Maxim & Bootsy Bellows wraps up Super Bowl week of parties (noon Sunday)
Before this trip, I only knew Treasure Island as a mid-tier Vegas casino. As it turns out, it's an actual, you know, island off the coast of San Francisco. A strong swimmer could maybe make it to Alcatraz if they were a particularly misguided and ambitious Whitey Bulger history completist.
I was at Treasure Island for the Maxim & Bootsy Bellows Party, which remains a crown jewel of the Super Bowl party scene. It didn't take long to see why Maxim has that reputation. I'm not sure how good business is for the venerable lad mag in 2016, but it's clear the company puts a ton of dough into their annual winter bash.
After walking down an entrance with a lighted pathway and spotlights, we navigated past a red carpet, memorabilia tent, suspiciously placed Church of Scientology station and a Dodge Charger race simulator area before reaching the actual party. This was our first impression:
This was a freaking good-looking party. At one point, I turned to my guest and said, "I have never seen so many hot women in one place." In a delicious irony, my plus-one for the evening was my wife. Life is funny like that. There were almost too many hot women, the crush of 9s trying to get vodka sodas making it nearly impossible to get a drink. It is the eternal catch of an open bar at a weekend Super Bowl bash. You drink without paying a cent, but you'll pay for it with time and sweat. That bottle service option pays for itself.
How valuable was a cocktail? While waiting at the bar for service, a young woman asked my wife if an unattended drink next to her was up for grabs. The girl was about to guzzle the damn thing, before my wife cautioned her -- reprimanded her, really -- not to ingest a potential GHB & tonic. If I ever have a daughter, she will not leave the house. This is a promise.
The various DJs on hand offered a nice mix of hip hop and electronic dance music. The biggest hits of the night in terms of getting the crowd going were "N----s In Paris" by Jay-Z and Kanye (impressive for a five-year-old song) and "Sorry" by Justin Bieber. I have to say I underestimated Bieber, who I figured would be in the "1993 Vanilla Ice" stage of his career by now. So, um, sorry Beebs.
Celebrity watch: I saw Jason Street from Friday Night Lights, Chuy Bravo (the little dude from the old Chelsea Handler show), Michael Sam (he's probably more a celeb than a football player at this point), and a Bachelor semi-finalist from the Kaitlyn season (recognizing him was not a high point for me as a man). During the Lil' Wayne set, Weezy shouted out Odell Beckham Jr., whose giant hand popped up from a VIP area to the left of the stage.
Oh, Lil' Wayne was very good. It's pretty remarkable he's able to perform while sucking down purple drank and smoking a blunt simultaneously. I guess he's just a pro.
I've survived party week. Thanks for following along. Onto the game.
Playboy party dumps hip-hop for EDM (noon)
The above video offers a pretty accurate summation of what it was like at the Playboy party outside AT&T Park last night. We've reached the weekend, which means the party scene has completed its evolution from intimate gatherings to large celebrations to its final form as a sprawling and loud assault of the senses. It's like a grotesque mutant butterfly.
Which is kind of beautiful in its own way. This is a big year for Playboy, which just this week unveiled its first-ever non-nude issue. The seismic shift by the publication was mirrored in a change in the vibe at their annual Super Bowl bash, where hip-hop was largely jettisoned in favor of an EDM club-like experience. How much you enjoyed yourself at the party probably was directly proportional to how much you like thumping bass and a skittering beat.
And if you were curious, the magazine's move away from T&A doesn't mean the bunnies have disappeared. Some traditions must live on, even if they end up turning Hef's mansion into a BnB.
There were food trucks in an outside area offering up burgers, pizza and deserts from local businesses (always welcome). I saw 50 Cent on the red carpet -- I don't think he's aged a day since "In Da Club" dropped in '03. The bar was open and under attack all night, as you might expect. At one point, a particularly overwhelmed bartender looked straight through me like a soldier in war who had seen too much. I wonder if he's still there now.
Prior to the Playboy bash, me and the rest of the Around The NFL team met up with some podcast listeners at the Golden Gate Tap Room in Union Square. I'd estimate there were at least 50 fans on hand, and people kept buying me greyhounds (my booze of choice), which obviously took its toll. But it was a pretty amazing experience getting to meet with the listeners ... even the Patriots fans.
I also signed my first football, which means I can pretty much retire. I've reached the top of the mountain and there's nothing left to achieve.