Dec 7, 2022


By Patrick Everson

One of the beauties of having the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas: You never know who you might run into.

On Monday night, tie-down roper Shane Hanchey and steer wrestler Tyler Waguespack headed out to get some dinner after the fifth go-round. The destination: Carversteak.

Tyler Waguespack in Round 4 of the 2022 Wrangler NFR. | PRCA Photo by Phil Doyle

To get there, Hanchey and Waguespack had to walk past Brezza, the Italian restaurant at Resorts World. And what to their wondering eyes did appear, but Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis, and eight tiny reindeer.

OK, there were no reindeer. But Mark Davis was there, flying solo, about to get a bite to eat.

Hanchey and Waguespack didn’t want to intrude on Davis. But they wanted to extend a goodwill gesture, so another member of their party approached Davis.

“We invited him to the steakhouse to have dinner with us, and he politely declined,” Hanchey said. “But he was interested in meeting us. So we went in and introduced ourselves and talked to him for a little bit.”

There was football chatter and rodeo chatter.

“I asked him about Sean Payton maybe coming back to coach the Chargers or the Cardinals. He said he’d rather have Payton coaching the Cardinals,” Hanchey said with a laugh, alluding to Davis not wanting Payton coaching an AFC West opponent. “We talked football for probably five minutes. I told him that Tyler and the steer wrestlers are like the linebackers of rodeo. He asked Tyler, ‘How big a boys are they?’ And he asked about what I did.”

Hanchey was pleasantly surprised by Davis’ inquisitiveness and graciousness.

Shane Hanchey in Round 4 of the 2022 Wrangler NFR. | PRCA Photo By Phil Doyle

“He’s never been to the NFR, but he’s really interested in rodeo. He didn’t have no business talking to us, but he talked to us for 10 minutes or so,” Hanchey said. “I nearly asked him if he regretted not extending Josh Jacobs, but I didn’t – I resisted. JJ is making himself a lot of money this year.”

Indeed, Jacobs is having a big year for the Raiders, who prior to the season declined an option to extend Jacobs’ contract into next season. So now the star running back is heading toward free agency.

Hanchey was thoroughly impressed by Davis, so he didn’t want to put the team owner on the spot about the Jacobs decision.

“He was really great, just a super nice guy,” said Hanchey, who’s a big New Orleans Saints fan, along with backing his beloved LSU Tigers. “I said, ‘Man, as nice as you are, I might have to get me some Raiders gear.’ And he said, ‘We’d welcome you as a fan. But if you come to the dark side, you can’t go back!’”