Now, all these years later, here we are this week in a place that seemed unimaginable then and feels so perfect and inevitable now: Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
The pairing of these transmogrified exemplars of American excess is primed for an assault on … what? the senses? decency? taste? modesty? … No, those are long gone.
So, too, is Mr. Thompson, who shot himself to death in 2005 at age 67, leaving behind his wife, his son and a suicide note titled “Football Season Is Over.”
This feels like a moment manufactured for him, as Las Vegas furthers the polishing of its image with the imprimatur of the N.F.L., which has made a seminal turn of its own with a public embrace of the gambling industry.
“It would have been interesting to see how Hunter would have written about this,” said Douglas Brinkley, the historian who is the literary executor of his works.