By: Bard Scott
Captain, Buccaholics Michigan
Y'all, I was nervous. Knowing what I know now, I feel kinda ridiculous even typing that, but I was honestly kind of apprehensive. I'll explain...
As most of you know, last Thursday-Saturday was the 5th Annual Buccaholics Draft Party in Las Vegas. As a member of the Buccaholics for the better part of those five years I always remember looking at the pictures from that event every year and being supremely jealous of the amazing time that everyone seemed to have at these party's. I'd live vicariously through Facebook live videos, pictures, and posts from members who were lucky enough to attend.
This year, with my chapter becoming official and being lucky enough to be named a captain, I had to change that. I had to go be a part of the action. I had to experience the spectacle first hand. I immediately started looking for flights. Success! Found cheap flights and got the time off work, all systems were go for my first Buccaholics Draft Party experience. Small issue, everyone I knew here in Michigan either wasn't interested in going to a draft party for my team, or weren't able to go for a multitude of other, very understandable, reasons. But there was no turning back now, flights were booked, hotel room was reserved, I was going solo.
Now this wouldn't be my first trip to Vegas. I'd gone before with friends and exes. I knew the lay of the land. Its also not like I would be ALONE-alone, I knew I would have fellow Bucs fans there for all the draft festivities. It was the downtime that had me nervous. Was I going to be eating alone? Drinking alone? Gambling (as little as I partake) alone?
Everyone, I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that those apprehensions were IMMEDIATELY put to bed. I got picked up by a fellow Buccaholic at the airport (Shout out to Hewey!!).
I changed out of my travel clothes, got myself cleaned up and immediately hit the hotel bar (its Vegas, sue me). I was there for maybe 10 minutes (hanging out with Wee-man from Jackass, check the picture) before Mooky and Tiffany showed up. It's not even an exaggeration guys, they greeted me like we'd known each other for years. No weirdness, no awkwardness, just hugs and handshakes and genuine happiness to see one another. Mook magic isn't a myth y'all, its real!
Next we went to hang out with Steve "El Capitan", Liz, and their crew that were in from Cali. Again, I cannot over-sell how awesome it was to meet everyone there. They made this goofball from Michigan feel like he was a big deal! People who I'd never met in person were showing me so much love, it was unreal.
The next 2 days were filled with too many great times, drinks, and amazing conversations to possibly lay out in words. Getting to see us make picks in the draft and having the whole place erupt in excitement just isn't a feeling I ever get to feel back home. Getting to meet fans from everywhere. California, Texas, Nevada, Washington, Arizona, it felt like a dream world. Getting to walk up and down the strip and through casinos grabbing EVERYONE'S attention with our chants and excitement was beyond words amazing for me. Going down Fremont Street and having so many people stop us and ask questions, getting to talk to them about our team and about the Buccaholics and what we were about, I'm hooked.
We say "Fan Family" a lot, hell we have it trademarked. I thought I knew what it was all about, but now there's no confusing it. The Buccaholics are a legitimate FAN FAMILY and I'm a part of it. If you are considering heading to Vegas for next years draft party, or any other event and are feeling at all apprehensive, dont be. Your fellow Buccaholics will always make you feel like you belong.
Thank you everyone for reading. I plan on doing these at least once a month. If there is anything you'd like me to chime in on, let me know through the Buccaholics Facebook (or Buccaholics Michigan) page. I'd love to hear your feedback or suggestions. Peace out, and GO BUCS!