August 19, 2017 – As Good As I Once Was

So, the three of us are in Las Vegas and held our fantasy football draft today.  This whole trip has reminded me of a few things that I sometimes seem to forget.Given the tardiness of this post, I figured I would share them in no particular order.

First, this was about as unprepared as I have ever been for a draft, yet I think my team will be all right because I have learned to trust the analysis of the software I use and i allow it to inform my ultimate selection.  This is somewhat akin to what Kasparov was talking about when reflecting on his analysis that good chess players with good chess programs generally performed better than great chess players with good chess programs, because the good players trusted the data analysis while the great players tried to shape the analysis to fit their plan.  I am not saying I have the best team, in fact I am a little uncomfortable playing the strategy that the data analysis led to, but it will be interesting to track through the season.

Second, I am a man of different tastes, desires and pursuits than I was 25 years ago.  While Las Vegas has changed, so have I. Most of our efforts were spent seeing how many steps/miles we could walk and seeing what eating options were nearby.  We did visit the historic Atomic Liquors where they used to watch the nuclear tests go off and where the Rat Pack used to hang out after their shows and we ended up staying up all the way to about 1am Eastern.  Overall, though, the crowds, the heat and the expense combined with the unbridled pursuit of overindulgence has really turned me off of the town.  The fountain at the Bellagio are pretty cool, though.

Third, watching sports in the sports book of a casino is a lot of fun.  There are tons of screens showing pretty much any and every sport available.  The chairs are comfortable, the air is cool and it is one of the quieter places.

Finally, there are a lot of people so intent on maximizing every second to squeeze out as much artificial pleasure as they can, that they miss out on the real pleasures around them.  The fun of this trip wasn’t sum total of the events and locations we visited, but rather the time walking and talking; laughing and discussing.  It wasn’t about the where or the what, but the who.

So, while I move a little slower, need a little more rest and could stand to drop a few pounds, as the song says, I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was.

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