I challenge you to find a happier flight anywhere in the world than one that’s headed into Las Vegas.  Of course, the trip home is often a different case.

The loss of innocence---

So A-Rod drives in a couple of runs today to pass Stan Musial into fifth on the all-time RBI list and you can’t help but feel cheated.  There was a time when numbers in baseball were indelible and beyond reproach; 714 and 61-- you didn’t have to be told that those were homerun records.  The steroid era has left baseball fans not only angry but confused and that’s the shame of it all.  We know that Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and other were great ballplayers, but we no longer have the time honored ability to clearly compare them to the greats of yesteryear.  How many more homers would Babe Ruth have hit on the juice?

Staying power---

With three of four against the Red Sox the Royals have shown staying power in the Wild Card race, even bigger is their five game set with the Tigers this week.  It’s amazing to me that if you take out their month of May, when they went 7-20 and they’re 54-34.   On the clip they’re on now they’ll win 86 games, it took 93 wins to grab a wild card last year.  In other word, KC has to stay hot.

One of the fun things about Vegas---

Las Vegas is like a candy store for sports fans, there is no better place to watch big games because of all the action bettors have going.  Bookmakers are an interesting, well sports educated group with so much knowledge that you can’t help wonder where and how they got it.  I’ve always said that any time you want a totally unbiased appraisal of a matchup—check the numbers out of Vegas.  Yes, they’re set up to induce the most betting on either side of the line, but it’s amazing how close these guys are every week.

According to Vegas Denver is the odds on favorite to win the Super Bowl just ahead of San Francisco and Seattle.  Jacksonville and Tennessee are supposedly the longest odds, the revamped Kansas City Chiefs are 50-1 shots, the same as Carolina, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

As for college football, you don’t need Vegas to tell you that Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon are the teams to beat.  You would need them to know that Kansas State is a 250-1 shot to take it all.  The ‘Cats are one of 50 teams on the championship board and have the longest odds of any of the six Big 12 teams listed.

Kentucky is the early betting favorite for the NCAA hoops title, but only slightly over KU. How much of a difference does having Andrew Wiggins make?  Consider that Kansas opened at 30/1 last April, but moved to 5 to 1 after the nation’s top recruit cast his lot.  As for Wichita State—only twenty two schools have better odds than the Shockers right now. At 60/1 the Shockers have better odds than K-State (80/1) but not as good as former Valley rival Creighton (45/1).  Wichita State is the only MVC team to appear on the 79 team betting board.