Of all the bull riders in town, retired superstar Ty Murray is most excited to see Austin Meier compete in the Professional Bull Riders World Cup today through Sunday at the Thomas & Mack Center ($22-$197).
Murray says Meier is driven and puts in a great effort to stay in shape, eat right and sleep well.
"This is a sport where you don't have coaches and you don't have trainers. It comes down to how dedicated you are to yourself," Murray says.
To become a champ, you have to go beyond sheer talent, he says.
"A pro football player told me one time, 'When you get to the pros, you find out everybody was the best at their school.' So you have to find an edge in your game somewhere."
Murray is happy to be retired. He doesn't have any lingering injuries or health problems.
"I wasn't a guy that wanted to see how long I could do it. I wanted to see how good I could be at it," he says. "After I felt like I had accomplished my goals, I just felt like a hamster on a wheel at that point."
In related weekend entertainment, the Academy of Country Music Awards goes down at 5 p.m. Sunday at MGM Grand ($150-$450). ... Country acts play around the Strip all weekend, including free shows on Fremont Street. (Lady Antebellum plays free around 10:45 p.m. today at Fremont.) Read today's Neon for all of 'em.
coming this weekend
LL Cool J will be hanging out at MGM's Wet Republic pool's dayclub around 3 p.m. Saturday. ... Celebrating a birthday Saturday night at Palms club Moon: model Shanna Moakler (ex-wife of Travis Barker, plus ex-girlfriend of Billy Idol, Oscar De La Hoya and Dennis Quaid). She likes 'em famous. ... David Guetta does Aria club Haze tonight. ... Cascada performs Saturday night at Caesars club Pure. ... And Wyclef Jean performs Sunday at Hard Rock's totally insane Rehab pool-dayclub, the day after Dave Grohl's Them Crooked Vultures rocks the one-year anniversary of the hotel's Joint ($50-$100).
"All these people kept coming out of the crowd, like 60-year-old women that used to be strippers that had just written books."
-- Dead Weather singer Alison Mosshart, on visiting a Tokyo club with bandmate Jack White. Read that interview in Neon.
Doug Elfman's column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.