Good evening everyone. It's very strange to find me writing on the opening night of the NFL season, but I have a feeling that if I don't type this entry right now, you won't see it for at least another week. I only say that because I wrote an outline for this post a week ago, and well, you know the rest (I didn't type a word)... For all the times that I haven't written for a while, and I really had no excuse, well, I've been extremely busy this time around. I was offered my new job here in Biloxi, MS on July 20th, and I made all of the arrangements to move and left Las Vegas driving an SUV with all of my belongings on July 30th. Since that time I found a place to live, attended orientation and training for my new job, and we opened our new sportsbook at Harrah's Gulf Coast. During the training/opening the new book stretch, I worked 14 out of 15 days at one point. We actually did open the new sportsbook on August 20th though, and here's a little proof...
Rob, Nick, Brandi, Re, Big Crave, and several others who I can't tag to this blog entry on Facebook can thank me for making them a little more famous, including this Deuce McAllister guy. Actually, Deuce has already paved his way to fame, having played football for both Ole Miss and the New Orleans Saints.
I don't have details about what Deuce is doing in his retirement, but on August 20th he was kind enough to come to the property and help us open our new sportsbook. One of the more memorable moments of the day occurred when Deuce came behind the counter to shake everyone's hand and pose for our group photo (above), and Re welcomed him with a "DEUCE!!!" Deuce and certain unnamed blog writers (among others) appreciated Re's enthusiasm, and it was really special for our book to usher in this new era of sports betting in Mississippi with an athlete who was born and raised in Mississippi, who played for Ole Miss, and then went on to play for the Saints (who are undoubtedly Mississippi's favorite NFL team). I remember watching Deuce play running back for the Rebels and the Saints, and what surprised me the most about meeting him was how tall he is. When I watched him play on t.v., especially in the NFL, I wouldn't have been surprised if I was taller than Deuce, because the big bodies in the NFL tend to make those around them look small. Well, I just did the official Google check, and Deuce is 6' 1", while Coach is 6' nothing... Deuce was really down to earth, and I hope that he is fully enjoying his retirement. This is a photo of Deuce posing with his first bet...
I don't know where Frank was for our group photo, but now he's behind my shoulder in this picture, getting famous also... :) Thanks again to Rob for bringing me down to Mississippi, where later than sooner (because it's football season) I'll be able to enjoy the fruits of living closer to Texas... :)
Back to all of my possessions that were packed for the move in the SUV, here is a quick photo of my ballcap collection. I later realized that I omitted a few...
Nick is another of my friends and coworkers who also made the move here from Las Vegas, and he has been dragging me kicking and screaming to dine at SEVERAL of the local dining establishments in the Biloxi area, including Sal & Mookie's, Whataburger, and Stacked (who I'm recognizing in the photo below). This is a picture of 'Seafood Fries.' Enlarge this one and look closely. This is french fries that are covered with shrimp and crawfish, among other awesome things. If I ever cash a football bet, I may one day return... ;)
This is a bacon, egg, potato (from the leftover fries), and cheese burrito that I made for myself, just to prove that I don't go out to eat all the time.
I actually RARELY eat out alone, which I why Nick makes a great scapegoat. As a stranger in this new land, Nick, Rob, and Brandi have been a tremendous help in giving me rides to help me find my new home, fill my new home with stuff, and provide the transportation needed to make losing sports bets. Thank y'all, I appreciate it! In other news, I'm optimistic that I'll cash my first winning ticket(s) betting sports in Mississippi at the end of this weekend.
While I wasn't writing, one more thing happened that I haven't blogged about yet. My favorite basketball player retired very recently. I was a big Michael Jordan fan when I was younger, but he didn't play for my Spurs. My first glimpse of Manu Ginobili was watching him play for Argentina in the 2002 Summer Olympics. When the commentators mentioned that Manu was a Spurs draft pick as he led Argentina that summer, my reaction was, "We're getting THAT GUY?!" I was instantly a fan, It's rare to see a player with Manu's talent, energy, and selflessness, and I hope that he also enjoys his retirement.
Thank you for patiently awaiting this blog entry. It's my intention that you'll see me again very soon. Have a great opening weekend of NFL football everyone!