Chance, Mascot for The Vegas Golden Knights

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The Vegas Golden Knights pulled the greatest Friday the 13th prank in their franchise’s nascent existence a couple weeks ago. Except it wasn’t actually a prank. The Golden Knights decided to introduce their new mascot to the world (presented by Geico!, for some reason) via their crazy-popular twitter handle, but failed to supply any more details on the fantastic beast for another hour and forty minutes. Needless to say, the immediate consensus reaction was…confusion. What is it? Why does look like the rock guy from Fantastic Four? Is it a dinosaur? Is it a golden Godzilla? Following a thorough investigation of the internet, I’m confident that not a single fan theory correctly identified Chance as the GILA MONSTER he is.

Truthfully, when I heard he was a gila monster, I had a tough time understanding how the franchise had missed such an easy gimme and failed to just make their mascot a knight, but I’ve since changed my mind. After all, who says a mascot has to have any sort of semblance to the team they represent? Certainly not the Phillie Phanatic, and don’t even get me started on the Montreal Canadiens and their offensively ginger Youppi!

Youppi! the offensively ginger mascot of the Montreal Canadiens


At the end of the day, I think Bill Foley and the Golden Knights’ media marketing group deserve a little credit for having the balls (and creativity) to green-light the use of a venomous, hardly-known, and near-threatened lizard as the face of their franchise. That being said, I feel like they missed a real opportunity to truly embrace the weirdness of their decision and go all out with a lizard costume; let’s be honest – that mascot outfit (designed by VStar Entertainment Group) is nothing more than a head and a set of gloves (yes, he wears hockey pants). That leads me to my only real criticism of the costume – the fact that the back of Chance’s head looks to be inexplicably coated with a thick shimmering and sparkling layer of unicorn spit.

Chance the Vegas Golden Knights Mascot is really just a head and gloves

Source: Getty Images,

The last element to all of this that deserves to be touched on is the fact that the mascot is named Chance. If you can’t work out that name’s obviously brilliant double entendre and how it relates to back to Vegas, I’m afraid I can’t help you. There is, of course, the possibility that the naming was all purely a setup for the best-ever mascot Halloween costume:

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The Las Vegas Mob Attraction

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Intentional or not, a large part of this so-called-attraction is finding the damn thing in the first place. Tucked out of the way in the basement of the Tropicana like an awkwardly spectacled step child, it was virtually void of visitors when I checked it out this past Monday afternoon. Sure, Monday isn’t exactly the busiest day on the Strip, but I’m guessing a slightly sloppy production (how do you have spelling errors on digital displays 19 months into operation??) has something to do with the meager attendance. It was either that, or the unjustifiably high cost to get in (general admission is $33).

It’s 2012, people. Spell-check has been a thing now for, like, 20 years.

The entire premise of this attraction hinges on it being an experience rather than a museum, which is probably a good idea considering it comes off as being curated by an 8th grader that learned everything he knows about the mob from The Godfather: The Game on Xbox. A modest amount of indiscriminate information is presented to the attendee, which contributes to an overly characterized presentation of “the mob.” The same presentation cyclically vilifies and praises both specific members of the organized crime syndicate, and their activities. It’s honestly just plain confusing.

Organized a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure  story, a series of roughly 20 rooms are compartmentalized to allow small groups of people to privately interact with different aspects of the attraction. Several of the rooms feature period actors that contribute to the disappointingly roughshod storyline that the attendee is actually trying to join the mob as they make their way to the exit. Nothing was more disappointing, however, than the overly hyped use of holographic interactions. This was the single largest draw for me, but the experience included only two holograms; neither of which featured any actual holographic effects. They were essentially just filmed projections. Hardly any CGI involved whatsoever.

Another notable feature of the attraction was the  “movie theater” room that continuously looped a TLC documentary of the filming of original The Godfather. To the room’s credit, comfortable black leather benches were available for seating, but the documentary’s video quality was reminiscent of early 2000’s bootlegged Kazaa movies. I wouldn’t be shocked if the attraction’s producer recorded the show as a YouTube stream and burnt it on to a DVD.

In conclusion, this attraction is a complete waste of both time and money. I feel genuine embarrassment for anyone and everyone involved in its production.

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