Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Madness in Vegas: It's Even Better Than You Think

By Joe Parello  @HerewegoJoe

So, it's been a while since I last posted and you will have to forgive me if this piece makes little or no sense. I am still insanely jet lagged and a little hungover from what was an eventful and triumphant Bachelor Party weekend in Las Vegas.

Every guy thinks that doing the first weekend of NCAA Tournament in Vegas will be a little piece of sports heaven, but I'm here to tell you that it's better than that.

Wait, wait, let me qualify that statement. Doing the first weekend of March Madness in Vegas is absolute sports nirvana, IF you have a bunch of friends that are willing to spend a good amount of money (betting on games and other endeavors), not sleep, and stay intoxicated for four consecutive days.

Now, if you have all those pieces in place, here is why taking in the most exciting weekend in sports in Sin City is the best sporting decision you can possibly make.

1. Where to Watch the Games?

This is a trick question, because there is nowhere not to watch the games. Sports bars? That's just dumb. Go to one of the many legendary sportsbooks and watch/bet every game plus horse racing, plus random Olympic sports you didn't know where on other than every four years, plus Bolivian cage fighting, plus whatever other sport you can imagine.
Sportsbook image has been blurred to protect the guilty.

Or, do you like to gamble on things other than sports? Watch the games as they play above your Black Jack table. That way you can lose money on two things at once! Or maybe you just want to bro out in your room. Grab a bunch of beers and watch them on the two TVs that seem to be in every room in Vegas.

Or how about the pool? More on that after the jump.

2. The Weather

If there is a more beautiful place in America, nay, the world, than Las Vegas in late March… I still would rather be in Vegas. Every day there had a cool breeze, but the sun was beating down hard. You never got too hot or too cold, and the lack of humidity only made it necessary to apply Chap Stick slightly more often.

Oh, and if you happen to be popping bottles at a giant pool party…. THE GAMES ARE ON THERE TOO!
Dude, this sucks.

3. The Scenery

Luckily, my fiancee Caity trusts and loves me very much, so I can say this. You will never watch a sporting contest around more beautiful girls than during this weekend in Vegas. And they listen to your stupid stories about winning bets (which you totally exaggerate) and give the impression that you're not just a total loser that is there to blow money on the basketball abilities of many kids you haven't even seen play during the year.

4. Drunken Bets Always Work

Well, at least they seem to. For instance, after a long night at Senor Frogs, my buddy and I returned to the sportsbook of our hotel convinced that there was just no way Miami wouldn't cover the 13.5 point spread against Pacific.

"Dude, Miami isn't Duke or something, they've got something to prove. They're gonna straight jack up Pacific and win this thing by 20 plus!"

Of course, our logic could have easily gone like this:

"Dude, Miami isn't Duke or something, they have no idea how deceptively challenging these games in the first round can be, and they are definitely going to underestimate Pacific. They're gonna fall behind early, and only win by like 5."

Luckily, our drunken logic turned out to be right, or I would be out $100. But man, I had never been more confident about anything in my life.

5. You Become a Total Stereotype

The one thing I really noticed over the course of that long weekend was that, without really knowing it, we all became total bros. We spoke in ironic Ebonics (Florida Gulf Coast DOE!?!), yelled about everything and dropped the F bomb way more than was necessary.
Bro Out!!!

6. Betting the Over

No bet was more fun than the one a few of my friends placed on the over in the Florida-Minnesota game. Suddenly, every basket, by either team, was a reason to clink glasses and cheer. The Gators destroyed the hapless Gophers, but when Minnesota threw down a dunk to pull it within 12, we all erupted.

The Minnesota fans next to us then grew confused when we all cheered the Florida three-pointer that followed.

7. You Get to Look Classy

You will never feel cooler than when you're sipping a Vesper (the Martini from the new Bond movies), smoking a cigar, wearing a blazer and casually walking the Bellagio casino floor.

8.  But Not Actually Be Classy

And you will never feel sleazier than when you're wearing last night's dress shirt, buttoned down to your belly button, and a bathing suit for the entire next day. But guess what? No one cares.

9. The Mentality

You know what's better than being in Vegas to rage your face off and bet on sports? The fact that everybody else is there to rage their faces off and bet on sports. This dynamic creates an "anything goes" mentality that I just can't put into words here.

10. The End

But, at the end of it all, you're ready to get out of there. You've spent (or lost) too much money, you're a little sun burnt, you have a hangover four days in the making, and you've been running on multiple liquors, chicken fingers and four combined hours of sleep.

It's the kind of weekend that makes you ready to settle down and get married.