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Shania Twain, Mark Davis forge good luck in Las Vegas

Updated January 26, 2020 - 9:04 pm

File this under, “When Bad Things Happen To Good Halftime Shows.”

Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis experienced such an unfortunate event, during halftime of Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego in 2003. The Raiders were on their way to a 48-21 drubbing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by current Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

Shania Twain was among the performers that day at SDCCU Stadium, then called Qualcomm Stadium. It turns out that Davis is a big Twain fan. He just isn’t a fan of that particular game.

“But we got our (butts) kicked, so from then on, whenever I hear Shania — and I love her, I love her music — I cringe, because it brought back such bad memories,” Davis said during Saturday night’s Nevada Ballet Theatre Black & White gala at Caesars Palace.

Twain was the night’s Woman of the Year honoree. Davis was seated at her side during the dinner.

Twain, who currently performs her “Let’s Go” residency at Zappos Theater, was among the performers at that ill-fated (for the Raiders) Super Bowl. Twain sang two songs for a TV audience of approximately 88 million, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” and “Up!” She was followed by No Doubt with “I’m Just a Girl,” and Sting with “Message in a Bottle.”

Twain was promoting her “Up!” album, released just two months before the performance. Davis had never met the recording artist until the annual Power of Love gala in March at MGM Grand Garden. Twain was at the gala to introduce honoree Lionel Richie, and Davis staked out the Twain table late in the program.

“Her table was a couple tables over, so I thought I’d just go over and meet her, but then she goes back up onstage for the finale,” Davis said. “So I don’t think I’ll get to talk to her, I’m feeling disappointed, but as I’m leaving she was right in front of me on the escalator.

“I tapped her on the shoulder and I say, ‘I don’t want to interrupt you, but I’m Mark Davis and I’m with the Raiders. I love your music, but every time I hear it I cringe!’”

Davis then told her why.

“She says, ‘What! You mean, I’m bad luck!’ ” Davis said, laughing. “I said, ‘No! We’re not blaming it on you!’ And she said, ‘We’re going to have to fix that! I’m going to be good luck from now on.’”

A $60K outlay

The Twain-Davis tandem brought good fortune to NBT’s live auction.

A ticket package for a select 2020 regular-season game, with four club-level seats and four field passes reached two bids of $30,000. Davis cut in to offer TWO packages, doubling the winning total to a combined $60,000.

Moments later, during the paddle-raise for cash donations, Davis pledged another $20,000. That lifted the Raiders-related haul to $80,000, and that cringe was long gone.

Around the room

More from the B&W gala:

Twain remembered growing up as a singer in Windsor, Ontario. “There was no academy for me. I grew up singing in bars, as an 8-year-old child, sometimes standing ON the bar, in fact so everybody could see this tiny child up there … My career came from a place of determination and hard work, something that these ballet dancers know very, very well.” …

Marie Osmond gave the presenting speech for Twain. Osmond was characteristically buoyant: ““Shania has had not one, but two surgeries on her voice. For a singer, that’s a nightmare, and I know what you’be been through — because I Googled it.”

Osmond says she is still reviewing options to return to a Strip residency, with a new stage partner, but is currently enjoying her recurring performing-arts center shows across the country. “There is nothing better than having a full orchestra behind you and just opening up,” she said. Osmond continues her open-ended commitment on “The Talk.” …

Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys announced Twain’s walk-in to the event. Carter attended the gala with his wife, Lauren Kitt, and the couple are still Las Vegas residents. Carter reinforced the band’s desire to return to residency (as performers) in Las Vegas when they are finished touring …

Davis attended with Raiderette Director Mandy Voecks, who is a former Raiderette and also a former member of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders …

You know it’s a new day (as Celine Dion would say) in VegasVille when you encounter Raiders President Marc Badain checking out the silent auction. I ran into him next to a mannequin in a Stitched suit …

NBT’s Future Dance Program artists performed during the ceremony. It’s one of the many initiatives for the company, under the stewardship of co-founder Nancy Houssels, Executive Director Beth Barbre, and Artistic Director Roy Kaiser. Up next at Reynolds Hall is “Bolero,” George Balanchine’s “The Four Temperaments,” and the world premiere work “The Current,” by Krista Baker. Get there. I feel there will be a Raider in the house, too.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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