If there’s a seedy side to the USA Sevens in Las Vegas I haven’t found it yet. Yes, every year I travel to Sin City, the place that has always lived up to its famous motto, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” for a few days of fun, but my brand of fun generally steers clear of the kind of fun that is frequented by guys like Adam “Pacman” Jones .
As I mentioned in a previous post, there are just a handful of reasons why I look forward to the second week of February every year: 1) To enjoy top sevens rugby; 2) to enjoy time with friends and 3) to enjoy time with family. Honestly, numbers two and three are the reasons number one is so enjoyable. In my mind, nothing keeps the good times rolling like good company and in Vegas there is plenty of both.
I think the only thing bad about the USA Sevens is that it has to end. If not for that one major setback, my life for at least 72-hours is pure heaven.
Some things I learned this weekend:
I love ‘chillin wit da boys – They say that guys my age need to act my age. I guess we are not meant to have this much fun but old habits die hard and nothing (besides spending time with my family) is more enjoyable than having some good laughs with people whom I grew up with. We will never have the sordid kind of fun the guys in The Hangover experience but being with people who know you so well that they can say whatever they want knowing that you won’t take it personally is liberating redeeming and therapeutic. When I’m with the fella’s I know I’m going amongst true friends who value my friendship and respect me as an individual.
Some people grow up – And some people never grow up. This is unlike chillin wit da boys but more like ‘lookin to get locked up with other boys because we still think like boys’. There is a fine line between having some good fun and just plain acting stupid. Every year at the USA Sevens I am amazed by the camaraderie you feel between fans of different teams and a mutual admiration for the players from all of the international sides who compete. But there is always that small segment of the population, an element that enjoys trouble. You don’t see a lot of it at the USA Sevens but when you do you recognize them immediately because they stand out like an exotic dancer at a scrapbooking convention. The belligerent drunks, foul-mouthed moms and dudes walking around with sex toys as part of their costumes quickly drop the barometer on the fun meter into the negative digits. These types of people literally make me shake my head. Yes, I’m a prude but I’m a prude that has to raise boys into men.
There’s too much to do in Vegas – it is literally the entertainment capital of the world and when there are a dozen Polynesian events running simultaneously around Vegas you end up doing what me and my friends did – you ignore them all! This past weekend there were at least two concerts, two dances and at least two parties all running at the same time. So the safest bet was, find the nearest buffet and sing-along and you’re in business. You end up saving a lot of money, you don’t have to dress up (especially if you know ahead of time that you’re going to spill teriyaki sauce on your silk shirt) and you get to choose who you’re going to hang out with for a few hours.
I’m not the fashion police … – I have a very simple wardrobe. I wear sweats, I wear shorts, sometimes I wear sweat shorts. When I attend funerals and weddings I have a suit. When I’m going out with my wife a polo shirt and either slacks or a nice pair of jeans is mandatory. My mom was a stickler for matching outfits and it’s stuck with me all my life. And yet, I don’t discourage other people from throwing fashion out the door. Some of us can’t afford to look like fashion models so we prefer the comfy-cozy look. Add ‘people-watching’ to all of the reasons why I love the USA Sevens because there are always fun and interesting things to see in Vegas.
Life will gradually go back to the same-ol-same-ol but for now I’m content after another wonderful weekend at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas. I hope more of you can join us there for more fun and laughs.