Thursday, December 31, 2009

And the number one thing we will not miss about the 00s

Those stupid plastic novelty glasses all the cuter-than-thou debs wear to the Gold Mine on New Year's Eve. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that take advantage of the fact the the 2000s all have the double-zero in the middle to make it possible for assholes to... I don't know... join in on a moment of socially approved canned mischief of something. Well goodbye to all that. I hated that shit the moment I saw it ten years ago and now....

Oh. Oh Goddammit.

Douchebaggery finds a way.

Happy New Year

I don't get it

"New Orleans Restaurant of the Year" not actually in New Orleans.

Unintentional Twittering

I was totally behind Bobby McCray until he let his lawyer release this limp crawfish of a statement.
"I regret that my private messages were unintentionally posted on Twitter," he said. "I have respect for the men and women who serve the New Orleans Police Department and I never meant to convey otherwise. My attorneys are now handling the matter and I have faith that the legal process will rectify the situation in my favor."
"Unintentionally posted on Twitter"? How does that even happen, exactly? More importantly, why does it matter? Here's what McCray originally unintentionally posted regarding his arrest on DUI charges*.
Trying to deal with this Bogus charge of DWP.. driving with pizza..

I had cuffs on me in 3 minutes.. This was a short guy with Napoleon complex

He got upset because I asked him why did I need to get out of the car on a routine traffic stop.

He started ranting and raving and saying I think I know it all and threw me in cuffs... my finace was feeding me pizza driving home.

And so he pulled me for doing 80 in a 60... not to mention I was sober... Lawyers mount up, we got some work to do!!!!

Now the image of McCray's mounted lawyer brigade is kind of funny but leaving that aside, what we learn from this is 1) McCray was pulled over for speeding 2) The cop was an asshole about it and didn't think McCray was appropriately deferential to his authority so he slapped him with a more serious charge 3) McCray is pissed. What about this information is, in a sane world, in any way damaging to McCray? Why does he have to apologize and walk it back?

*All we know about the DUI charge, BTW, is that McCray refused a breathalyzer test which is something he is well within his right to do. (Although it means his license is forfeit for a year. I could discuss the many things I find offensive about this law but it's beside the point here.)

Bacon Jam!

Holy Crap!!

While we're on the subject, anyone who caught the Top Chef finale this season will remember that Kevin tried to pull off the ever-tricky Bacon-Banana combo. I am convinced this is an awesome idea, but, as I could have warned him, a risky one.

Built-in scapegoat

The reason that red-light cameras aren't that great a political issue is people's anger at the cameras is easily misdirected back upon their fellow drivers. Sure people don't like getting tickets but this is muted by their greater joy at the thought of the universally despised "other" drivers getting what they deserve. Never underestimate the small-minded pettiness of the average citizen.

That's when I reach for my revolver

Attention policy geeks. If you're at all curious about how the Mayor still intends to move City Hall to the Chevron building after having been shot down by City Council earlier this year, take a look at what Eli and Dambala are speculating about.

The gist of the discussion there is that Nagin is attempting to apply LRA "revolver" funds designed to front cash for FEMA reimbursed projects toward what Dambala and Eli are calling development projects unlikely to be reimbursed. If they're right, it potentially puts the city on the hook for a huge chunk of money it won't be able to repay without a great deal of pain in a few years (conveniently after Nagin is long gone). Go read both of their posts for detailed discussion. I only mention it here because I thought of a killer title I needed to share.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Will Smith and Thomas Morstead are shut out of the Pro Bowl (BTW props to NOLA.com for including Morstead in the reader poll)

And somehow Bernardo doesn't make into the Snake countdown? What gives?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Broken Lens

(Forgive me I just flew back into to town and boy are my bowels tired)

I was wondering why they'd already smashed their own website over there. But then I thought maybe they were having trouble teaching their new partner Tom Benson how to use the interwebs or something.

One quick and relatively unimportant point

While I'm generally open to the many arguments for modifying the Senate rules on cloture, I don't think it's the sort of thing that does much good on its own. Shifting the agenda requires, above all else, kicking the bosses out of the room, which is, of course, much more difficult than just changing a rule.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I am one of those people who is kind of glad about the loss

There's more but I'm getting on a plane this afternoon and I just wanted to throw that out there in case nothing else gets written before the Tampa game.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Jeff Duncan asking the wrong question

How can Drew Brees even be considered for the NFL MVP award when we all know he's not even the most valuable player on the team? Thomas Morstead is. Thought we established that a long time ago.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I never had much HOPE to begin with (2 Updates)

But sometimes I really wish it didn't have to be so damn predictable
A lot more people are unhappy than otherwise would have been --- the standard liberals, the populist independents and the "hope and change" new voters. That group may overlap some, but I think they are actually distinct. The liberals know that government is a cesspool but believed the public option (and later, the medicare buy-in) gave them an avenue for future change and saw it as a demonstration of progressive power in Obama's Washington. The independents thought that Obama's promises to keep lobbyists out of the White House and operate with transparency and accountability meant that he was going to upend the dominance of special interests. The final group thought that by the sheer force of his personality and talent for persuasion the fighting would stop and everyone would sit down at the table and work together. And I would imagine that all of them counted on him using his public popularity, good relationship with the press and superior rhetorical gifts to push for his agenda.

Instead we have seen teabaggers packing heat at town hall meetings, Democrats arguing with each other on cable news 24/7, the public option used as a bargaining chip, secret deals cut with the medical industry and Obama making his last speech on the subject three months ago. It has not just been an ugly spectacle, it has soured a lot of people on the promise that Obama brought to Washington. His own ratings are tanking right along with healthcare reform.

It's like watching the Saints and Cowboys game without the 4th quarter comeback to make it interesting.

Update: In the (still active) Haloscan comments, David points us to this week's Bill Moyers' Journal where Matt Taibbi and Robert Kuttner discuss this President's utter failure to lead a fight for change from the status quo corporate oligarchy in any significant way. Certainly not on health care, and certainly not on finance reform.

Longish excerpt, but a key one:

BILL MOYERS: I was thinking about both of you Sunday night when President Obama was on 60 MINUTES and he said...

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street.

BILL MOYERS: Then on Monday afternoon, he had this photo opportunity in which he scolded the bankers and then they took it politely and graciously, which they could've done because the Hill at that very moment was swarming with banking lobbyists making sure that what the President wants doesn't happen. I mean, what did you think as you watched him on 60 MINUTES or watched that press conference?

MATT TAIBBI: It seemed to me that it was a response to a lot of negative criticism that he's been getting in the media lately, that they are probably looking at the President's poll numbers from the last couple of weeks that have been remarkably low. And a lot of that has to do with some perceptions about his ties to Wall Street. And I think they felt a need to come out and make a strong statement against Wall Street, whether they're actually do anything is, sort of, a different question. But I think that was my impression.

ROBERT KUTTNER: I was appalled. I was just appalled because think of the timing. On Thursday and Friday of last week, the same week when the president finally gives this tough talk on "60 Minutes," a very feeble bill is working its way through the House of Representatives and crucial decisions are being made. And where is the President? I mean, there was an amendment to put some teeth back in the provision on credit default swaps and other kinds of derivatives. And that went down by a handful of votes. And to the extent that the Treasury and the White House was working that bill, at all, they were working the wrong side. There was a there was a provision to exempt foreign exchange derivatives from the teeth in the bill. That--

Foreign exchange derivatives are what caused the Long Term Capital Management crisis--


A tremendous problem.

BILL MOYERS: Ten or 12 years ago, right?


Yeah. And, Treasury was lobbying in favor of that. There was a provision in the bill to exempt small corporations, not so small, I believe at $75 million and under, from a lot of the provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requiring honest accounting. Rahm Emanuel personally was lobbying in favor of that.

So you had the Treasury and the White House chief of staff arguing on behalf of the banking industry?

Right. Right. And so here's the president two days later giving a tough speech. Why wasn't he working the phones to toughen up that bill and, you know, walk the talk?
Well because it's Obama's job to talk a pleasing talk while Wall Street walks all over the rest of us. That's been the key difference between Democrats and Republicans for most of a generation now. One party specializes in selling the oligarchy's agenda with a feel-good ad campaign while the other specializes in a more visceral, aggressive approach. The ad changes according to fluctuations in the public taste, but the product the establishment pols of either flavor are selling is largely the same turd sandwich.

At the end of the Moyers interview, Kuttner says something interesting.

One way or another, there is going to be a social movement. Because so many people are hurting, and so many people are feeling correctly that Wall Street is getting too much and Main Street is getting too little. And if it's not a progressive social movement that articulates the frustration and the reform program, you know that the right wing is going to do it. And that, I think, is what ought to be scaring us silly.

I'm not so sure we should be scared of the teabaggers anymore, though. If liberals aren't going to offer any serious opposition to the perverse co-opting of the American political system by the rich and powerful to the ever-expanding detriment of the rest of us, then by God somebody's got to. And this is why I'm glad to see people like Jane Hamsher start to draw the same conclusion I've been on for some time now.

There is an enormous, rising tide of populism that crosses party lines in objection to the Senate bill. We opposed the bank bailouts, the AIG bonuses, the lack of transparency about the Federal Reserve, "bailout" Ben Bernanke, and the way the Democrats have used their power to sell the country's resources to secure their own personal advantage, just as the libertarians have. In fact, we've worked together with them to oppose these things. What we agree on: both parties are working against the interests of the public, the only difference is in the messaging.

Liberals who want to have an effective voice in affecting real progressive change during the coming political upheaval had better start thinking more about the substantive things they have in common with people in the teabag movement and less about the superficial things they admire about their phony President.

Upperdate: More from the comments. (I'm going to fix the comments form once Haloscan dies, don't worry.)

H.I. McDonaugh says,

Stop voting for either of the two main parties then. All you and other bloggers did during the election was make fun of any outsider type movements and defend the major parties, or at least one of them. Now you're saying they are both the same?

Wise up when it matters.

But, in my interpretation of events, the 2008 landslide result was less an endorsement of Obama as a person and more a desperate popular mandate for change. Shoving Obama into office was, at that point, the absolute best thing an angry public could do to express its dissatisfaction.

That's what national elections allow us to do. They don't allow us to fill out a detailed survey of all of our minute likes and dislikes. There are electoral reforms I might suggest that can help refine how the electorate communicates via the vote but that's another discussion. Suffice to say, during the four year event, we get an opportunity to scream incoherently but loudly at established power.

The problem then becomes what to do next. Too many people who call themselves liberals these days get so caught up in the cult of personality they build around the winners they create (Clinton and now Obama) that they cease screaming once election time is over and just turn over the initiative to the cult leader.

Democracy is (or should be) much messier than that. Just installing an ambitious turd who is slick enough to capitalize on your anger isn't enough. You have to keep screaming at them if you want to get anything done. You make the turds you elect work for you by never letting up on them. Because the second you stop screaming is the second they go right back to listening to whoever is paying them the most.

And that's something that the teabaggers (at least rhetorically) get right which most establishment liberals do not.

The single most outrageous thing about last night's game

From Alejandro de los Rios' crawfish-and-beer-themed game wrap-up:
DeMarcus Ware - Aside from the fact that he completely killed the Saints’ perfect season, here’s another reason to hate the Dallas linebacker: he’s a piss-poor tipper. A very reliable source informed me yesterday that Ware left a $50 tip on a $500 check at one of New Orleans’ best, and most expensive, restaurants. That’s a 10% tip from a guy who makes over $10 million a year. Class act, this one

I really hope we see them in the playoffs when somebody... like say Poochie... who isn't afraid to cheap shot somebody is in the game.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

After the Deluge or A tale of two Souls of the City

Last Friday night we celebrated r's birthday at Acme Oyster house in the French Quarter as we have done each of these past four years. It's not the worst way to watch your mid-thirties fly by, I guess. One advantage of aging at Acme is that the event comes with a built in mechanism for measuring one's annual physical deterioration.

Death in a cup

That's an oyster shooter. It's one freshly shucked bivalve at the bottom of a horrid mixture of cocktail sauce and vodka. As you can see by the clarity here, we're dealing with a high vodka-to-sauce ratio, but, believe me, when you down this thing, you are acutely aware of the horseradish.

Because ingesting these demands a certain set of athletic skills, an annual oyster shooter is an excellent metric for determining one's retention of these skills. The textural quality of the oyster combines with the pepper of the horseradish sauce to delay the subject's normal tendency to swallow the vodka quickly. Instead, one tends to hold the mixture in one's mouth for just a second longer. Long enough to make the exercise a significant challenge to one's command of one's gag reflex. But even if the challenger succeeds here, next comes the pressure to repeat that performance, once... perhaps twice, before moving on to ostensibly gentler beverages. The catch is, after the oyster shooter hurdle has been cleared, the ostensibly gentler beverages tend to come in greater numbers and at shorter intervals than they otherwise would. And so what was a test of skill becomes a matter of endurance.

The final and toughest leg of the annual oyster shooter assessment comes the next morning when we measure the competitors' recovery time. Me, well I'm in my mid-thirties, a fact that was all too much in evidence on Saturday morning.

I'll just gloss over the part where I describe my hangover to you this time. I know you've read enough of those. There was some gagging and dizziness. And, of course, there was the crushing headache that renders one barely capable of the most rudimentary interpersonal communication. Sure I could listen to people talking to me to a point. But most of my concentration would be taken up by sorely wishing they would just stop talking. Naturally, I had to work Saturday.

I've learned, over the years, how to make a go of it while functioning at less that 100 percent. Saturday, as has been noted elsewhere, was kind of cold and wet. Wet and cold everywhere went and all over everything; on your clothes, in your shoes, under your skin. When quitting time came around all I wanted to do was find someplace warm to hide until the rest of the cold wet hangover went away. But nothing is so easy.

I'm fortunate enough to live 1.6 miles from my job at present. According to Google, my commute should take about 5 minutes. I always end up stopping for coffee on the way in and groceries on the way home so I've never really verified this. I tried to Saturday afternoon but got caught up in the massive flooding. Unable to cross Louisiana Avenue at St. Charles, I turned on to Foucher Street, which I soon discovered was itself a sort peninsula dead-ending at Lake Carondelet. (No, not the Carondelet Canal) There I was. Trapped by the rising waters with only a Toyota Tercel for shelter and an increasingly hysterical Twittersphere to keep me company. Cold. Wet. Hungover. Miserable.

After a thankfully uneventful hurricane season, this has been an uncharacteristically stormy Autumn in New Orleans beginning with the very first football game of the season. About braving the monsoon in progress during that event, I wrote,

Luckily, I remembered that the Louisiana Superdome has, on occasion, been put to use as a storm shelter.

I thought about this as I sat trapped in my car by another flood and wondered if I should start swimming to the Superdome then. After all, the Saints themselves had already evacuated to Atlanta.

Saints Vs Falcons

  • Sibling Rivalry The Saints and the Falcons arrived in the NFL at roughly the same time int the mid-sixties and the teams, like the Southern cities they represent, became fast rivals. Like a lot of sports rivalries, the Saints and Falcons always play each other close, tend to be in each others' way at exactly the right times, and unusual things happen when they play each other. But unlike a lot of typical rivalries, it would be inaccurate to say that the teams and their fan bases hate each other. In fact, Saints-Falcons is best described as sibling rivalry.

    Historically, the South's two best known cities have often compared themselves with one another each proud of the ways in which it isn't like the other. Atlanta is more prosperous. New Orleans is more fun. But also each is a little jealous of the things its rival has that it doesn't. But where there is jealousy there isn't much hostility. Saints fans don't really hate the Falcons, they just really really want to beat them.

    Furthermore, a lot of New Orleanians have family who live in Atlanta. That was true before the Federal Flood, but after that event lot of New Orleanians ended up in Atlanta. Many are still there now. This commerce between the two cities only strengthens the familial relationship. For a time during the early 2000s, the teams' respective starting quarterbacks were cousins. Most fans thought this only natural.

    The two annual games between these teams typically carry the strongest numbers of fans traveling with the team to each of the cities. Saints fans and Falcons fans know each other. Visiting Falcons fans hanging out in and around the Superdome are typically good humored, and fun to tease and tailgate with. Saints fans visiting the Georgia Dome, well, they know how to put on a show too.

    Most people accross the country don't know it but Saints-Falcons is one of the NFL's best rivalries. Not because of the win-loss records of the mostly mediocre teams involved, but because the fans know how to make it fun. Simply put, Saints and Falcons fans do things right. Don't get me wrong, though. We always want to beat those people. But we don't hate them like we do, say, Bucs fans. And Atlanta, for all its faults, still isn't Dallas (more on that in a bit).

  • Saints: So very tired It's difficult to pick out in the fog of war so I'm not sure if the burden of going undefeated is getting to them or the Saints are just reeling from their numerous injuries after 13 games. Either way, they've looked increasingly tired and beat up over past few weeks. I know that this happens to every team but the Saints had 19 people on the injured list last week, fer Chrissakes. It's nice that they've clinched a bye because they'll need it but I'm starting to agree with the commentators urging them to rest people in the closing weeks should they clinch homefield. Going undefeated is kind of gay anyway. Do you really want to wake up in 20 years to see Jeremey Shockey and Reggie Bush popping the champagne in a room with the ashes of Mercury Morris sitting on the bar? Didn't think so.

     New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
    Even Coach Soupy has developed a bad case of headphone-neck at this point. The punchline is, the NFL is seriously considering expanding the regular season in the future.

  • Out of gas and out of ideas too It could be a function of how tired and beat up they are, or it could be the overcaution of playing an opponent for the second time, but the Saints seemed out of ideas on offense. Unwilling, or unable, to run the ball as effectively as they had earlier, the Saints' offense has become badly unbalanced toward the pass. Against Atlanta the Saints attempted 40 passes vs on 26 runs. Of those 26 runs, one was a reverse and two were scrambles by the quarterback. Of those 40 passes, something like fifty million were screen passes. The Saints looked like a cut boxer just trying to duck and jab his way to the end of the round.

    Saints vs. Falcons
    It's like the playing the whole game on your back foot

  • Atlanta out of ideas too While the Saints displayed a lack of confidence in their regular offense through over reliance on the screen pass, the Falcons were arguably even worse having to resort to bullshit high school plays. In the first quarter, they send Eric Weems on an end around play for 31 yards. The Saints' defense should be ashamed of themselves for giving up such a big play on high school bullshit this late in the season. But the Falcons should be even more ashamed for trying more high school bullshit late in the game. When Weems was stuffed for -12 yards on a "Wildcat" play in the fourth quarter, the game was very nearly clinched for New Orleans.

    Saints vs. Falcons
    Mike Smith is pissed! The dude could have used an oyster shooter

  • Goddammit Couhig Garrett Hartley missed a crucial extra point attempt. As we explained last week, we blame Mayoral candidate Rob Couhig for this. Related note: Menckles has assigned Hartley the nickname, "Scooter." I'm not sure why. But I like it anyway.

  • Hold on to your grandmas So Coach Soupy Les-ed out on us for a minute there in the 4th quarter. We know he's prone to to doing this. Sean Payton has hurt the Saints in the past with his bizarre affinity for unnecessary trick plays in clutch situations where simplicity would suffice. Most famously, Payton "tried to kill (one fan's) grandma!" by running an ill-advised reverse late in a pivotal game against Tampa in 2007 (see here for full story). On Sunday, Payton was out for granny blood again. The Saints lined up for a very makeable field goal which would have extended their 3 point lead to 6 with only a few minutes left to play. Instead Payton went for the fake. Mark Brunell rolled out and threw an incomplete pass giving the Falcons one more chance at life. We have no idea what could have been going through Soupy's head at the time, although we imagine it's something very like what Wang has illustrated for us here. Go click that link now. Really, you'll like it. I'll wait.

    Here's the thing, though. I should be pissed about that but, I just... it doesn't seem important. At some point this year (I think is was during the Dolphins game) I just stopped worrying. I know I wasn't worried when the Saints were down to Carolina at halftime. The Washington game, I thought was probably lost at one point but so did everybody and I still don't think I can say it worried me. This season has just been too ridiculous to get upset about anymore. Maybe the Saints can go undefeated, maybe they'll win the Superbowl. Maybe they'll get blown out by Minnesota in the playoffs. That last scenario has historical precedent and would certainly make the most sense. But regardless, we'll all remember this fondly no matter how it works out. So I'm not worried. But that doesn't mean I don't care. There's plenty reason to stay fired up which I'll try to explain in the next item.

  • This week's media complaint: Okay this actually comes to us from Oyster who is uncomfortable with aspects of that Wright Thompson ESPN piece we linked to a few days ago. You should read the YRHT post because 1) Oyster is a better writer than I am and 2) It's partially about me which is nice. But, in the meantime, allow me to summarize and respond to his points.

    Oyster, quite rightly, points out that Thompson spends the bulk of his time on this assignment seeing New Orleans through the eyes of its social and economic elite. Thompson follows Rita Leblanc around as she attends parties at the homes of Uptown swells, introduces him to John Besh and James Carville, and hands him the owner's perspective on things. In fact, outside of a trip to Besh's restaurant and to Galatoire's, Thompson doesn't appear to get out of Uptown until he stops in Manchac on the way out of town. (There is a visit to Carver High School which looks more like a gratuitous prop given the context of the article.) In a comment below Oyster's post, Mominem says, "It sounded to me like he had a date with Rita LeBlanc" and that's the impression that I had as well. I assumed that Thompson's assignment was to follow Rita around town and soak up the atmosphere from her side. Given this, it's unsurprising that the article would reflect this.

    I watched the Redskins game over at r's place in Faubourg St. John. My parents are renting an apartment on Cambronne street in North Carrollton. After the Saints won that game, we could hear people shouting all up and down Maurepas street. Dad called and told me that where they were, the whole neighborhood came out onto their porches and broke into spontaneous Who Datting. Thompson could have spent time in any of the city's more working class neighborhoods and come away with the same sense of the "Soul of the City" that he writes about. But he didn't. He hung around with Rita LeBlanc and her friends. That can't be helped.

    I would suggest that Oyster's strongest beef with the piece is in fact more with Rita than it is with Thompson who merely transmits her perspective. It must be said, then, that Rita gets two things horribly wrong here.

    Rita's worst offense is her unsurprisingly sunny characterization of her grandfather's attempt to move the team out of New Orleans both before and during the crisis event. Oyster rips Rita's lie to shreds below.

    Fact check: it wasn't just in the "confusing months after Katrina" that people were loathing Benson. They "felt that he wanted to move the team" for most of 2005, and with good reason. In 2004, Benson was talking about some sort of far-flung (and immensely generous) "permanent solution" between the team and the state. Then, over the next year, Gov. Kathleen Blanco (rightfully) played hardball with him as he enjoyed "perhaps the sweetest lease deal in all of football".

    To gain leverage for his profitable team during these negotiations, Tom Benson broke off talks with the state during the spring of 2005. That summer Saints chatter was dominated by speculation about whether (or when) the Saints would move to another city.

    The main point is that Saints fans were disgusted with Benson's conduct throughout the year prior to the storm/ff, not just during the "confusing" months after it. He has always viewed this team from a business perspective. It was an asset he owned that accrued value because of loyal Saints fans, subsidies from the state of Louisiana, and growth in the NFL brand, among other things. Then, after the storm, Benson's assholery intensified.

    I snipped some of Oyster's corroborating quotations from that. You'll want to read his whole post anyway.

    Rita's next error is in attributing the deep bond which exists between the Saints and the city to the Federal Flood experience. Here's Oyster:
    Not saying that the past few years haven't been special, but do longtime Saints fans agree with the claim that the team wasn't woven into the "fabric of the town" until Benson "decided" (read: was pressured by the NFL) to stay? Really? Pity that Buddy D wasn't around when the Saints finally "transcended" into something larger than just a popular home sports team.
    Earlier this season, I called out the Boston Globe's Bob Ryan for a similar attribution of Saints fans' excitement to the fact that the Patriots were in town. It's difficult for the rest of the country to relate to the way Saints football is one with the culture in New Orleans. Attributing the phenomenon to the flood does nothing to demystify it for them.

    Oyster also make some minor but nonetheless valid points about Thompson's decision to highlight newcommers like Reggie Bush, Sean Payton, and Carville as exemplars of the rebuilding "soul of the city" and the further pimping of Chris Rose's embarrassing work. But I think the real damning bit about the article comes from Rita LeBlanc's lies.

    Still, despite all of the above, I think this article does more good than harm and I'll tell you why. Next week, I'm going to Baltimore to visit the in-laws for Christmas. I expect to be asked about the Saints while I'm there and if I can point to Wright Thompson's article to help explain how much this stuff means to us then I'm going to do it.

    I know that Thompson is telling his story through the eyes of the elites but the folks I'm going to be visiting with don't know that. Besides, if Americans can't understand our football, who are they to understand our politics anyway? We know who these Uptown assholes are. We know where they live. We'll deal with that later. We've got a whole Mayoral election coming up with which to fight that shit out. We'll do that ourselves. Sinn Fein, you know.

    Of course, I don't really expect the in-laws to "get it" the way we get it. All I need them to understand is that New Orleans' relationship with its football team is unique. That we have something they don't have and can't have. That we are New Orleans and that most other places are Dallas. And I think that Thompson communicates this better than any nationally based writer has so far.

    I think about all I've seen -- in the past week, in the years before -- and about the next game in the Dome. The Cowboys are coming to town. Some marketing guy decided in the '70s that they should be America's Team. It stuck, because they were good and because Dallas represented everything America thought about itself: big, consuming, flashy, bragging, unbeatable.

    When I drive into Dallas, I see a place sprawling and bland, loops and rings of interstate and, somewhere over the horizon, a stadium representing a just-gone era of bloat and decay … scoreboard so big it interferes with the game … $60 pizzas. It looks new but is dead inside. In contrast, there is the drive out of New Orleans, through a city still battered, past the exits for the Vieux Carre and Uptown, past the Huey Long, which runs narrow and high out to the leaning oyster and chicken shack. All told, this is a city with the opposite calculus of Dallas: It is decayed on the outside, but inside there is life. Here is a citizenry that believes in the power of the underdog. New Orleanians fell first and see something the rest of America is blind to right now: a way back into the light.

Friday, December 18, 2009


If you've gone through all the trouble of producing a moderately amusing satirical attack on one of your opponents, why would you feel like you need to hide from that? If the Georges campaign really is responsible for the "fake Mitch site" (and it seems at this point like they probably are), shouldn't they just slap a "PAID FOR BY GEORGES FOR MAYOR" caption on it and just let it ride? It's certainly more creative than the stupid dog ad anyway.

Why be slimy and sneaky when it isn't even necessary?

Keeping the brand out there

Jarvis DeBerry comments on this week's T-P series on NOPD conduct after the flood
There was an absence of information and an inability to communicate, and people feared the worst. There was also a police chief irresponsibly spreading rumors that his officers were being targeted for attack, making the worst all but inevitable.

Then-Superintendent Eddie Compass told a Connecticut newspaper a fanciful tale of a late-night firefight at the Convention Center. His SWAT team was being attacked, he said, and guided only by the light of the criminals' muzzles flashing, his officers got close enough to wrestle 30 weapons out of their hands. It was a story that Winn, the SWAT commander, rebutted. They saw muzzle flashes and heard gunshots only once, he said. They didn't recover a single weapon.

Mayor Ray Nagin, apparently getting erroneous information from Compass, repeated the chief's story that babies in New Orleans were being raped, telling Oprah Winfrey that those who remained in the city had become "almost animalistic."

If you tell a police force that officers are being warred against, that babies are being sexually assaulted and that city residents have essentially gone rabid, you have given them license to shoot without thinking. You have helped foment mayhem.

The brand is very powerful after all.

Technical adjustments

I'm playing with the idea of activating Blogger's in-house commenting feature since Haloscan now wants to charge me for letting you people yell at me. Trouble is I'm not sure how it's going to work since, because I am like the oldest blogger ever, my template actually pre-dates Blogger comments. Which is why this site uses Haloscan in the first place.

Anyway so I'm messing with stuff. If you see a Blogger comment form beneath this post then 1) it's more than I thought would happen and 2) go ahead and try it out.

Here, I'll give you something to discuss. Despite the fact that all of the mayoral candidates list "crime" as their number one issue, only four of them bothered to show up at a forum specifically dedicated to criminal justice yesterday. Did anyone attend?

Update: Okay so it already isn't working. Not sure how I'm gonna handle this yet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More roster changes

Moving Sammy Knight to the inactive list for the Dallas game. Going with Morstead this week.

Morstead for MVP

Come to think of it, so would I

Joe Horn Says He'd Love To Retire As Saint

One small thing here

Closing city buildings on Fridays doesn't actually mean a shorter work week for city workers. It just rearranges the same 35 hours they're working now in a less convenient way for both the workers and the public. Doesn't actually save money but does attract attention which is, of course, the point.

And yes there's a punchline

He (Nagin) said the budget "is too serious to play games with."

Update: It occurs to me that I could be completely wrong about this. They seem to be touting the utility savings derived from closing buildings for one day. Of course there are a lot of city buildings which still operate on the weekends so we're probably talking about marginal savings here. On the other hand, I have read about other cities with budget problems implementing this kind of thing so maybe there's something to it I'm not seeing.

The non-Norman forum

Yesterday, some of the Mayoral candidates participated in a forum hosted by the conservative "Pelican Institute" where the main topic of discussion was the IG's office. The T-P account is here but the NOLAStat blog directs us to actual video of the event.

I know I know... make with the football, funny boy

Look, get off my back for now and go check out this ESPN.com article by Wright Thompson.
These are strange and beautiful days in New Orleans, and they must be seen to be believed. I've visited the city dozens of times since I was a boy, lived and worked there for a spell and last week, when I went down to experience the mania over the Saints' undefeated season firsthand, I found myself not sure whether every street was a dream. Some moments made me laugh, and others were so full of a desperate love that I had tears in my eyes.

More crying. Maybe we should all admit Tim Tebow was right after all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Same air, new mayor Same rain, new pain*

Ladies aaaand gentleman and various persons of alternative genders, we are pleased to introduce to you your 2009-2010 Mayoral contestants in their first public appearance since getting the band together. We hope you enjoy this permutation of the group since it includes the pop diva stylings of Leslie Jacobs who we aren't sure is too keen on sticking with the project much longer.

Anyway the kids got together with veteran producer Norman Robinson last night to cut their first record which you can check out here. You may have to restart a few tracks more than once to get them to play properly. I blame the DRM. Here's a quick review.

Thematically, The Candidates don't take too many chances. Mostly they banged out industry standards like LEADERSHIP, ACCOUNTABILITY, PUBLIC SAFETY, and TRANSPARENCY although at times it appeared that some of the bandmates were trying to drive the material in a more experimental direction (POT and AMISH PEOPLE). It isn't clear which way these kinds of creative conflicts will eventually pull the group, but it's enough to keep us listening... for now.

Lyrically, The Candidates displayed a tendency toward stream-of-consciousness with, well, mixed (and sometimes confusing) results. For example, here's Leslie Jacobs on CRIME.
"There is no reason New Orleans has the crime rate it does"
Sounds enticingly mysterious but we're not exactly sure what it means. Especially when a few minutes later she busted out this line
"It is very important that we engage our non-profits, our churches, people sitting on the stoops, in partnering with us in crime"
Is Leslie Jacobs really looking for partners in crime? It would be a bit of a departure for her since the rest of her work here seems decidedly un-gangsta.

On the same cut, Nadine Ramsey briefly appears to confuse CRIME with AFGHANISTAN as she suggests what we need is "a long-term commitment". After that, she starts free-styling
"So it has to be that we listen to our neighborhoods. That we take into place with the police department what the neighborhoods are doing to make their lives better."
No idea what that means. We're checking with the record label to find out if either Sarah Palin or Miss Teen South Carolina wrote any of Ramsey's material for her. We're pretty sure she wasn't lip-synching.

Jerry Jacobs (noted sidekick of bandmate John Georges) cultivates an edgy image and adds something to the band's look with his unusual black bowler hat. His riff on CRIME, "Legalize it!" is unabashedly pro-weed. He plays the rebel quite effectively but almost takes it too far in his deadpan antagonism of Robinson. During RACE, Norman tries to lead Jacobs back to familiar territory giving him an opportunity to suggest that more pot smoking will bring blacks and whites together. But Jacobs bucks his producer with a humorless, "If it would not hurt my political image I would laugh with you" The obvious tension there clearly marks Jerry Jacobs as the "bad boy" of the group.

Troy Henry dabbles in Yoko Ono-esque conceptual art as he describes to us his vision of a "5 legged stool" It's a bit strange, given his engineering background that Henry would choose to add two more legs than most folks will tell you are necessary. Perhaps he's favoring stability over efficiency... or maybe it's just poetic license. Anyway, Henry, in somewhat unorthodox verbiage, describes the legs of his stool as 1) "Reengineering of city government" 2)"addressing the crime problem proactively as well as on an enforcement standpoint" 3)"infrastructure" 4) "economic development" 5)"around housing and blight" Because 5 Legged Stool presents some fairly mainstream concepts in a slightly new format, it has potential to be a sleeper hit for the group.

Meanwhile, the label is pushing frontman Mitch Landrieu's new single. The hook, "I know what to do and I know how to do it" is classic Mitch. Its compound structure recalls, perhaps too well, his 2006 hit, "We only get one chance and our margin for error is zero" The trouble there is that fans of the former tune are hoping these days that those words weren't as prophetic as they once sounded. Most of us hope to God at this point that he was wrong on both of those counts since there have been many errors and we would very much like another chance. And if no one wants to believe the old line any more, how much credibility does this new one really have? On the other hand, Mitch proposes to focus on 3 things (crime, jobs, and schools) which at least makes a more sensible stool than Henry's so maybe he's got something left in the tank after all.

Also recycling some of his older material is Manny "Chevrolet" Bruno as he reprises his 2006 anthem, "Let the Amish Come to Remove Our Blight". If you've seen Bruno's act before, there isn't anything new to get excited about but his timing and polish are as reliable as ever. He adds a touch of the soulful philosopher to an otherwise bubble-gum ensemble.

Ed Murray's "Mayor's Office of Education" sounds a bit ominous, particularly among fans of TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY but after a few listens is far more appealing than Leslie Jacobs' cover of EDUCATION which has been criticized for its confounding lack of FAIRNESS.

So there's some promise with this bunch but there also are some major problems. One thing that certainly needs work is The Candidates' sloppy stage show. Leslie Jacobs seems unable to perform without gripping and twisting her own fingers distractingly while Nadine Ramsey sways rhythmlessly in mid solo. And for God's sake, won't somebody do something about Ed Murray's blinking habit? He's never going to connect with an audience that way.

A few of the tracks should have been cut altogether. Georges' "You need a leader who can come up with a plan to find the bright people to lead us" doesn't seem to go anywhere. Troy Henry actually belted out "I believe the children are our future" at one point. Surely Norman should have known better than to let that onto the final mix.

Speaking of Robinson, his work here is also hit-or-miss. He badly misdirects new talent Thomas Lambert who at one point is asked by Norman how he would "tackle transparency" which sounds really difficult. Lambert also is completely unprepared when Norman asks him to riff on Charity Hospital.

Norman chooses to ask The Candidates "How would you generate revenue for the city's economy?" which is a nonsense query they all struggle with (particularly Ramsey, "We need to see whether or not there are any millages or any other revenue sources that are out there that we can pull in" and Lambert, "I'm sure there's enough Federal money laying around here to fix all these problems"). He also puts them through a pair of poorly worded and dubiously relevant questions about tax revenue and bonded indebtedness that just end up making everybody sound bad.

But the absolute lowlight of the entire release is Jonah Bascle. The advance publicity bills Bascle as a "comedian" but he's actually just a smug, unfunny asshole. If he wanted to segue from "accessible streetcars" on St. Charles Ave (The St. Charles line pre-dates ADA and is on the National Register of Historic Places) to "TRANSPARENCY" at City Hall, he could have suggested moving City Hall to a red streetcar. That would have been closer to funny than what he's doing which is basically just hoping people think it's cute that he's running. It's not... unless you're funny. Nadine Ramsey comes accross as an unintelligible moron. At least that's funny. Bascle is just a smug douche whose only shtick is that he thinks it's adorable that he's even running. It isn't, and the gag doesn't work especially when contrasted with Bruno's superior execution of a similar genre.

Maybe without the superfluous Lambert and the cloying frat-prank of Bascle, the group will be able to put out some entertaining work. The Candidates 2010 project will be on tour all month and into Carnival.

*Because this post is musically themed the title comes from a song called People In Honey performed by our favorite NOLA rock band.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clown Show I

In case you missed it.

Note: I missed it. We'll talk after I've seen it.

Eli took notes. They look pretty funny but I need to watch for context.

Update: Wow so far they're all inarticulate morons.

Leslie Jacobs "There is no reason New Orleans has the crime rate it does" Later she says she's looking for people to "partner with us in crime". Sends the wrong message, I think.

Nadine Ramsey "So it has to be that we listen to our neighborhoods. That we take into place with the police department what the neighborhoods are doing to make their lives better." Either she's been hit in the head with a shovel or she had Sarah Palin write lines for her.

Troy Henry suggests some sort of "5 legged stool" metaphor although most engineers (Henry is an engineer) will tell you 3 legs are adequate. One of the legs, he says is, "addressing the crime problem proactively as well as on an enforcement standpoint"

Anyway then the WDSU video cut off. I'll check it again later but I'm watching Stewart/Colbert right now.

Meanwhile here's what Cliff thought.

Upperdate: Edwin Edwards once said of Dave Treen, "He takes an hour and a half to watch 60 Minutes" Well I just spent about 5 hours watching, pausing, making notes on, walking away from, coming back to and watching more of what was only about a 45 minute or so debate. And it was freaking hilarious. More tomorrow. I wrote a bunch of jokes on the Tweeter Tube as I was watching. I'm sure I'll repeat a bunch of that here soon.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Trees We Hate (#5 In a series)

This morning, on my way to pick up my customary overpriced coffee, I parked the Tercel under my favorite (and everyone else's least favorite) Chinese tallow tree on Prytania street. The tree, which in late spring develops this gorgeous golden waterfall look,


has by this time of year begun to shed its foliage producing this gold leaf effect all over the ground and everything else within range.

Tallow tree leaves

One of the items within range was the car parked directly in front of me whose owner was engaged in a largely futile battle to clear the leaves off of the roof and hood. The heavy humid air had given the leaves an adhesive quality and they now clung to the car giving it a ruffly golden outer covering. It looked like a miniature Rose Bowl float.

While I would have been pleased as hell to drive around in a spontaneously created art car for the day, the woman who had been given this opportunity was not so excited. She wore an angry expression as she tried rather absurdly to wipe away the sticky leaves with her sleeve while simultaneously trying to keep them from sticking to her. She wanted them off the car but wasn't sure if she wanted to touch too many of them in order to accomplish this. I wanted a photo of the car, but I would have felt like a bit of dick if I had just walked up and snap-captured this poor woman's moment of distress. So I just got the one of the ground you see above.

When I came out of the coffee shop, I saw the car drive off with a little patch of fuzzy gold still affixed to the roof. Red car got a golden crown, I guess. Anyway, I don't suppose the driver was satisfied with that result. Yet another reason (some)people hate this tree, I guess.

Previous episodes of Trees We Hate: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Friday, December 11, 2009

Late week roster moves

And your final active list for the 2010 campaign season are in.

Rampant speculation and scuttlebutt to follow. Me, I got nothing right now. Try the usual places. And we'll see you at the races.

Which of these games is really "The Biggest Game in History" OR An "Inconceivable" Comeback

Before we get started here, we'd like to take a moment to welcome Rob Couhig into the 2009 Mayor's race. For those of you still keeping up with your Race to the Punchline (TM: WCBF) scorecard, Couhig became the 7th personality to officially declare a candidacy last week.

Since the last time he ran for Mayor, the local lawyer, businessman, and talk radio blowhard has kept himself sort of busy and very much in the public eye. After failing to make the 2006 runoff, Couhig ("strategically") endorsed eventual winner Ray Nagin. For his endorsement, Couhig was awarded an opportunity to help New Orleans count to 100 and a seat on the board of the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. But since then, Couhig has discovered a growing sense of "disappointment" with this second Nagin administration he recommended and has taken to expressing this more and more frequently in his capacity as a media personality. And so, after a period of vacillation in which he was the undeclared prince of the forums, Couhig the candidate has once again emerged from the realm of the "inconceivable". At least until he figures out how to leverage another strategic endorsement.

Of particular interest to us regarding Couhig's entry into a campaign which runs concurrently with the meaty part of the undefeated Saints' season is now we have two candidates with direct ties to an issue that has already affected the team's on field performance; although we aren't sure if it's been for better or for worse. Allow us to explain.

This past summer we learned that ex-Saints long snapper Kevin Houser had involved himself and various other Saints players and coaches in a shaky tax credit investment scheme with Wayne Read's Louisiana Film Studios. When it became clear to the investors that Read had not applied for the Louisiana "Hollywood South" tax credits they were promised when Houser collected their money, (much of it in cash, apparently) the resulting ill will led to Houser's dismissal from the team. At the Yellow Blog we came to call this incident the Uncle Rico Scandal. You can read about the details and the origin of that term here, here, and here.

One of many fun facts to emerge from Uncle Rico was that Rob Couhig is Kevin Houser's attorney. We don't know if Couhig had a hand in hooking Houser up with Read in the first place, or if Couhig was involved in buying or selling any of the tax credits. We don't even think it's likely but we do enjoy imagining something like this to be the case. We do know that he is representing Houser and his wife in the resulting litigation and that's a source of great fun for us because all season long, whenever the Saints have had difficulty with a botched snap in the kicking game, some part of us has assigned some part of the blame to Couhig.

We have yet to determine how much blame for missed field goals we can apportion to John Georges. Georges owns the building where Read told everyone he was going to make movies before the venture fell apart. But now that we have two candidates for Mayor who were involved in a goofy scandal which kinda sorta has something to do with football which, in turn, is the BIGGEST STORY IN TOWN RIGHT NOW, we're pretty geeked up about the whole thing.

Two Weeks of Saints Football: (Vs. Pats and Vs. Redskins)

  • This week's media complaint: There's been so much to pick from over the past two weeks that I won't be able to fit it all in. Instead of hashing out each example of media awfulness, I'll just present you with an observation and follow it with some selected evidence.

    The media awfulness with regard to the 12-0 New Orleans Saints falls into two categories. 1) That which originates from national sources who make condescending and/or inaccurate statements about the city and the football team because they don't get it and are too lazy to try. 2) That which originates from local sources who make shockingly stupid and/or inaccurate statements about the city and the football team about which they should know better but are too lazy to try.

    Two examples of what we're talking about regarding category 1 appeared in the Boston Globe which disappointed us greatly since the Patriots fans we met last week at the Dome were some of the nicest visiting fans we've encountered. Unfortunately the New England media-folk were staggeringly stupid.

    1. Bob Ryan gets a lot of things wrong here. On the day after the Saints-Patriots game, Ryan looked at the Saints' remaining 5 games, 3 of which are against division rivals, and concludes,
      now everybody can start thinking about the Dallas game here Dec. 19 as a possible game of interest because there doesn’t appear to be anything else on their remaining schedule of any consequence.
      By assuming that games against Atlanta, Tampa and Carolina are not "of interest" around here under any circumstance, Ryan demonstrates that he clearly doesn't get it. Maybe Patriots fans aren't interested when the Jets come to Foxboro... or the Pats go to Miami. Wait. Scratch that second one. I meant maybe the team isn't interested when the Pats go to Miami. Or maybe Ryan just doesn't think football is as well understood here as it is in more civilized regions. Watch how he subtly dismisses the enthusiasm of Saints fans as an innocent novelty,

      It would be difficult to overstate what’s going on down here with the New Orleans fans and their current adoration of this football team. You easily could think you had landed in Tuscaloosa, Gainesville, or Austin, and not an NFL town. A big sporting event - and this was considered the biggest regular-season game in Saints history - easily can get swallowed up in a major city. When it’s all said and done, not everyone is a sports fan.

      But it was impossible to escape the Saints, and this game, the last few days. Every other person was wearing Saints garb, and that includes just about every croupier at Harrah’s Casino, be it male, female, Caucasian, African-American, old, or young.

      This was, by all accounts, the toughest ticket in Saints history. People saw this game as the one that would validate all the others. It was a tremendous sign of respect for a 7-3 opponent with a shaky defense, but such is the lingering Patriots mystique throughout the National Football League.

      First of all, why does every out of town reporter go to Harrah's to get a feel for the pulse of the city? Is it any wonder that Ryan doesn't get it? Maybe it isn't like this in Boston but, in this city, people be they "male, female, Caucasian, African-American, old, or young" care about what the Saints are doing. It isn't just a "current" phenomenon. And it certainly doesn't have anything to do with the "lingering Patriots mystique". It happens all the time here. Sure it's a bit more pronounced when you're 12 and fucking 0, but why should that surprise anyone?

      This is the sports world manifestation of the northeastern cultural condescension people like Ryan typify. The column says, "Isn't it cute the way the natives have taken to our sport of American football. They're so naive about the proper way to appreciate it but their enthusiasm is endearing." At least that's what I pick up on when reading that column. Naturally, when Bob Ryan and his team come to town, it must be the "biggest regular-season game in team history" More on that in a minute.

    2. Oh but it gets worse. Here's Globe writer Chris Gasper's presntation.
      The Louisiana Superdome has proven to be a memorable venue since it first opened its doors in 1975.

      It’s where the 2001 Patriots proved anything is possible. It’s where Michael Jordan, then a University of North Carolina freshman, first proved he was something special. It’s where Fab Five forward Chris Webber proved he couldn’t remember how many timeouts Michigan had. It’s where Sugar Ray Leonard proved he could make Roberto Duran say, “No mas.’’

      The building proved its worth during Hurricane Katrina, acting as a supersized sanctuary and storm shelter.

      Um... the roof came off and people suffered in inhumane conditions and panic for five days but never mind that. We know you need a convenient prop for your football story.

    There are more like that. (Please don't ask me about the Colin Cowherd show.) To most of America, it seems, New Orleans just got started with football yesterday. And so every game is "The Biggest Game In Saints History" Those of us who grew up here know better. Or at least we should.

    But guess what. A staggering number of us do not know better. Before and after the Patriots game, the local news outlets (particularly WWL AM) were insisting that asking listeners if we all thought that Monday Night would be the Biggest Game In Saints History. We understand the enthusiasm, but still the proposition that a game with so little on the line for the loser strikes us as eminently absurd. The Saints could clinch no playoff berth or special advantage by winning, nor would they forfeit anything by losing. Likewise the Patriots who lost that Monday and lost their next game but are still in first place in their division were risking very little in this minor regular season football game. Yes the Saints were 10-0, and yes they were playing on Monday Night. I'm not saying it wasn't a big deal aesthetically. But there just wasn't very much riding on it.

    And yet Bob Delgiorno and a majority of the idiot callers he spoke with on the air all week were sure this was The Biggest Game In Saints History. It sucks that America tends to dismiss our town, its culture, and by extension its football team. It's appalling when the locals show the same lack of grasp or interest. Below I have compiled a brief and incomplete, but sufficient for our purposes list of Saints games which were more important moments in the history of the franchise than this supposed Biggest Game In Saints History.

    1. Every playoff game the Saints have participated in. These include, Vs. Minnesota in 1987, At Chicago in 1990, Vs. Atlanta in 1991, Vs. Philadelphia in 1992, Vs. St. Louis in 2000, At Minnesota in 2000, Vs. Philadelphia in 2006, and At Chicago in 2006. Each of the above is indisputably a bigger moment in the history of the franchise than The Biggest Game In Saints History of two weeks ago.

      And, again, those are just the playoff games. The rest of this list happened during the regular season and were still bigger than TBGISH.

    2. September 25, 2006 Vs. Atlanta No explanation necessary

    3. November 19, 1987 At Pittsburgh In their 21st year of existence, the Saints beat the Steelers to move to 8-3 thus clinching the first winning season in franchise history. (8 wins meant a winning season in the strike shortened year.) This game featured a dramatic goal-line stand by the Saints' defense which produced an iconic T-P photo of cornerback Van Jakes raising his arms in celebration. (To my great dismay, I am unable to locate this image on the internet. Saints fans of a certain age know what I'm talking about though.)

    4. December 18, 1983 Vs. L.A. Rams Everything that breakthrough 1987 game eventually became, this one could have been but for a 42 yard Mike Lansford field goal in the closing seconds.

    5. December 31, 1990 Vs. L.A. Rams The Saints clinched their second ever playoff berth in the final game of the regular season. On Monday Night. On New Year's Eve. It was electric. And it meant a hell of a lot more than "The Biggest Game In Saints History" meant.

    6. December 16, 1991 Vs. L.A. Raiders Bobby Hebert makes a dramatic return from injury on Monday Night to throw for 320 yards and help the Saints snap a 4 game losing streak setting them up to clinch their first ever division title. Leading right into...

    7. December 22, 1991 At Phoenix Saints clinch first ever division title.

    8. December 17, 2001 Vs. St. Louis A Monday Night showdown with a hated rival which the Saints lost due, in part, to some highly questionable officiating. This was the night of the infamous "bottle tossing incident" that led NFL stadiums to cease the sale of plastic beer bottles for a time and, I think, was part of the reason for the No Liquor After the 3rd Quarter rule. After this loss, the Saints didn't win another game all year in the first of two December collapses that became a hallmark of the Haslett years.

      When Saints fans willingly part with their Dome foam, you know it's a Big Game

    9. I could go on (I stopped compiling these when I got to 20) but I think we get the point. The Saints have been involved in big games before; bigger even than the so-called Biggest Game in Saints History. One interesting thing about the Bigger than the Biggest list I put together is that none of theminvolve the New England Patriots. Let's not tell Bob Ryan.

  • This week's Dome complaint: It's become apparent to us that the heightened security at the stadium entrance has very little to do with safety or anti-terror and everything to do with preserving Tom Benson's profit from obscenely over-priced beer and alcohol sales. Superdome security personnel are searching aggressively and primarily for smuggled liquor. They stopped r from entering the Carolina game until she finished her bottle of vodka and cranberry juice. On Monday Night they almost got me. The screener deliberately and probingly grasped at my pockets until he gripped my flask. I don't believe adults deserve to be violated this way. Not by law enforcement, and certainly not by Superdome rent-a-grunts. I wonder if they know just how near they are to provoking violence each week when they accost us in this fashion. "Watchya got there?" I reached into the pocket and, with some slight of hand, produced my phone. The guy let me go.

  • Pulling a Tebow: Maybe it wasn't The Biggest Moment In Saints History, but we have to admit we violated the Tim Tebow No Crying In Football Rule when Mike McKenzie intercepted Tom Brady in his first action since returning to the team. McKenzie (not counting his time away this year) is one of the longest tenured Saints. My wife wears his jersey number to the games. It was one of the first signs that this was going to be the Saints' night. We teared up a little. So sue us.

    new orleans saints vs. new england patriots
    Welcome home, Mike

  • Bill Belichick- Super Genius: The Patriots' world renowned defensive guru was badly out-coached by Sean Payton on Monday Night. When the Saints had the ball, the Pats seemed to have exactly the wrong defense prepared for whatever the Saints were trying to do. Drew Brees had what SI's Kerry Byrne called the best statistical performance for any pro quarterback ever. On one play, Devery Henderson was so open, we weren't sure the Pats were playing with 11 guys on the field. We laughed at it the way one can't help but laugh at a dirty joke. You almost feel like it's not supposed to be happening. Belichick had presented us with a football obscenity that even Alex Morgan couldn't explain away. He really Jeffed this thing up, so to speak.

    new orleans saints vs. new england patriots
    Bill Belichick Super Genius

  • Bill Belichick: Super Asshole: The Patriots are having a rough go of things at this point in their season. They've lost three out of four games including the embarrassment at New Orleans and Coach Genius isn't doing the punchiest job of handling the pressure. The trouble didn't exactly start with the loss to Indianapolis, but the way in which the Patriots lost that game is what really got things coming apart.

    Leading at Indy with two minutes left to play, Belichick chose to have his offense attempt to convert a 4th and 2 from its own 28 yard line. The turnover on downs set the Colts up deep in New England territory to go for the winning score. Not to get too far into this, since the controversial call has been argued back and forth for weeks now, but it struck me at the time as an amzingly defeatist and panicky sort of thing for a "genius" to do. Even if you are concerned that Peyton Manning is good enough to go 80 yards in two minutes, for God's sake, at least make him prove it. One of the Saints' most valuable weapons this season has been punter Thomas Morstead. If Payton had elected not to put him on the field in that situation, I would have been livid.

    But Belichick went for it and the Colts scored and thus began the digging of a hole which the Patriots' coach has insisted on making deeper ever since. It's no secret that I hate football coaches. But one thing I've been grateful for this season is Coach Soupy's rare capacity to admit and learn from his own mistakes. Coach Genius, on the other hand, is a perfect example of what happens when this ability is absent. Against the Saints, Belichick made a point of sending the offense out for thee dubious 4th down attempts. The results were mixed but the message was clear. Belichick was telling the whole world to fuck off on national TV.

    Not only was Belichik being pouty but also, once again, unnecessarily panicky. The final 4th down attempt came late in the third quarter on the Saints' 10 with the Pats trailing by two touchdowns. A field goal wouldn't have been the greatest thing there but with a whole quarter left to play it certainly couldn't have hurt. BTW, Mike McKenzie broke up that fourth down pass on the left sideline. He came very close to turning it into a pick-6. Would have blown the roof off the place.

    Then Belichick went right back to pouting. With a good five minutes left in the game, he pulled his starters. I couldn't believe it. Walking out of the Dome, I had a conversation with a couple of Patriots fans who were good enough to visit. (Turns out they had just gotten engaged as well.) They couldn't believe it either. And no one who watched the Saints' improbable victory against Washington the following week should defend such a selfish, defeatist, pouty move. And still this week, it's just getting worse.
    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Adalius Thomas wasted no time defending himself after coach Bill Belichick sent him home for being late to a team meeting.

    The New England Patriots linebacker said after returning Thursday that he was "dumbfounded" and "can't figure out what Bill thinks or knows."

    Three other players were sent away for showing up late on Wednesday - wide receiver Randy Moss and linebackers Gary Guyton and Derrick Burgess. All four were at practice on Thursday, but the other three declined to speak with reporters.

    Thomas, a starter in nine games this year, called ahead on a snowy Wednesday morning, as players are instructed to do when they're going to be late, he said. Traffic was tied up and he nearly got into an accident, he said. But when he showed up about nine minutes late for an 8 a.m. team meeting, Belichick told him to leave.

    That surprised him.

    "You're told to call and you call, you get sent home," Thomas said.

    "That's not an excuse," he said, but "I could have been in the ditch. They really don't give a damn, honestly. As long as you ain't in the meeting they really don't give a (expletive)."

    Bill Belichick doesn't give a Jeff about anything but his crappy whiny mood. I would have fired him yesterday.

    new orleans saints vs. new england patriots
    Hey check out this pouty whiny overrated asshole. Wait, can you please be more specific?

  • Uh oh (one of ) the kicker(s) sucks: When John Carney missed one field goal and just barely banked another one in against New England, I very sorely wanted to blame Rob Couhig. (In fact, the snap was a little off on one of those kicks.) But this would mean that the next week, when Garrett Hartley was called up to hit 4 out of 5 attempts (the one miss being from 58 yards) I would have had to thank... Rob Couhig. So until further notice, we'll just assume that the problem was Carney was up past his bedtime.

    New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
    You gotta admit, though. That's good placement

  • Saints: So very tired: Let's face it, this Saints team is beat the hell up right now. A few days after the New England game, the talk was about how an extraordinary number of Saints have scored at least one touchdown this season. (19) And then I saw that the exact same number of Saints appeared on the injured list for the Washington game. (Uh oh) The patchwork secondary that everyone expected the Patriots to exploit ended up being used by Jason Campbell of all people. The all-around defensive performance was the Saints' worst of the season. Furthermore, the team just looked tired and beat up all day. Sometimes you get really lucky. But the problem persists. This week's injury report is again 19 players long. Notably all four running backs appear to have some sort of problem. Is there any way to earn two bye weeks before the playoffs? The Saints might need to.

  • Laron Landry Super Asshole: Hate to say this about a former Tiger but does Laron Landry ever shut up? Maybe it's just because Fox decided to focus on him, but it seemed half the broadcast was shots of Landry running his mouth after being involved in any play no matter how inconsequential. Too bad for him the other half of the broadcast was shots of him biting on pass routes that ended up being long touchdowns.

    New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
    And yet we're pretty sure Landry still had something to say about this

  • Little remarked upon fact of the week:Here's another quirk of Sunday's Fox broadcast. We couldn't help noticing a contrast revealed in the sideline shots of each team's coaching staff. It seems every Saints coach is noticeably chunkier than every Redskins coach. What's up with that? Is Snyder not feeding them? (Probably not, actually) Anyway whatever it is, you can't argue with the results.

  • Malcolm Jenkins is garbage: Earlier when we said, "The patchwork secondary that everyone expected the Patriots to exploit ended up being used by Jason Campbell of all people." What we meant to say was, wow what a total piece of crap Malcolm Jenkins turned out to be. We hope that someday he makes a decent safety because the dude absolutely can not play on the corner. Anybody got Jason David's number?

  • Stat of the Week:
    Drew Brees' numbers vs Washington 35 of 49 419 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 interception (which was also a touchdown). 49 pass attempts is way too many. That's 2007 and 2008 Saints type stuff and it should have gotten the team beaten last week. The 2009 12-0 Saints run the ball as well as they pass it. This would be a bad time to forget this.

  • Quote of the week:
  • Darren Sharper hung out with the Saints fans in the stands for a while after the game.

    Saints free safety Darren Sharper was having the last laugh as he led black and gold-clad fans in a chorus of the familiar chant.

    “I love the ‘Who Dat?’; I love that chant,” a beaming Sharper said after the Saints escaped with a wild 33-30 win against the Redskins. “I am the Who Dat leader.

    This is immeasurably fun on many levels. Our favorite being that we much prefer Sharper as a "Who Dat leader" to Bobby Hebert who needs to find an new job before he hurts somebody. I know he's trying to be a "character" like Buddy D was but he's far too stupid and doesn't know how to do it right. And, frankly, we're a little embarrassed both by and for him.

    New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
    Darren Sharper: Who Dat Leader

  • Don't be a Belichick: So with the clock ticking down inside of three minutes and the Redskins pretty much driving down the field at will, I fired off what I thought was a pretty clever text message, "So who wants to go to the airport?" I wasn't trying to be too dark. But at that point I really was thinking about where the Saints stood now that they would be 11-1. Would Minnesota move into first place in the NFC? Wouldn't it suck to clinch the division with a loss like this? And why the hell can't Sean Payton beat Washington? On the outside, I was still making jokes. But internally I really was being a bit of a Belichick there for a second.

    But then the amusingly named Sean Suisham lined up and sweeshed the potential kill shot to the right. Hey, at least this will be interesting again for a minute, we thought. And it was. I wonder if that would have happened had Payton removed his starters with five minutes left?

    New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
    Sweesh! We will never Belichick out on this team again.

  • Uh Oh their kicker sucks: Although the above photograph suggests that the Saints got a hand on the ball, the Redskins blamed Suisham for the miss and cut him this week. I blame Rob Couhig. It is, after all, the year of the Inconceivable.

  • Best Timeout Ever: Coach Soupy takes a lot of crap for his uncanny knack for losing replay challenges. I think we can all agree his decision to call timeout in order to give the booth a chance to review Mike Sellers' fumble in overtime pretty much makes up for all of that.

    New Orleans Saints vs. Washington Redskins
    Don't say anything, but I also think the replay official got the call wrong. Oops!

  • Morstead for MVP: Remember, Bill Belichick doesn't use his punter. Meanwhile the Saints' Thomas Morstead continues to prove value far beyond the fifth round draft choice the Saints spent on him. The numbers don't always tell you the story, but we think Morstead's performance has been a crucial element of the Saints' success this season. (My #6 jersey should be here by the time we play another home game.)

    Against Washington, Morstead punted three times. His first pinned the Redskins back at their 6. His second hung high in the air and was not returnable. The third was very nearly the play of the day. It only went about 27 yards and, at first glance, looks like a shank. But note that the ball hit Washington's Kevin Barnes right in the back before bouncing to the ground and into the arms of Usama Young. The play ended up being about a 30 yard gain for the Saints. Having watched Morstead perform the way he has all season, it's difficult to ignore the very real possibility that he could have done that on purpose.

    Note also, that it was Morstead's kick that allowed the Saints to maintain possession of the ball setting up this play.

    Don't be a Belichick. Let the punter play. Sometimes it's the best move you can make.

  • Let's just agree to disagree this time: I couldn't help but notice this pop up on NOLA.com this week.

    Saints poll: Was this the craziest game in team history?

    Jesus. Please do NOT make me start on another list.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Come on purchase the new one Be the first to strap it on

Having proved an unerring steward of my old cell phone (I dropped it into Menckles' drink) I have been awarded a new device to ruin. I... um... I got one of them there Droid phones. I know I know. Shut up, it's Christmas. Anyway I'm trying to figure out how to make this song my ringtone.


Motorola Droid Pros and Cons:

Pro - The camera is nice

Con -The wall charger that came with it doesn't work

Pro - The keyboard isn't as bad as people said it would be

Con - Still, I can no longer text while driving

Pro - It is now possible to check one's email while on the crapper

Con - It is not yet possible to do this in the shower

Pro - The default message notification sound is a scary robot saying, "DROID" at you really loud

Con - This is funny for about five seconds.

Poochie was right

The Saints really do suck at diagnosing this.

Age of Naginism

Landrieu's reason for getting in:
The lieutenant governor said that after Obama's town-hall session at the University of New Orleans, he and Melody Barnes, the president's domestic policy adviser, dined at the Central City eatery where Landrieu launched his campaign.

The two discussed the post-Katrina proliferation of social entrepreneurs, who seek to merge charitable missions with for-profit goals, Landrieu recalled Tuesday. He said Barnes "went back to the White House and she wrote on her blog, 'This is what the future of America is going to look like.' "

Okay got it. Professional vampires like Barnes believe "the future of America is going to look like" "social entrepreneurs" scheming profit off of ostensibly "charitable missions". And Mitch Landrieu wants in on that.

Wow, that's almost as noble as Ray Nagin's causus politici
"Politics in New Orleans is the dominant industry, so I decided to get in,"

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

I'll bet y'all think there's no Saints post coming

You're wrong, though. Really. If I had to describe the problem succinctly, it's too much information with too little time to make it all fit the right way. And since I actually do things other than Yellow blogging then, well....

Anyway, I'm going out to dinner tonight. In the meantime let's play a game. I'm going to post a video for you to watch and you're going to write your own Mitch Landrieu and Leslie Jacobs themed caption to it.

Quote of the Day

Eddie Sapir (who is not at the moment an announced candidate for mayor) on his reaction to Mitch Landrieu's entry into the race:

"I'd be concerned if it was Moon,"

A long time ago, during the 2008 Presidential primary...

I had taken to calling these ninny, Yuppie fucks "cultists" But people told me I was being mean.
According to these defenders, it's just wrong -- morally, ethically and psychologically -- to criticize the President. Thus, in lieu of any substantive engagement of these critiques are a slew of moronic Broderian cliches ("If Obama catches heat from the left and right but maintains the middle, he is doing what I hoped he would do (and what he said he would do) when I voted for him"), cringe-inducing proclamations of faith in his greatness ("I am willing to continue to trust his instinct, his grace, his patience and his measured hand"), and emotional contempt for his critics more extreme than one would expect from his own family members. In other words, the Leave-Obama-Alone protestations posted by Sullivan are fairly representative of the genre. How far we've fallen from the declaration of Thomas Jefferson: "In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."