LAS VEGAS — The Super Bowl will be played here Sunday, some 51 years after Jerry Tarkanian drove his wife Lois into what was then an old military outpost turned mobbed-up Sin City oasis.
Tark was, at the time, a 43-year-old basketball coach who had just led Long Beach State to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. He felt if he could just get a school in the right location — a college town, a sports town with a passionate fan base — he could win a national title.
Sure, but UNLV? Las Vegas? In 1973? People came here for the slot machines and showgirls and heaven who knows what else. The school had just a few buildings. The basketball team had just gone DI and had almost no fans.
“I may have been the only person who thought Las Vegas, Nevada was a sports town,” said Tark, before his passing in 2015. “People laughed …