Photo by Bryan Steffy

Retired Pro Athletes Return as Vegas Renegades

Jimmy Mac, T.O. and Jose Canseco headline Caesars chat show.

Home run. Touchdown. Choose whichever scoring metaphor you like—they all fit the bill when describing Caesars’ new Renegades show.

This is Las Vegas. We know an out-of-the-box hit when we see one, and having spent a recent evening with former NFL stars Jim McMahon and Terrell Owens, and ex-MLB slugger Jose Canseco, it’s clear Renegades is going to draw big crowds.

It’s also somewhat unfathomable that it took so long for this kind of show to come together.

Renegades presents itself as a nothing-off-limits chatfest between fans and retired superstar athletes. The current roster of players describe themselves as the titular “Renegades” because of the outsize personas and on- (and off-) field antics that defined them in their heydays.

Jim McMahon | Photo by Bryan Steffy

As quarterback of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” Chicago Bears, McMahon famously wore headbands in defiance of then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle. Owens, after being suspended by the Philadelphia Eagles, held an impromptu workout and news conference in his driveway. Canseco admitted to steroid use during his playing career with the Oakland Athletics and other teams.

And that is just scratching the surface. There are stories that none of us have heard because they never made SportsCenter, and the stars are eager to share.

What makes Renegades such an entertaining treat is the way it employs its stars one by one onstage at Cleopatra’s Barge, taking questions from an emcee, before having them take a seat for a lengthy audience Q&A.

Terrell Owens | Photo by Bryan Steffy

Despite their reputations, the athletes aren’t arrogant or dismissive of their fans. They’re knowledgeable and willing to explain, in detail, everything they can recall about their playing days while offering their opinions on modern sports controversies.

Even if you’ve followed the players’ careers since you were a kid, you’re likely to learn something new. It was a surprise to learn that McMahon advocates strongly for cannabis as a treatment for his football-related injuries, while Owens is up-front in describing his religion and spirituality.

Joe Canseco | Photo by Bryan Steffy

And Canseco … just, wow. He’s been an open book since leaving baseball, and the controversies that have dogged him throughout his life could be fodder for an entire show of its own.

Former baller Jimmy King is set to join Renegades on February 15, with Owens rotating out of the show for a few nights.

Mixing up the roster should keep things fresh, and there’s so much casting potential on a show like this. Not only because there’s no shortage of retired athletes with big personalities, but imagine bringing former rivals or teammates to the stage. There are endless possibilities, as long as whoever joins the cast is as honest as the current trio.

Renegades is staged Thursdays through Sundays at Cleopatra’s Barge. Tickets can be purchased via the Caesars Palace website.