Sunday Morning Coffee — May 26, 2024 — Sunday Morning Scramble

May 25, 2024 Observations 11 Comments

Okay, so Andi and I drank the Caitlin Clark Kool-Aid. We normally go to one Las Vegas Aces WNBA game a year, late in the summer or a playoff game. We used our 2024 allotment early— last night — in the Aces fourth game of the season. Caitlin and her Indiana Fever came to town to play the two-time defending champion Aces. Indy is limping along at 1-5.  Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay was sold out to see the former University of Iowa phenom. Actually that’s not unusual, as every Aces game is full with all 10,300 seats claimed. The difference Saturday night was the demand. Tickets were selling on resale sites for five to ten to twenty times face value. Normally you can get last minute seats at about half price. This frenzy was over a chance to see a scrawny six foot, 152 pound, 22-year-old country girl shoot a basketball. Other than drive ticket prices through the roof, Clark was unremarkable last night.  She scored eight points, had seven assists and two less turnovers than points scored.  Physically she has a long way to go to catch up with her peers in the league.  Vegas won easily, 99-80, which was good news for all of us that took the Aces laying 15 points but not so good news for all of us that played Indiana under 79 points.

One more Las Vegas Aces note. The Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has given each of this year’s Aces players a $100,000 bonus to help promote the city. The ladies were understandably ecstatic considering the average WNBA players salary is $148,000 a season.

The Mirage, a true Vegas icon, will deal its last hand of blackjack on July 17.

Sad news on the Strip. Perhaps no Las Vegas resort had the impact of The Mirage when it opened in 1989. Developer and visionary Steve Wynn took an empty piece of real estate next to Caesars Palace and revolutionized the Strip. When you came to Vegas you had to stand on the Las Vegas Blvd. sidewalk and watch the volcano. It was a must.  Or head inside to see Siegfried & Roy or Danny Gans or Love or maybe just wander to visit Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. If you were checking in to the hotel and the line was incredibly long, which it almost always was, there was that giant fish tank behind the front desk designed to keep you calm.  Indica gummies would have been a much better idea. Wynn sold the hotel to MGM in 2000. The Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased it from MGM in 2022. The Mirage will shut its doors on July 17 and the property will be converted into Hard Rock Las Vegas, a themed resort and casino set to open in 2027. Over 3,300 employees will be sent packing on to Las Vegas Blvd. with no volcano to ogle over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, one of the National Hockey League’s original and most storied franchises, have never played a game in the month of June when the Stanley Cup is on the line.

Watching Tiger play golf these days is like watching Ali at the end of his career. They have gone from absolute greatness to tomato cans. Tough to see.

I don’t know if I can have less interest in anything than I do the UFL.

Chipotle Grill. I don’t get it. What am I missing?

Here is some ingenious marketing. The Oakland A’s will be relocating to Las Vegas in 2028. Major League Baseball blacks out their games in the Vegas market.

These days it’s good to be a Dallas sports fan. The Rangers are the defending World Series champs; the Mavs are two wins away from the NBA Finals and the Stars are seven wins from hoisting the Stanley Cup. If only the city had a football team.

Bad news for anyone that bet Kuwait plus 56 goals in the World Under 18 International Ice Hockey Federation tournament. Thailand beat the Kuwait kids 57-0. The game really wasn’t that close. Thailand outshot them 122-1.

Who is as old as me and remembers the off-key singer Mrs. Miller?

This is hard to believe but online romance scams cost Americans $1.1 billion in 2023. Speaking of which the three-part Netflix documentary about cheater website Ashley Madison is worth a watch.

You are probably getting real excited for the December 28 bowl game in Tucson between the Mountain West and Mid-American Conferences. It’s been renamed the Snoop Dogg Arizona Bowl, presented by Gin & Juice by Dre and Snoop. No foolin’.

Better than Alabama and Georgia in college football polls, congratulations to every kid named Liam, which has topped the list for boys’ baby names over the past seven years. On the distaff side, Olivia has reigned supreme for five consecutive years after knocking Emma off the pedestal. Just for kicks on the male side trailing Liam is Noah, Oliver, James, Elijah, Mateo, Theodore, Henry, Lucas and William. Not a Roy in sight. For the ladies after Olivia and Emma are Charlotte, Amelia, Sophia, Mia, Isabella, Ava, Evelyn and Luna. Luna?

One of Red Lobster’s better promotions but worst idea.

Red Lobster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week primarily because business was too good. Coming off a slowdown in sales because of the pandemic, the chain offered a promotion of all-the-shrimp-you-can-eat for $20. The public clawed through so much of it, Red Lobster lost $11 million. It’s a classic case of corporate amnesia. In 2003 Red Lobster rolled out an all-you-can-eat crab promotion. Great response; millions of dollars lost.

And finally a two-part Evel ending. When you think of the late Evel Knievel what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Daredevil? Las Vegas? Caesars Palace fountains? Ramp to ramp motorcycle jumps? The Grand Canyon leap? Over 400 broken bones in a career? A guy off his rocker? Some of those? All of those? I can guarantee one thing that doesn’t come to mind is Topeka, Kansas. However for some reason that’s where The Evel Knievel Museum is presently located. But not for much longer. Fittingly the museum is being relocated to Las Vegas. Kelly Knievel, Evel’s oldest son, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week “I can’t think of a better place to display the legacy of Evel Knievel than Las Vegas. With guts, charisma and showmanship, he built himself a legacy that’s still going strong 50 years after that crash at Caesars Palace. We’ve got all of my dad’s memorabilia to display.” The senior Knieval died in 2007 at age 69 from pulmonary disease. That’s part one.

Part two happened a couple of weeks ago hitting much closer to home.  Literally. Since Andi and I moved to Vegas into the Red Rock Country Club community there is one plot of vacant land that hasn’t been built upon and that is right next to our house. As a matter of fact it’s been vacant for all 26 years of the club’s existence, and for millions of years before that. It functions as a flood plain and water retention basin for the golf course which it borders. It is undulating and extremely rocky. It’s about as smooth as the side of Yucca Mountain and in no condition for habitation. Or so we thought. Two weeks ago, Andi saw some folks next door surveying the lot. She inquired and the women told her they just bought it and will be building on it. The reality is it will take hundreds of thousands of dollars just getting it level and into a position to build. Andi comes inside and says, “That’s it —we’re moving.” I told her okay, I’ll get the house listed. She goes back outside, comes in about 10 minutes later. “You’re not going to believe this.” Believe what? Our to-be neighbor introduced herself to my wife. “Hi, my name is Paige Knievel.” Andi, taken aback, asked the predicable next question that anyone else would have — “As in Evel?” “Yes, he was my father-in-law.” She invited Andi to lunch. Easily impressionable, Andi comes back in and says, “She is the nicest woman.” I took the For Sale sign down. Paige’s husband is the same Kelly mentioned above, 64, a film producer, former Hollywood stunt man and the two-time Nevada State Senior Amateur Golf Champion. However, the big question wasn’t answered: What are they building next to us—a home or the museum?

Have a safe and restful holiday weekend and please remember all of our military, active and veterans.

 

 

 

 

11 Comments

  • Ken Rich says:

    Thanks Roy for always keeping it real. Caitlin has already gotten tired of losing. Tiger, Nadal and Djokovic have all reached the sad end of their invincibility. Time for the next group of champions.

  • Mat says:

    Great read as always! Happy Memorial Day and thanks for the SMC!

  • Linda says:

    Another insightful SMC. Enjoy the variety of topics!!!
    Mrs. Miller?? Can’t say I remember. Thank you for an entertaining read

  • Jim Nettles says:

    Rumor has it that they are building the first Evil Kneivel gas station on that site, along with a car wash. Enjoy! Speaking of enjoy, I always enjoy my Sunday Morning Coffee and for you, enjoy your Temple retirement!!

  • Thanks Roy once again for all of the information I would not ordinarily have had any chance of finding out on my own. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend.

  • John Leslie Clay says:

    Always entertaining! Thanks Roy.

  • Jodi says:

    You always make my Sunday morning coffee more enjoyable. I vote for a house sized bust of Evel.

  • ralph says:

    maybe an evil kneivel drive through..really enjoy your posts…keep up the writing

  • Dennis H Stein says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Caitlin Clark.
    Too bad about the Mirage.
    I would always take visiting friends to see the Volcano. Nothing stays the same.

  • Phil says:

    Of course I remember Mrs. Miller, the grandma and her Mrs. Millers greatest hits album! Right there with Tiny Tim!

  • David H Moses says:

    Great read, as always. Topeka has always been known for two things…the museum and its potholes. Well, at least the potholes will still be there. Best to all.

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