Jordan Rules Shadow Creek and a Killer Tribute to UNLV’s Glory Days

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

Illustration by Cierra Pedro

Big sports weekends in Las Vegas don’t always mean major NASCAR races or UNLV games or bikini bull riding. (Well, fine, they do always include bikini bull riding, thanks to Gilley’s, but there’s no such thing as enough bikini bull riding.)

Sometimes, it just comes down to a lot of charity golf. (They couldn’t find anywhere to plug in the bull on the golf course.)

The Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational wrapped up at Shadow Creek Golf Course on April 6, with the team of Brian Urlacher and Roger Clemens—whose mysterious ability to hit 400-yard drives on a line was chalked up to a strong post-career work ethic—carding a 9-under 135 to hold off Hall of Famers Eric Dickerson and Ozzie Smith.

Jordan and teammate Dwight Freeney only mustered a third-place finish, leading Jordan to exile Freeney to whatever island his first NBA coach, Doug Collins, was sent to. (The real Collins would have never been allowed near the Washington Wizards. That’s why Jordan paid top-dollar for a Collins body double in 2001.)

Do you think Jordan’s competitive/mean streak disappeared? He dared one of his teammates in the pro-am on April 3 to jump into a water hazard. The guy did it; Jordan was snapped busting a gut. Everyone’s heard the stories about how Jordan lets Hanes product-test new dyes on Steve Kerr. When Jordan says go in the water, you’re just happy it’s only water.

The Academy of Country Music Awards also did its own charity golf event, with Darius Rucker hosting. It didn’t draw nearly the same firepower as the Jordan event. Instead of Wayne Gretzky and Aaron Rodgers, it got Frankie Ballard and David Nail. Then again, Rucker never threatened Horace Grant that if he bricked another 3-pointer, he’d have to play the fourth quarter without shoes.

But the big story of the ACM Awards was, you know, the awards themselves on April 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, where George Strait took Entertainer of the Year. Kanye can breathe a sigh of relief that Taylor Swift didn’t win that, too. The who’s who of the country music world saw Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan host, and such luminaries as Faith Hill and Tim McGraw joined by noted country legends LL Cool J, Jewel and Stevie Nicks. No, we can’t explain the music industry anymore, either.

Bridging the gap of both the music and sports worlds, Killers lead singer and Las Vegas native Brandon Flowers came out to do the March Madness Music Festival in Dallas’ Reunion Park between Final Four games rocking a red varsity jacket that honored UNLV’s 1990 national championship team. The jacket was emblazoned with “Never Forget” along with the names of the team’s five starters: Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Stacey Augmon, David Butler and Anderson Hunt. We kind of hope Flowers was just trolling Christian Laettner.

Finally, our favorite sport, synchronized liver destruction, is practiced nightly Downtown. And a new stadium is soon to open up. Michael and Jennifer Cornthwaite’s Future Restaurant Group is rumored to be finally opening their rooftop bar at Inspire and Scullery at the Ogden around the same time this month. They’ve pulled their Boozery, Beatnik and Pork & Beans establishments from Container Park, though, in search of bigger brick-and-mortar venues around town.

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