Monday, November 30, 2009

Bill Belichik: Super-genius

What an idiot that guy is. What a petulant arrogant turd. How many 4th downs did he go for just to spite critics? Did he really just quit with 5 minutes left in the game? What a jerk. What an idiot. Goodnight, you loser.

The late post from last week OR The early post from this week

It was only last week when we promised to start getting these Saints game re-caps posted before everyone had already moved on to the next game. And yet here we are typing up something we're sure to finish sometime on Saturday or Sunday of the week after the game we're trying to write about. Since we went to the Les Miles school of time management, we'd be happy to blame our lateness on some vague sideline communications issue but luckily we've got a more convenient excuse this week. Let's just call this a Holliday-related delay and be done with it.

Anyway, so the Saints pretty much kicked the crap out of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week, and just between us, we can't stand the Bucs so this was pretty sweet. For as lopsided as this turned out to be, it seemed pretty tight through the first half when...

Hey, what's this?

Pig roast

Oh that's just a crappy picture I took with my phone last Sunday. Sorry. Didn't mean to leave it lying around like that. I'll just...

What's the picture of? It looks like food.

Yeah. I made this wild pig roast during the game on Sunday. It turned out pretty well. But I don't think anyone cares about that right now.

Looks pretty good. What is that, bacon? Where did you get a wild pig roast?

Alright alright. So Menckles has this friend of a co-worker who goes out and shoots things from time to time. I know, it's kind of weird. I wouldn't do it. As far as I'm concerned, meat is supposed to come from Rouses in a 5 for 19.99 sale every Saturday. At the same time, I'm not one to turn down free food from anyone or a chance to try something I haven't done before. Plus I've read recently that these animals are becoming a serious nuisance and could stand to have their numbers thinned. So yeah we've got a few wild pig roasts in the freezer right now. I was going to try and do each one in a different way but this came out so well that I think I'm just going to try and repeat the method until it's all gone. This isn't complicated but I might as well explain it while we're not doing anything. Here's what happened.

  1. Make sure you're not too hungover on Sunday morning to get up a few hours before kickoff. Place your 3-4 pound roast into whatever adequately sized vessel you have available. Cover with cold salt water and leave to brine for at least an hour and a half. This should help to take some of the gameyness out of the wild meat.

  2. While that's happening, chop one large onion, one half clove of garlic, two or three carrots, and a few stalks of celery. Set aside for a moment. Go out and get your Sunday T-P, make some coffee, whatever. I think it was about this point in the process when I learned that Jermon Bushrod had finally been benched. The Saints would start Zach Streif at left tackle against the Bucs but ended up rotating them in and out during the day. After the game, Coach Soupy said he, "just wanted to get both of them some work" Me, I think Bushrod is garbage and the Saints are looking for answers there. I haven't seen any announcement about which tackle will start tonight.

  3. The next thing you need to understand about wild pig is that it's bound to be a bit less fatty than its domesticated cousin. In order to compensate for this, we begin by frying bacon; just enough to render some fat at the bottom of your pot. Next, take your roast out of the brine, cover it with black pepper and give it a quick searing. Put it aside and then start cooking your vegetables.

  4. Time to add the roast to the pot.


    If you look closely there, you'll notice that we've added, more bacon, red potatoes, more black pepper (A lot. I think the pepper really made this recipe for me), thyme, rosemary, and a whole bottle of a cheap California Pinot Noir. There was much discussion beforehand about the pros and cons of cooking with wine in a cast iron pot. But the opinions were inconsistent enough for me to just say, fuck it.

  5. Oven at 350. If you get this in there by kickoff, you should have dinner ready by the time the game is done.

Saints vs Bucs

Very belated so we'll keep the reporting to these five items:

  • The Saints have had the good fortune to face a number of inexperienced quarterbacks this season. The latest was Josh Freeman who they intercepted 3 times. The important thing here is that Freeman kind of looks like a Cabbage Patch Kid to us. Here's the best game photo of him we could steal from the T-P.

    new orleans saints vs. tampa bay buccaneers
    It's that chubby little face. You kind of want to pinch his cheeks a little.

  • I notice that we're getting to that silly part of a successful Saints season where the paper forces the fashion writer to come up with some football themed bullshit. This sort of thing,

    As a power statement, black outranks blue. It's the de facto color associated with intelligence and achievement. A black judge's robe commands respect, as does the mortarboard at graduation.

    Unlike red, its cohort in aggression, black is less brash, more confident, signalling "authority and prestige," said Kate Smith, a Virginia-based color strategist and creator of SensationalColor.com.

    I don't see anything mentioned in the article specifically related to black pants however. But I would point out that the Saints wore gold on Sunday with spectacular results. Something tells me we'll see the leotards tonight, though.

  • This week's media complaint ESPN's Gregg Easterbrook's column for last week was titled "Passsing = Winning in the NFL"
    The relationship between quarterback effectiveness and victory underscores the pre-eminence of the pass in the NFL. None of the top four rushing teams in the NFL this season (Tennessee, N.Y. Jets, Carolina and Miami) has a winning record. By contrast, 11 of the top 12 passing teams have winning records. Right now there are 14 NFL teams with winning records, and only three of those clubs are in the lower half of the league in terms of passing yards.
    Maybe. But I think if he were paying better attention to the Saints over these past few seasons the one thing that would jump out at him immediately is the relationship between winning and effectiveness in the running game. Last season, Drew Brees very nearly set an NFL record for passing yards in a single season. In 2008, Brees attempted 635 passes and Lance Moore attempted one for a total of 636 pass attempts. The 2008 Saints as a team made 399 rushing attempts. They won 8 games. This year, the Saints have rushed 322 times compared to 320 and haven't lost once. Football games are won at the line of scrimmage. It's taken Soupy four years to learn this but at least he's been willing to learn.

    new orleans saints vs. tampa bay buccaneers
    Pick up a Gambit this week for a pretty interesting article about Mike Bell and his "furious" running style. Bell is a sleeper MVP candidate for the 2009 offense.

  • Speaking of MVP candidates: America is starting to take notice.
    New Orleans Saints rookie punter Thomas Morstead was chosen the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Saints' 38-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Against the Buccaneers, Morstead punted four times for a 48.8-yard gross average with a 46.0-yard net average. He had one punt downed at the Tampa Bay 1-yard line and another at its 5.

    He also handled kickoff duties and recorded three touchbacks in becoming the first Saints punter to be honored since Mitch Berger in 2004.
    I'm serious about this MVP business. Morstead has more punts downed inside the 20 this season than Darren Sharper has interceptions returned for touchdowns (which is a lot)

  • Bucs fans I'm a Saints season ticket holder and I hang out in the Quarter before and after most home games and I can promise you that of all the visiting football fans I've met over the years, the Tampa people are consistently the most obnoxious, the most trashy, the most likely to have been cut out of a Girls Gone Wild video than any other visitors by far. Seriously. Which is why I had to laugh a bit when I noticed Tampa-based blogger and radio host Sinfonian complaining about the alleged classlessness of the Saints fans chanting "Who Dat" in Raymond James Stadium during the fourth quarter.

    Tweeted Sinfonian:
    I hope Saints fans remember how much they were dicks in Tampa when they get beat in 1st rd of playoffs against a GOOD team.

    And also:
    For biggest asshole fans in NFL, I had 1. Steelers, 2. Eagles, 3. Giants. Saints are shooting up the list today, though.
    Seriously, fuck that guy. I can't wait until the Tampa Frat-Parrothead Nation shows up in the Dome in a few weeks for round 2 of this business. We're not done with them yet.

Going undefeated is actually kind of gay: I'm about to run out to catch my streetcar to the Dome as I type this. But before I go, I just want to say let's not be too disappointed when the Patriots whip the Saints tonight. It occurs to me lately that the two teams in the NFL with the best records, (New Orleans and Indianapolis) are actually something like the fourth and fifth best teams at best. If you're looking for a team you can point to as a potential Super Bowl champion, they've got to have a certain amount of toughness. The best football teams are the ones who know how to play with a chip on their shoulder like a battered and bloodied boxer who refuses to go down. I think Minnesota, New England, and Cincinnati fit that bill a bit. Meanwhile the Colts and Saints evoke a spoiled little Uptown school kid whose mother can't stop talking about how well they're doing in their exclusive foreign language charter school. Sooner or later someone bigger and meaner is gonna jack them up for their lunch money. If not tonight, then certainly in the playoffs.

Anyway the point is none of this matters if you want to enjoy yourself. Pro football is a comic exercise wherein large men wearing silly helmets run into each other as they chase an irregularly shaped ball around. And we get to get drunk and sing and act like idiots the whole time. I'm on my way to do that now. Back with more hopefully by Wednesday.

Teaser 2

I've been busy. There may still be a long football post today but it's all bogged down in roast pig recipes and whatnot.

Anyway this week, somebody pointed out to me that the NOLA brake tags for this year happen to be black and gold. I'm not sure if that means anything special but I may need to get one of those "What Would Breesus Do?" stickers for the Tercel to match its jersey number.

Black and Gold Brake tag

Waiting for Trump

New Orleans: "Just a few hours from Destin!" It's an angle.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Okay too easy, maybe?

Goodness makes the badness go away

Right, well it's not even "Cyber Monday" yet and the folks are already into the Hostiliday spirit. And it's going to be a long December from the looks of things. I'd have to say of all the clips I've watched so far, it's hard to top Cher screaming Christmas cheer into an infant's face until it cries. But, having been through this before, I know already that it can get far far worse.

In what I think was an effort to reassure, Menckles wanted to remind all of us who may be a bit daunted by these horrors that, "Badness cannot start if there's goodness in your heart"

It's a comforting thought (or at least an annoyingly catchy tune) but having looked into my own heart and having found no discernible "goodness" I've decided to go ahead and commence with the badness anyway. And so now please enjoy... or don't.

Football commentary coming very soon. Before we kick off again. I'm sure of it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Do the chickens have large talons?

Twice within the space of a week, I've spotted these large birds of prey hanging around Uptown New Orleans. Last week, I actually saw one attack and kill a pretty nice sized pigeon on Napoleon Avenue before flying away with the meaty prize in tow. I caught this suspicious character sitting on a fence on Third Street down in the Irish Channel yesterday.


Maybe I just haven't been paying attention but I haven't noticed these animals stalking our city's neighborhoods before. Anyway, mind your cats.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Signs of recovery

Before the flood I had made something of a Thanksgiving tradition of linking to a few excerpts from James Loewen's Lies My Teacher Told Me every year. This seems like as good a time as any to revive this tradition.

Thanksgiving is full of embarrassing facts. The Pilgrims did not introduce the Native Americans to the tradition; Eastern Indians had observed autumnal harvest celebrations for centuries. Our modern celebrations date back only to 1863; not until the 1890s did the Pilgrims get included in the tradition; no one even called them "Pilgrims" until the 1870s. Plymouth Rock achieved ichnographic status only in the nineteenth century, when some enterprising residents of the town moved it down to the water so its significance as the "holy soil" the Pilgrims first touched might seem more plausible. The Rock has become a shrine, the Mayflower Compact a sacred text, and our textbooks play the same function as the Anglican BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER, teaching us the rudiments of the civil religion of Thanksgiving.

Indians are marginalized in this civic ritual. Our archetypal image of the first Thanksgiving portrays the groaning boards in the woods, with the Pilgrims in their starched Sunday best and the almost naked Indian guests. Thanksgiving silliness reaches some sort of zenith in the handouts that school children have carried home for decades, with captions like, "They served pumpkins and turkeys and corn and squash. The Indians had never seen such a feast!" When his son brought home this "information" from his New Hampshire elementary school, Native American novelist Michael Dorris pointed out "the Pilgrims had literally never seen `such a feast,' since all foods mentioned are exclusively indigenous to the Americas and had been provided by [or with the aid of] the local tribe."

So the American Thanksgiving "origin myth" (begun as a commemoration of Union success on the battlefield) is anti-Indian, but we knew that much already. But wait,

Starting with the Pilgrims not only leaves out the Indians, but also the Spanish. In the summer of 1526 five hundred Spaniards and one hundred black slaves founded a town near the mouth of the Pedee River in what is now South Carolina. Disease and disputes with nearby Indians caused many deaths. Finally, in November the slaves rebelled, killed some of their masters, and escaped to the Indians. By now only 150 Spaniards survived, and they evacuated back to Haiti. The ex-slaves remained behind. So the first non-Native settlers in "the country we now know as the United States" were Africans.

The Spanish continued their settling in 1565, when they massacred a settlement of French Protestants at St. Augustine, Florida, and replaced it with their own fort. Some Spanish were pilgrims, seeking regions new to them to secure religious liberty: these were Spanish Jews, who settled in New Mexico in the late 1500s. Few Americans know that one third of the United States, from San Francisco to Arkansas to Natchez to Florida, has been Spanish longer than it has been "American." Moreover, Spanish culture left an indelible impact on the West. The Spanish introduced horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and the basic elements of cowboy culture, including its vocabulary: mustang, bronco, rodeo, lariat, and so on.

The origin myth turns out to be also anti-black, anti-Latin, anti-Southern, anti-anything that takes away from the Anglo-Yankee-centric claim to essential "Americanness"

But I don't point these things out merely to be "negative" or "malcontented" as more than one person is fond of saying. I do it because I think it's important for us to grasp the full context of these traditions even as we have reclaimed and repurposed them with the more positive meanings they have for us today. I think understanding the history makes the turnabout all the more profound and really sacred in a way.

I mention this because I'm nearly finished reading Ned Sublette's Year Before the Flood which I begrudgingly have to admit is an essential book although I've come to despise its author. In a week or so I hope to review that book paying particular attention to Sublette's treatment of Carnival in New Orleans in light of what I've just written about Thanksgiving. Until then, pass the erster dressing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saints teaser post

Yes it's Wednesday and I should be done with it by now. But I'm busy cooking today. So for now, in honor of next week's Monday Night opponent, please enjoy the absolute worst 80s football music video of all time.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

You just want to be on the side that's winning

I'd go off on yet another long rant about why most Democrats and most people who call themselves "liberals" now are useless pseudo-intellectual Yuppie turds, but it's more fun and instructive to just make sure everyone is still reading the Daily Howler. Sommerby's "Heathers" series is spot-on. Most of it, as usual, is aimed at the fatuous media, but this graf from Part 1 speaks more generally to the compromised Yuppie Left at large.

Did someone yell, “Kill him?” (at a Palin rally) The Secret Service said this report was wrong. Did someone yell, “Go back to Kenya?” We can find no report of same. By the way: The conduct of Palin—and McCain—was reprehensible in these matters. But you know how we liberals can be! Rather than go to all the trouble of developing winning arguments about the Big Pols, we love to start sliming the Great Unwashed, hoping to let the cry of one represent the evil of all. After that, we wonder why the Great Unwashed won’t support our progressive agenda.

As our Yuppie Left President and our bought and paid for Congress prepare to deliver a badly compromised and private insurance driven health reform bill while simultaneously ordering more young Americans into a bloody imperial war zone, just remember that it was our so-called liberal pseudo-intellectuals and not the clownish ignoramuses they like to make so much sport of who made it all possible.

Howler posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Firing the crappy coach is what gets results

Don't take my word for it. Check out the Hornets.

Of course dumping Miles won't turn things around quite as fast for LSU. They've waited too long to do it. But for God's sake, it's time to do something.

The Tigers were divided over what plays to call, lost 17 seconds when the team tried for a timeout and didn't get it, and there was admittedly no backup plan when LSU went for the end zone on the last play of the game and came up short at the Ole Miss 6 with 1 second left.

"I can only tell you that the management at the back end of the game was the issue," LSU coach Les Miles said, later adding: "It's my fault that we didn't finish first in that game."

When reporters asked Miles which coach decided to try to spike the ball before the clock restarted rather than going for a field goal, he said he wasn't yet sure and would have to find out. Jordan Jefferson and the Tigers never got lined up anyway and Ole Miss earned its second straight win over the Tigers and the first at home since 1998.

Miles doesn't even know which coach on his staff was responsible for managing the crucial last seconds of the game.

But wait. Here's more.

Miles said he suggested to assistant coaches that they call a run play at that point, but allowed a pass play to be signaled in. Jefferson completed a 7-yard pass to Stevan Ridley with 26 seconds left and Miles said he thought he heard timeout being called.

But the referees never got the message and 17 seconds ticked off the clock before coaches realized what was happening, leaving LSU with fourth and 26 at the Ole Miss 48 with 9 seconds left.

"The clock ran down, timeouts were being called verbally and I didn't relate that to the official apparently and that was the mistake," Miles said.

The team was going for the end zone on the last pass play, he said, and when Jefferson found Toliver in traffic at the 6 with a second left, the team was unprepared. Rather than run the field goal unit on field while there appeared to be confusion with the chain gang, Jordan tried to get the team lined up to spike the ball but never got the play off.

"I know there was a lot of confusion on the sideline," said Jefferson, who rallied the Tigers with 120 yards passing and a touchdown in the fourth quarter. "Nobody knew what to do."

The thing is, this sort of thing happens in nearly every game Les Miles "manages". People line up in the wrong place or substitutions get flubbed or timeouts get wasted or are not used soon enough. Miles, apparently, doesn't even know whose job on his staff it is to get this shit straight. In short, Jefferson sums up the Miles zeitgeist quite well. Nobody knows what to do. And it happens every week. Les Miles gets paid a lot of money specifically to see to it that people know what to do. He has been nothing short of a total failure at this essential function of his job from the very first day. It's time to do something about this.

Now can we fire Miles?

"We're trying to be prudent"

As often happens on Saturday, I'm asking anyone who has not seen it yet to watch this week's Bill Moyers' Journal online. As President Obama decides (after the holiday now) whether to send as many as another 40,000 Americans into an open-ended faraway military action, Moyers shares tapes of LBJ deliberating a similar commitment in Vietnam. One excerpt from one of Johnson's conversations with Robert McNamara:

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: It gets down to a question of numbers then. [...]

ROBERT MCNAMARA: That's right [...] Westmoreland recommended ten additional battalions over and above the 13 you've already authorized, which would have a strength of something on the order of 45,000 men. I would recommend five battalions with the strength of about 25,000 men. So, we're talking about [...] the difference of 20,000 people. But they're all combat people. And it's quite a difference in risk in my opinion. Really this is the difference and this is a hard one to argue out with the Chiefs, because in the back of my mind, I have a very definite limitation on commitment in mind. And I don't think the Chiefs do. In fact, I know they don't.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Do you think that this is just the next step with them up the ladder?

ROBERT MCNAMARA: Yes. Well, they hope they don't have to go any further. But Westmoreland outlines in his cable the step beyond it. And he doesn't say that's the last.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Well, I don't guess anybody knows.

ROBERT MCNAMARA: I don't think anybody knows, that's right. But I'm inclined to think that unless we're really willing to go to a full potential land war, we've got to slow down here and try to halt, at some point, the ground troop commitment [...]

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Do you know how far we're going to go?


LYNDON B. JOHNSON: Or do the Joint Chiefs know? What human being knows? [...] Now, we don't say that putting these people in is going to win, but we say if you don't put them in, you're going to lose substantially what you have. Now we don't want to promise, you do, but this is more of a holding action in the hope that through the monsoon they'll change their mind and time will play. Instead of being rash, we're trying to be prudent. Now isn't that really what we're trying to do? No, not a damn human thinks that 50,000 or 100,000 or 150,000 are going to end that war. And we're not getting out. But we're trying to hold what we got.

Just to be clear. The two men are considering sending something between 20,000 and 50,000 troops into a situation they know is bad and is going to be bad (roughly the same sort of thing Obama is considering now) in the name of "trying to be prudent".

Listening to these conversations, one sees how a slow-building disastrous tragedy like the U.S. war in Vietnam is allowed to happen through a process of dithering and political calculating and muddling through even as the horrifying ramifications are openly visible to everyone and repeatedly referred back to. None of the people making these decisions, despite their obvious grasp of the situation, had the moral courage necessary to push back and say no, we're not doing this horrible thing.

It isn't difficult to imagine something very like these conversations taking place in the Obama White House right now. Will the President have the courage to do the right thing, or just the prudent thing?

Friday, November 20, 2009

So long. And thanks for all the fishwrap

It has been reported in several places that a number of Times-Picayune writers have been taking "voluntary buyouts" as the paper's parent company, Newhouse Publications undergoes massive cost-cutting exercises. Among these are veteran contributors Chris Rose, Walt Philbin, Angus Lind, Susan Larson, James Gill and others.

When I first learned of the buyouts and who was involved, I expected the T-P to make a more public acknowledgment of the departures of some of their longtime fixtures. Certainly James Gill deserved something close to the kind of send-off Lind got when he retired back in May. Instead, the entire business has been kept remarkably quiet by the paper and the writers involved.

For example, check out how the T-P handled the "retirement" of longtime Saints beat writer Brian Allee-Walsh whose exit was bizarrely scheduled right smack in the middle of football season. Allee-Walsh was given a one-sentence caption at the bottom of a weekly predictions square.

So long and thanks for all the fishwrap

I know the print is difficult to make out. It says,
"Editor's Note: Brian Allee-Walsh's NFL selections will no longer appear in The Times-Picayune. He has retired after 32 years of service."
As far as I know this is the only public note the T-P has made of any of these buyouts.

What if the Mayor really did "get involved in education"

Tonight on Informed Sources, Erroll Laborde kind of wished out loud that the Mayor had more direct responsibility for the public school system in New Orleans. One of the candidates currently running has been "involved" as an OPPSB member and also as an advocate for "school choice"

Here, GBitch comments on the recent T-P series on what people like Leslie Jacobs have done to our public schools. Go read the whole thing. This is the opinion piece I wish DeBerry had written the other day.

Show Cao

Thank You Cao

Looks like our temporary Congressman is still basking in his 15 minutes media of extra exposure (And also the above-pictured extremely low-budget local "thank you" campaign) stemming from his vote on Health Care Reform in the House. (Cao was a "trendbucker" that time too.)

Some people think Cao is "pretty ok" for a Republican. I'm not one of those people. But I would like to suggest that, before the temporary Congressman moves on next year, that he become the subject of one of Stephen Colbert's "Better Know a District" segments. He seems like he'd be pretty good fit for some reason.

When Dinosaurs roamed the city

I thought I had spotted Mike Mills at Molly's last week. Circumstantial evidence here seems to corroborate the story.

Un-bucking-canny, this is

Could we really be bucking yet another trend?
The number of vacant properties in New Orleans has plummeted in the past year -- from nearly 70,000 abandoned lots to about 61,000 -- while blight in several other major American cities has seen a steady uptick, according to a new report by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center.

Why did we never get a pool together on these things

Who do you think they're going after now?

Adding: My money's on the Pontchatoula Ponzi scheme... just thankfully not in it.

Dambala thinks it's gonna be about Billboard Ben.


Could it be that Byron Scott was actually a crappier coach than Chris Paul was a valuable player?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Federalness of the Flood

Corps' operation of MR-GO doomed homes in St. Bernard, Lower 9th Ward, judge rules
The failure of the Corps to recognize the destruction that the MRGO had caused and the potential hazard that it created is clearly negligent on the part of the Corps," said U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. in his ruling. "Furthermore, the Corps not only knew, but admitted by 1988, that the MRGO threatened human life ... and yet it did not act in time to prevent the catastrophic disaster that ensued with the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina."

"The Corps' lassitude and failure to fulfill its duties resulted in a catastrophic loss of human life and property in unprecedented proportions," Duval wrote. "The Corps' negligence resulted in the wasting of millions of dollars in flood protection measures and billions of dollars in Congressional outlays to help this region recover from such a catastrophe. Certainly, Congress would never have meant to protect this kind of nonfeasance on the part of the very agency that is tasked with the protection of life and property."

Oyster has even jucier quotes from the ruling.

I'm a f*#!%ing Eagle Scout, bra

One more thing about that Perry ad. Does anyone else notice the comic dissonance between the (implied) cursing and Perry's touting of the fact that he is an "Eagle Scout"? Are they even allowed to curse? Does this sound like a Ballzack lyric to you?

Update: As the commenters are pointing out, Donze made this point in the linked article.
It's not until then that Perry appears. During his few seconds on camera, Perry utters no potty-mouth words, but he does inform viewers: "I'm an Eagle Scout who's run two nonprofits." Whether or not the irony was intended is unclear.

Here's something Donze didn't write. From my point of view, the best bit of comedy to come out of Morgan's Gambit conversation is the bit where he explains the bleeped words,
it’s bleeped out and the mouths are pixelated, so they could be saying anything.

They could be saying ‘Jeff!’,” Morgan added helpfully.

Seriously, What the Jeff! I want this on a T-shirt.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This should be the regular uniform

Okay the design is a bit garish but the color scheme is far more genuinely New Orleans than the insulting "Creole blue"

Unbelievable Douchebag of the Day

James Perry's f*#%ing campaign manager, Alex Morgan.

“The Times-Picayune missed the mark on its description,” said Perry campaign manager Alex Morgan. “Obviously you can’t run ads with the word f-u-c-k in them,” he added, spelling out the word so as not to offend. “It’s an ad that expresses people’s frustrations as to the choices they have as mayor, and they [the T-P] have taken a little bit of a leap to fill in the blank. It’s a computer graphic image; it’s bleeped out and the mouths are pixelated, so they could be saying anything.

“They could be saying ‘Jeff!’,” Morgan added helpfully.

Uh-huh. And Sean Payton could be saying “cheese and crackers got all muddy!” when the ESPN sideline camera catches him every time Drew Brees gets sacked. So, Alex Morgan: the T-P got it all wrong?

“Oh, no!” Morgan said. “I’m fine with the article. But it’s a different ad than the article portrays.”

Update: Other people are complaining about the (implied) cursing in the ad. I actually like that part. Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm no language ninny. And, frankly, if New Orleans politics doesn't justify multiple uses of the F-word, I don't know what would. But the purpose of using such strong language is to communicate that you, um, feel strongly about something. If you aren't going to own up to and stand by your cursing, then people have a right to question your sincerity.

Start working on your fake sandwich artistry

If I were living Karen Gadbois' fake life I would have at least tried to get a fake job at Ray Nagin's fake Gene's Po-boys. Would have solved the whole fake problem right there.

Doesn't work so well in real life, though. But still.. maybe Leslie Jacobs can still help you find a good school somewhere amid all the fake ones.

The illusion of choice

DeBerry is far too kind here. It should be obvious by now that the byzantine charter school system is discriminatory against low-income families and the most at-risk children. It's a scheme set up deliberately to benefit parents and children with financial resources and/or social connections by institutionalizing their segregation from those without.

And, of course, when a scheme like this becomes so successful at achieving its aims, there are likely political benefits to be had for its champions. It's nice to see some of them stepping forward now to claim those benefits.
Supporters of businesswoman Leslie Jacobs hinted last week that her entry into the mayor's race would be a bit unconventional. Jacobs will make good on that prediction Wednesday when she rolls out a saturation television buy and a multimedia Web site featuring all manner of Internet campaigning, from Facebook to Twitter to blog blasts.

Jacobs spokeswomanCheron Brylski said the heavy dose of TV advertising and social networking will take the place of the traditional kickoff in a hotel ballroom packed with family and friends.

"It's going to be an explosion,'' Brylski said. "It will be hard to be in New Orleans and miss some message from Leslie."

The 30-second commercial that will debut on early morning newscasts explains why the 50-year-old insurance executive and education-reform advocate -- who is prepared to invest $1 million of her own money -- wants to be mayor, and which issues should be a priority for the city's next chief executive.

Wow, explosions, even. Except it appears that, unlike the outgoing mayor, Ms. Jacobs' people are interested in exploding things other than pies. Instead, she seems more interested in something called a "blog blast". Does anyone have any idea what that means? I understand the Jacobs campaign hosted some sort of a dinner for local bloggers at the Avenue Pub recently. Was there any talk of "blasting" there? Did anybody bring pie?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back to Basics or The Thankless Job of Winning 9 in a Row

We're going to try something a little different this week. It has become our custom to introduce these game re-caps with an amusing item or two about breast cancer or alcoholism or theoretical physics or swine flu or, well, whatever. But, in recent weeks, we've come to feel like we've gotten a bit too carried away with ourselves for our own good. Last week's monstrosity, for example, had to be broken into installments the first of which was hardly even about football at all. And that was a good week. Twice this season, we've had football posts languishing in draft too long to make it out before the next week's kickoff. Something needs to be done about this.

In a way we're beginning to understand the ninnies around town who complain about too much Saints coverage in what's left of the local paper. There's a bunch of other stuff going on right now that we'd love to chime in on but our beloved Saints are holding up the goddamn lunch line. In order for the Yellow Blog to function properly as a regular publication we need to get the football out of the way by Wednesday at the latest. And so this week we're stripping down the bullshit and working on the fundamentals, as we imagine the bewildered Saints might want to try as well.

  • Department of Self Reference Item #1: Well at least we made quota At the beginning of the season, we guesstimated the Saints' win total at 9. As we are not too proud to point out repeatedly, we nailed the pre-season prediction in 2007 AND 2008 exactly. In order to keep our streak going, the Saints would have to lose their next 7. We're not saying it can't happen but it doesn't seem too likely at this point. Apologies to all who may have lost money based on our advice.

  • Department of Self Reference Item #2: A cloud in every silver lining In last week's post we shared an observation about one of our least favorite Saints.
    This is hard to explain but watching Reggie Bush run last week, we sort of got the feeling that maybe he's starting to feel his oats a bit. He's not our favorite player but it just... looks like he might be ready to break one soon. Keep an eye on this.
    On Sunday, Bush broke free for 98 combined yards (including a career best 55 yard run) and two touchdowns. We suppose this should be the point where we can write, Aha! We are some brilliant motherfuckers up in here! But why do that when we can scour our T-P sports page for some way to read something negative into it? Here's what Bush had to say about his performance.
    "I think we were catching them in their nickel personnel, and I think that's why we were so successful in the running game when I was in there."
    What we're wondering here is, did the Saints "catch" the Rams in this personnel grouping or did the Rams plan it that way? What we mean is, if you had to game plan against the Saints' offense and you figured out a way to make them attack you with their least reliable and most turnover-prone enigma of a back, wouldn't you try and do that? It's possible that the Rams managed to dictate the game to the Saints offense a bit this week. What happens if a team with the personnel to handle that assignment figures out how to do that too?

    new orleans saints vs st louis rams
    Hello I'm that patsy you ordered. Sorry about whipping your ass and everything. It's not what usually happens.

  • The trend everyone is talking about In their last four games, the Saints' defense has given up 128 yards to Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams, 151 yards to Michael Turner, 149 yards to DeAngelo Williams, and 131 yards to Steven Jackson. DeAngelo Williams ran 66 yards on the Panthers' second play from scrimmage. Jackson went for 30 on the Rams' second play. You know the line about something being a feature, not a bug? The Saints' weakness against a physical running attack is definitely a feature. And the thing about a feature is that it's something you can't fix until the next version comes out. If Sedrick Ellis comes back at near 100% (not likely) it will help a little but it won't make this problem go away. The only thing the Saints can do about it this season is keep scoring enough points that it doesn't matter. In all likelihood this will mean the Saints will have to score at the very least between 24 and 27 points per game if they expect to keep winning. Against the Rams, they got close to the acceptable minimum there.

    new orleans saints vs st louis rams
    Usama Young mildly annoys Steven Jackson just prior to remaining on the ground.

  • Of course, Jackson wasn't doing it alone out there. Marc Bulger chewed through the Saints pretty darn well himself. Saints fans will try to tell you that the defense was hurt by the absence of Darren Sharper, but that's a difficult thing to get a read on when you're busy watching Randall Gay fall down all day long. Here are two times giving up a 20 yard or longer touchdown pass is unforgivably stupid. 1) on 3rd and 15, like the Saints did in the 2nd Quarter and 2) with 2:44 left to play, like the Saints did... with 2:44 left to play.

  • The trends nobody has mentioned So that's four games in a row now where the Saints have had to come from behind. The Miami game was a bit different but each of the last three has definitely seen a less inspiring Saints team than the game before it. The talk around town pins this mostly on injuries but here are two factors we can't help but notice. 1) The week following the Miami game brought with it the infamously unlucky Sports Illustrated cover. It's hard to say the Saints were "jinxed" since they've gone 3-0 since then. But still it's the worst stretch of football all year and it follows immediately upon the SI cover.

    2) The Monday Night game vs Atlanta brought with it the 2009 debut of the infamously unlucky and certainly unfashionable black pants. We were hoping we wouldn't have to deal with the pants problem yet again this season but there it is. The worst stretch of football all year and it's all improperly panted.

    new orleans saints vs st louis rams
    Black pants also not so great on knee support

  • Is anyone else wondering if Morstead can kick field goals? Because the answer is heck yes he can!
    "I try to think of myself as a utility guy," said Morstead, who also served as Southern Methodist's field-goal kicker for three seasons and made 70 percent of his attempts. He hasn't been asked to prepare himself for any field-goal attempts in New Orleans.

    "I practice it enough, a small enough amount to where I don't get yelled at for working on it too much," Morstead said of field-goal kicking. "But I want them to know in a pinch, if we needed a 58-yarder and it's a tie game, and there's nothing to lose, they'd feel comfortable with putting me out there."

    It turns out Morstead's career longest successful attempt in college was 52 yards which is just about exactly where he would have been kicking from if the Saints had decided to give him a shot on their final possession of the game. I'm not saying it would have been a brilliant move but I am saying it would have been fun.

    Fun Fact: In 2008, Thomas Morstead ran for a 34 yard gain on a fake punt vs Tulane; another as yet untapped skill to keep in mind.

  • This would usually be where I get to say, "Calm the fuck down, people" But here's the way a better writer puts it... if I may take the liberty of selective quotation,
    Cha… ching? Pop quiz, hotshot: What happens when an unprecedented level of success, an impossible-to-maintain early season hot streak and a far-crappier-than-expected midseason performance collide with the acute neurosis of a fatalistic fanbase who just can’t shake the notion that it’s only a matter of time before all their hopes and dreams slip from their grasp for the 42nd consecutive time?

    Answer: Panic.

    ---long digression with some sort of late 70s era TV theme---

    Oh sure, the cosmos is mocking us right now, to a degree. For old times’ sake, I’m sure. But if 9-0 and the prospect of Porter being healthy and hell bent for leather come playoff time aren’t proof positive that these ain’t the old times, then what’s it gonna take?

    The Saints have still yet to relinquish a lead all season. They still lead the league in takeaways. They still have the best quarterback in the league when his head isn’t up his ass. They still lead the league in total offense. They’re still 4th place all-time in scoring through 9 games. They rushed for 200+ yards Sunday, led by Reggie Bush, no less. All indications are that Ellis, Sharper, Greer, Porter and Lance Moore have dodged bullets that would have each on its own severed an artery in any other year. And dammit, they’re 9-0 for crying out loud!

    Here's the thing. I've lived long enough now to see snow in New Orleans three times and two 9 game Saints winning streaks. Can any of you honestly say that isn't worth the price of your 2009 admission already? What are we so apprehensive about?

    The next line in Wang's post reads "So I implore you, for the love of fuck, BELIEVE ALREADY! The only vicious cycle left to be broken is our own." My point is that one doesn't even have to "BELIEVE ALREADY" to know that we're all going to remember this season for a long long time after it's over no matter what happens. It's entirely possible that the Saints could come back down to Earth a bit in the next few weeks. Hell, given the obvious weaknesses observant fans have suddenly begun to fixate on, they could even implode altogether. But: 1) They probably won't. 2) They definitely won't go 0 for 7 (Yellow Blog prediction be dammned) And 3) Wow if they did, that's not a half-bad story to tell the grandkids either, is it? So quit whining. Either you're looking at the greatest football season ever or you're looking at the greatest trainwreck ever. Any of you who pray to St. Buddy should understand there's entertainment in this any way you look at it.

    Buddy D
    St. Buddy: Patron of "Laughing off hard truths in New Orleans" (BTW I snapped this photo through a French Quarter gallery window in 2007. I still don't know who the artist is. Anyone? Update: The artist there is Robert Guthrie Check it out.)

    Next Week: How many 1-7 teams do the Saints have to almost get burned by before they get some respeck up in here? That and maybe something about how wrong Bob Roesler once was... unless something shiny distracts us.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Incalculable Wrongness of ... blah blah blah (Part 2)

We now return to our two part series on the heroic struggle to stave off the prevention of the possible destruction of the universe, or something like that.

Saints vs Panthers (Second half observations)

  • How the game was won: I hate hate hate to do this but I have to say that this year Sean Payton has done probably the most passably acceptable coaching job I've seen in many years. ("Passably acceptable" being just about the highest praise I can think to bestow on a football coach) Here are three things I never imagined I'd be able to say about a coach. Sean Payton 1) more often than not admits his mistakes 2) Usually learns from them and 3) Usually doesn't panic or clam up in bad situations.

    The Saints came back in the second half, no doubt buoyed by our presence, but also because Payton stuck with his commitment to a balanced offense. The Saints began the second half down by more than ten points. Previous Saints coaches in this situation would have thrown the game plan out the window and just started chucking the ball on every down. On Sunday the Saints held the ball for 26 plays in the second half. 13 of those were runs, 12 were passes (1 was a QB kneel at the end of the game) People like to talk and write about the Saints' defensive improvement this season. But I think the biggest difference has been Payton's realization that you can't win if you can't run. It's allowed the Saints better control of the clock and of their opponents. It's no coincidence that they've gotten stronger in the second half of every game this season. This is what complete teams do.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panthers
    Frenchy Thomas and his super-high tech mouthpiece (see how it scientifically keeps him balanced): 81 yards rushing and receiving

  • Who won the game Here's the situation. The Saints have the ball holding a 3 point with less than three minutes to play. Much to the chagrin of r, but more to my liking, Coach Soupy decides to keep the ball on the ground and force the Panthers to use their final timeouts.

    NO 1st&10 NO48 Pierre Thomas Off Left End to NO47 for -1 yards
    NO 2nd&11 NO47 Carolina Panthers timeout.
    NO 2nd&11 NO47 Mike Bell Off Right Guard to Car50 for 3 yards
    NO 3rd&8 Car50 Carolina Panthers timeout.
    NO 3rd&8 Car50 Drew Brees Pass Incomplete to Jeremy Shockey

    The Saints don't pick up a first down but it's okay because here comes the 2009 MVP to set up the kill shot.

    NO 4th&8 Car50 Thomas Morstead punts 48 yards to Car2, Center-Jason Kyle. Downed
    Let's just say 98 yard two minute drill with no timeouts isn't exactly Jake Delhomme's forte. This game has ended thanks be to Morstead.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panther
    Saints 2009 MVP Thomas Morstead

  • What happened after the game was won just to make us all extra-cheery The defense scored another touchdown. This time it was Anthony Hargrove who scooped up a fumble and put the game out of reach with two minutes left to play. This pleases us a great deal since Hargrove has been one of our favorite Saints since the moment he joined the team. We like football players who have a bit of a sense of humor about themselves.
    If anyone knows about making the most out of second chances, it's Hargrove, who had admittedly hit rock-bottom in his life and football career last year.

    He was suspended for a full year by the NFL after a series of substance-abuse violations and arrests, and by his account, he was down to his last second chance when the Saints signed him in May.

    But so far, the 26-year-old has made the most of it, rewarding the Saints with a valuable role player with a knack for making big plays.

    "Usually by this time of year I'm in jail or been arrested or failed a drug test or something. If you look back, that's how it is. I get about a month in and go AWOL," Hargrove said. "It's November, I haven't been arrested, I haven't failed a drug test. Seriously, I have to call a spade a spade. That's my reality. I'm in a very new place right now."

    Here's something else we wrote in our pre-season outlook:
    Anthony Hargrove will have the greatest impact of any newcomer this season. Quick, versatile, and motivated, Hargrove looks like a guy who knows he's getting a second chance and wants to make the most of it. The Saints' coaches think he may be another LaRoi Glover and I'm inclined to agree with them.
    Of course, everyone knows the Saints newcomer who has had the greatest impact so far has been Thomas Morstead. (Darren Sharper hasn't been too bad either) But Hargrove is starting to come on and it's making a pretty sweet football season all the better.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panthers
    One of the guys we're pulling for

  • Gratuitous shout-out to Devery Henderson We love that nobody dares pick on Devery anymore. Sure, Marques Colston has been pretty ok (although he admitted to having his worst game this week) and Poochie has been a bigger part of the offense this year, but has any receiver been more of a consistent threat than Devery Henderson this season? Devery's 63 yard catch and run helped to spark the Saints' comeback. (That and our arrival at the stadium) Two years ago, if I had told you Devery Henderson was going to develop into "the glue" of the Saints' receiving corps, you would have laughed. Now, not so much.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panther
    Devery: Another one of the guys we're pulling for

  • Quick note on somebody we don't typically pull for This is hard to explain but watching Reggie Bush run last week, we sort of got the feeling that maybe he's starting to feel his oats a bit. He's not our favorite player but it just... looks like he might be ready to break one soon. Keep an eye on this.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panther
    I mentioned this to r who says, "It's not like we don't want him to do it, but hello could you do it already?"

  • We gotta get on some sort of a better schedule here It's been a little weird around Yellow Blogging world HQ lately but we really are resolved to start cranking these gameday posts out earlier in the week from now on. Meanwhile since we're finishing this one within 24 hours of the next kickoff, we might as well finish up with an appropriate segway from the Youtubes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Incalculable Wrongness of Yellow Blog Football Prognostication or How I Fought Off the Demon and Managed to Save the Day for All of Us (Part 1)

Note: The first half of the title here is a riff on the title of last week's unpublished football post which would have read "The Incalculable Wrongness of Bob Roesler or Why the Saints are Guaranteed to Lose This Week". As you can see, there's a lot of stuff going on there. We hope to return to the subject of the wrongness of Bob Roesler at a later date. But first, this.

At the beginning of the football season, I wrote:
Depending on how the luck goes, these Saints look like they can win as many as 10 or as few as 5 games. Obviously it would take more than that to win a championship and free the universe from limbo but nobody said that had to happen this year. The other day, my boss pointed out to me that, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the world isn't actually scheduled to end until 2012. So there's time. Maybe we'll get there but for now let's call it 9-7 with a hopeful toast to the eventual end of the world.
Not to be too much of a "masturblogger" here but I find it necessary to remind everyone that, in that post, I argued that 1) A Saints Superbowl appearance is sort of like the last seal waiting to be broken before the full weight of the apocalypse can be unleashed. 2) 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished... although still an unlikely one for various reasons. Last week, when I more or less guaranteed a Saints loss to Carolina the supporting argument that never saw the light of day was partially football-related but also returned to the cosmic theme stipulated back in September.

The football stuff was pretty straightforward. The Saints had been missing a lot more tackles in recent weeks, their defensive line was banged up, the Panthers run the ball well and seemed to be coming on as of late. Plus there's a different feeling when you're 7-0 trying not to blow it from when you're 3-0 and still trying to prove yourself. This divisional game seemed a perfect time for the Saints to falter.

Meanwhile the Saints, their fans, and random observers were tempting fate in ways that had us wondering if they didn't deserve to pay a hefty karmic fine at some point. Items for your consideration:
  1. 3-1 to win it all? At one time, there was at least the possibility of big money to be made in "bucking the trend" and betting on this ridiculous concept. How do these odds help the local economy? They're totally counter to the established idiom.

  2. Ralph Malbrough had some kind of bizarre Lariam dream where he played an entire imaginary football game in his head and described it to us in detail. (Totally wrong result, by the way. I soooo would have imagined that differently)

  3. And then there's this:
    A new mouthpiece being used by several New Orleans Saints players this season has been getting much attention since ESPN analyst Jon Gruden praised it during the “Monday Night Football” broadcast.

    The Makkar PPM (Pure Power Mouthguard), which retails at $2,000 according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, is touted by its designers as “more than just a mouthguard.”

    By custom-fitting the mouthpiece to each player, the goal is to improve balance, strength, flexibility and oxygen flow by better aligning the lower jaw with the neck and the spine.
    What? Get the fuck out of here. I know we live in an age when people (particularly athletes) will buy just about any sort of stupid snake oil you put out there, but Saints Hall of Famer Rickey Jackson didn't even need to wear thigh pads for crying out loud. Will someone please tell these little primma donas to suck it up? (It's bad enough that they dress in leotards already) Coach, isn't this your job?
    But even some of those skeptics figured it was worth a try when Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis agreed to let the company make a presentation to the players after researching the product earlier this year. And several players said they’ve been happy with the results.
    One question. Was this presentation before or after the one where Rob Couhig and Kevin Houser sold everybody those Wayne Read film studio tax credits? Maybe they were on the same day the Amway guy dropped by.

Anyway, the point is the Saints are building up a lot of bad juju and the payments on that have got to come due at some point, right? Maybe not. Here's a thought. Maybe they've logged just enough agony credit over the years to weather the ever-expanding onslaught of their (and, I guess, our) own nuttiness. In other words, maybe the years and years the Saints have spent building up all that negative absurdity has somehow caused fate to implode upon itself. Like a great black hole of cosmic football improbability, the Saints have forced a reversal of nature. If this is true, then they really are on a path to end life as we know it. Which brings me to this. Will they be allowed to? Consider the following:

More than a year after an explosion of sparks, soot and frigid helium shut it down, the world’s biggest and most expensive physics experiment, known as the Large Hadron Collider, is poised to start up again. In December, if all goes well, protons will start smashing together in an underground racetrack outside Geneva in a search for forces and particles that reigned during the first trillionth of a second of the Big Bang.

Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I’m not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

If the creation of this Higgs boson particle is so catastrophically unlikely that it is capable of extra-temporally preventing its own occurrence, couldn't it at least be theoretically possible to conceive of the cosmic fallout brought about by a Saints Superbowl as a comparable phenomenon? If this is true, then we would expect that as the probability of the Saints destroying the universe increases, so does the countervailing likelihood that this event will have already taken steps to prevent itself from happening. And it was by this reasoning,that I had expected we would see the first manifestation of this paradox in a Saints loss to Carolina on Sunday.

But that was not to be. How was such an elegant theory overthrown? I think I know the answer to that now. What follows, then, in my opinion, for those who are willing to believe in such things, is a first-hand testament to the idea that even the strangest mysteries of fate can be overcome through the triumph of the human will.

Saints vs Panthers
(First half highlights)

  • Oh we've been here before, I know: It has recently been brought to my attention that my mother checks in on this site every now and then so there are two things I'd like to make clear right now. 1)I really don't say "fuck" nearly as often as it may seem. 2) I am not NOT IN ANY WAY a raging alcoholic. I am a functional alcoholic. NO WAIT, MOM, I'm kidding. I'm not at all. I'm way too old for that stuff anymore. However, I am at an age where, on the (increasingly rare) occasions when I do happen to have a few, the results are more and more humorous. And by that I mean disastrous the next morning.

    Sunday was a particularly disastrous next morning. Those of you who have experienced these sorts of hangovers before know that there is a kind of staged art to recovery. Typically my challenge involves getting the headache to stop first which eventually helps the nausea to break. I accomplish this by taking 2 aspirin and holding it for as long as I can before throwing up again and then taking more aspirin if I think that I've expelled more than I've absorbed. On a good day, I can regain some semblance of functionality by 1:00 PM. This was not a good day.

    By the time 2:30 rolled around, I began to wrestle against a new source of discomfort; panic. It was starting to look like we might miss kickoff. It was bad enough that I'd already missed one home game due to injury this season. If I was going to be out for a second game, let alone a game with a late afternoon start, I don't think that's something I'd ever be able to make right.

    It was time to suck it up. I forced myself out of bed and into the shower. An NFL player making a game-time decision to play hurt would likely have a selection of pain killers to choose from. People like me usually have "hair of the dog". But I was still too ill to even consider more liquor. I tried to eat a slice of bread but couldn't finish more than three quarters of it. Aside from whatever aspirin still remained in my system, I was going to have to do this on my own. It was after 3 and the game had already started but I figured we could make it to the Dome by the end of the first quarter. And so we bravely shoved ourselves out the door and stumbled out after the streetcar.

    MEANWHILE: As we struggled with our own meekness, the Saints D wasn't looking much better. I seem to recall the faint sound of Jim Henderson's voice keeping me vaguely aware of this.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panthers
    DeAngelo Williams glides softly across the Superdome floor so as not to wake the sleeping Saints

  • State of Emergency: I lost my portable radio so, while at the streetcar stop, we had to follow the game via the Tweeter Tube. Interpreting a football game through sms message is an inexact activity. In between the T-P's Jeff Duncan's intermittent descriptions of the action, most of what you get is an emotional sense of what might be happening based on the clustering of curses hurled across the airwaves. Apparently it's not enough to simply scream, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY DOING?" anymore. Sure you still do that, but now you also are required to stop, pull out your phone and type, "WTF R THEY DOIN #whodat #saints" And this is how technology saves us labor.. or something. In any event, given the high volume of "WTF"s tweeting about, things were not going well. And then I read,
    WWLTV Gov. Jindal declares a state of emergency as a result of the forecasted conditions of Ida, now a Category-2 storm.

    Maybe I should have just stayed in bed.

    MEANWHILE: Still not good. More Twitter cursing. Something about a fumble. People going on and on about "Breesus" falling from grace. It's all very muddled.

    new orleans saints vs carolina panthers
    Maybe I should have just stayed in bed

  • By the way, where is that freakin' streetcar? A lot of time passes and there's nothing coming down the track. My headache is gone but I'm still more than a little woozy. According to the chirping, the Saints must be down at least two touchdowns. I and many others had been expecting this to be a let down game all week. Maybe I really should have stayed in bed. We're a block away from the house. It would have made perfect sense to just go back, lay on the couch, and let the dreary day unfold. But then I had the classic alcoholic's moment of clarity. I thought, obviously what's going on here is they need us. We had to get to the Superdome before it was too late. "Let's start walking" I groaned still unable to speak clearly. And we started moving downtown on foot.

    It's not a terribly long walk. Usually it takes about 45 minutes to get to the Dome from our place on foot but our weakened condition made the going rougher than it needed to be. As the body exercises, the increased blood flow reawakens the poison still within. You feel at turns euphoric, and then nauseous, and then there's a bit of a chill before you level out. The physical difficulty combined with the persistent absence of any streetcars on the line, I took as evidence that something (the Higgs boson itself, perhaps?) was working against me in this. I wasn't giving up. We were going to make it to this damn game.

    We'd struggled as far as Euterpe Street. when suddenly not one but FIVE FREAKING STREETCARS IN A ROW came rumbling toward us. I knew they had bunched up like that specifically to taunt us but there wasn't any time to waste. We boarded the first of the five that had any free space with the hope that there was still time to make a difference.

    MEANWHILE: More cries of distress coming from the Tweeter Tube. People are losing their shit from the sound of it. Brees throws a pick inside the Carolina 10 killing the Saints first real threat of the game.

    new orleans saints vs. carolina panthers
    That's 5 Ints in 3 games fro Brees, BTW

  • The Fool on The Hill As we ascended the eerily quiet Superdome ramp up from Poydras Street we passed an angry-looking older couple on their way back down. "17-3 Hope you have fun," the man grunted at me. But I had already made up my mind about things. "It's okay, we're gonna get 'em" Maybe I was still drunk or something but I was quite confident by this point. The Saints had to come back. It's the only way I'd be able to justify the journey.

    Up, we went, almost at a run now, toward the gate when, at the top of the incline, we spotted r standing in front of Gate C looking strangely pleased with herself. In her left hand she held a plastic water bottle which she had filled with (and by this point nearly emptied of) her customary vodka, cranberry and whatever concoction. Apparently security had been a bit more on-the-ball today. "The guy told me, 'You gotta get rid of that liquor, baby' So I've been getting rid of it... into my belly" I couldn't believe it. The whole time I had been struggling against the deteriorating weather, my own physical decrepitude, and the freakin' RTA convinced I was on a mission to rescue my fading Saints, there she was just sitting outside drinking vodka.

    "Dude, we gotta get in there. I think they need us."

    "Eh I'm not worried."

    We watched her down the rest of her drink and headed inside to put things right.

  • Here we come to save the day! The results were immediate. We reached our seats with less than two minutes to play in the half. No sooner than had I put my umbrella down Brees hit Colston down the right sideline for 45 yards. 3 plays later, John Carney made it an 11 point game at the half. I told all the people on the Tweeter Tube to settle the fuck down. The hard part was over. We had done our job.

I am told it's a bit of a faux-pas to write too far past the bottom of the sidebar

Which is why we're breaking this post into two parts. Second half observations will be up tomorrow.

More analysis of the GNOCDC housing report

We are pleased to refer you to The Lens

Bye, Byron

You'd think they would have taken care of this a few months back when it could have done some good.

Sophisiticating up the corruption: Baltimore edition

It was over two years ago now when Robert Cerasoli told us our corruption wasn't "sophisticated" enough.
“Corruption in other cities is so sophisticated (because of their rules) you wouldn’t find briberies. It’s very unusual you’d find someone passing money in an office somewhere.”

And it was only 5 days ago that Brian Denzer told us to look to Baltimore as a model for sophisticating up our governmental reform process.

As any fan of the TV series "The Wire" knows, New Orleans is in some ways remarkably similar to Baltimore. It's no surprise that producer David Simon's next TV project is based in New Orleans. Both are historic, demographically diverse port cities, but both have also suffered through economic disinvestment and underperforming schools, while competing with one another over the years for the ignoble title of murder capital.

Right now, what separates New Orleans from Baltimore is 1,000 miles -- and 10 years of government reform.
If you're reading NOLA.com this morning, you might find yourself asking, are they 10 years ahead of us or behind? Because this doesn't seem very sophisticated at all.

Attorneys will today deliver their opening statements at the trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon. Dixon is accused of stealing gift cards donated for needy families and would be removed from office if convicted. A jury of nine women and three men will decide her fate.

I don't know why NOLA.com chose to run the Dixon story a few days after the Denzer op-ed. They've been mixing in a greater volume of irrelevant to NOLA sensationalism lately so I'm sure that's some of what's going on. I think the juxtaposition is helpful though. It advances the argument that operational reforms like Denzer's NolaStat proposals can improve municipal effectiveness even as the political leadership engages in the inevitable clownishness.

If, on the other hand, all you want is a highly politicized department of slaying all the dragons (which is what the IG was always going to be), you just end up running in place.

Jefferson Parish Carnival Krewes do not think very creatively

I don't see what the problem is here.

Not wanting to compete with the biggest game in football, and potentially the biggest game in New Orleans Saints history, Metairie’s Krewe of Rhea has canceled its 2010 Carnival parade on Feb. 7, Super Bowl Sunday.

Nobody knows how to multi-task anymore. Luckily we've already been through this drill in Orleans and know what to do.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ray Nagin's laissez-faire recovery in progress

Are they still paying big-time wages at Gene's Po-boy's?

There is a glut of vacant apartments in New Orleans but the people who need them can't afford them, according to a study released today by a pair of research organizations.

The study estimates that by next year, the city will have a surplus of at least 6,582 market-rate apartments but a need for 13,429 affordable apartments or housing subsidies that could make higher-rate apartments affordable.

The report was prepared by the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center and the Urban Institute's Center on Metropolitan Housing and Communities.

"This is a problem that the market can't fix," said Allison Plyer, director of the Data Center. "You can't just bring down rents like crazy. And our economy is not paying workers enough for them to pay high post-Katrina rents."

Rents are unlikely to go down, because landlords have been burdened with markedly higher costs for utilities, insurance, construction and taxes since Hurricane Katrina. But renters in the city's largely low-wage, tourism-industry workforce aren't likely to make enough money to afford current market-rate rents in New Orleans, which rose 44 percent between 2004 and 2007, according to the Data Center.
Of course it could be that people are still making poor career choices. We all can't work at Gene's. If only there were something else we could all do.
"Politics in New Orleans is the dominant industry, so I decided to get in," (Nagin) said. "Besides tourism, politics dominates everything. I just think it's part of our legacy and our history. Politics is definitely a sport and something that the citizens pay attention to."

Well okay there is always that. 2010 will be the year everybody runs for office. It's the only growth industry left in town.

Feel free to do it again

Sternly worded letter passes expiration date.
Two-and-a-half years after putting Tulane University on its blacklist for post-Hurricane Katrina personnel actions, a national organization of professors has lifted its censure because, an official said Tuesday, it approves of what Tulane has done to correct the situation.
In other words, they just got bored and forgot about it.

Sleepy Town Daily

I'm so old I can remember when there was room at the T-P for Angus Lind and Chris Rose. You got one slice-of-life New Orleans column for (mostly boomer) natives and one in a similar vein for transplant faux-hipster douchebags. I wasn't a Rose fan but I will say the opportunity to complain about him was definitely part of what sold that paper to me. Nobody wins if he just up and goes away.

The New Orleans daily paper no longer has a Food Section, or a bona-fide "local color" column. I guess there's just nothing to do in this town anymore.

High comedy

I'm listening to the Les Miles Show while I'm cooking right now. Every caller wants to beat up on the game officials from Saturday's game. Les doesn't want to get fined for agreeing with them. Very entertaining.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Um... I think you just did

Former Enron executive and Mayoral candidate Troy Henry on why his business-reform background doesn't make him another Ray Nagin:
"People judge you for who you are," he said. "Nobody says (campaign opponent and state Sen.) Ed Murray is a crook because Bill Jefferson is going to jail. I think voters can take an honest look at all the candidates and not pre-judge them."
See what he did there? That was cute.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

It's hard to hold a candle...

Well this is neat. Whoever heard of a hurricane in mid-November? But then whoever heard of an 8-0 Saints team?

I promise to post about this game. It was a fun one.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

There's a reason the SEC imposes heavy fines for criticizing the officials

They are horrible. I know I'm saying this at the end of an LSU loss that can be directly laid on at least 4 major blown calls but this applies to SEC officials this entire season. They are horrible. The SEC has decided the way to solve the problem of horrible officiating is to muzzle the coaches when they point out how horrible it is. That's pretty sad.

Too much to do

I'm not going to waste this day finishing the Saints reporting. There's too much going on out there. This week's post was turning out to be more about Bob Roesler and mercury denaturing and xbox and Higgs boson particles than actual football anyway. I'll just fold all that bullshit into the re-cap of the Caronlina game (which I am thoroughly convinced the Saints will lose, btw).

Anyway I'm outta here for now.

Friday, November 06, 2009


I just got in. There was a debate tonight? I thought there were still like 70 more candidates waiting to declare.

Update: Just going by Kevin Allman's notes in that post, I'd say Murray wins that one.

Also... (sigh)
Perry, ever-wired into the Facebook/Twitter Zeitgeist, managed to squeeze out one Tweet from the dais while someone else was speaking.

Okay okay I gotta know. Wait a sec. Okay, hang on... rooting around the Tweeter Tube now.. and.. ok this is it. It... oh... Oh God

I'm debating 3 mayoral candidates right now at the Crimefightes debate. I can feel the swell of support in the Room

I'm beginning to wonder if the whole James Perry campaign isn't actually some elaborate prank. Or maybe it's someone's Social Media Marketing thesis project. Does he know anything about organic pizza, by any chance?

Yes there's one of those long rambling football posts sitting in the drafts folder

But I'm going to see Dave Eggers speak at NOCCA tonight so I'll just have to waste part of my Saturday finishing it up... or maybe I'll make next week another two-fer. But that would suck since half of this week's post is about why the Saints are guaranteed to lose Sunday. Maybe we'll get there in time. Maybe.

A Good Circuitry Soldier

Sometimes the way will have an eye on them
Other times the ass will snatch the morsel
Clive licks the eyes of the lonely ones
Here at the time when the mission kicks the tribe
The commission takes the bribe

The schadenfreude portion of the Dragonslaying process is usually where I begin to lose interest but HOLY SHIT 63 counts is an awful lot.

Suing for libel is the new black

Former Public Service Commission member John Schwegmann calls columns libelous

Greg Meffert: “The Times-Picayune is the biggest bully in town.”

Doing it wrong

Back in the first few months of the current administration, when I was writing piece after piece urging the new administration to adopt a more aggressive economic policy, what I had very much in my mind — and wrote about on a few occasions — was the possibility of a sort of political economy trap. If unemployment continued to rise, I feared, Congress wouldn’t draw the right conclusion — that we needed more stimulus. Instead, the verdict would be that Obama’s economic policies weren’t working, so we needed to do less. And high unemployment would also lead to Democratic electoral losses, further undermining the ability to act (since the fact is that today’s GOP is the party of economic ignorance). The result would be a persistently depressed economy, and a fading out of Obama’s promise.

And the same thing is happening with health care.

Liberals have such low expectations these days that they're actually celebrating a health care reform bill that might include a "public option" ...but probably one with "triggers" or an "opt-out" clause. Either way Harry Reid's bill looks pretty darn crappy but liberals are somehow ecstatic.

Even if health reform passes with some form of "public option" most of us are still looking at insufficient coverage, and increasing costs for the forseeable future all to the continued benefit of the goulish death-profiteers in an insurance industry left largely intact.

The result of this is that we're going to end up with a health reform that not only doesn't do what it needs to do but also discredits the whole idea of health care reform for another generation. And all of this is because Obama has been doing it wrong from day one. And doing it wrong is worse than not doing it at all.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

News is not news Learn something old every day

Some guy came into the library the other day handing out these fliers.

At first I didn't think much of it. We get a lot of freaks in there. But then the same thing turns up on every freaking channel and I'm beginning to think it's either really bad spam or it might be... you know... a thing. Anyway, they say there's free beer so, hey.