If you’re reading this, you’re welcome. Last week, you followed my advice and took the Redskins, Pats, Panthers and Steelers. (So sorry about recommending the over in the Panthers/Giants game, but going 4-0 against the spread is worthy of fan mail full of praise, if not monetary gifts.)
Hopefully, you also used the house’s money in the establishments I suggested you to dine, drink and seek, um, entertainment.
And now you’re back for more! Your luck continues, my friend, because I have more places for you to enjoy and more picks to use so that your return visit this weekend is even better than last week.
This time, we’re going to live even larger than we did on Saturday night. So get yourself another plane ticket and let’s knock their heads in for one more weekend (or until the NFC and AFC championships the week after next and Super Bowl XL two weeks after that).
You’ve already got this one down pat. Get your bag (not bags, Paris) and get to your hotel. Again, this is a night to catch up with your crew you last saw a long six days ago and exaggerate just how much you really won the previous week. Also, feel free to revel in the fact that you pulled off the ultimate miracle by somehow convincing your wives and girlfriends that two weekends in a row in Las Vegas (with your buddies, no less) is a great idea. For this, you and any man worthy of executing such a stunt need to be saluted by everyone within earshot in the hotel bar. You are a living, breathing miracle, if not soon-to-be single. You can deal with that issue when you get back home. Tonight, though, is your night. Have a great one, and remember that you’re here to win starting with the Redskins and Seahawks at 1:30 PM Saturday afternoon.
THE FANCY PANTS DINNER
Last week I said to keep it simple and get to a tried-and-true restaurant that delivers retro class along with phenomenal service and cuisine. This week, you’re taking it up a notch. Call Charlie Palmer Steak at Mandalay Bay (1-877-632-7800, mandalaybay.com) and make reservations. You will be stunned by the swank ambience and gorgeous décor. I know that I have a faux finish on my living and dining rooms of my house, but there’s nothing faux about the Tuscan appearance gracing the walls in Charlie Palmer. I also enjoyed quite possibly the smoothest and best pre-dinner cocktails ever at the bar. You will be amazed by the dining experience. Get the blue tip oysters as an appetizer and, like last week, do the right thing in a steakhouse: get a steak.
I had to use the restroom during the meal. When I came back, a steward handed me my napkin, tucked in my chair and gently placed my warmed plate in front of me. No joke! They kept the plate warm while I was gone. If you can beat this experience, let me know. I’m always game to see where I can blow a bunch of the casino’s money and eat like a Lipizzaner Stallion.
THE NIGHTCLUB WITHOUT DUMB MUSIC
What better way to digest that incredible meal and further savor your NFL handicapping than to be a part of the Vegas nightclub scene. Hop in the cab and head over to Rain at the Palms Casino Resort (n9negroup.com/http_docs/rain/rain.asp). You’ll probably find a big line waiting to get in, but you’ve got a fat wallet from last week’s conquest. Get you and your buddies to pony up some grease money and have the doorman move you right to the front. A cool benjy ought to do it. When you’re in, you’re surrounded by multilevel bars, an expansive dance floor and flames shooting above the patrons knocking around their junk to some incredible rap, hip-hop, old school, you name it. But no techno or house, and thank God. You don’t want to be bumping into some idiot guy going by the name of Lava, sucking on a pacifier and wearing a “Mary is my homegirl” baby t-shirt. Don’t forget to enjoy one of the more awesome views of the Vegas skyline at the bar on the second level. You’ve got nothing but floor to ceiling glass and it’s a happy haunt of the lovelies. If the weather’s great, take the drinks outside and enjoy them by the pool. You won’t be alone.
AND TO CLOSE OUT THE EVENING…
After last week’s recommendation for after-hours fun, you’re on your own this time. Try Cheetah’s if you want to see the ladies shake with even less clothing (barely) than you witnessed at Rain. This place was made “famous” by the movie, “Showgirls”. Trust me, what happens in there is better and easier to stomach than what the fantastically awful movie depicted. Grease the guy at the door and get a corner booth. It’s a magical spot. If you don’t go to a strip club, then do as you please. After the winnings you’ve pocketed again thanks to the games on Saturday the 14th, you’ve earned the right to pick your pleasure.
NOW, THE PICKS!
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks (-9, o/u 41). Here’s the thing: the Redskins don’t make too many mistakes on offense. They actually don’t do really anything on offense. But their defense does. Matt Hasselbeck won’t know what hit him. Shaun Alexander will see all too vividly that the playoffs are a lot different than playing the Niners in October. PICK: Redskins. How this team has gotten to this point is beyond me, but just accept it and move on.
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos (-3, o/u 43). Are you going to be the guy who bets AGAINST Tom Brady? He’s an evil scientist. Not a mad one. An evil one. And he’s ready to perform humiliating and painful experiments on the Bronco secondary. Then, an Igor-like Corey Dillon will pound the ball into the endzone from 2 yards out. Many, many times. PICK: Need you ask? You can’t bet against the champs until they lose. Pats… in a laugher!
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts (-9.5, o/u 47.5). The Colts are looking to unleash Hell. Manning (the good one), Harrison and James will start the game like a track meet. Poor Jerome Bettis will not have a championship as the centerpiece to his Hall of Fame career, either, thanks to an Indy defense who will be playing out of their minds for their grieving head coach. The over/under, is also a little high. Perhaps too high. Pick: Colts and have an under bet ready to go just for kicks.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (-3, o/u 30.5). Great ready for a snoozer and, no, I still don’t believe in the Bears. Who are these guys, anyway? Name someone on the Chicago defense other than Brian Urlacher. (Illinois residents not eligible.) The Carolina D will humble a suddenly healthy Rex Grossman and Jake Delhomme has that crazy, Jack Black-ish look in his eyes. PICK: Panthers in a 20-6 ho-hummer.
It’s one thing to be ready for some football. You’re ready for it and even more ready to collect at the cash cage. And let me know how you did, especially the part how you told your significant other that you’re going to Vegas two weeks in a row.