My Dinner with Jose
The OCC and associates deployed to the small desert hamlet of Las Vegas this past weekend in the hopes of observing the March Madness phenomenon in full tilt, with the secondary goals of dropping hand grenades on our livers, bank accounts and sleep cycles.
And by all accounts, the voyage was a resounding success.
But we're not going to sit here and regale you all with tales of blackjack and sports betting conquests and failures, because while there were plenty of each and there are some reasonably entertaining anecdotes, there's nothing you've never heard before/that won't make it seem like we're trying to imitate Bill Simmons – which is quite possibly the last thing on the planet we as a blog would like to do.
Instead, we'll focus on the most unique sports-related event of the weekend, which occurred when we made a pilgrimage to the Mecca of all-you-can-eat American dining, The Buffet at the Bellagio. This place is so outstanding it makes the spread at the Ponderosa look like your young nephew's dookie-filled diaper. (Though, come to think of it, that's how some people might describe the Ponderosa anyways.)
In any case, we embarked on a haj to this sacred dining land in search of such delicacies as Kobe beef.
And much to our surprise, we happened across a very over-sized portion of Jose.
Jose Canseco, that is.
Indeed, when we were escorted to our table – which was nowhere close to the best table in the joint – we realized that we had been placed directly adjacent to a ginormous man who was unmistakably that most famous of confessed juicers, sporting a white jersey with the number 33 on the back, a black cap that looked like a cross between a baseball hat and a railroad conductor's lid and, of course, shades.
To Jose's left was a slightly less gigantic/more svelte/generally more healthy-looking imprint of himself, which, not surprisingly, was the one and only Ozzie Canseco. Joining them at the table were three blonde women of varying degrees of good looks, a few children, and a couple other baseball players, one of whom looked suspiciously like Carney Lansford, though possibly too young to actually be him despite being almost identically mustachioed.
Apparently the five players had just taken part in a baseball match of some kind, because they were all sporting white pants and blue jerseys. (Except for Jose, who oddly was wearing a white jersey for some reason.)
Collectively, those in our group of bystanders did an excellent job of embracing the "act like you've been there before" philosophy, which, in retrospect, is mildly disappointing. The closest we came to being obnoxious was when one among us announced his interest in approaching the two brothers and then turning away from Jose to say, "Ozzie Canseco!!! Can I have your autograph?"
With visions of that particular friend being bludgeoned senseless by four oxen men in the midst of the Bellagio buffet, we managed to talk him out of it.
For the record, don't think for a second that a joke wasn't made about Jose and Co. "juicing" when we saw a large glass of orange juice sitting on the table.
Without a doubt, the strangest part of the whole encounter was when a fan finally approached the Canseco table at the end of their meal, after they had by and large been left alone by everyone in the establishment. Said individual approached Jose and asked him to get in a picture, which he agreed to do.
It was when he stood up to get in the picture that we noticed two things: Firstly, instead of baseball pants (which all of his associates were wearing), Jose was rocking some very tight black spandex compression shorts that were… shall we say… kind of short – about half to two-thirds of the way down the thigh. (Umm... not that we were looking at Jose Canseco's thighs...)
If this wasn't enough, we also happened to notice something odd about his jersey, which was almost entirely unbuttoned all the way to the bottom, made even more bizarre by the fact that he wasn't wearing a shirt underneath. (Umm... not that we were looking at his navel or anything...)
Soon afterwards, the Canseco clan left, and we almost immediately regretted not asking Jose to pose with us for a photo in the classic Bash Brothers pose, a picture we would have had enlarged and framed on our wall for all eternity but will now only have to exist in our imagination. (Note to self: Next time, approach celebrity/former star athlete and be more obnoxious, even if said individual is wearing tight spandex shorts and unbuttoned shirt.)
The following evening – tired, beaten down and essentially ready to implode – we were wandering around Terminal D at McCarran Airport trying to kill one of the six hours we elected to wait for our flight as a means of getting away from the blackjack tables sooner rather than later when a man sitting down in the food court happened to draw our attention.
He was a tall individual wearing jeans and a short-sleeved button down shirt, and we weren't exactly sure why he drew our attention, until a minute later when we realized that he was none other than Jason Richardson of the Golden State Warriors.For the record, we did not ask him for his autograph or for a picture, because frankly, we were way too exhausted to do so.
Besides, at that point, we were mainly just relieved that his shirt was buttoned all the way up.