Tag Archives: neil diamond

The Other Side of David Versus Goliath or Why I Actually Feel Bad for Duke Fans and Will Cut You for My Team


Everyone loves a Cinderella story unless you’re the older, more experienced stepsister who, even though you’ve been around the block one too many times, are a little passive-aggressive and decidedly OCD, is used to getting your way.

Like you, I prefer to take the underdog’s side in just about everything in life. Except college basketball. That’s where I draw a really clear line.

I grew up in Louisville, KY, better known as ground zero for NCAA hoops. You won’t find any native of the state who says, “I really don’t care who wins when Louisville and Kentucky play each other every year. I’m just out here for the five-way chili cheese dogs, a mint julep, and a little bit of fun.”


Basketball in Kentucky is a blood sport, right up there with cockfights and whatever Michael Vick was doing in his backyard with innocent dogs. Veins course in either a bright shade of red or electric blue, and there’s no chance of a transfusion between the two. You’d rather die on the table than risk being infected with vital fluids of a fan from the other team. The Great Wall of China might as well be running along the rolling, bluegrass-covered hills of our sidewise state, because loyalty is embedded so deeply below the earth that not even Sarah Palin in a bikini with a machine gun could loosen it up.

This is not a real picture. But oh, how I wish it was. Image via politicalhumor.about.com

As I watched in disbelief when Lehigh University took it to Duke in the final minutes of the game last Friday night, I couldn’t help but flash back to a David and Goliath moment of my own, when Louisville played no-name Morehead State in the NCAA tournament last year. The game was in Denver, and having convinced my husband, Scot, that we should blow the money we’d set aside for a new washer and dryer on box seats, I was actually there. Front and center.

The first sign of trouble reared its head before the game actually began. As I settled in with a five-way chili cheese dog and ginormous Coors Light, I searched my section for a friendly, painted face, and noticed that nobody but me was wearing the requisite red and black. Since I was clearly gonna be responsible for leading section 148 in the U of L fight song, ushering the arena toward the cheers my mom sang to me when I was a baby, and starting the wave, I shotgunned the entire $20.00 beer I was holding and went back for another before the players even hit the court. I was literally buzzing in anticipation of the action, and in hindsight, blowing my t-shirt money on alcohol before it all started was a big mistake. Leadership can be stressful though, especially when you’re drunk.

Was Sarah Palin drunk or sober during the Vice Presidential debates? You be the judge. Image via http://www.americantimes.org.

The second problem that day was the fans, and not just the annoying guy with the big bobble head sitting right in front of me in a Vandy hat. More on him in a minute. I’m talking about an arena full of thirty-something generation X whities in their khaki Dockers/Steinmart golf shirts/receding hairlines who’d kicked off work for the day because their buddy scored a free set of tickets. They didn’t even know who was on the court.

Morehead State? Is that, like, right next to Russia? Image via backseatcuddler.com

If I was drinking a beer every ten minutes? Everyone else was doubling down as they high-fived each other and screamed with the wild abandon of 5th graders off their ADHD meds, “MORE HEAD MORE HEAD MORE HEAD!” Get it? More head? As in “Morehead State” chanted in a dirty way and nothing like the cheers my mom sang to me as a child. I mean, how do you compete with that? Nobody, and not even the ushers, were spelling C-A-R-D-S with me in my upper body, pseudo-Village People dance moves, and my team was handicapped right out of the gate.

So I got louder. I had the monumental task of carrying the entire arena, and probably city of Louisville for that matter, as the other guys scored basket after basket and that dude who now plays for the Nuggets started the painful process of taking us down. Destroying a team with multiple NCAA titles, a rock star coach who can get away with wearing white pimp clown suits on occasion, and an almost unpayable mortgage on a state-of-the-art arena isn’t easy. Being the only person under the glaring lights at an away game who’s cheering for the anointed ones (who everyone in the state of Colorado apparently now hates) isn’t easy either, and that’s where the bobble head guy comes in.

Image via nbcuniversalstore.com

Vandy dude, with his invisalign braces and baseball-cap turned backwards in an “I’m not as old as I look” pathetic play on youth, was in the fortunate position of occupying the seat right in front of me and my big mouth during the game. As I ratcheted up the volume for my hometown team, he turned it on for that other school in Kentucky where you go when your grades aren’t good enough to get into WKU. Even though he was there for the next game being played and had no real skin exposed, by halftime he was turning around and nodding at me in an exaggerated white man’s overbite, can’t find the beat to the song expression of glee whenever the back-and-forth on the court went in the direction of Morehead State.

So I did what any self-respecting, organic produce buying, kettlebell throwing, member of the local library coalition, forty year-old, mother of three would do in the same situation.

I got in a fight.

Sarah Palin uses any words she can find, in random and non-sequential order, in a fight. Image via http://www.palingates.blogspot.com

Before the Louisville-Morehead State game, the last fight I started was at a bar in Chicago. I was about thirty and my husband and I were there with friends to see a Neil Diamond/Abba impersonator band: Thunder and Lightning. Thunder was this ancient dude with Grecian Formulaish hair and awesome, sparkly shirts, and Lightning was the girl/grandma, wearing machine gun jubblies and some kind of Renaissance Festival hat and gown. Anyway, you had to knock down about 34 drinks or so to really get into it. So I did.

Before I knew it I was dumping a full beer over some guy’s head who told me I looked like Natalie Merchant of 10,000 Maniacs. I have no idea why that bothered me at the time because I think she pretty much rocks. But whatever. Somehow aware in the shaky neuron misfiring of my brain that I was once slated to go to law school and naturally possessed the rabid mind of an attorney, I didn’t actually crack the glass bottle onto his head. Instead, I poured it over him with an exaggerated motion: like I was slugging a clogged bottle of ketchup. I had pretty much emptied the whole thing and was going back for round two when the bouncer threw me over his shoulder and dumped me out the door and into a cold, dark alley. But at least I wasn’t in the back of a cop car. I didn’t even get to hear the Cracklin’ Rose/SOS duet.

It felt like déjà vu as the clock ticked down at the Pepsi Center, the six true Morehead State fans in the house plus 20,000 drunk pharmaceutical salesmen erupted into deafening applause, and the Vandy dude turned around and pointed his finger in my face. Yes. He was in my face in the same way that you would nail a dodgeball at your lab partner’s head in 4th grade and yell, “In your face!

I turned to look Scot in the eye, he shook his head back and forth in a “please do not embarrass me again” appeal toward any shred of rational thought left in my body as he rolled up his sleeves to defend me, I shrugged my shoulders, bared my teeth, and attacked.

Sarah Palin uses a lot of whitening products. Image via the immoralminority.blogspot.com

Luckily my husband was sober, grabbed me by the hair as I flew, no, tumbled into the air in an Angelina Joliesque cat move intended to crush the dude with the big head, and took me down. My dream of connecting my heel to Vandy dude’s face was destroyed by Scot’s quick reflexes, and instead I ended up flat on my back as he commandeered the keys to the SUV. I had to be in carpool line within the hour to get the kids and nobody really wants to deal with a drunk, crying basketball mom crashing onto the sidewalk and taking the kindies down one-by-one.

So what am I trying to say? I’m not really sure, except it sucks a lot more to go down as Goliath than David.  Lehigh University and Morehead State were just happy to be at the dance. Teams like Duke, Kentucky, and Louisville are supposed to be the prom queens, and when you lose to that girl who stole your boyfriend? It hurts.

An Open Letter to Steve Wynn: Why the Forty-Year Oldish Woman is Your Ideal Guest


Dear Mr. Wynn,

In a few short months, some friends and I will leave our families behind to make an annual pilgrimage to the capital of the United States of America: Las Vegas.

English: Las Vegas Strip

Image via Wikipedia

We feel that as concerned citizens of the world, it’s our patriotic duty to pay homage to the mecca of glitzy-glam-glut, and embrace everything other countries love to hate about our way of life.

As such, I’m writing to you under a cloak of secrecy moral responsibility.  In order to make the most of your limitless power experience as the majority owner and Commander-in-Chief of Wynn Resorts, you may want to consider naming us “Ambassadors to the Stars,” and as your trusted emissaries, upgrade our party to the Ambassador-worthy penthouse suite while you comp our entire stay at your über-amazing resort.

Hotel Wynn en Las Vegas, Nevada

Image via Wikipedia

I know this seems ridiculous like a lot to ask, but understand that we will serve you for seventy-two hours max loyally, and represent the Wynn brand with the decorum and dignity you’ve come to expect from your all of your stalkers fake-employees.

“Why would I need forty-year oldish Ambassadors?” you ask, as you board your Bombardier BD-700 Global Express jet to pop over to Walgreen’s for some new bifocals milk duds.

From chilloutpoint.com

You need us because we represent the bull’s eye of your target demographic.  Life is all about free swag giving, and in case your fleet of fancy marketing execs hasn’t figured this out, let me pass on some sage advice.

Forty-year oldish women rock!

We’re the ideal Wynn Resort guests trolling for freebies, Ambassadors, and, listed below are just a few reasons why.

  • We have real money to spend, either because we’ve hit our stride as corporate titans, have become experts at siphoning unnoticed cash from the family checking account, or both.
  • Forty-year oldish women love to not eat.  We’ll each pay $49.95 for the all-you-can-consume buffet and have a salad glass of water with lemon.
Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...

Image via Wikipedia

  • When we do decide to absorb calories, however, we’ll turn a table faster than any other demographic in the room.   Why?
  • 1. We’ve eaten at nice restaurants before.  No twenty-eight questions about the menu and clarification on the definition of tapenade (for the meal you’re picking up).  The forty-year oldish woman keeps it simple:                     “Give me a steak.  Bloody.  Now.”
English: A raw steak

Image via Wikipedia

  • 2. We have to dance, like, immediately after eating, due to a biological urge to decimate the 7,000-calorie, ginormous meal we just destroyed after consuming only cocktails and water with lemon for two straight days.  Plus we love Pitbull Neil Diamond, and think either he or a dead-on Pitbull Neil Diamond impersonator just walked by on the way to one of your clubs.  Sprinting for the door while one of us distracts the maître d’ with twenty-eight questions about the menu, we’re outta there before the waiter has the chance to drop a check.

from rickdavies.blogspot.com

  • Forty-year oldish women won’t stress out the bouncers at your clubs because our bar brawling days are on hold due to a restraining order over, and we’re too busy trying to get the Pitbull Neil Diamond impersonator’s autograph to cause any trouble.
  • Since our last visit, we’ve saved gazillions of quarters to donate to all of your art collections charitable causes, one slot machine at a time.
  • We know the best bets to place at the craps table, and when we win?  We love to take the money and run let it ride.
  • We may buy our Missoni at Target, but we’ll splurge on a killer pair of Jimmy Choos with our winnings at one of your über-fancy boutiques (unless you comp them, then we’ll pocket the cash for next year’s trip).
Français : escarpins ouverts en Élaphe de marq...

Image via Wikipedia

  • We never get player’s cards because fortyish year-old women don’t want our forty year-oldish husbands to know how much money we’re hemorrhaging spending at your tables.  Duplicitous?  No.  Strategery?  Yes.
  • We subscribe to the principal of leaving something to the imagination, and understand that less is not necessarily more.

from aliceolivia.blog.se

  • You don’t need to send housekeeping to our suite (by now, I’m sure you’ve upgraded us).  We serve as Domestic Divas unpaid labor in our homes and we’ll gladly clean up after ourselves (if you comp our room).
  • We understand that in Vegas, there are 1,001 uses for small bills an iPhone, and we come prepared.
  • Forty-year oldish women can’t sleep due to early onset of hot flashes, night sweats, and excessive caffeine consumption during the day.   As such, you can be assured we’ll be trolling the blackjack tables all night in search of Neil Diamond a free Red Bull, and we might actually play a hand or two.
Deutsch: Eine Dose Red Bull Cola. English: A c...

Image via Wikipedia

  • We know something about style, and promise to never walk through your casino dressed like this:

from allfacebook.com

  • Or this:

from sunnycoastacademy.com

  • Or this:

from hobokengirl.wordpress.com

  • We’ll save you money on your water bills.  Forty-year oldish women hate doing anything around the house laundry, and one towel each (in our free penthouse suite) will work.
  • We can’t resist playing our kids’ birthdays at the roulette table even though we know the odds are made for suckers Japanese tourists.
  • Sun and chemical peels don’t mix.  When we’re at the pool, we’ll rent one of your gazillion dollars a day cabanas (because after all, it’s on you).
  • Sun and cocktails, however, do mix, so please add a few fifty $19.00 Strawberry Crush Mojitos to the tab (that you’re picking up).

from rectescocteles.es

  • We’re smart enough not to lick take anything that could be captured on video.
  • Forty-year oldish women love to plaster pictures of ourselves all over Facebook.  Nothing is more valuable than free advertising.
  • What we lack in elasticity we make up for with filler.
  • We’ll eat every single meal at your resort because the forty-year oldish woman knows there’s only one word for the off-Strip $4.99 sushi buffet.  Unsanitary.  Nasty.

From Flickr

  • As your Ambassadors to the Stars we’re here both for the outreach opportunity luxurious accommodations and to spread the Wynn gospel to the world.  As such, we’ll be on-site the entire time, except when we borrow your Bombardier BD-700 Global Express jet to pop over to Walgreen’s for some new bifocals milk duds.
  • We’re way too proud to risk getting caught in the pool area with that bottle of Jose Cuervo we also picked up at Walgreen’s.  We’re diabolical kind enough, however, to keep it in our suite, since we’ll actually save you money by avoiding the mini-bar (you’re comping our stay, remember?).
  • As forty-year oldish women, we understand that hand sanitizer the buddy system is a good idea in any and all public places, and we use it liberally.  Especially in Vegas.
  • When you give us front-row Garth Brooks tickets for our “days of service” award, I promise my friend Cristy won’t rush the stage.  Well, I promise to hope she won’t.  If she makes it past security though, her karaoke version of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” (super creepy, deep voice) is scary awesome, and as far as I know, she’s only been arrested once in her entire life for streaking stalking.
Garth Brooks singing the Don McLean song "...

Image via Wikipedia

Like any pseudo-Ambassadors to the stars, forty-year oldish women know that all good things must come to an end.  We’ll be back, however, as soon as you name us “Ambassadors to the Stars Emeriti,” or short of that, email us the magic promo code for a discounted room.  When we return?   We’ll bring even more forty-year oldish freeloaders friends with us.

Sincerely yours,
Stacie Chadwick