Raza Does Vegas
SFV's Cognac Attack and others under the big lights in Brown
It's been awhile since I've visited the city of "Lost Wages, They-had-ya", aka Las Vegas , Nevada. Memories of a butt bustin', 400 mile Harley ride, minus the rent money afterwards many moons ago, has kept me peacefully in the Land of 1000 Dances for many years, thank you
Published on LatinoLA: October 3, 2006
But recently, there arose an occassion Brown the weekend of September 16th (Mexico's Independence Day) that had thousands of Mi Gente visiting the land of glimmer, lights, and no state income tax that just called out for "the kid" to make the long haul after some gentle arm twisting from LatinoLA and Steven Chavez.
The occasion was the 2006 American Dodgeball Championship Tournament, in which "our guys", the COGNAC ATTACK from the San Fernando Valley, Califas, made the trip northeast of L.A. with the generous support & sponsorship of LatinoLA, KCLA FM, Steven & Janie Chavez of the East L.A. Revue, Mictlan Publishing, and the ever-ready SATISFACTION Band. With this kind of support, the guys promised to give it their all, and then some!
There was also the 2006 International Mariachi Festival. Not my kind of everyday music, tu sabes, but when you see hundreds of people from all over the world put down their cigarettes, drinks, and move away from their slot & game machines for a minute to catch some of my Brown brethren in full Mariachi regalia, proudly cranking out live music in the lobby of the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel & Casino...well, imagine this cool old vato burstin' with orgullo and giving up more than one loud grito in support when they received loud ovations! (That happens...what can I say?) You could almost feel the warm tears of pride in the many Latino hotel employees, who for the moment, were SERIOUSLY respected & appreciated...just for being Brown and lookin' good!
Then, there was the rumble of international notice for the moment at the MGM Grand Hotel, the Berrera-Juarez Championship fight that caught the attention of millions around the World....and millions of dollars flowed...
I think Vegas learned the meaning of "It's a Brown thing, Baby!", on this weekend!
As they have shown to do at each appearance, the COGNAC ATTACK landed in Vegas with a following of familia and friends that was at least 30 strong. Loud and proud, the Las Vegas Sports Center felt the presence of a Chicano family from Aztlan as we entered the arena, heads held high.
(For some odd reason, a scene from the movie "Gladiator" entered my mind...)
Man! You could feel the electricity in the air, and the excitement in the crowd! You should have been there!
Although they practiced and prepared for weeks, the COGNAC ATTACK, a team of family & friends from the 'hood that started playing for fun, found themselves in the midst of 22 professional teams that came from different parts of the Country, all of them eye balling the $25,000.00 1st place award.
With some questionable referring and judging amongst some local favorites that almost started a couple of fights (and made a lot of us grateful there was security in the house), the COGNAC ATTACK slugged it out excitably, proudly and loudly through 4 tough rounds that had everybody in the house cheering and on their feet. The graceful athletic ablities and action of the guys made you want to cheer even when we lost a match.
(They looked THAT good!)
Here were Chicanos from the San Fernando Valley, California, some still teenagers, going head to head with some obviously older and most certainly profesional athletes of the game...and holding their own nicely, giving back what they got in style! At times you could see the looks of bewilderment and smiles of respect from other teams when the COGNAC ATTACK refused to go down without a fight, taking out a top team in at least one of the best of three matches.
Alas, prayers, hope, and well wishes were not enough to keep the COGNAC ATTACK in the top 5, and we were eventually eliminated after 4 rounds, the last match being a real nail biter, one that even had the winning team openly congratulating the COGNAC ATTACK's efforts after the match.The COGNAC ATTACK ended up coming in 8th place, out of 22.
Not bad for "new guys", huh?
As they tearfully left the floor after the elimination match, the chant of "COGNAC ATTACK! COGNAC ATTACK!" arose from the familia, and for a few seconds, everybody in the arena joined them , as the COGNAC ATTACK made their exit with their heads up...
...winners of hearts that day!
The COGNAC ATTACK wish to thank their sponsors:
~ FRANKIE FIRME & KCLA FM
~ STEVEN & JANIE CHAVEZ of the EAST L.A. REVUE
~ RUBEN MOLINA & MICTLAN PUBLISHING
~ CHRIS RESERVA & THE SATISFACTION BAND
~ ABELARDO de la PENA Jr. & LATINOLA.com
~ The REYES, WARNER, and NEVAREZ Families of Sylmar, Ca
The COGNAC ATTACK has received invitations to other tournaments. When they happen, you'll hear about it here, on LatinoLA !
When not cruising Vegas, Frankie Firme spins some of the sweetest Chicano tunes on the World Wide Web.