Joy In Dover

Just before midnight on Saturday night, I received a standing ovation on a game of chance.

At the Dover Downs casino on NASCAR race weekend, I had the honor of sitting next to veteran TV play-by-play announcer Mike Joy. For those of you not used to the “boogity boogity boogity,” Joy is the guy in the booth who doesn’t sound like he’s lived in Alabama all of his life. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The casino game of roulette is perfect for NASCAR fans. This sport is built on associating numbers with drivers. Sure, everyone knows that Michael Jordan wore number 23 (and for a short period, he wore number 45). But how many of us know the uniform number of Ken Griffey Jr. or Mark Messier? The numbers game works for NASCAR fans.

Huddled around a group of about 30-40 with a Bud Light and time on their hands, everyone wanted to see if Joy could call the roulette wheel as well as he calls the races. Not exactly. Joy hit a rough patch about 30 minutes in and asked for my help on the ultimate guessing game.

I always put money in and around the number 14. I was born on the 14th and always considered this to be my lucky number. So, I gave him the tip. Joy took the advice. In my mind, the next roll would land on the number 14 and we’d both make hundreds of dollars. After this good break, Joy would invite me to the NASCAR play-by-play booth on Sunday and, heck, even let me call a lap.

Reality interrupted my daydream.



Like a fool with tried to rationalize roulette, Joy and I kept hitting the number 14. And we kept losing.

Out of credits with the roulette machine and with my Saturday evening gambling friends, I decided to walk around the casino, get a beverage and decide if I would go back to the table.

Yeah, like that was a tough call.

Three hours after my first game and many hands being so close to the number 14, I finally won big.

So did Mike, who pointed at me after a few rounds of applause.

“Finally,” he said.

That’s how I roll.


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