Thank you, Vin Scully

July 25th, 1977: 1st inning. Lenny Randle singles. Goes to 3rd on Felix Millan’s single and scores on Steve Henderson’s double. Mets beat the Dodgers 1-0 at Dodger Stadium.

Ho hum, right?

For most maybe, but for me, it was the first time I heard the magic of Vin Scully. On the way to the park, my friend Dean couldn’t believe I never listened to the iconic broadcaster. Scully, along with Jerry Doggett and Ross Porter made the game come alive. In those days radio was the main, and most of the time, only source of Scully art. The man gave me a words eye view of each and every game. He told stories that never distracted from the action. The most amazing thing, he never missed a pitch while spinning tales of baseball lore.

Barely a teen at the time, for extra money I pulled weeds for Dean’s father. In the background every summer day, you guessed it, Vin Scully. No game was ever the same, but Scully never changed.

Fast forward nearly 36 years later, and there I am working at Camelback Ranch for the White Sox. Sitting in an empty booth a couple hours before game time, I hear a knock on the open door. To my surprise, it is the man himself. Vin Scully looks at me and asks if he could share the room with me. I am in awe! I squeak out, “sure”, in probably the softest voice possible. For the next half-hour we small talk about the Dodgers, White Sox and conversations I have forgotten. If I didn’t know better, you would’ve thought we were old pals shooting the breeze.

Having to leave, I got to the door. Looking back I had no idea what to say so I just said, “Goodbye Vin”. If I could go back and replay that ending, I might, but it is still one of my greatest sports days ever.

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3 years later and there I am, along with 50,000 other saying goodbye to, arguably, the greatest broadcaster ever. Dodger Stadium was electric that day, with every shot of Scully eliciting a standing ovation. Sadly, we all knew this was the last broadcast for Scully at Chavez Ravine, but we all knew he couldn’t leave without a bang. Corey Seager and Charlie Culberson supplied the fireworks for the departing hero. Scully left an even greater impression..

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67 years as a broadcaster.. We were all lucky to have been along for the ride.

 

Hockey in Las Vegas–SCORE!

I’ll admit it, I was a Wranglers fan. I, along with the 5000+ rabid followers, loved all the hard work the players and management put on and off the ice. Throw in the fantastic theme nights, and I was hooked.

Though I will say that I wasn’t surprised when they closed their goal.. err..doors, I held out hope the NHL would take a chance on the big little city in the desert.

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They did, and it is great not just for Las Vegas, but for the the State of Nevada.

Have you checked out the place they will call home – T-Mobile Arena? It is a palace to say the least. Nestled between the NEW YORK, NEW YORK and the MONTE CARLO, it is everything, and a tad more. No, I didn’t get to take a tour, but from what I saw, it could very well be one of the upper echelon buildings the NHL has to offer.

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There are plenty of restaurants and hang-outs to get your fun on before, and after, games. It appears to have plenty of parking too.

Now to the team:

They hired NHL lifer, George McPhee as their first General Manager. McPhee has forgotten more about hockey than most of us will ever know. How good a GM is this guy? He took over a moribund Washington Capital team in 1997, leading them to their 1st Stanley Cup Final. He also won 7 Southeast Division championships and a team record 121 points in 2009-10. Vegas was on point when they gave control of the team to McPhee.

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The Assistant GM is Kelly McCrimmon, who only led his WHL team to the championship this past season. McCrimmon has hockey running through his veins as well, have been in organized hockey his entire life. Also, his brother, the late Brad McCrimmon, was a great player for 6 NHL teams. So you can see the Vegas squad has experience, if not expertise behind it.

Who will play for the new Vegas team? That’ll be decided in June of 2017, when the expansion draft is expected to take place. The rules, from what I’ve read, allows existing teams to protect one goaltender, three defensemen, and seven forwards or one goalie and eight skaters.

That means you/we will seeing legitimate NHL players, not scrubs that have no business skating in the league.

I know the excitement will build over the next 9 months. Until that time, go check out the T-Mobile Arena. Might as well get familiar with the place by seeing some of the great performers that will grace the stage over the next few months.

Let the countdown begin.

Hockey is here!

LET’S GET EXCITED!

Now about that midnight game…

Slotzilla!!

So you’ve been to the casinos, seen every kind of show. You’ve even eaten anything and everything from one end of the Strip to the other. What now, you ask yourself?

Well ask no more. Let me introduce you to Slotzilla! This monster of a ride is located Downtown on Fremont Street. At 108′ high, it is a zipline that goes from one end of Fremont Street to the other.  And let me tell you, it is a blast! Scary, yes, but soooo much fun.

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When you walk toward this monstrosity, it looks like a piece of cake. However, the closer you get, the more your neck cranks back to see the top of the ride. And if that isn’t enough, when the riders whiz by they look like specks against the sky.

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But don’t let that discourage you as everything is on the up and up. Once you’ve paid your money, and take the elevator to the top, you are completely strapped in. Safe as bug in a rug.

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Remember that old Tom Petty song, “The waiting is the hardest part?” Well, that’s the truth. Hanging from your strap as the door comes open, revealing the strip down below, is the only time I, personally, got nervous. Once you take off though, it is pure bliss. Flying over Fremont Street, screaming and smiling as I zoomed by was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in Las Vegas.

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If casinos, shows and food aren’t enough for you, check out SLOTZILLA. You will be glad you did. My only advice would be to avoid the buffet before riding.

7 Reasons You Can’t Miss The 2016 USA Sevens Int’l Rugby Tournament In Las Vegas

2016 USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament

Grab your jackets, jerseys and crazy costumes because the USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament returns to Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium Friday, March 4 through Sunday, March 6 for three days of intense play. Some of the best rugby players in the world will transform Las Vegas into every sports fanatic’s dream with a week filled with events leading up to the tournament. Here are some reasons you don’t want to miss it:

1.       This will be the last chance to catch Olympic rugby players in the United States before they head to Rio de Janeiro for the summer Olympics.

Ever since it was announced that rugby would be added to the 2016 Olympic roster, players from around the world have been gearing up for a chance to play in the historic games. Many national and international players slated to play in Rio de Janeiro will be taking the opportunity to strengthen their game during the USA Sevens tournament in Las Vegas. Fun fact, the last team to win the Gold Medal in rugby was Team USA in 1924.

2.       Rugby players will defy gravity while performing some of the wildest rugby tries and takedowns of all time.

It should come as no surprise that rugby has some of the most insane takedowns in sports history. With players speeding across the field to score, the other team has to do anything in their power to stop them from getting into the try zone, resulting in tackles every fan hopes to see while at a game. Even the USA Eagles’ mascot likes to get in on the action.

3.       There’s a full week of events, including pep rallies, Parade of Nations, nightly events, a beer festival and more!

During the week leading up to the tournament, dubbed Rugby Week, fans will have the opportunity to see and interact with some of their favorite players at various events across the Strip. Events include an Olympic pep rally, a Parade of Nations with all sixteen countries proceeding down the iconic Fremont Street Experience, autograph sessions, nightly events at top bars and nightclubs and more. For a full list of events, visit the USA Sevens website.

4.       You get to see Carlin Isles, the fastest rugby player in the world, blow everyone away with his speed.

Known as the fastest rugby player in the world, you won’t be surprised when you see USA Eagle Carlin Isles speeding across the field, flying by every other player to score. Check out Carlin here.

5.       It’s an international celebration. Fans from across the globe come to Las Vegas and create outrageous costumes to support their teams.

The USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament is not only known for its players, but for its fans who go above and beyond to show their support for their teams. Fans travel from all around the world and come together, dressed in jerseys, war paint, costumes and more to experience and celebrate a rugby-filled weekend.

6.       Keep your post-NFL season blues at bay with USA Sevens International Rugby Tournament.

Rugby is often compared to American football, with each sport encompassing fast-paced plays, unbelievable tackles and hardcore fans who are loyal until the end. In fact, many NFL players have gone on to play rugby or vice versa, including Carlin Isles, Jarryd Hayne, Bennie Brazell, Manfred More, Richard Tardits, Nate Ebner, Gary Anderson and Hayden Smith. Though these sports do have their differences, neither rugby nor football fans will be disappointed by these players incredible display of athletic might.

7.       You’ll have the opportunity to experience international cultures in Las Vegas like you never have been able to before.

Las Vegas is known for being a melting pot of international cultures coming to experience all the city has to offer, and rugby week is no exception. Sixteen international teams are participating in the tournament, bringing in fans from all around the world to cheer them on. And with the addition of an international food and drink festival to the tournament, fans will have the opportunity to interact with international cultures on and off the field.

The Las Vegas tournament is the fifth event out of ten in the HSBC Sevens World Series. Fans in attendance will see international rugby sevens teams play 45 matches during the three-day competition in an attempt to gain points in the Sevens World Series standings. Played on the same size field as traditional 15-player rugby, rugby sevens is played with seven players per team. Matches have seven minute halves with two minute intervals for pool and knock-out matches. The fast pace and short duration of matches makes every moment of the action thrilling for spectators.

Tickets are available starting at $30 for adults and $15 for youth. To purchase your tickets, visit the USA Sevens website.

Fitness In Motion – Shaping Up Was Never This Much Fun

If you are like me, keeping yourself in shape (other than round) is an ongoing process. What not to eat, when to get to the gym, when to eat, no sodas…on and on and on.. It is so daunting. And, if not done correctly, you will see little to no results.

I am here to tell you that I have solved all of our problems with three words–FITNESS IN MOTION. http://www.liftlivelove.com/

Fitness in Motion isn’t like other gyms, where you feel like a number–usually one with $$$ attached to it. At Fitness in Motion, Rachael Schein and LeAnna Marchese will take the time to get to know you, and your fitness needs. Having had trainers throughout my life, I was always soured when the “trainer” just started me on a regimen without really getting to know me. That WILL NOT happen, not under the watchful eyes of these two professionals.

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If some of you recognize the names, it’s because they carved out quite a life at 24-hour fitness in Summerlin. I got to know each from taking their spin classes. And as much fun as they made it, it was tough–I say that in a good way.

To be honest with you, it seemed like Rachael and LeAnna taught every spin class at the gym. Hey, when you’re good you’re good. No really, one time after taking Leanna’s class, I went to wash my hands. A guy in the bathroom remarked, “Why don’t you swim in a bathing suit.” It wasn’t a question, it was a just a remark. I told him I just got out of a spin class. The thing is, I don’t remember being dead tired. I just remember thinking the instructor, music and atmosphere was perfect. Corny, I know.

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I digress. Why should you make Fitness in Motion http://www.liftlivelove.com/ your gym of choice. Because it os one place where the individual takes precedence over the all-mighty dollar. You will get a program individually tailored to you, plus personalized instruction to make sure you are doing things correctly. And, if something doesn’t work for you, the ladies are right there on sight for you to voice your concerns.

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Plus, they are always hosting events around the Vegas area. They have all the events on their web page, which I have linked twice above. It is also highlighted on their FACEBOOK too @ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fitness-in-Motion/511676062216390

You can get ahold of Rachael and LeAnna by phone at 702-498-1983 or e-mail at fitnessinmotionlv@gmail.com.

Tell them Bill sent you. It will get you nothing, but I’ve always wanted to write that. My sad attempts at humor are done.

I know that the year is close to ending, but get a hold of Fitness in Motion now and watch your life start to take shape. The website will talk pricing, events, training..you get the picture. It’s a one-stop shop website.

http://www.liftlivelove.com/

Oops, my bad..You can also hit them up on Instagram at fitness_in_motion

Hope to see the new you soon.

Paralong Drive World Golf Championships Coming to Mesquite

There are so many amazing sporting events that come through Las Vegas and its surrounding cities. But….There is one that really means a lot to me, and I am sure it will to you too. It’s the Paralong Drive World Golf Championships, which will be coming to Mesquite this week (Oct 15th-17th).

This event attracts some of the best athletes in the world. What separates this from other events is these athletes are disabled. Taken verbatim off their website http://paralongdrive.org

“ParaLong Drive is for amputees, paralyzed and blind golfers and is fast becoming a movement for reaching Paralympic status. Some of the athletes are wounded military members, athletes dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic accident, or are those who have learned to adapt to a deficiency from birth. They may be swinging the club with one arm, a prosthetic leg or from a paramobile cart.”

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I know, it is amazing! This is something that if you have some time you should get out and check this out. And, if you happen to have a disability and think there are no outlets for your athletic prowess then this is perfect for you too. If you do some digging, you can find out how to get involved so you can be part of this event in the future.

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Having been born with a vision disability since birth, and no athletic skill whatsoever (haha) I support these events 100%. having spent a lot of time with disabled athletes I can tell you that no one works harder and gets the most out of their ability then these men and women. Above, I put the link to their webpage that showcases the athletes, the course and much more.

So with the nice weather, golf and some incredible athletes there is no excuse for you to miss this event.

Paralong Drive Worlds Golf Championships is coming to Mesquite starting this Wednesday.

Mnt Dew Kickstart and Dale Jr. Help Fans Rev Up For Las Vegas Race Weekend With High-Octane Prizes

Dale Earnhardt Jr's Mnt Dew Kickstart Paint Scheme

Mtn Dew Kickstart and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. invite Las Vegas visitors and residents (21 and older) to try their luck at the Mtn Dew Kickstart Slot Machine tonight (Wednesday, March 5). The seven-foot slot machine will “kick out” cans of Mtn Dew Kickstart Black Cherry and Limeade and one of four exciting prizes that will help winners get ready for whatever the night brings their way:

  • A suite at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
  • $750 gift card for a shopping spree to get that perfect Vegas look
  • Limo ride up and down the Strip for a first-class Vegas experience
  • VIP meet-and-greet experience with Dale Earnhardt Jr. during the Mtn Dew Kickstart party at the uber-exclusive Koi Restaurant & Lounge inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

As an added bonus, Dale Jr. is scheduled to be onsite between 8:00–9:00pm PST to deal out a grand prize to one lucky winner.

So head over to the plaza outside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the hotel that celebrates entertainment, at 3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South between 5:00–9:00pm PST, and help Dale Jr., racing fans and DEW Nation kick start Vegas race weekend in a way that only Mtn Dew Kickstart can.