Insider: Bernstein Blog: Drafting In the Desert

Bernstein Blog- The Draft In Sin City- Day 1

While many of my NFL colleagues are taking flights to New York City to attend the draft, I’ve decided to head west to Las Vegas where the real sports experts reside. It’s been a while since one of my NFL trips were documented so I’ve decided that whatever happens in Vegas will be shared with the internet.

6:50 a.m. EST- With the assistance of a rambunctious three-year old, I’ve decided to awaken and prepare for my 2:30 p.m. flight to Las Vegas. The normal pre-Vegas excitement is missing, along with my equilibrium.

8:30 a.m. EST- As I gain my bearings, I sit down for a nutritious breakfast containing apple-cinnamon oatmeal along with an orange. This is likely to be the last healthy thing I eat (or do) for the next 96 hours.

12:10 p.m. EST- My assistant and I sit down for a pre-flight meal at Tony Roma’s (free advertising). I order an Albert Haynesworth-sized cheeseburger which was topped with bacon, barbeque sauce and pulled pork. The idea of the burger was seemingly greater than finished product as I was only able to get through about 2/3 of the meat and pork concoction.

1:30 p.m. EST- Low IQ passengers were ahead of me in the security line so I was set back a few minutes. No worries, as there is an older gentleman wearing a leather hat and board shorts at the gate also going to Vegas.

2:30 p.m. EST- Someone just hit the “Southwest Airlines Seat Lottery!” This game involves my assistant and I finding a row of seats and sitting at the window and aisle location respectively. We then spread our legs, shoulders, elbows and arms out as much as possible to give the illusion that the seat remaining between us is most undesirable. We played the game like pros and we’re rewarded with an empty seat for a five-hour flight.

2:50 p.m. EST- Good luck streak is over. My flight has no internet, meaning that I’ll have more work to do when I reach my hotel. This means less gambling and fun. These are the sacrifices I make for my readers.

4:40 p.m. PST- Good news, we’ve landed in Las Vegas and my checked bag has arrived safely. Bad news is that my assistant smashed his luggage into my ankle so I’m now walking with a limp as we march through the seemingly never-ending taxi line.

5:45 p.m. PST- Room check-in is complete and I’m investigating my accommodations. The good news is that there is a large television along with marble floors and upscale décor. Then I notice the “snack bar” (or so I thought). Filled with alcohol, soft drinks, water and candy, this little piece of heaven seems ultra-convenient. Before I commence snacking, I find a little book above the bar which contains pricing. The usual hotel markup doesn’t dissuade me until I find the column on the far right which includes a “Couture Lollipop” and “Intimacy Kit” (for $25 and $30 respectively). I think I’m good guys, but thanks for thinking of me.

7:00 p.m. PST- After writing some stories and finalizing the mock draft I head down to check out some of the NFL prop bets. After finding nothing to my liking (Draft props come out on Thursday), we begin the two mile journey to Fogo de Chao for dinner where we are serenaded by the residentially challenged.

8:55 p.m. PST- We’ve now ingested thousands of calories at one meal sitting. To work it off we walk back to Las Vegas Blvd. by way of Flamingo Dr., one of the more sketchier streets downtown. Following a stop at Walgreens for some cough syrup and water, we head back to the hotel to get our Players Club cards (which are nowhere near as cool as they sound and give you virtually no street cred).

11:30 p.m. PST- I’ve decided that being half-asleep is no way to gamble with my own money so I watch some of the four-letter network and retire for the evening. I’m sure there will be more exciting occurrences tomorrow which hopefully won’t involve the intimacy kit.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for and ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie