Third Time's A Charm? by David Porter

Chapter 1

At a recent postgame beer fest, this correspondent for the Old Nicks website attempted to interview several participants about their memories of the recent foray of Old Nicks and assorted hangers-on to Las Vegas for another bout of King Cup madness. Not surprisingly, most of the players had trouble recalling whether they were in Las Vegas or not since it was last month. As Rob Johnson put it, "history is just being pissed away....".

Despite that, here are the sordid details of another weekend in Lost Wages. Friday, the day of arrival. Like the opening of any good movie about Las Vegas, Old Nicks players and ringers recruited for the event drifted into town and began to seek each other out. Rock headed to the Brown Cow Pub, a former watering hole for the team in training for udder commitment to the game. It was boarded up, probably as a result of our visits there in 2002. Scouting through the vast menu of drinking establishments, Rock's nose for good beer led him to settle on the pub at the Monte Carlo. With that landmark firmly fixed in his head, he went to the airport to greet the other arrivals. A migration to the Monte Carlo ensued.

After wetting down at the Monte Carlo, Nicks scattered to seek fame and fortune, or some other unknown thing. Beto, Stig and David Emmerson tracked down the Pierre's boys at the Tropicana. Finding them boring, they decided to end the evening with dinner and a great view of the 'dancing' at the Voodoo Club atop the Rio. Beto thinks they had a great time but, as usual, can't remember anything but that his wallet was empty and he still had both kidneys. . .


Chapter 2

So. Then it was Saturday. And that meant playing soccer, right? That's what they all came for. Luckily, the first game wasn't one of those 7:30am icebreakers in some unnatural stormwater retention area. The first game was against a team called Domani

. At the point I interviewed the participants it was unclear where the team came from. Nicks players have never been too selective about opponents. The Yellow Horde took to the field augmented by 'ringers' from around the West. Never before have so many Nicks suited up in Lost Wages. The game was great. The Yellow Horde swarmed, but failed to tally a score. According to the first hand account given me, there were 'defensive' errors. As I could best tell there were two which made the final count an 'oh so close' 1-2. The Nicks goal was scored, depending on who was telling the story, by Pinger, Hilliker or Makande. Even with Don's mighty toe punch, however, I doubt he was the Man of the hour since he was still in PDX.

Heartened by the closeness of the first match, Nicks players 'sucked it up' for the second game against a team called the San Pedro Croatians, which may have referred to a prehistoric mascot of some sort. Instead, the team was made up of players from Croatia who seemed to have been exported based on their size. The smallest guy was estimated to be 6'4" tall and 240. While the Yellow Horde swarmed again, it was not to be as the Balkan squad didn't balk at scoring goals. Four to be exact. After the goals, our players noted that the scorers went to the sideline to smoke a cigarette, 'as if they'd just had their way with us'. So European.

Part of the challenge was that, once again this year, the fields were doubling as postage stamps which allowed the opponents to shoot end to end. After Saturday's second game ( blah blah blah about the Croats). And in tribute to last year's win over Pierre's, players began to make the pilgrimage to the Crown and Wanker, as it is popularly known, where we had last gathered to sip Old Nicks nectar itself. It may be as sacred to us as Mecca is to Islam! Of course, desire is not always sufficient as a form of guidance. Al Gerritsen, noted for his disappearances in previous years, climbed into a car with Jack Hevel and Dave Nathman and disappeared into the night again. Apparently their navigation system lacked divine guidance. Upon arrival, team members were assaulted by thousands of rugby women who wanted their......chairs. Yeah, it's not necessarily fun to be over fifty. In the old days they'd have wanted to sit on a woody.....ooops. Can't say that. This is a family column.

Thanks to Glenn - the photographic record of LV '03.

(A high cross floats in. We seem to be ready.)

(John Mayfield gets a gentle nudge between the shoulderblades.)

(THE GOAL - The photo evidence points to Glenn as our scorer.)

(Somehow you know that this isn't the first pint of the evening. . .)

(Pale Northwest bodies soaking up dangerous UV radiation.)

(Post-game training table of fried fish, fried potatoes, gravy, etc.)

(Is this the failing eyesight of middle age? Only Glenn can find the camera.)