Well, gang, two biggies happened over the past weekend. Number one, the New Orleans Saints football team won the NFL Championship game in Florida. I personally proclaim them to be the new “America’s Team,” replacing the Dallas Cowboys. Let’s hear it for the team all America wanted to see win. And do those New Orleans people know how to party? Yeah oh yeah!
I personally played a three-team parlay, taking the Saints plus six points (winner), took the more than three field goals (there were four: winner) and then I goofed by taking the over 57 points (loser). Darn, but I did win a square at a little private party. A friend of mine (might make him a former friend) was the only one rooting against me when I needed anyone to score (especially the Colts) to get close to the total. He will forever be on my bad list!
Then the second biggie also happened in Florida. It was at the Daytona Speedway in the third tier NASCAR sanctioned series, ARCA, where a young lady, Danica Patrick, proved to everyone that she can drive a race car. We all knew Danica had the guts and had proven that in the Indy Car Series. Patrick came within a hair of almost winning the Indy 500, and eventually won an open wheel race in Japan.
Now Danica is entering the “Boys of Thunder” area, where men are men, and women are proving they have the cajones to compete, right up there with the best. Patrick had a spirited ride, spinning out once and careening into the monster grass area. The lady with a beautiful smile, maintained complete control of the car, re-entering the speedway at the back of the pack. She drove her butt off to finish an extremely gut proving sixth place. Danica said, during a live interview, that she had a lot of fun and enjoyed the competition.
I’m predicting, right now, that this lady will win at least one Nationwide race this season, and will move full-time into the Cup Series in 2011, where she’ll also win a race in the first season.
Danica will compete this Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (second tier in sanctioning), again in California next week. Then she’ll be right here at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 27, where she will compete in the Sam’s Town 300. Yep, gang, the NASCAR season is underway and it’s now only 13 days before those beautiful haulers unload at the speedway.
Oh, yeah, speaking of haulers. There will be a very special parade of these beauties of the highway on Thursday, Feb. 25 on the Las Vegas Strip. Yep, you read it right. On the Las Vegas Strip! But, this time, it’ll happen under the bright lights of the Neon Jungle, beginning at 6 p.m. In previous trips down the Strip the haulers did it in the afternoon.
The colorful 18-wheelers carry the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series race cars and equipment from track to track during the 36 week schedule. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch and it should be even more spectacular after dark.
There will probably be a total of nearly 100 haulers coming to the speedway, and, I’d venture to say, 60-70 will take part in the parade, which will start at Russell Road and Las Vegas Blvd., and then head north down the Strip to Sahara Avenue, where they will make a left turn and jump on Interstate 15, for the ride to the speedway.
Practice for the Sam’s Town 300, and qualifying for the Shelby American Cup Race, will take place on Friday, Feb. 26. The 200-lap Sam’s Town race will get the green flag at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, with the Shelby American taking the green at noon on Sunday, Feb. 28th. There are still tickets remaining for both NASCAR events. Call (702) 644-4444 for more information.
Bob Kephart, producer of the award winning Comedy Stop at the Sahara Hotel/Casino, has assembled three of the top comedians in the country for the week of Feb. 15 through Feb. 21. Headlining the week will be comic/magician Fielding West, along with Jim Carroll and Patrick O’Donnell.
West is not only a magician’s magician, but Fielding possesses that very rare and impeccable sense of comedic timing that has landed him the opening spot for some of the biggest names in show business. His finale, “Fighting a Vicious Lion,” has to be seen to be believed.
A winner in the prestigious Desert Magic Seminar’s Comedy Magic Competition, Fielding has opened the show for such A-list celebrities as Liza Minnelli, Glen Campbell, Earth, Wind and Fire, Mel Tillis, Phyllis Diller and dozens more. His numerous network television appearances include spots on The Smothers Brother’s Comedy hour, A&E’s An Evening at the Improv, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, NBC’s The World’s Greatest Magic and World’s Wildest Magic specials.
Fielding also works as a writer, and has been a magic consultant and technical director with Lance Burton and Siegfried and Roy for many of their TV specials. Last July, West performed in his first one hour comedy magic special, “Hocus Pocus it’s Fielding West,” aired on WGN.
O’Donnell has been a comedian for more than 20 years, and was a $10,000 winner on ABCs “America’s Funniest People.” Patrick is a high energy comedian and his impressions of past Presidents of the United States are considered to be classics. During his time on stage, he can go into a dissertation about the Catholic faith, his family life or touch on current events.
Jim Carroll has been touring the comedy circuit for more than a decade and has appeared on many of the top comedy television channels. He is a favorite of the various services, and was asked and accepted a flight with the U.S. Navy’s “Blue Angels.”
The Comedy Stop in the Congo Room at the Sahara consistently books three of the best comedians, seven nights a week. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are priced from $19.95 for residents of Nevada (with proof of residence) plus tax and fees, with general admission tickets priced at $24.95 plus tax and fees. For information or reservations call the Sahara Box office at (702) 737-2878.
Well, gang, that’s about it for this week. I’m outa here!