One week ago, I learned I would be boarding a private jet to go from Rough N'Rowdy 13 in Charles Town, West Virginia, to Detroit for the Barstool Big Game Big Bet Showdown. It was a wild four days and a taste of the possibilities of content and travel once COVID restrictions are a thing of the past.
The journey started on Thursday morning as I grabbed my suitcase and took an Uber to the Barstool Office. In a sign of good things to come later that night for Tommy Smokes, it was a Toyota Rav-4. Due to the blizzard earlier in the week, I went to get a COVID test across the street on Wednesday; it was negative. It was wise to get the test on Wednesday as it helped make leaving New York easier. Our departure was slightly delayed as we waited for Pizza delivery from Slice. It was worth it because the pizza was good and satisfied any hunger that would have been experienced in the four-hour ride from New York to West Virginia.
After settling into the hotel, we went over to the casino for the weigh-in. I was there with some rats to taunt Jose Canseco. Of course, I was able to do a soda review after the weigh-in as I am always on the lookout for content. It was in the mid-40s in Charles Town, which felt pleasant after all the snow we have had here. At night I went for a walk and discovered a Sheetz Convenience store, sort of a Wawa type store, where they had their own brand of soda. Of course, I snagged some for future reviews; I also had some chicken bites, which were quite tasty.
On Friday, fight day arrived, and I watched Wandavision on my Mac Book, preparing for a Raw Dog shoot near the hotel. After shooting a Raw Dog episode at the A&W, I went back to my room and prepared for the event at the casino. A day earlier, I had won $40; today, I lost that $40 right back plus an additional $20. I blame Trevor Bauer as the news he stabbed the Mets in the back broke at the same time. The Green Room at the casino was catered as we waited for showtime.
I was to interview Jose Canseco at the top of RNR 13, but Canseco threw me out of his green room, stating that I talked too much shit. Instead, Caleb did the interview, with me taunting Jose through his curtains. It was clear to see that I lived rent-free in Canseco's head. I eventually had a ringside seat for the fights as I had my rats nearby for Canseco. Once the fight between Billy and Jose was ready, I had the rats out for Jose Canseco's walk to the ring. A walk that lasted longer than the fight, as Canseco the coward quit after ten seconds.
After RNR, I did another soda review and walked over to Sheetz for a Hot Dog Review with Rudy, who also filmed my earlier review at A&W; all hot dog reviews shot during the four days will be published in the coming weeks. While at Sheetz, a few locals took a liking toward my hot dog hat and asked me to sing, making for the perfect capper to two days in West Virginia.
When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to visit all 50 states. I went to a flag store and collected all 50 state flags with the District of Columbia. In the 40 years since I have lagged in my state collection. I have been to New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, DC, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. That is just 14 states, I have also been to airports in Utah and Texas, but that should not count. On the trip down to West Virginia, were passed through Virginia for three minutes, I am not going to count that.
This trip allowed me to add two states to my ledger, as I woke up with the sun rising of the mountains in West Virginia. After a short drive to the airfield, it took mere moments to load the private jet, which I suggested to Dave be renamed Airstool One. The flight was comfortable as I did the first mile-high soda review. The best part of the private jet is the quickness is taking off and landing as you load and go and unload and go.
Upon landing in Detroit, I realized I did something stupid. I locked my suitcase with my keys inside my personal bag, which was inside my suitcase. After arriving at the Greektown Hotel and Casino. I needed help getting my keys out, with White Sox Dave making an incision in one of the compartments to allow me to get my keys and get back in my suitcase. I will need to make repairs later. What a dopey thing to do, a mistake for a rookie traveler in my first moments in Michigan. At the hotel, there were great views from the media room and my room on the 28th floor. I could see Windsor as well as the three stadiums of Detroit sports with Comerica Park surrounded by Little Ceasars Arena and Ford Field.
At night it was time to Raw Dog, and I discovered that two iconic Hot Dog places are near the hotel. American and Lafayette. It was freezing in Detroit. I went to American first and found the service to be less than satisfactory, which was not ideal since we had just a one-hour window to do two reviews at the rivals who are next to each other, and both claim to have created the Coney Island Dog. After finally sitting down to do the review, disaster struck as I choked on a hot dog. Realizing what was happening I dashed for the bathroom to get the piece out of my throat. Always the professional I finished the review, embarrassed for my and Spider who was noticeably shivering when we did intro outside. After doing the review at the friendlier Lafayette, who gave each of us mask it was back to the hotel for the night.
Two hours after returning I was hungry for diner, and went to the casino floor, and tried my luck at the slots again, and won $200. I hit the cashout button and did not do any more gambling on the floor, taking the words of Kenny Rodgers to heart. I was tempted to try a table game but scared away by the $25 minimum. I ended up eating a solid French Dip Roast Beef Sandwich at the Barstool Sportsbook inside the casino.
On Super Bowl morning I woke up and went for a walk, it was in the single digits. I saw my phone's battery rapidly run out as I walked down to a park, I had wanted to walk to Comerica Park, but walked in the wrong direction to Cadilac Square. With a dead phone, I decided to go back to the hotel.
After a few meetings, it was time for the big game, and the app failed. Bets were not going through and it was hard for anyone to log in. Dave was furious as we went live during the big game. The problems were fixed by halftime and the contest was on. I had never done live betting before and I realized I am not good at it. Ricco Bosco meanwhile, had a system and was successful, winning the $50,000.
The next morning, it was time to go home. Originally the plan was to take a train home, but a 14-hour train from Toledo to Washington was ridiculous. I mean it takes eight hours to drive as the crow flies, but a train leaving Toldeo at 11 am gets to Washington a 1 pm. How is that possible, no wonder the train systems in this country are so fucked up. I ended up on a late morning flight from Detroit to Newark, riding in first class. The airports were eerie in the lack of crowds, as there were just 13 people on the flight I was on. After landing and getting my bag it was time to go home and see my car covered in snow. I hate snow. I can't wait for spring and my next travels.