- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2007

When Alan Jackson wrote “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,” he should have honored this city by singing, “It’s Always Five O’Clock In Vegas.”

Case in point: The 14-hour travel day Friday caught up to me Saturday, and I turned in early, which meant I was up at 5 a.m. I went downstairs to get a newspaper and decided to play a couple slot machines.

Two bleary-eyed fans — one wearing a Caron Butler Lakers jersey — sat next to me, and we started chatting. They asked what I do, which turned the conversation to the Redskins. Minutes later, they asked — keep in mind the time of day — “Hey, want to get a beer?” I declined. Way too early for me.

It reminded me of my favorite scene from “Mr. Mom.” The Martin Mull character comes to Michael Keaton’s house. Keaton asks, “Want a beer?”

“It’s 7 o’clock in the morning,” Mull said.

Pausing, Keaton asks, “Scotch?”

Other Las Vegas thoughts:

How did actor James Denton become so famous? He’s a supporting actor in a female-driven show, “Desperate Housewives,” yet the guy is everywhere. He was in the front row for the skills contest Saturday night, right there with heavy hitters like Diddy.

Being Michael Jordan’s caddy still has its privileges 15 years later. Ahmad Rashad also had a front-row seat Saturday night.

• The Charles Barkley/Dick Bavetta race: It wasn’t exactly War Admiral vs. Seabiscuit. The only saving grace from making this a complete pathetic made-for-TV thing was the $50,000 — or, as Barkley called it, “two Blackjack hands” — to a Las Vegas charity. Barkley won the race.

• A final thought on Vegas before heading back to the East Coast: This city is ill-equipped to play host to a major sporting event. Aside from the debacle that is the airport (Dulles is no longer the Worst Airport in America), the traffic was terrible because there was not a police presence. As one bartender said the other night, “I’ll make sure to send the mayor a note thanking him for this mess.”

Ryan O’Halloran

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