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Sporting Events

Super Bowl XLIVegas

Got that old pigskin fever? Getting charged up to see the boys in tights bang heads? Feel the burning desire to consume multiple corndogs, paint your belly and chug light beer while shouting? Have no fear, my dear American sports fans - Super Bowl XLIV is upon us. Of all the cities in the nation, there is no better town to enjoy the spectacle than Las Vegas. But where should a true sports fan take in the big game? Whether you're a Patriots fanatic or a mid-west Cheesehead, this guide to the best local hot spots for sports is all you need to make this year's Super Bowl one for the record books.

The VIP Treatment

There are a plethora of Vegas venues to visit and watch the biggest game of the year, and perhaps the most obvious locales are the Strip sportsbooks. Most major casinos in town have a giant sports corner, featuring a floor-to-ceiling wall of TV screens that gives you virtually every major sporting event in real time, with the non-televised scores flashing across a ticker.

The best feature of this "sportsapalooza" is the betting counter. As if you didn't know this already, Vegas sportsbooks allow you to put money on everything from horse races to presidential elections. On Super Bowl Sunday, however, these areas are mobbed. The most serious betting occurs quarter to quarter, and the sportsbooks can get a little hairy depending on how the game pans out. All locals avoid the sportsbooks and major hotels, as most only feature snobby VIP parties with amazing food, free booze and insanely strict guest lists.

That said, if your heart still longs for a giant wall of TVs and the constant ex-change of money, the best sportsbook in Vegas can be found at the Mandalay Bay. With 17 enormous screens, seats for 300 and steady odds, the Mandalay Bay is both a local and tourist favorite. For lush tastes, the more refined fans head to the Bellagio for leather seats, classy cocktail service and hundreds of personal screens dedicated to men tossing balls. All fired up? Sports fanatics constantly rate the New York New York's race and sportsbook, affiliated with the ESPN Zone, as the number one spot for football enthusiasts.

One of the hottest new places in town is Lagasse's Stadium at The Palazzo. Lagasse's brings a hip feel to watching sports, thanks to its inventive dcor and younger, fantasy football-type crowd. If you ever had visions of a classic sportsbook filled with older gentlemen smoking cigars, this is not it. Lagasse's Stadium is a sports bar first. Making you comfortable enough to watch multiple games is their number one priority. It just so happens to be in Las Vegas, so the option to plunk down a wager - and get a free drink ticket with each visit to the window - is part of the experience.

Up Close and Personal

If the constant ding of slot machines only serves to annoy you, there are more risqu venues that offer plenty of Super Bowl action alongside beautiful women and a vast assortment of menu options. Perhaps the hottest tickets for game day here in Vegas are at one of the off-Strip gentlemen's clubs. Local favorites include Rick's Cabaret, voted best gentlemen's club for years by Vegas readers. This club boasts 500 of the most beautiful women in the world, scattered across two huge floors. That means there are over 25,000 square feet of fine dining, sports and scantily-clad ladies. The big game party package includes a free limo from the Strip (you only travel one block), free food and an open bar during the game. And the good thing about football is all the commercial breaks, which give you plenty of time to chat with the ladies.

Of course, the world's largest gentlemen's club is offering a special Super Sunday package. Sapphire gentlemen's club, known to most as the biggest and best club in town, will offer halftime dollar dances and free food and drinks for their February 7th party for an initial entry price of $90 per person. Treasures gentlemen's club is offering a similar party package, comprised of unlimited food and drinks for the whole game for a measly $95 per person. Girlfriends are also welcome; they can even hide out in the bachelorette room. The spread is fantastic at both places, and do not underestimate the multiple VIP areas if the drooling meat heads get too annoying.

Where the True Sports Fans Go

Most casinos don't reveal their plans about parties open to the public until about two weeks before the game. Just days ago, however, ESPNZone at New York New York posted information about its upcoming Super Bowl party on the restaurant's website. The party package includes three hours of food service, four hours of beverages and seating beginning at 2 p.m. in either the screening room or studio grill. Among the food options available are a nacho bar, chicken tenders, classic sliders with condiments, hot dogs, chips and plenty of dips, and desserts such as cookies and brownies. Ticket prices are based on the individual's beverage choice and range from $125 for beer to $175 for premium drinks.

McFadden's Irish Pub, inside the Rio, is also hosting a Super Bowl party offering unlimited food and drink for $120 per person.

The Local Couch Potatoes

But honestly, where are most Las Vegans watching this bloodthirsty bonanza of sweat, mud and testosterone? Most locals, like the majority of leather-headed Americans, will be on a couch of their very own. Sitting directly in front of the boob-tube and betting money online, sports fans are sure to make Super Bowl XLIV television's biggest event of the year.

Just be sure to remember this pearl of wisdom, eloquently spoken by Jets Assistant Coach Doug Plank: "Football is a lot like Vegas: temperamental. That is, 10 percent temper and 90 percent mental."