It was the early 1980s. Mike North was working construction in Las Vegas. One day he stopped in at the Frontier (which used to sit on the Strip across from the Desert Inn, now Wynn Las Vegas) and caught the Lee Pete radio show.
He was impressed with Pete and thought doing something like that would be a lot of fun so he stayed after the show and chatted with the veteran broadcaster who helped pioneer sports-talk radio.
“He was very encouraging,” North told us. “He told me if I thought I could do it I should take a shot. That was exactly what I needed to hear and it’s the main reason I’m in radio.”
North, a top-notch sports-talk radio host with Fox Sports Radio out of Chicago, will be coming full circle this weekend – and maybe even channeling Pete who passed away in March 2010 – when he does his show from SCORE! Be the Legend radio studio at the Luxor.
“I’ve always wanted to play the Strip!” North said.
The fully equipped radio and television studio is part of the newest attraction at Luxor – SCORE! The Ultimate Sports Fan Attraction – and gives radio stations the ability to do a remote broadcast from Las Vegas without the added expense of shipping in all the necessary equipment.
In addition to live national broadcasts, which fans will be able to watch, there will be commercial auditions, athlete appearances, autograph sessions, and sports fantasy photo opportunities throughout the year. In fact, retired NFL great Warren Moon will be on hand for the grand opening of the venue on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
But the radio show is just the beginning of the fun. Sports fans also have an opportunity to “Be the Legend.” The journey includes meeting your own sports agent and filling out a fantasy contract in the sport of your choosing. You receive a communication device that offers multiple-choice opportunities. Your answers determine your career path. You may become a star or, with poor choices, you may be told, “It’s not working out.”
Along the way you will be able to see pro sports artifacts from decades past to the modern era from the worlds of basketball, football, hockey, soccer and auto racing.
But that’s not all. You will also have opportunities to test your sports skills at the interactive exhibits, which offer a variety of mental and physical exercises, including a stick-handling drill on a mini NHL rink, NFL-type broad jump, baseball pitch area, vision test, and an auto racing tire change challenge (the pros can do it in seven seconds!).
Afterwards you can wander through the Fan Shop and check out the authentic, officially licensed merchandise and memorabilia.
So stop by the broadcast studio and say hello to Mike North. He’ll be doing his show Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. He’d love to hear your opinion on the games, the players or sports in general. And, if you have a Lee Pete story you will get his undivided attention.
FASHIONISTAS: Who knew men were fashion critics? We certainly didn’t. Walk into any sports book in town and look around. It seems hardly anyone thought of fashion when selecting their outfit for the day. In fact, they seem blissfully unaware of the entire concept of fashion.
And, we’ve never overheard a single conversation that showed any concern for what another person was wearing.
So we were shocked at the reaction to the new Pittsburgh Steelers uniforms, which debuted in the October 28 game against the Washington Redskins. The forums and blogs on the Internet have been buzzing with comments, almost none of them flattering, most verging on outright hatred.
The new duds have been compared to everything from rugby uniforms to bumble bees to prison garb. It seems there is absolutely nothing acceptable about any part of these togs, including the socks, pants, jerseys and numbers.
Wonder if they were all just disgruntled Redskins fans?
PLAY BY PLAY: Monday night’s NFL game between the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers on NBC had us laughing at the end as the Giants failed to score late to take the game over 50. (Yes, we took the “under.”)
We always enjoy hearing veteran play-by-play man Al Michaels work the closing line and total into his description. (It’s refreshing to know at least one announcer knows what the majority of those watching want to hear.) The 38-10 final was underwhelming according to Michaels who studied at Arizona State University and was a student of local horse handicapping whiz Professor Gordon Jones.
Michaels, whose long and illustrious career includes baseball play-by-play for the Cincinnati Reds and the San Francisco Giants, often attributes his interest in horse racing to The Professor.
We wonder if Michaels will soon get more involved in NBC’s horse racing coverage. Bob Costas, who usually hosts NBC coverage of the Breeders’ Cup, admits to knowing less than he should about the sport.
Bring on Al. We’ve heard Professor Jones call him an apt pupil and we think he deserves a shot.
See you around town.
Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected]
Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected].