So I’m buckled into my seat, ready to fly to Vegas last week for work, and I hear the two guys sitting next to me, and the three people in front of me, and the one hundred seventeen people on the other side of the plane murmuring about the Big Fight Coming Up.
“Is there a fight this weekend?” I asked the guys sitting next to me.
And you know how sometimes someone says something so absurd you can’t even muster an expression? Your face just kind of goes slack—not like a cartoon, with your tongue hanging out or anything, just sort of no muscle control whatsoever—and your eyes sort of glass over because your brain is working overtime due to the fact that someone just said something and it does not, for the love of all that is holy and decent, compute.
That’s pretty much the look I got.
“It’s only The Biggest Fight of the Century,” one of the guys told me. He didn’t say it condescendingly, more like he was afraid for me, that here I was, this unsuspecting traveler, on her way to Vegas for one of the biggest weekends of the city’s career, and I was clueless.
“Oh,” I said nodding. “Right. I think I heard something about that.”
No, I hadn’t.
Well, no, that’s a lie. I had heard some chatter on during the sports segments of the news about Mayweather, but I thought it was just general talk about boxing and…stuff. I didn’t realize it was because he was fighting Pacquaio in The Biggest Fight of the Century for hundreds of millions of dollars.
It turns out that with The Biggest Fight of the Century comes a lot more Vegas nonsense than I could imagine. Tickets to the event sold out within 30 seconds, my driver to the hotel told me. Hotel rooms on the Strip were completely sold out, and even the nearby crappy hotels that did still have a sprinkling of rooms available were going for upwards of $600 per night. Prostitutes from around the world apparently fly in for weekends like this, the hotel staff told me, and extra law enforcement had been brought in as well (for the general public, not necessarily for the hookers).
Top it off with the fact that the Kentucky Derby was also last weekend, along with the NFL draft, and I’m pretty sure that the sports books were out of their minds.
Anyone who knows me knows that I get annoyed with crowds and while I love rolling craps I am a horrendous gambler. So last weekend? Even once I learned about The Biggest Fight of the Century, last weekend was totally lost on me. While Vegas was making history, Mayweather was remaining undefeated, and a million people were cramming themselves onto the Strip, I was holed up in my hotel room watching The Roosevelts on YouTube and asleep by 9:30* because I am wild and crazy and nothing if not fond of spitting in the face of sports lust.**
I feel like I should apologize to Vegas for my lack interaction during this melee.*** I so incredibly did not participate in the fervor of the weekend, and it’s entirely possible I let Vegas down. First I didn’t know about its mega event offerings, and then I did know, and I totally ignored them. So, I’m sorry, Vegas. I’m sorry if I let you down while I was there. I promise to try harder next time.
You know, let’s just play it by ear, how about that? I don’t want to make you promises I’m not sure I can keep, especially if it involves anything happening past 9 pm.
*Two hour time difference you guys. It’s killer for a routine-craving person like myself.
**Lie. I have been known to get utterly vociferous about college football, hockey, and White Sox baseball, for a start. And I adore Derby Day, but sadly it fell in the middle of the workshop I was staffing, and I’m relatively sure stepping away from my duties so I could throw a box on a few horses would be frowned upon.
***Except I’m not all that sorry as I learned the area outside of the Tropicana was cordoned off because of a shooting after the fight. Not that I was staying at the Tropicana, but whatever.