Updated February 23, 2019 - 5:00 pm
When he was playing football with UNLV All-American Randall Cunningham at Santa Barbara (California) High School, Rick Maiani never imagined that he would write a theme song about the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas. Not even after he set aside his shoulder pads, grew his hair long and started a rock band.
The thought didn’t occur to him until a couple of weeks ago.
Now “Coming Home” is No. 1 on the charts — the Las Vegas regional chart of ReverbNation, an online platform promoting aspiring musicians and those who have been at it a long time for when inspiration or a crazy idea occurs.
Such as writing a theme song for when the Raiders move to Las Vegas.
Actually, it’s more hard-driving ditty than theme song.
It’s not “Hail to the Redskins,” “Bear Down, Chicago Bears” or anything the old Baltimore Colts Marching Band might have considered for a greatest hits package. Maiani doesn’t envision “Coming Home” being played over the Las Vegas Stadium loudspeakers after the Raiders score a touchdown.
But he said the Raiders told his agent they are interested.
“My guess is they’d use it to sell tickets or in promotion,” said Maiani, lead guitarist and vocalist of the Las Vegas-based Rick Maiani Band that includes wife and bassist Laine and drummer John Pacult. “I write songs for movies, and I submitted this. It’s very exciting.”
Classically trained on the piano at age 5 — his father, Dario, was an Italian-born operatic tenor — Maiani’s composition “Smile” was the theme song of director Daniel Zirelli’s 2015 remake of “Black Beauty.” He has written for other Zirelli movies and says his song “Santa Fe” is being considered for the upcoming season of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”
He joked that if the Raiders wind up using “Coming Home,” he would consider tickets on the 50-yard line — or even a couple in the end zone if all the good seats are spoken for — as suitable compensation.
Former Rebel pours on gas
If it appears the gas man on defending champion Kevin Harvick’s pit crew at the upcoming NASCAR Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is leading interference on a power sweep when he comes flying over the wall to service the No. 4 Ford Mustang, it might be because Evan Marchal was used to doing that at UNLV.
Marchal was a three-year starter at right offensive tackle for the Rebels when Mike Sanford was coach. He grew up in Westfield, Indiana, just a few laps — about 21 miles — from Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
A 22-gallon can of NASCAR gas weighs 94 pounds. But at 6 feet 6 inches and 295 pounds (at least when he played for the Rebels), Marchal makes a can of NASCAR gas look like a thimble.
Kurt Busch gets puckish
I think if you were to ask Pierre McGuire, those who decided the three stars of Wednesday’s Golden Knights vs. Boston Bruins game were remiss in not naming Kurt Busch as one.
The NASCAR stalwart from Las Vegas rode “Inside the Glass” with NBCSN’s McGuire from rink side during the second period at T-Mobile Arena. He seemed thrilled with the vantage point and his one-off assignment as NHL analyst.
Sporting a VGK sweater with his car number (1) on the back, Busch could not contain his enthusiasm for his hometown team. When Nate Schmidt set William Karlsson free on a breakaway, Busch talked right over the top of play-by-play man Dave Gouchier in the booth: “Go, go, go, go, go … ohhhh! Good save! Love that!”
Added McGuire: “All I need to do is get the keys from Kurt and I can drive home.”
— ronkantowski (@ronkantowski) February 22, 2019
VGK tickets still hot
While the Golden Knights would have trouble beating the Peterboro Patriots on home ice these days, their downward spiral hasn’t been reflected at the box office.
The cheapest tickets on Stub Hub on Saturday morning for Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena were $76 in the nosebleed section. Only two were available at that price.
News release issued by the WNBA’s Aces on Friday:
“Due to inclement weather, the Las Vegas Aces’ Nevada Reading Week Tip Off Event scheduled for this afternoon has been postponed. The event will be rescheduled for some time next week once the weather becomes more “clement.”
This is why John Maxwell’s news releases are like a box of Cracker Jack. When one makes it to the bottom, there’s always a prize.
— Las Vegas Aces ♦️♠️ (@LVAces) February 21, 2019