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Acai for Athletes

X-Games: Acai in the Athletes Lounge - Saturday, August 7
Lounge Act - By Tim Struby,

My hotel phone rings. I answer. It's my middle-aged editor screaming about deadlines, new assignments, and something about responsibility when it comes to room service. I hang up and roll over. Despite resisting the last tequila shot last night, I stopped in the seedy hotel sports bar and staggered through beers and pool with some fellow ESPNers. This morning, this EARLY morning, my body feels as if I've been rolled up in a rug and beaten with baseball bats.

Fortunately today's all-access gig is the perfect remedy. I'm tackling the Athlete's Lounge, the exclusive hideaway where athletes and select friends unwind. I've heard the lounge has gourmet food, high-tech toys, and even air conditioning. I'm just hoping the bathrooms are clean.

Jake Brown is crazy for the Brazilian energy food... and the Brazilian girls handing it out.

I head over around noon. Victor, the lounge's gatekeeper, hands me the key. As I clutch the purple pass, I feel like the kid from Willy Wonka, only I don't think he was ever reeling from post-Patron Silver syndrome.

Outside the double doors, I find a small picnic area—a handful of tables, chairs, and a foosball game. I expect Mossad-like security, but the lone guard, sporting a Sisqo haircut and coloring, appears to have nodded off.

A blast of cool air hits me as I enter. It's dark, but warmly lit by the glow of pinball, Playstations, Golden Tee machines and head-to-head car-racing videogames. As my eyes adjust, I see a fraternity brother's dream (sans the kegs). On one side are a row of computer stations, a Fender electric guitar setup (with amps), a quiet cul-de-sac of couches, and the caterer's table. The other side houses a virtual-golf game room, a Brazilian smoothie stand, and a fancy coffee machine. At the rear, I find a massage room, a mini-Taco Bell and a tiki bar complete with water, soda, and a bevy of hyper-sugar-caffeine drinks. There are also bar-tables, a large, silver-painted plastic palm tree, and a large-screen TV.

Scouting complete, I wait for the action.

PLG stopped by the Full Swing golf simulator for some help with his swing. Later, he's going to take this guy out to the Mega Ramp and give him a few pointers on gapping 35 feet on your skateboard.

3 p.m. The dark and cool helps my still-raging headache. I don't recognize anyone. There's a guy in a wife beater. A couple of guys are stuffing their faces with burritos. Two others sit zombie-like watching Starsky and Hutch. I stroll to the caterer's table. Dishes of sushi and orange chicken. The ham and cheese I just ate at the staff cafeteria does a somersault in my gut.

4 p.m. Still not much going on. Tommy Clowers sits at the bar. Jason Ellis serenades his girlfriend with an electric-guitar solo. A few athletes' girlfriends—skinny, busty—roam aimlessly. I drink in succession: water, sugar-free Red Bull, Pepsi, water, regular Red Bull, Mountain Dew. My headache disappears, but my heart palpitates violently. My surly, middle-aged editor enters. Somehow he's commandeered a pass. I tell him I'm reporting him to the board of ethics. He challenges me to a head-to-head car race. I smoke him the first race and demand more space for my column. He whips me in the second and I accuse him of cheating, then threaten to spread rumors that he really is a narc. He eats a burrito and leaves. I go play pinball.

5 p.m. I sit outside. A group wearing "cheesehead" hats and "Team Lutzka" shirts loiter nearby. Skater Greg Lutzka exits the Lounge and takes his posse with him. Inside, the Metal Mulisha Moto X crew sits together to eat. I'm reminded of a family Sunday dinner. I eat a taco. I lounge on a couch. I doze. Then I score 165 million on pinball. The good life of the athlete. I consider turning pro... in pinball. Ahhh... the massage corner, complete with masseuse, massage table and water-bed self-massage bed. There's no better place to be after a day of spills.

6 p.m. Bloated from repeated trips to Taco Bell, I amble into the simulated-golf room. To my amazement, pro golfer Fred Couples sits in a chair, watching. I want to see him drive. He wants to sit. I roam. Mulisha master Brian Deegan sleeps on a couch. I leer at the Brazilian girls working the smoothie station. Time to call it a day. A good night's sleep beckons.

Time Unknown: I wake up and feel like I've been thrown out of a moving car. Despite good intentions, I got a call last night from my pal, film producer Neal Flaherty. I knew it was trouble. The last time, in Vegas, he gave a reality star-turned-stripper enough money to make a down payment on a house. He said he was off to a party. Rooftop. VIP's. Bar. OPEN Bar. I strolled to The Standard Hotel and found Neal with NHL star Chris Drury. We're whisked past the block-long line to the roof. Nice. Two hours later, I'm standing on a couch watching Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick live. No rest for the weary and all-accessed. Today, I pay.

12:30 p.m. I drag myself to the Lounge. Sisqo is still passed out. Was he on the rooftop last night? Inside, the place is quiet. I grab a plate of coleslaw and pulled pork. Not a good idea. I notice a bevy of Adidas people setting up a display of shoes, shirts and hats. My instincts tell me to launch into a rant about shameless commercialism. I take a hat instead. Kevin grabs some Acai to power-up for his Bike Stunt Vert finals later Friday night.

2 p.m. Tony Hawk sits at the bar eating pulled pork. I wonder if it made him feel ill, too. He signs an autograph, checks his blackberry and splits. A taco maker from the Bell monopolizes my pinball machine.

3:20 p.m. My hangover lingers. My middle-aged editor shows up. He's particularly cranky, and starts stuffing his face with Taco Bell. I tell him it's poison and brag about my video-car racing prowess. He suggests a rematch and orders me to throw the two 6-year-olds off the machine. I nod, then slink out the door.

5 p.m. Back to the lounge. The place jumps. Deegan's at the bar holding court with menace in his eye. Jackass's Steve-O talks on a cell phone. A 2-year-old plays Spiderman 2 on Playstation. The guys next to me speak a foreign language. I run into Kimarie Hunt, Cory "Nasty" Nastazio's manager. Her head hurts too. We commiserate.

8 p.m. I'm eating a burrito supreme. Suddenly, I notice my very angry editor playing MY pinball machine. I challenge him. I discover he's a recovering arcade rat. I lose. I storm off and tell Victor, the Lounge manager, that my editor really is a narc. I leave. The Lounge is closed. Tomorrow, as they say, is another day. An all-access day.

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