One of the coolest things about running this website has been the incredible interaction I’ve had with some insanely talented people. Graphic designers, Photoshop wizards, videographers, website owners who end up employed by the team, t-shirt designers, domain name geniuses, lawyers, popcorn poppers, you name it, you guys have reached out to me and it’s been really awesome.
Whether on Twitter, Facebook, email or in person, you wouldn’t believe the number of conversations I’ve had with fans of a team that didn’t exist and now does but still won’t have a player for another eight months. Honestly, I’ve had my doubts about how successful this team is going to be, there have been tough days trying to drum up interest to a fan base I feel is growing at a snail’s pace, but it’s those interactions that will always keep me optimistic.
So, why am I saying all of this? Well, I got an email about a month and a half ago with something I wanted to share with everyone who visits this site, but we’ve been waiting for the perfect time to do it. When we broke the news that November 22nd is the date of the team name unveil, the story I was sent got it’s necessary conclusion, and now it’s time to share it to the world.
The author’s name is Michael Shevlane and he sent in what he dubbed “a dectective noir” about the team name saga the Las Vegas franchise has gone through since the announcement of the team. Without further ado, I present you,
“The Case of the Missing Name”
FROM THE DESK OF BILLY SNEAKS, P.I
So there’s this wise guy here on the west side of town, goes by the name of Freddie Four Fingers, on account of losing his thumb in a hitch-hiking accident. Anyways, Freddie comes to me and drops the scoop on this new hockey club, said to be muscling into town just off the Boulevard.
Their don, a big-money type called Foley, or how he’s know on the streets, The Creator, is said to be putting his feelers out all over town, finding drones for his clan, if you get me. His lair is a big old place they say is in between the boroughs of New York and the jewel of Monaco, whatever that means, and he has space for thousands of minions. A real takeover, as they say. He has some overlords up in the Big Apple who give him the thumbs up to get set up, and they’ve been seen around town, pressing flesh and handing dimes under the table, so as to get their guy off to a bright start.
Anyways, as soon as Freddie caught wind of all this he had come to me, as he owes me for a couple of jobs I did for his people back in the day, snooping round some deals gone bad, that kind of thing. When I hear about this new organization, my ears perk right up, and I rinse him for the low down till he’s Mojave dry. Seems they were already dug in, with their new hires in tow, and were building up to some kind of big job next year.
So I start looking around on my own accord, putting a few words in a few ears, and slipping a few notes in a few hands, seeing if I can find a weakness. Just to stick my finger in the breeze and see what’s cooking. Well, I didn’t even have time to drum my fingers twice before word comes back on the wire that the new set up was running into one big problem. You see, they was having all kinds of trouble finding a name for their gig! Well, this ain’t the sort of problem I expected a moneyed operation to be facing, so I took another deep breath and began to dig deeper…
I was up late one night, reading through some copied documents from the US Patent & Trademark Bureau which I had lifted from their local office a little unauthorized like, when I saw something strange. This Creator guy had registered a bunch of names already, and they was all approved, right as rain. I sat back in my chair and let my cig fall to the ground in surprise, as I tried to piece together what it might mean. You see, the cat only needs one name. Why would he file all these phony papers when he just needed the one? And why put out word on the vine as he was having trouble with the name, when he was six or seven to the good? This struck me as real fishy, so I gets to work digging some more. Well, sleep was beginning to get the better of me, when there is a knock at the door, and a strong looking broad walks in, without waiting for my okay. She walks up to me and says, not much above a whisper:
“It’s all a scam, Billy. Follow the paper trail to New York.”
I was going to reply, but to be honest, I was shocked and sleepy in halves, and this lady was out that door before I could do so much as whistle. I was about to leave my office when I saw she had also left a paper on the table. I read it, and it says something about a guy by the name of Rat Pack Kenny, some local hack who was picking up the same bread crumbs and working his way up the chain. Only difference, he was writing about it in the local rag, tellin’ everyone this Foley was part of a big conspiracy, and that none of those trademark filings were legit. Thing is, Kenny had his head above the wall a little too high, and he was feeling the heat. He was said to be writing from a secret pad, trying to bring the plot down with just his wits and his ink scratcher. Well, I have been in the P.I. game long enough to know where to look when the hunted man goes to ground, so it was only a couple of days before I was knocking on a dark door in a dim hood, watching the paint chip off on my knuckles as I rat-a-tat. Guy comes to the door all cautious like.
“You Kenny?” I says, casually.
“Who wants to know?” says he.
“A whole lot of folks, I’ll bet,” I reply, walking in.
Kenny and I shoot the breeze for some time, exchanging bits of info we have picked up on the Foley club. It was not until an hour or two has gone by that I ask him the question that has been on my mind more and more.
“If all these names is phony, what’s the real name?”
Rat Pack Kenny looks around all serious, checking the room again as if there might be someone in the corner, before staring hard at me.
“The big guys from New York and another big partner – this three stripe firm – have been making al the decisions. It was never Foley. This goes all the way to the very top circle. Foley had a name he wanted, but they shot it down straight, black in the night. He knows the name now, but it was spoonfed to him. It is all fixed up from on high.”
I shrugged. “So what?”
“So, the big bosses are releasing the name next month. There is going to be a big bash at Foley’s place down off the Strip, and a big reveal. Till then, they are determined no-one is going to know. No-one, do ya hear?”
I was about to reply, when a dirty black phone hung on the grimy wall started to ring like crazy. Kenny runs over, picks it up, says “uh-huh” a couple of times, before turning a little pale. He comes back to me and sits down like he just saw a ghost.
“What’s up?” says I, though a little on the concerned side, truth be told.
“After all that, Foley’s only gone and dropped a big clue as to the name,” says he. “His firm are gonna be the Knights, and they may be Golden, they may be Silver, or they may be Desert, but they are sure as heck gonna be Knights.”
“But why now? What’s changed?” I asked, after chewing on this info for a bit.
Kenny shrugged. “The only lead I got says that it may be down to some time constraints. You know, because of them Silver & Black mob bastards.”
I let out a low whistle. The Silver & Black were a big gang from the Bay. A real mean gig with lots of heavies and lots of looted dough. They were currently holding the city over a barrel for almost a billion dollars, and were trying to get a mighty big piece of the Vegas pie in their own right. I looked at Kenny, who was lost in thought, and spoke my mind.
“So Foley knows he needs to bed down and run the town as soon as possible, before the turf war starts?”
Kenny looked at me grimly. “For all we know, it may be that Foley is the hero in this piece. If the Silver & Black are coming, it is gonna get ugly. Bribes, guns, spiked shoulder pads, the whole nine.”
I felt a shudder give my spine a massage I didn’t ask for. This was big – bigger than I had thought when chasing up some lousy name for some shoddy firm. I was in over my head, and boy did I know it. I said a grim goodbye to Rat Pack Kenny, with mutual promises of sharing future info, and walked out into the Vegas night, wondering when the other shoe was going to drop, seeing as the first shoe was causing such a ruckus.
It was a few days before I heard from Kenny on the down low again, by ways of a note slipped into my hand behind ‘Golden Nines’, a grubby little casino on the east side. I unfolded it and eyeballed it, before striking a match and disposing of it with a little act of arson. The note was short and sweet:
Foley has set the date. Check the ads on page 17 of the local paper tomorrow
Figuring as Kenny was going to communicate this in some kind of code, I picked up the rag with interest the next day, turning to the ads as instructed. I couldn’t help a sly grin as I saw Kenny’s handiwork in a small ad at the bottom right of the page.
Party supplies for sale. Perfect for big events. NAME your price! Must be sold by November 22nd. Call 867-4422.
I felt as though having ‘name’ in caps might be a bit of a giveaway, but then who else would be looking? All in all it was a nice little piece of work. Best of all, we now had a date, thanks to whatever grapevine Kenny was listening to.
November 22nd…and I was going to make sure I was there, in the Desert, when it all went down.
Never hesitate to send us here at SinBin.vegas anything. Questions, comments, pictures, articles, whatever you think we might be interested in. Odds are, we are just as interested as you are, cause after all there are no bigger nerds about this team than us.
Huge shout out to Michael for this incredible piece, and hopefully this serves as just the beginning for a fan base with a wealth of talents to share their piece of genius with the rest of the Valley and the world.
Honestly, I’ve had my doubts about how successful this team is going to be, there have been tough days trying to drum up interest to a fan base I feel is growing at a snail’s pace, but it’s those interactions that will always keep me optimistic.
Pretty much sums up the National Hockey League – you either love it or you hate it. You’re either in or you’re out. There ain’t no such thing as a casual hockey fan. Hence the small, but hard core fanbase.