other ones I remember. I also remember Michael the pit boss and Pete the pit boss. I might have just been annoying drunk guy, or dumb drunk guy, or overly friendly drunk guy. I met some lesbians from Los Angeles, and I wouldn’t have known this had they not had the urge to tell me. I guess everyone wants to tell me everything tonight. Finally Cheater leaves, so I get ready to depart. I finish gambling and drinking and then I am out. I leave Hooters at 5:00 AM and have no recollection once I left the bathroom after I cashed out. I didn’t really win any money, but I didn’t spend too much either for sitting at the same table for six hours. The only other things I found out from this night is that when Kevin came back at 3:00 he kissed Clay and Koontz goodnight and when I walked in, I passed out pretty good, says Clay. I drank 15 Captain and Cokes at Hooters, that makes the total for the day 31, 32 drinks including the Coors Light. The total number of Captains for the trip is at 63 after three nights, when the goal was 50 for four nights. A total of 71 drinks in three nights, I normally don’t keep track of these things, but since I knew I was writing about it, I thought I would keep a tally. The final full day is upon us and Caesar’s Palace has not been entered by anyone.

I feel like crap. I woke up too early. It’s 9:00 AM. Everyone wants to go eat. I don’t. I go anyway. Bad idea. I have slept for only four hours and have had by far the least amount of sleep this trip and drank an insane amount. This is a massive bender and I am going to struggle to go out today, I already know it. The football games start much earlier today and that is also bad. Although I didn’t bet on today’s games because I hate the Bears too much to bet on or even against them and I have no idea who will win the Patriots/Chargers game. We go back to The Dam in Hooters for the breakfast buffet. You know how much I like buffets. I get chocolate milk and a plate of eggs, bacon, and sausage. The bacon was dubbed three days earlier as the best bacon ever by Kevin, so I had to try some. It was ok, but not the best ever, I am officially disappointed, still drunk, extremely tired, and I want to throw up the eggs I just ate, plus the Bears are winning. The best thing to come from The Dam was Clay grabbing a milk carton for me, launching it at me from about 15 feet away when I am half lying down in the booth and I nonchalantly grabbed it out the air right before it hit the wall. That was really cool. Then we walked back out into the casino area, where I saw none other than Michael, Pete, Vanita, and Tanya. Norma was nowhere to be found. Someone sat down to play a little and Tanya waved and laughed at me. I must have been pretty popular last night. Then Vanita started talking to Kevin and I, and laughed at him for his drunken walk-by last night. I also was slightly mean to the dealer when she checked my ID because she couldn't find the birthdate, so I said "Big Red Middle." She was not amused with me and stated that's what she was looking for. Oh well. We also just remembered that Nevada won, so we actually won a bet. That is good news. We decide to head back to the hotel and watch the game. Dan comes over and joins us, so we have all five of us, and I fall asleep and watch nearly none of the game. I did miss Kevin do a naked towel dance while I was sleeping which was definitely disappointing. I opted to not even take a shower because I don’t even feel up to doing that. Then we head off on our daily expedition. Today is the first day we decide to walk the strip since the first day, no cabbies today. I don’t remember what time we left at all, but I know for sure that it was after the Bears won. Did I mention I hate the Bears? We made it down to Margaritaville and were going to eat there, we even got one of those vibrating things that lights up when its your turn to sit, but since O’Shea’s is right across the road, we just ate at their cheap food court instead and Kevin actually threw the vibrating light up thing away. I thought he should have returned it, but oh well. We hang out at O’Shea’s for quite a while, in fact for the duration of the second football game. I never leave the food court area, just hanging out with Kevin and Clay and talking about who knows what for a few hours while Dan and Koontz were gambling up a storm as usual. Now I would be drinking and gambling more, but I only have about $50 for the rest of the trip until we get home. Since I only brought $265 this is really not too bad, considering the gambling, eating, drinking, taxi fares, and other random purchases had only totaled $215. I was going to bring an extra $100, but the Kwik Trip ATM didn’t let me take out $200 only $100, so I just decided I’d have to go a little cheaper. This is good and bad, this means, I spent less money that I presumably would have, because you can never bank on winning money, which I don’t, but bad because my last night I would have a harder time to get really drunk because gambling would be at a premium. As the game ends and the Patriots beat the Chargers, I get my first beer, bought for a dollar once again from Dan, who I think I owe a few drinks. Clay, Kevin, Dan, and Koontz join a game of craps, where we meet a comedian pit boss. I forgot his name but he called us the Stoughton Boys because he was from Madison at some point in his life. He did the usual non-Stoughton version of saying Stoughton, stressing the ough part, like we are all straight off the Viking ship. This guy is also on a massive power trip and yells at Clay for accidentally turning his body with the dice in his hand and bringing them slightly off the table surface. I think his name might have been Ben, and he had a dangly earring. We trek down to our usual hangout, the Mirage Sports book to check out the scene post game. It is completely dead everywhere in here, we also decide to switch up the order of our seats and mostly because Kevin decides he doesn’t want to sit by me anymore. Fair enough I guess. I agree on doing Blood Money horse bets on the last track of the night. We have ten races to try and win. Trifecta bets are the choice of the night where you need to correctly pick the order of the first three horses. We each pick two different top threes, which cost $1 each and Clay or Koontz takes them up and brings back our ten bet sheets. Then they get laid out on the table as we watch the race rooting for some sort of combination that will win us any money. During the ten races I think we actually win two, but end up losing a little overall, but it was very fun. The drink ladies also are terrible right now, not that it matters to me because I am having a hell of a time trying to choke down my beers. I decided to take the day off of Captain and Coke after last nights performance, so I am drinking Coors Light now. I think on the night I ended up having four beers and that is partially due to lack of gambling and tip money and partially due to my binge over the previous three nights. Well I guess it caught up to me, but not everyone else, as some people were starting to get nice and drunk in the Mirage. We also got to cash in our Nevada slips from the night before and then created Rule # 5: Pick Nevada In Nevada. It is simple, but makes sense; it was the only bet I won on the day before. Chris, the TV horse picker is back on the screen since the races right now are at Los Alamitos, his course. Chris is really pissing us off with his damn picks and that haircut. Rule # 6: Fuck Chris. We hate Chris and people are getting drunk so Rule # 7: Fuck Chris. So there you have it the complete list of the rules. We also decided that it would be fun that we can ask each other at anytime any of the rules and you must remember it. This will be exciting for a short while, maybe. Here is the final list of all the rules.
Rule # 1: Be A Juke Box Hero
Rule # 2: Always Obey and Respect Ted
Rule # 3: Dan’s Mom is Black
Rule # 4: Group Money Is Blood Money
Rule # 5: Pick Nevada In Nevada
Rule # 6: Fuck Chris
Rule # 7: Fuck Chris
I like Rules # 1, 4, and 7 the best. Kevin comes back with some Bathroom Tales for us, but he has a distraught look on his face. The Mirage Sports book was the most popular place for all of us to use the crapper, even more so than the Tropicana. This is important because that is where he was. He saw a cousin of the Shadowcock, he saw Shadowdrugs. He comes back and says he saw a shadow of a syringe on the ground and then a spoon. He is visibly shaken and then looks at every person trying to find whose shoes were next to him so we can figure who the phantom drug lord is. We never find out who it is, but got to love those Bathroom Tales. Clay and I have been using the Pedro voice from Napoleon Dynamite for most of the trip when we talk to each other. It is really starting to get out of hand though. Later on we stop back at O’Shea’s of course. Kevin, Clay, and I decide to leave the other two there and travel forward, knowing very well that we may not see them the rest of the night. Dan is hammered right now; Koontz, Clay, and Kevin are getting there. The Barbary Coast is destination one because Kevin is leading the way. Those two play some roulette and win a good amount very quickly before cashing out. Hooters casino is again our destination tonight. I think it is probably around 10:00 or 11:00 PM. Those two sit down again and both win quickly again. Clay is up about $200 in the last hour or so, maybe less time. Clay and I decide to get some food down the road and we hit up Wendy’s and Del Taco next door to the MGM Grand. We leave Wiggy behind and hope to meet up with him soon. He calls us about 15 minutes later and tells us he just won a lot of money on split zeroes in roulette. He is really excited and just cashed out. On our way back we see a familiar sweatshirt off the bridge, we yell to him and he waits for us at the bottom of the stairs. The bad news is, that we went in the bridge door and didn’t tell him, so he waited for us for about five minutes out in the cold. Oops. Well we finally met back up in the hotel room probably around 1:00 AM and he went back down to the Tropicana floor and Clay and I decided to call it a trip. I enjoyed myself very much to this point, but I think that three nights might be better than four. Kevin wakes me up a few hours later telling us that he won a lot and that he’s really drunk. He goes to bed in his underwear and is happily sleeping. All three of us are now asleep and then Koontz and Dan show up, really, really drunk. Koontz is rambling about winning $1,000 or something I think and Dan says he won $600 or something like that. I don’t know if they mean they are up that much total, or just won that much today. I don’t really hear this because these two are raping me. They are trying to molest me I believe, even going as far as trying to take my pants off, I am not very amused at the moment, but manage to keep my pants on. I do not know their intentions, but am very glad it never happened. I was afraid. Once done with me, they travel to the other bed and Koontz pulls Kevin’s underwear right off, I find this extremely funny because he does not flinch. His hand is covering himself and the blanket is off. Koontz is laughing hysterically and then Kevin covers himself up and puts his underwear under his pillow for some reason. So Clay is now sleeping next to a naked guy. Dan has to get ready to get on his flight, which leaves in maybe an hour and a half. I think it is somewhere around 6:30 AM. He says his goodbyes and says I’ll see you guys back in Stoughton sometime soon. We later find out, he doesn’t remember anything from this point on until his plane lands in Memphis. He cannot find his $600 because he mistakenly packed it in his suitcase. He is also home before we even leave later tonight. Koontz is beyond wasted and excited, he goes back down to gamble more on craps. I’m pretty sure Koontz is addicted to gambling and to saying the word absolutely, he has been saying it nonstop this trip. He comes back at 7:30 AM and is even drunker I think. He decides to call his mom and talk for 15 minutes really loud next to me in bed, but I can’t blame him too much, he is excited. I finally get him to sleep and then we all wake up a few hours later. So after four days and nights we never went to Caesar’s Palace. It is somewhat disappointing, but not really because we found a viable replacement in the Mirage. Maybe if they had better drink ladies we would have stopped there. Strangely enough there were no pictures taken on the last day.

The last four nights are a complete blur, everything blends with everything else and without these notes, and I may not have been able to figure what happened on what nights. Koontz is still drunk and annoying, but he can’t help it. I love you Koontz. Once we finally get packed and ready to go, we check out. I believe that checkout was at 12:00 PM, so that is when we left the hotel approximately. We talk Koontz into putting $100 on black, because he has been saying he was going to do that for about six months. He does and promptly loses $100, so much for that. We now are rolling around with our bags again. Kevin and I have normal backpacks, Koontz has his damn rolling bag, and Clay is double bagging it. Walking to the ESPN Zone in New York, New York is our goal because we have to eat there at least once a trip. We sit down and I already know that Clay is getting the Buffalo Chicken because he got it last time and loved it even though he passed out inside there after eating it and was found by the staff. I get the chicken strips and Koontz and Kevin each get the ESPN burger. I try the Buffalo sauce just to how hot it is and Clay is right, it is hot, it made me sweat, I am not into sweating and eating. We watch Gilbert Arenas hit a game winning shot, and then listen to our waitress gush about him and claim he is way better than Kobe and that Kobe sucks. Now it is airport time. Our flight is scheduled to leave at 6:20 PM PST. We are scheduled to get to Chicago at 11:55 PM CST. That means we are getting home really late. Since we are all about traditions we go the airport very early just to bum around because we did that last year. We arrive at the airport at 1:55 PM. Clay had to get searched at the airport because he had a bottle of cologne that was too bag. Damn that New York Nights cologne, it may get the ladies, but it also gets you searched at the airport. That means we have four hours until we can even board, great. Once there, we sit around for a little and then I hit the floor. We all end up just laying on the ground at the airport for the majority of this time. Backpacks double as pillows and hoods are wonderful. One thing I thought of while laying down is, why are hotel bathrooms always wet everywhere? There is a little girl who keeps staring at us. She is probably two years old, her older sister is probably eight and goes and gets her when she comes by us. They then sit together right across from us and continue to stare at us, while their dad in the orange shirt pays no attention. I would prefer if these girls were not doing this, we later find out that the younger girls name is Lily or Lilly, I don’t know how to spell it because I am not naming any of my children that name. After falling in and out of sleep and then we talk for a while then fall asleep, it finally starts getting close. Kevin is reading the Playboy that Clay just bought and is reading an article about sperm. He keeps telling us all these facts. I tell him I don’t want to know because I am going to read the article myself once we get on the plane. Boarding time passes and then flight leave time passes. We are getting very anxious. We finally get in line to board the plane. I feel something cold travel down my chest, like someone threw a penny down my shirt. I check and don’t feel anything, oh well. Then I take a step and see something blue fall out of my sleeve. I realize that my necklace broke inside my shirt. There are those little pieces everywhere and I start shaking them out everywhere; they are down my sleeves, in my shirt and some down my pants. I look like a complete moron getting these out and it makes a nice mess on the floor. I take my seat next to Koontz on the plane at 6:50 PM PST. Clay and Kevin are across the aisle from us. As usual we put on the headphones and of course we hear Akon right away. We also heard that same song when Koontz accidentally turned on the clock radio in the hotel this morning. We love Akon apparently. The flight takes off at 7:00. I can’t wait to get home. I don’t want to sleep now, because I want to sleep in the car. I put the headphones on and start reading Playboy for the articles. Seriously, I read almost every article, they have some good stuff in there, I didn’t even look at one picture the entire plane ride because I would have felt like a perv. Our in flight movie was The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves, Field of Dreams) and Ashton Kutcher (Butterfly Effect, That 70’s Show.) I have always wanted to write like that, like the back of a movie case. So since I was reading I didn’t watch it, I wanted to, but I didn’t at the same time. I listened to music and read, Koontz slept of course, and Clay and Kevin watched the movie. Kevin said it was good, I think he might be right, but I will never know unless I rent it sometime. Oh well, at least I got to read about sperm. I enjoy my pretzels, milk, and a glass of lemonade on the flight. Later on the flight attendant guy asks me for my trash and rubbish in a pretty girly voice. Koontz and I find this funny, mostly because he said rubbish. Who the hell says rubbish? Land in Chicago at 12:10 AM CST. Koontz’s bag is found easily this time, which is good news for us, and now we must try to remember where we parked. The pilot told us we were entering Chicago aka Winter Wonderland, so that excites us a lot. Can’t wait to get to the snow, but not really. Our last escalator and shuttle rides are over and we enter the car. Clay’s door almost won’t shut because of ice and the car fogs up constantly. The best news I’ve had all day though is that I left a bag of chips in the front seat and I am really hungry. Our trip home begins, probably sometime after 1:00 AM CST. Kevin is driving and that is very nice of him because I am guessing all of the rest of us fell asleep, and when ever I wake up from my sleeping I am getting mad because it is so damn hot, but it has to be hot so the windows aren’t fogged up. Kevin just keeps laughing at me too. I hate this car right now. It is so damn hot and we have to pay tolls and then the next thing I know I am at my parent’s house because I think my car is there. Nope, they dropped it back off for me at my apartment. I get to the parking lot, gather my things and walk into home at 3:30 AM January 16th, 2007. I have to work in exactly four hours. I should have asked off of work today, I am going to be tired. So the trip technically began at 8:00 PM January 10th, and ended 3:30 AM January 16th. Long trip glad to be home can’t wait to tell everyone what happened.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it at least a little. If you need anything clarified ask me or another member of the trip. Hope this makes you want to go to Vegas either on your own, or maybe with us for the first time or with us again if you have made one of our other trips. Vegas Baby, Vegas. Be a Juke Box Hero.