Feb 6, 201810:07 AM
Full Sport Press
'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'
A Carnival Weekend
Uptown rolls with Mardi Gras parades
Melanie Warner Spencer
It’s a funny thing. One would think that the Carnival season, in all of its never-ending fanfare, would be met with a jaded, or at least a little bit salty, point of view by so many in town. Think about it. You never really stop hearing about it. You have tourists and friends from out of town asking questions, you have your krewe members talking about how they’re going to do their crafting early this year to avoid the rush and glittering anxiety. You have people talking about inner-krewe politics and ridiculously applying generalities to entire krewes. I see how it would put someone off the subject altogether.
Yet there we were on St. Charles craning our necks to the left as the thunder of a distant high school band floated up Napoleon Avenue. It’s glorious and brings out the kid in all of us. No alcohol required. Just throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care.
I was excited. I love the parades and even though it was slightly nippy I was out early waiting. Our friends arrived for what would be the beginning of a 72-hour free-for-all at our place. Everyone going in and out for drinks, bathroom breaks, Popeyes and chili.
Throughout the festivities, I kept an eye on yet another stat-stuffing performance by Anthony Davis (43 points, 10 rebounds). Davis’ big night led the Pelicans to their first victory since the Demarcus Cousins injury. Unfortunately, it has been the only one as the Pelicans have dropped four out of the last five games.
I caught a ton of blinky things. I love blinky things.
*Photo credit: Associated Press
It was going to rain but the crowds still hit the parade route and the rain did hold off at the beginning. My group of compatriots cheered on our friends in Dames de Perlage in all of their beaded glory. We also cheered on my buddy in the Rolling Elvi who evidently was taking his job as “Memphis Mafia” way too seriously and didn’t say hello to any of us (including his wife). I appreciated his focus and for also giving me a story to roll out every season about how he never really liked any of us.
Then the skies opened up but, in the latest example of Mardi Gras Miracles, a friend arrived with 15 pounds of crawfish and we retired to the porch and got our grub on.
You might remember my writing about how tough Nicholls State is in evidently everything now. That sort of joke came true as the UNO Privateers, who had two 20-point scorers in Travin Thibodeaux and Bryson Robinson, could never catch the Colonels after a slow start in a 81-64 loss. With six games to go the Privateers only trail Nicholls State by one game but are tied with four other programs for second place. Going to be a wild finish to determine seedings for the conference tournament.
On the positive side, the day was absolutely stunning; I caught some cool stuff and got to pet a lot of nice dogs along the route. Everyone was all smiles and blurry eyed.
On the bad side, evidently someone doesn’t understand what goes on in New Orleans and scheduled a Tulane Green Wave basketball game. In what I assume was a game seen by parents only, the Green Wave couldn’t finish off the season sweep against the Temple Owls, falling 83-76. But if no one saw a game did it really happen?
Later, as the avenue started to quiet down, and in a possibly only in New Orleans scenario, I thought, “Oh yeah. I think the Super Bowl is on. I think.”
It was and I immediately “fell asleep” but, lo and behold, when I woke up, it was a very entertaining game.
It had its dose of weird, too.
*Photo credit: Associated Press
The NFL still can’t get out of its own way with the Catch Rule. The Corey Clement touchdown was an obvious incompletion but they allowed it. The play would turn out to be significant but…it happened to the Patriots, a team that has lived off of fortuitous calls.
Then what happened to Malcolm Butler? The guy played 97 percent of the defensive snaps this year but didn’t get onto the field except on a handful of special teams plays. Something went down and the Patriots are being tight lipped about it. If it was Bill Belichick sending a message to a player, then way to blow up the Super Bowl because of your ego, buddy. But again, it’s the Patriots, so no big deal.
Does anyone know if Philadelphia still exists?
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every tough decision should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Second Line Brewing’s West Coast IPA
Playlist Recommendation: Prince – “I Would Die 4 U”
Around the Way
The Dillard University Women’s basketball team continues to fast break its way towards the post-season. The Bleu Devils, since starting the season 3-2, have gotten hot and blown out to 18-3 record and sole position of first place in the GCAC. They will have one more home game at The Battlefield, Feb. 10, versus SUNO, before finishing the season on the road for three games. After that? Tourney time.