What a Difference a News Cycle Makes
Did you ever think you’d see the day when you wouldn’t want to be Steve Wynn?
Royalty in Las Vegas and a savior in Everett, Wynn now belongs to the growing list of men who stand accused of grievous sexual misconduct. File under: Boom!
Until late last week, the project was progressing like a dream. The towering, sprawling resort casino was rising and spreading in virtual silence. Today, noise and confusion.
The Wall Street Journal — not a publication that Wynn/Republican types consider to be a purveyor of “fake news” — dropped the bombshell on Friday afternoon. The story spread like chips at a crowded roulette table. On Saturday, Wynn celebrated his 76th birthday by resigning his post as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Sunday’s Boston Herald devoted four pages to the story. The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is investigating the matter, whatever that means. The Commission vetted Wynn and discovered what we already knew — in the casino business, he’s a giant. But it seems clear that the search didn’t lead them anywhere near where the Wall Street Journal ventured. Should it have? That, and a lot of other things, will be sorted out in the coming days and weeks.
The claims laid bare by the Wall Street Journal range from truly disturbing (pressuring employees into performing sex acts) to the embarrassing (he apparently has a “private massage room in his suite” and he favors wearing “extremely short shorts without underwear” when he gets pedicures.) Massage rooms and pedicures? Next thing you’re going to tell us is he’s audacious enough to pay $28 million for a sculpture of Popeye.
There’s no do-overs in play. Everett still stands to experience the good, bad, and ugly of a casino project this massive. The gold building that’s rising to the sky on the Mystic River in Everett will get finished. The slot machines will be plugged in, the cards shuffled, the bars and restaurants stocked. It will employ people. It will be a place where people go and find joy and misery. It will bring money to the city and headaches to its residents, and the hope is that Everett takes in more dollars than aspirins.
Who knows what will happen to Wynn. He calls the allegations “preposterous.” He says his ex wife is kicking up a storm. Maybe the Wynn Corp. board will stand by its man. Perhaps this story won’t “advance” any further (although it’s very bad as it is). One can’t assume that Wynn will disappear, or be cast away by forces beyond his control. He didn’t conquer the casino game by being unafraid of a fight.
But do you like his odds of easing out of this without any repercussions? What’s he betting on? The chance that all, or most, of the women who spoke to the Wall Street Journal are lying or telling half-truths? The chance that the Wall Street Journal’s writers, editors and lawyers let things get through its colander that shouldn’t have? Possible, yes, but realistic?
There have been calls for Massachusetts to sever Wynn from this project, a stunning thought given that Wynn’s buildings are adorned with his signature. The Globe’s Joan Vennochi wrote on Monday afternoon that Wynn needs to go so “Massachusetts [can] salvage what’s left of its own integrity.”
You barely had time to throw a pair of dice before Governor Charlie Baker called the allegations “disgraceful,” a seemingly obvious political play that Everett’s leaders seem reluctant to do. Wynn has already walked away from the RNC. The corporation’s stock is tumbling. Where all of this ends, no one knows.
Maybe Steve Wynn will be in Everett in June of 2019 when the first bets are made. Then again, maybe he’ll be in Las Vegas or Macau instead.
We Can’t Wait for Super Sunday — Seriously
Is there anything better than the Super Bowl when the Patriots are playing? Is there anything more agonizing than Super Bowl morning/afternoon when the Patriots are playing?
If you’re up at, say, 9:30 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, that leaves nine hours until kickoff. We repeat: NINE HOURS! You can drive to Montreal in nine hours — to pick just one of the innumerable things one can accomplish in nine hours.
When your team is playing in the Super Bowl, Sunday of game day is like sitting at the end of the runway, waiting for unrelenting winds to subside. It’s a day where you’ll swear your clocks are broken, a day when exhilaration and anticipation is counteracted by heavy bouts of boredom and mental anguish.
How can it only be 11:30! I read the paper, had three cups of coffee, and took a shower!
2:45! I had lunch, put the beers on ice, and ironed my No. 12 jersey!
4:00! I’ve been watching the pre-game coverage for two hours and it’s still two and a half hours until kickoff!
Sure, one could “do something” to while away the hours. You could go to a movie or the mall. You could tool around Boston like a tourist for a few hours. You could visit a museum, go ice skating, or take a drive. You could behave like a normal human being, put the whole thing in perspective, and shroud yourself in the comfort of it “only being a game.”
We wish you the best of luck with that. First of all, it’s hard to concentrate on anything other than the “game” when it’s the Super Bowl. If you have the mental discipline to successfuly occupy your thoughts on Sunday, our hat’s off to you.
Secondly, if you go out into the world on Super Bowl Sunday, you run the risk of being mistaken for someone who doesn’t care about the game. This might not be true in the morning or very early afternoon, but who’s kidding who: Is a serious Patriots fan going to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” at any time on Sunday? The only genuinely safe places are supermarkets and liquor stores because the assumption is that you’re shopping for the game.
So, we have no valid suggestions. Try staying up into the wee hours on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Then you can sleep in until 1. Great. That leaves only five and a half hours to kickoff.