Daily Archives: February 5, 2023

Pro Bowl Weekend in Vegas

We’re in Las Vegas this weekend and so is the Pro Bowl, somewhat to our surprise.

We’re here for a weekend getaway for my wife’s birthday, something we booked a while back. Vegas is an easy, cheap, and short flight for us and, while we don’t gamble it is a fun place to hang out for a couple of days… at least until the cigarette smoke and seedy underbelly of the place starts to become too much.

Faux Venice and The Beatles on Las Vegas Blvd.

And, of course, we thought it would be a quiet weekend here in the dead week between the end of the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. I knew the Pro Bowl was this weekend, but it is traditionally played in Hawaii where the weather is nice and the players can relax.

I mean, nobody knocks themselves out for the Pro Bowl.

Back in the day they used to have the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl… which meant nobody cared. Now it is before the Super Bowl… and I’m still not sure anybody cares.

I mean, none of the players from the teams playing in the Super Bowl will be there. And, as I noted, nobody goes all out for the Pro Bowl. In a full contact sport like American football where injuries are common, who wants to get hurt for a game that doesn’t really mean much besides a chance to showcase some of the players in the league who didn’t make it to the last game.

When the flight was full getting to Vegas, we were a bit surprised. And then as we passed by Allegiant Stadium on the way to the hotel we saw plastered to the side of the place a big banner about the Pro Bowl.

So it is a bit more crowded here than it might have been otherwise… though it is still just the Pro Bowl.

All of which made me reflect a bit on the term “gaming” and what it means to different people. I tend to mean video games on consoles or the PC when I use the term, or maybe mobile gaming when my wife and I are playing Pokémon Go.

Here in Vegas the term very much means gambling. Everything else here is just meant to drive gambling.

And then there is sports gaming, which Vegas is now a part of having secured an NHL franchise and lured the NFL’s Raiders away from the shambles of the Oakland Coliseum to the second most expensive stadium in the world.

This year it is the Pro Bowl in Vegas, but next year they will be hosting the Super Bowl. We won’t be here for that weekend for sure.