The only thing the Boob loves more than the Boob referring to himself in the third person is a solid trip to Vegas, more specifically a trip centered around spending half the Boob’s time at Garden of Eden, the other half at the casino’s Sports Book.
However, upon the Boob’s trip to Sin City this last weekend, the Boob’s revelry for the Sports Book has been diminished. The Boob realizes that it’s a dying dream. On a weekend where there was the World Series, great college football matchups, the NFL, and the Breeders Cup, the Boob could not have found a sadder sack of losers at some Off Betting Track than what he found lounging in the S to the B.
How, the Boob asked himself, had this oasis in the gambling desert become so depressing? A place to where the Boob had made pilgrimages for colossal events like the first weekend of March Madness, the kickoff to the NFL season, and the Super Bowl?
After mulling it over poolside with a few beers (BTW, a full day of beers poolside is hellua more expensive than throwing back free 12 ouncers in the SB), the Boob came up with four main factors for the current state of the Las Vegas Sports Book downfall:
The Rise of the On-Line (Internet): From the moment Al Gore invented the Internet (actually he just pushed for legislation to allow for public use, but that’s not nearly as funny), Vegas envisioned that it would morph into something out of a horrible Mila Jovovich zombie movie.
But for years, Vegas still thrived. Casinos still went up and they still included a Sports Book. In my assessment, this was only the catalyst, the stage dance before lappers make their way around the club to suck you dry.
Today, we all carry our own champagne rooms around in our pockets where we can get score updates, whenever, wherever (to quote Shakira). We no longer exist in a society where the stage dance is the only option.
The Rise of Poker: I don’t know when it happened, when poker became a sport. At least, ESPN and Fox tell the Boob that it is. (They show it on their networks more than any other single “sport”.) Personally, poker’s fascination in this society coincides when on-line gambling and grew from there.
It whetted people’s guzzler. After they grew a taste for it, they hungered for more and they soon realized playing in person quenched them a lot more than sitting in their darkened apartment on-line, jumping from a hand of poker to jumping their hand up and down to porn.
So now, instead of groups of friends sitting in the Sports Book for a full day, these alpha male groups have now migrated to the newly constructed rooms, the size of sports books, specifically for Texas Hold ‘Em.
The Rise of High Tech-TV: Or more simply put, the proliferation of satellites and high-def/plasma televisions. I considered they deserve their each factor, but each standing alone doesn’t nearly have the strength that they do together.
When technology allowed people to own satellite dishes with just a balcony on their rented apartment instead of needing to own an acre of land, the boys in the desert had to start sweating.
After that, any one could order any game. But it wasn’t until those needed-to-see games could be seen at the highest quality did it affect Vegas.
Because for Vegas, and not just the SB, has always been about presentation. Before, at the SB, they were the only place in America that gave the public size and quality. They have always been top notch.
But now, to catch the game of the week projected on a sixty-foot screen with pristine picture the Boob only has to head down to the nearest Hooters. And the last the Boob read, Hooters can be found all across the U.S. of A.
The Rise of Fantasy Leagues/Brackets: This, I believe, over the last five years has had the greatest effect and most long lasting effect on turning the Book into nothing more than an OTB. The government has turned a blind eye to these leagues and brackets and just play ignorant that any gambling might be occurring.
So groups of guys no longer head to Vegas for a weekend sitting in the book watching games, but they do to hold drafts. They never sniff the stale cigarettes of the casino. They spend it in some back room of the casino resort’s steak house back room yelling over whether to take a Defense or a Kicker in the Sixth Round.
Even now during March Madness, why travel to Vegas when there’s an office bracket and a friends bracket? And what have the geniuses at CBS done to help follow the games? Put them all where? You guessed it: On-line.
It never could have been a single thing to bring down something so monstrous but with all this factors working in perfect harmony with one another like Boyz II Men, the Sports Book stands no chance.
Will it ever make a comeback? Maybe, but it won’t be the Boob’s Sports Book of yesteryear where one could drink cheaply for an entire day with nothing but his bros and bets.
It’s so hard to say good-bye to yesterday, woo, woo woo, woo….