LAS VEGAS - Don't wanna be morbid, but I have seen a few DEAD guys.
Deadly Jump Shot
Back when we first moved to Vegas, I joined an OVER 30 basketball league because, well, I was over 30. And didn't wanna play with the young guns from high school and college who could run faster and jump higher.
About midway through one of our games, a guy from the other team stumbles on the court and falls. Thought he got tangled with one of our guys, and didn't pay attention.
When the guy didn't get up and started turning blue, we ALL paid attention. Our local fire department was less than two miles away and they were on the scene in like six minutes, but sadly, the guy didn't make it.
Is This My Fault?
Next dead guy happened at the park across the street from my house. I was walking my dog, he was walking his dog, and he just went down. Thought he tripped on a rock, but he didn't get up. Called the EMT and they made it in less than five minutes, but sadly, the guy didn't make it.
Then came my DEAD GUY HAT TRICK.
My cousin and his crew from New York City came to visit and they were staying at a pretty fancy-schmancy hotel on the Strip. Can't give you the name for legal reasons, which will be clear in a few seconds.
My cousin and his boys were hardscrabble NYC Sanitation workers that hit Vegas once a year to gamble and see the sights, mostly the STRIP CLUBS! The NYC garbage guys call themselves THE STRONGEST.
The NYPD has the FINEST and the FDNY has the BRAVEST, so they went for the strongest. And lemme tell you, these guys can lift & throw some SERIOUS weight around.
It goes without saying that the boys LOVED the action. Pretty sure that one of 'em was a bookie, but back in 2001/2002 we kept it hush hush because sports betting was still illegal.
The boys all loaded up on Maryland -7.5 points over Indiana in the National Championship game. And it was a SWEAT. The Terps wound up with a 62-54 win, covering the spread by the HOOK!
One of the boys also had a future bet on Maryland, and when he cashed the game ticket and the future wager, they loaded over FORTY DIMES in his brown paper bag. Back up to the room to change before heading out to the clubs and MAKING IT RAIN!
When we walked into the room, Jerry looked at me, started sniffing, and asked if I smelled anything. Kinda did smell a little odd, and we started to check all around the room. Nothing in the bathroom, nothing in the kitchen. Nothing anywhere until my cousin looked under the bed and saw a couple of BLOODY fingers sticking out.
Yea, DEAD GUY UNDER THE BED! We called security and they asked us to leave the room and head back to the casino so they could "clean up!"
Apparently, and ALLEGEDLY, if my cousin kept the news of the DEAD GUY under his hat, or bed, he would get a FREE ride for LIFE at the hotel. We all scoured the papers, watched the local news and listened to all the Vegas radio shows.
NOTHING! NOT a WORD!
Don't know how much cash my Cuz got in the settlement. But if you see a guy at the craps table yelling LET IT RIDE, with a New York accent, a gorgeous Cohiba Cuban cigar ($132 at your favorite shop) and a GINORMOUS pile of chips in front of him, just tell him cousin Ecks says hello!
Benjamin Eckstein is a nationally syndicated sportswriter/oddsmaker. His column, America's Line, with the Ecks & Bacon appetizer, has run in the New York Daily News and over 100 other papers since 1988. You can follow him online at www.americasline.com. He is beloved by most, when he picks winners, and detested by others, when he picks the occasional loser. If you wanna piece of Eck, hit his Email...firstname.lastname@example.org.