I've been to Vegas 20 times, I guess you could say I like it there. If you were to ask me "When is the best time to go?", you probably wouldn't believe my answer. It's right now. Yep, after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Maybe I've lucked out with the weather, but it has always been very pleasant...sunny and in the 60's. The resorts offer some of the best prices of the year on rooms because the Pre-Christmas Vegas casino scene isn't exactly their "most wonderful time of the year". Nothing much happens except for one huge event ("huge" being the operative word) They wear huge hats and huge belt buckles and their wives have huge...hair! It's The Wrangler National Finals Rodeo!!

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The above photo is an accurate representation of the size of the average cowboy's hat in relation to his head. The average size of his belt buckle in relation to his body is much more closely represented by the size of the lasso loop in the picture. Seriously...they wear hubcaps.

I could not find a perfect photo of a rodeo wife/fiance or girlfriend, which is strange because they are mostly all perfectly photogenic and photogenically perfect at all times, but I did manage to find the one below that looks like a rodeo gal at 4am if she consumed a small lake of margaritas. Notice the hair...well it's pretty much impossible not to. The manes of hair on these ladies could compete with any Poison concert circa 1987.

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"Y'all got Pete Rooney?"

With all that said, I think the rodeo crowd is the best event crowd to be around and I've been around many different event crowds in my 20 trips. For the most part, they are all so polite, friendly and quiet. You would think the casinos would be teeming with drunken desperados screaming "yeeeeeeehaaw!" and shooting Colt 45's (both firing guns and pounding malt liquor) but it's exactly the opposite.

It's also very common to see a high caliber competitor in the lobby or casino floor, happily signing autographs for dozens of people, for many minutes longer than I ever would...especially if the night before, I jumped off a horse going 30 miles an hour on top of a steer going 29 miles an hour, in a pit of dirt and manure, and wrestled him .001 second later than the other guy who won thousands of dollars more than me because of it. I think I wouldn't be in the mood to take a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Tarpitt of Whipporwill, Wyoming, but they all do. And I've seen it many times...actually I was looking at their wives but you get the point.

The Wrangler NFR is on GAC starting Thursday night at 10pm EST. Even though I've never been to it, just being around it is exciting. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you'll hate it, but I think if you ever witnessed the culture up close, you'd respect it's competitors AND it's fanbase.  I never get a warm and fuzzy feeling for anyone spilling beer on me at Fenway or Gillette I can tell you that.