I changed my mind. This is no longer my slice of the American Dream pie. It is now just a place for me to bitch.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Finally, An Athlete The Kids Can Look Up To.

It's hard out there for a rock-paper-scissors champion.

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Dave McGill

Attends the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he is a sophomore Spanish major.

Works as a bartender and cook at Barrett's, 4322 Leavenworth St.

Enjoys playing pool, foosball and quarters.

A phone call awoke Omahan Dave McGill from a post-celebration slumber this morning in his Las Vegas hotel room - one of many interview requests since he won the national title and $50,000 Sunday.

"In the life of a megastar, you're constantly being approached by people, there's light bulbs flashing everywhere, there's Bud Light girls attacking you," he said. "I don't think I like being famous. It's a curse."

Last month, McGill, 30, became Omaha's rock-paper-scissors champ after competing in tournaments sanctioned by the USA Rock Paper Scissors League.

In the classic grade-school game, players count to three and then use a hand sign for rock, paper or scissors. Rock beats scissors. Scissors beats paper. Paper beats rock.

In a ring with a professional boxing referee Sunday, McGill threw down his hand signals through several rounds of competition. It was skill, he said, that made him stand out from his 300 competitors.

"Some people would say it's luck. I disagree," McGill said. "I think I'm just that good at rock paper scissors."

After he won, a swarm of reporters and camera crews surrounded him - from ESPN, A&E, the "Today" show and maybe GQ. (Someone told him that, anyway.)

"I'd been crushing Bud Lights all day long, so I probably didn't look too good in those interviews," he said.

A friend also told him that several of the TV interviews had to start over because McGill was using curse words. McGill and the friend later celebrated with a nice Italian dinner and night on the town, calling it quits about 1 a.m.

Besides paying off his $40 loss in gambling, McGill said he planned to use the $50,000 prize money to help him study overseas. The sophomore Spanish and international studies major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha said the prize money will help with that expense.

"I'm probably going to be pretty stupid with some of it, too - do fun things," he said.

He plans to continue working as a bartender and cook at Barrett's Barley Corn, 4322 Leavenworth St.

As for the competition, he'll be back.

"I'm going to go back home and try to refine my craft," he said. "Probably next year, I'll be back here to fight for my title.

"God gave me a gift. It'd be a shame to not pursue it. Everybody has a gift, and mine is rock paper scissors."

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