Chaos in Vegas

 Joe competed in a members only meet at Waxmans gym this weekend. He snatched 87Kg and Clean & Jerked 107kg!

Joe competed in a members only meet at Waxmans gym this weekend. He snatched 87Kg and Clean & Jerked 107kg!

A. Overhead Squat


B. "Jeremy"


OH Squats (95/65)




800m Run

800m Run with 2 KB's (53/35)

800m Run with 1 KB (53/35)

800m Run


As many of you know, Steph and I were in Vegas this weekend for the Mayweather v. Maidana boxing match. We had quite the experience and I feel like I need to document what happened and then attempt to tie in fitness somehow. So here goes:

After the fight was over, my dad Pat, Steph, Herb (my brother) and I began walking out of the MGM Grand Arena. This is the 3rd time I have attended an event at this venue, and it is a total nightmare trying to exit. There are a number of factors at play that make this exit a dangerous one.

The first and most avoidable factor is the fact that the MGM organizers funnel every single fan into one, narrow exit. There are other exits but they close them so the entire crowd is forced into a hallway that is lined with restaurants, shops and other small businesses. The crowd is elbow to elbow for about 800 meters with the final stretch leading into the casino. You cannot exit the arena without walking by 30 businesses, and then passing through the entire length of the casino. The MGM is clearly choosing to drive hotel business over safety.

The second factor is there exists a true dichotomy within the fans attending the fight. Last night, there were equal parts die hard Mayweather fans and Argentinean Maidana fans (many wearing Argentina national soccer jerseys). The fight was extremely close, and the decision controversial. Emotions were running high after the decision, and many Maidana fans thought he was robbed. So now, you take 16,000 highly emotional and angry fans of differing races and backgrounds, who just witnessed a testosterone-driven fight and put them in one hallway together.

As the 4 of us walked through this hallway, there were chants, shouting matches and small scuffles breaking out all around us. We put Steph in between the 3 of us, that’s how nervous we were about the escalating situation. We reached Emeril’s restaurant where the Directv after party was taking place, and Pat decided to call it a night. We sat down, had a drink and some appetizers and began re-hashing the details of the fight. We could see out the restaurant windows the still massive crowd slowly making its way through the hallway. Then, all of a sudden, we heard a loud bang and a large crowd of people began fighting their way into the restaurant. I will never forget the terror on these people’s faces as they struggled through Emeril’s entrance.

The 3 of us immediately shot up, and ran into the kitchen of the restaurant. Someone yelled “shots fired”, and the scene was total chaos. The staff and chefs were running around shouting instructions to everyone. They handled the situation very professionally and truly cared for the patrons safety. They were leading dozens of people out the back door of the kitchen and to safety. At the time we didn’t know if there were gunmen running around, but we assumed the worst. We made it out, and headed back to the Mandalay Bay where we were staying.

The next morning the 5 of us (my mom doesn’t go to the fights) had a spirited conversation about the previous night. As bigger news agencies began to pick up the story, we learned 24 people were hospitalized due to a stampede that occurred in the hallway. A large temporary wall collapsed and made a deafening noise. This startled people and they began to panic. People rushed into shops, overturning tables, damaging merchandise. Fights broke out, people were trampled, and those in wheelchairs were toppled over; it was a terrifying and unfortunate scene.

So there’s the story, but what can be learned from it? It infuriates me that the MGM chooses making more money over the safety of its guests, but I suppose that is sometimes the way the world works. The conversation Steph and I and Herb were having was that although we were not directly in the stampede, we were able to react and move quickly, and we got to safety very quickly. With the stampede situation, being strong/fit is no guarantee for safety, but it sure can’t hurt. I’m not saying CrossFit saved us or anyone else but it got me thinking about extreme situations and how being physically fit could potentially save ones life, or better yet, save someone else’s.  As Mark Rippotoe said, “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”