That’s when I thought security would arrive. She was on her knees, pretending to lick William Peterson’s butt. If she left any DNA behind, I would imagine the star of CSI would track her down later. Instead, he walked away without noticing. And Erica just turned to us and smiled.
As much as I would like to start in the middle, I can’t (or maybe I just did). You’re just going to have to wait. Pretend your playing poker in a casino and have to patiently fold 50 hands before you’re dealt rockets.
It started early in the morning. About 8am, Lefty and I got up, intent on finding a chair at the Mandalay Bay to enjoy the two championship games. I put on my midnight green McNabb jersey and my brother put on his black TO jersey. We were ready for some football.
I had already decided I wouldn’t bet on the Eagles. I didn’t want to jinx them and I’m extremely superstitious. I decided if I would bet on anyone, it would be the Pats. They were on a roll. But my brother was betting on Pittsburgh, I’d be rooting for slot hoki Pittsburgh, and I frankly don’t like the Pats.
I spent the entire walk to the Mandalay Bay convicing myself to bet on Pittsburgh. They were at home, had beaten New England once already, were 6 point dogs, and were 16-1 for crying out loud!!! So I had myself convinced, and threw $40 down the drain.
We hit the sports book at about 9:30am, two and a half hours before kickoff, and there wasn’t an open table to be found. We made our bets (and got our drink tickets!) and sat down to consider our options. That’s when we noticed one of the tables had opened and we quickly moved in hoping they were gone for good. They were.
It was a table with five chairs and we settled in, deciding we’d tell everyone we had friends coming. We didn’t want to be distracted by any non-Eagles fans.
To pass the time, we bet the races. We used the very scientific method of picking favorite names and numbers and actually hit a few exactas. Then we moved on to the very unscientific method of analyzing past races and track trends, etc… and lost all our money back. At least we finished even.
It’s about a half hour to kick off when my brother leans over and says, “That’s Frank Nicotero.” I wouldn’t have been able to remember Frank’s full name, but he did look a lot like the host of that wacky TV game show, “Street Smarts.”
Frank was there with his brother Greg and a couple of friends, Mesner and Derek (if Frank or his crew ever read this, please let me know if I messed up any names). They were decked out in their Steelers gear and searching for a place to sit. Finally, Frank stopped at our table to see if they could join us. My brother was more than pleased to invite them to sit. And I didn’t mind either once they assured us they were also rooting for the Eagles.
I’m gonna stop right here and tell you just how cool of a guy Frank is. Sure, he’s no super-celebrity, but he’s well enough known to be noticed, especially in Vegas where “Street Smarts” is widely syndicated. He and his friends were very cool and could have fit in with just about any crowd I’ve ever hung with.
The Eagles game was rather uneventful. Except for the fact my team had FINALLY made it to the Super Bowl!!!!!!! I couldn’t have been more excited, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been so excited about a sporting event. But that’s all I’ll say about that game for now.