Sin City’s reputation is intact |

Sin City’s reputation is intact

Barry Smith

First the National Football League, then the Springville, Utah, school board turn a cold shoulder to Las Vegas.

Well, at least Sin City’s reputation is intact.

We learned this week that the NFL has turned down the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority’s plans for a commercial during the Super Bowl later this month.

It’s not that the NFL is afraid the check might bounce. Apparently, it’s because Las Vegas is known for … shhhh … gambling.

This would probably not come as a surprise to the millions of people who will be laying down a bet on the game — whether that bet be with a Nevada sports book, an Internet sports book, a buddy at the office water cooler or a bookie at the barber shop.

Nevertheless, the NFL doesn’t want anybody even thinking about gambling during the game.

Of course, the proposed Las Vegas ad didn’t actually mention the “g” word. It was supposed to be a montage of images which, I suppose, probably included … shhhh … casinos.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman got a little huffy when he found out the advertisement had been rejected.

He had the temerity to point out some NFL players have actually been arrested in the past for illegal activities. It’s a case, he said, of the pot calling the kettle black.

Well, excuse me, Mr. Mayor, but I wouldn’t sink to the NFL’s level. Because Las Vegas may be a lot of things, but it isn’t hypocritical.

In fact, much of Nevada’s reputation is based on its up-front approach to humanity’s baser desires.

You want it, we got it. And here’s how much it’s going to cost.

The NFL, on the other hand, would like to be able to tango without getting its tuxedo rumpled.

Let me ask you this: If you took away every adult who’s ever made some kind of wager on the Super Bowl, what kind of audience would be left on Jan. 26?

Here’s my answer: You’d have the people who walk into the party sometime in the middle of the second quarter and ask, “Who’s playing?”

Oh, the NFL doesn’t like gambling. It sure does like gamblers, though.

Mayor Goodman also held up the NFL to his version of a taste test. He noted a beer ad that has been running during football games which depicts two well-endowed women who rip each other’s clothes off and wrestle in a fountain and pool of mud.

“Instead of airing our tasteful ad,” Goodman told a reporter, “the NFL chooses to allow ads with girls in their brassieres and panties mud wrestling.”

Maybe that was Las Vegas’ mistake. Its commercial could have had some showgirls wrestling in the fountains at Caesar’s Palace.

Actually, when one starts counting down the Seven Deadly Sins, the NFL and Las Vegas might have to go into overtime to determine a winner.

Gluttony, lust, envy, pride, wrath, greed and sloth. I’d give Las Vegas the edge on lust and sloth, perhaps, but the NFL is favored in the gluttony and envy matchups. I pretty much expect both to end up in Dante’s inferno when the final whistle blows.

So what has all this to do with good ol’ Springville High School in Utah?

Well, the school board has declared Las Vegas off-limits for field trips.

That’s because it has … shhhh … sin.

Apparently there is no sin in Springville, and some of the parents thought it would be a good idea to expose their children to … no, no. Wait.

Actually, some of the parents thought it might be a good idea to expose their children to … art.

Springville, while I don’t know the level or quality of sin on display there, has no exhibits to rival “Faberge: Treasures of the Kremlin” at the Bellagio or “Art Through the Ages: Masterpieces of Painting From Titian to Picasso” at the Venetian.

A teacher, Beverly Burdett, three times asked the school board for permission to take students to see art exhibits in Las Vegas. And three times the school board said no.

“The board doesn’t feel comfortable with the whole lifestyle represented there,” said a school board member, Bonnie Palmer.

So some parents are organizing their own trip and taking a group of about 15 schoolchildren.

I don’t want to argue with the Springville school board, because it’s their call. If they don’t want field trips to Las Vegas, I figure, they know their community better than I do.

My point, though, is that Las Vegas does have some redeeming cultural and educational qualities.

Can the Super Bowl say that?

Barry Smith is editor of the Nevada Appeal.