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Looking down our noses at Bakersfield

A quick UNLV basketball road trip to Bakersfield, a gritty outpost affectionately called “the armpit of California” by one of our Twitter followers, has Leftovers ready to confess that maybe, just maybe, we have developed a bit of a superiority complex.

Just because we are based in one of the world’s most popular cities and Bakersfield is well, Bakersfield, who are we to look down upon anyone?

OK, so the halftime show was a bit weak. There were three guys jumping on trampolines and trying to throw down dunks while seemingly making up their routine on the spot like a bad game of H-O-R-S-E.

There was no band, the fight song was played on tape and the national anthem was performed by four old, bald guys who were supposed to be a barbershop quartet, only without the mustaches or matching outfits.

Oh, yeah, there also was the security guard who paced back and forth between two cones outside Rabobank Arena as if he was a member of the Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace. He snarled “Exit only” when asked where the parking lot was, even though no other cars had been or would be in the area for another 30 minutes.

Two members of UNLV’s radio broadcast team encountered bathroom issues in their respective rooms at the respected chain hotel next door to the arena — one with a broken toilet, the other with an ant infestation.

Lovely town.

Despite all that, the staff at Cal State Bakersfield was incredibly hospitable to the UNLV team, fans and media and, more important, the Roadrunners are on the right track to being a legitimate Division I basketball program just over five years after moving up.

What right do we have to think Las Vegas is so much better than a town where the people are just like us, simply because they choose to live in a place in which random people circle gas stations in the middle of the night effectively scaring off big-city folk who are too intimidated to get out of the car?

You know what? Just thought about the Buckingham Palace guy again. We are better.

■ BREAKING STEREOTYPES — Whatever preconceived notions one might have about sports writers being bitter, gruff types who eat way too much bad food and swill black coffee all day while babbling on about sports would have been wiped out by tagging along for the drive to Bakersfield.

Well, at least the one about the black coffee.

A stop at a Starbucks drive-thru produced the following order: one peppermint mocha, one peppermint hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and one Orange Blossom hot tea.

Of course, a poll immediately went up on Twitter to determine the most effeminate order.

We’ll give you time to think about it and provide the results below.

As for the food, all of those stereotypes were preserved during a gluttonous pregame stop at Sizzler, which actually appeared to be the fanciest restaurant in town.

■ POLL RESULTS — The hot tea was the runaway winner with more than 25 votes in the instant poll conducted between Baker and Tehachapi.

COMPILED BY ADAM HILL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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