*Disclaimer: I was an invited guest to this one of a kind sports spectacle by another attendee. Thanks to that guy for the weight gain. I think?
I never really need much of an excuse to go to Vegas. Someone’s getting hitched? Sure. Bachelor party? Yep. Event? I’m in. The sun came up and I’ve got nothing else to do? Why not.
Such was the case on a recent weekend that just happened to coincide with the Super Bowl. Someone, who for privacy reasons we’ll identify as Not-Ted (or NT for short) informed me he would be working the annual Super Bowl party at Phil Ruffin’s Roadhouse, err, TI. Pleasantries were exchanged, and I was invited to join the group in a 5 hour truck ride to Vegas to enjoy not only the city, but a free party for the biggest sporting event arguably of the year. So on a very hungover Saturday morning I packed a bag hurriedly and piled in with the crew. That night we were in Vegas, exploring our very interesting non-gaming hotel (more on that in another article) and waiting for that holiest of days.
Come Sunday, I wake up from my bourbon-coma, grab a quick bite to eat (thankfully small, more on that later) and kill some time with the group before gathering promptly at 3:15pm outside of the Mystere Theater. Football and Cirque? Not so lucky. In place of the acrobats the gorgeous HD monster below:
And for the next 4 hours, that 22′ x 40′ screen kept the crowd pumped while what can only be described as a total feast fit for a Roman and a man with far more stomach space than myself churned around us, gratis save for tips.
We had three reserved seats right by the sound booth, the ideal space to catch the show and easy access to the rest of the theater for breaks, food, booze, food, food, more food, bathroom breaks, and yet more food. If the party had a theme, other than football and booing Tom Brady, it was gluttony. My god the agony and ecstasy.
As you enter the theater, ice buckets full of every carbonated alcoholic and non such beverage await. Beer in hand, I find my seat, then immediately get in line for what turns out to be the snack area of the theater which has been transformed into a sport’s fan’s dream buffet. If Jenny Craig had come within a mile of the building she would have burst into pure ash.
It began innocently enough. Veggies and dips, then hot dogs and toppings. Then nachos and fries, with cheese and chili and anything you could imagine to put on top. Then tacos with yet more meat sauce and stuffing and any shell you wanted. Then sub sandwiches. More tacos, more hot dogs, less veggies. By the end of the line I had two plates weighing approximately the same as a beagle. Game on.
As I somehow balanced my plates for the national anthem (rock it Lady Gaga!) I realized I needed a drink. This problem was solved quickly by a jaunt to one of two open bars for a Gin and Ginger for a tip. Coin toss, game on, grub on, drink on. And that was how it went for the next few hours of genuinely boring football despite me winning on my Broncos bet (3 for 3 BTW, I’m told something magical to win like that but I think it was food coma luck). And lest I decided to get more food (PS I did) there were also two strategically placed food bars in the theater, one for nachos and snacks and another for sundaes. Sundaes! Two scoops of vanilla, whipped cream and chocolate chips and I was ready to sacrifice myself to appease Cam Newton’s depression.
The one thing I will say that I learned from the experience is that events like this, as sold by the casinos to lure you in for the big game, are truly fun in the following circumstances:
A) You’re with a group of rowdy and fun friends who enjoy friendly rivalries over sporting events.
B) You don’t mind waiting in a long long long long long line to go to the bathroom.
C) You eat your own weight (or the price of the ticket, or both) worth of food and or imbibe enough alcohol to kill a small circus elephant.
Otherwise, you’re better off avoiding the markup and catching the game in one of the hotel bars or better yet at home. That being said, if Not-Ted invites you, definitely say yes. And definitely prepare for discomfort of Thanksgiving-multiplied fullness the day after with the bonus of a raucous hangover. Until next year!
PS – Overall Weight Gain…5.2lbs. A personal best. Bring it Turkey Day!