Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who Dat say we don't have responsive politics in Dis State?

La. Democratic Party to Gov. Jindal: State should sue to protect 'Who Dat'

I know you think they're being douchebags. And I know many of you think Vitter and Melancon were throwing bones to the rabid yesterday. But, in a purist sense, this is what democracy fucking looks like. Who cares what the pols' cynical motivations are if they're taking action on the shit you're screaming about? I think we can learn from this. This is the way you pass meaningful health care reform, for example. By jumping up and down and screaming like an idiot until you get what you want. Not by electing a "smart guy" and hoping he'll do the right thing while you go do something else.

Things change

Not too long ago I would have felt the need to blog about Krewe du Vieux in a rudimentary explanatory way as though I were talking to someone who didn't even understand Carnival. But nowadays most of the people with whom I interact through this blog are either New Orleanians or actual KdV members themselves so no need to say anything other than this. KdV is the first major event of Carnival. Of all the parades, it is the wittiest, the most lewd, the most political, and has the best music to boot. It's also the most cold-as-fuck, and in many ways the most fun time you'll have all year.

Tonight will be even bigger than usual as the newly formed and similarly satirical Krewe Delusion sets out behind KdV and follows it to Toulouse Street but takes a different route on the way back. Should be a big mess... which is what we like.

Get out of the damn house tonight. Oh but bundle up as per the weather forecast.

In what way is this "backing off" exactly?


The National Football League appeared to back off Friday on its trademark ownership claims to the phrase "Who Dat" and the fleur-de-lis logo, saying it is challenging the sale of items only "when those products contained or are advertised using other trademarks or identifiers of the Saints."

" 'Who Dat' we do not claim to own by itself," said Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL. "It's when 'Who Dat' is used in conjunction with Saints marks that it's a problem."

McCarthy said T-shirts and items with 'Who Dat' and a fleur-de-lis logo unlike the one owned by the Saints are allowed as long as they are not advertised as being Saints or NFL paraphernalia.

'Who Dat' shirts being sold at the Fleurty Girl shop on Oak Street would be acceptable, McCarthy said, as long as the shop removes advertising referring to the Saints.

Don't we want to use "Who Dat" in reference to the Saints? Isn't that the problem in the first place?

Friday, January 29, 2010

"Obnoxious and legally unsustainable"

Shit, yeah! Never in my life did I ever think I'd say Give 'em hell, Vitty! but there it is.

Roger Goodell, Commissioner
National Football League
280 Park Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Dear Commissioner Goodell:

I was stunned to learn recently that the NFL is taking the position that it owns the exclusive trademark of the term "Who Dat" and has even threatened legal action against some mom-and-pop merchants selling t-shirts using the term. I would urge you to drop this obnoxious and legally unsustainable position and instead agree that "Who Dat" is in the public domain, giving no one exclusive trademark rights.

This letter will also serve as formal legal notice that I am having t-shirts printed that say "WHO DAT say we can't print Who Dat!" for widespread sale in commerce. Please either drop your present ridiculous position or sue me.

"Who Dat" was probably first heard in New Orleans minstrel shows well over 130 years ago. Much more recently, but before it was used in connection with the Saints, it was used as a rallying cry by St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. In the 1980s it was adopted by Saints fans in a completely spontaneous way. Only later did any legal persons, including the Saints and the NFL, try to claim it through registration.

Perhaps more significant than this history, "Who Dat" has become part of New Orleans and Louisiana popular culture. For the NFL to try to claim exclusive ownership of it would be like me registering and trying to claim exclusive ownership of the terms "lagniappe" and "laissez les bons temps rouler!"

Under Paul Tagliabue's leadership, the NFL was an unbelievable partner in helping us recover and rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Thank you again. We look forward to your dropping your "Who Dat" position so that this partnership can continue without strain or blemish.


David Vitter
Junior Senator of Who Dat Nation

Update: Vitter's likely Dem opponent in 2010, Rep. Charlie Melancon has put up a petition on his website asking the NFL to "leave our fans alone!"

Once again, nothing brings people together like Saints football.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So tonight there was another dumb Mayoral debate and....

.. Wait. Forget that. Instead watch this ad for aspiring coroner (or perhaps late night movie host) Dwight McKenna

I saw this ad on TV. I hoped to God somebody would get it out onto the YouTubes. Somebody did. That's two I owe God this year.

He knows what to cut and paste and how to cut and paste it

District C Candidate Tom Arnold "writes" a platform.

If he wins, maybe he'll photoshop himself to Disneyland to celebrate.

I'm really sort of thinking that we ought to just boycott

I mean we've all lived long enough to see the Saints go to the Superbowl. What else is there to do? If they're going to treat us like this, if they think they own our creativity, our dialect, our culture... if they think they own us fuck them. We don't have to watch anymore.

It's not that he can't get tickets

It's that he doesn't want to pay for tickets.

In an interview with WBOK radio this morning, Nagin said his office has been in touch with the Saints organization but hasn't gotten the nod that he'll be offered a spot in the official team ticket block.

"Yeah, I'm going, I'm going," Nagin said. "I'm all set with tickets - not tickets - but hotel, plane. I still don't have tickets, but we're going to work on that. I don't have tickets. ...We called the Saints organization, and they said they basically that they have some tickets, and they're going to get back with us. So I'm waiting.

"My assistant was telling me yesterday that they might be able to get some $800 tickets," the mayor said.

Greg Bensel, vice president of communication for the Saints, said officials told Nagin's office Wednesday thye would give the mayor the option to purchase tickets. Bensel did not specify what seats or the price, however.

He's "all set" with travel and accommodations. I wonder how.

"But I just thought that as mayor of the city I would go to the (Super Bowl) as a representative of the city and of the Saints, and it wouldn't be an issue," the mayor said. "But maybe they've got some things they've got to work out, so we'll see. I'm hopeful that it's going to work out."

Since the airline and hotel costs come out of the "representative of the city" fund you would think that the man would be good enough to shell out the money for the tickets if he had to. Once upon a time this would have been a job for Greg Meffert's credit card.

Everyone there is a "political actor"

We might wish it to be otherwise but it's just a plain fact. All this pretense of decorum doesn't sit well with me. I'd rather have all the assholes out there where I can see them.

I'm going to start a new blog called What _____ said

Because there are a few people I can insert in the blank and just go with that all day. One of those people is Athenae.

When you lionize the refusal to raise one's voice no matter the provocation, when you chalk an automatic in the loss column because somebody feels something, you're making the world around you just a little more dead. And you can put that shit on an iPad or on a piece of paper or in a newscast or in a Happy Meal, and the delivery mechanism won't matter. People won't pay for it. And you know what? Even if you gave it to them for free, they won't read it. Because it doesn't matter.

A good newspaper bleeds love for its community, cheerleads shamelessly for the betterment of all the people in its purview, argues passionately on behalf of those who cannot argue for themselves, and fights for what its leaders have decided to fight for, loudly and boldly and without apology. A lot of people think the problem with our elite media is that they fight for the powerful and comfortable and there's lots of remedies prescribed for that (Stop hiring white college grads! Stop hiring inside the community! Stop hiring outside the community! Stop unpaid internships! Start unpaid "citizen journalism!" GAH, to all of it.). I think the problem is they don't fight at all because they consider it uncouth.

Parting shot

The just departed Howard Zinn on Obama in a recent edition of The Nation

I've been searching hard for a highlight. The only thing that comes close is some of Obama's rhetoric; I don't see any kind of a highlight in his actions and policies.

As far as disappointments, I wasn't terribly disappointed because I didn't expect that much. I expected him to be a traditional Democratic president. On foreign policy, that's hardly any different from a Republican--as nationalist, expansionist, imperial and warlike. So in that sense, there's no expectation and no disappointment. On domestic policy, traditionally Democratic presidents are more reformist, closer to the labor movement, more willing to pass legislation on behalf of ordinary people--and that's been true of Obama. But Democratic reforms have also been limited, cautious. Obama's no exception. On healthcare, for example, he starts out with a compromise, and when you start out with a compromise, you end with a compromise of a compromise, which is where we are now.

I thought that in the area of constitutional rights he would be better than he has been. That's the greatest disappointment, because Obama went to Harvard Law School and is presumably dedicated to constitutional rights. But he becomes president, and he's not making any significant step away from Bush policies. Sure, he keeps talking about closing Guantánamo, but he still treats the prisoners there as "suspected terrorists." They have not been tried and have not been found guilty. So when Obama proposes taking people out of Guantánamo and putting them into other prisons, he's not advancing the cause of constitutional rights very far. And then he's gone into court arguing for preventive detention, and he's continued the policy of sending suspects to countries where they very well may be tortured.

I think people are dazzled by Obama's rhetoric, and that people ought to begin to understand that Obama is going to be a mediocre president--which means, in our time, a dangerous president--unless there is some national movement to push him in a better direction.

The word for someone who doesn't have the excuse of being just plain stupid, is evil. To put what Zinn said another way, Obama is going to be a president who wasn't stupid but pretended to be stupid anyway -- which means, in our time, an evil president.

I just wanted to say, to everyone, you are welcome

Pulling the plug

The T-P so rarely reports on the nice things I do.

Red-light cameras in Jefferson suspended amid frustration with compensation of lobbyist

Looks like this time I slayed the dragon. Maybe I could be the new Jefferson Parish IG. That is, as long as I don't have to live there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Howard Zinn Dead at 87

I'm not even going to try to say anything.

When is a not-pimp not even really a not-pimp?

When he's Lil' Liddy.

So why did virtually every reporter get this wrong? There are spliced shots of O’Keefe dressed outlandishly as a pimp (think Harvey Keitel in “Taxi Driver”) walking with Giles in an outfit straight out of “Leaving Las Vegas.” Those same pimp scenes are sprinkled throughout all of O’Keefe’s videos, leaving one with the impression that this is how he dressed when speaking with ACORN, but there’s no video of this happening. O’Keefe never turned his hidden camera on himself, so we don’t know.

Lil' Liddy and the Liddettes

Adrastos unveils an inspired moniker here if I do say so myself. Meanwhile an anonymous commenter in an AZ thread points us to Huff-Po where we learn a few short facts about Lil' Liddy's partners.

Robert Flanagan, 24, was released earlier Tuesday. His father, Bill, is the acting U.S. Attorney based in Shreveport. He was first assistant under Republican President George W. Bush appointee Donald Washington before Washington stepped down this month. President Barack Obama recently nominated Stephanie A. Finley for the post. His father's office declined to comment.

All four suspects were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Flanagan is the only suspect from Louisiana. (Joseph) Basel is from Minnesota; O'Keefe, New Jersey; and (Steven) Dai, the D.C.-Virginia area.

Flanagan recently criticized Landrieu for her vote on the Senate health care bill after securing a Medicaid provision estimated in value at up to $365 million for Louisiana. Conservatives accused her of selling her vote but she insisted no "special deals" were made.

"Do not be fooled into believing Landrieu is helping the state of Louisiana," Flanagan wrote in a Nov. 25 post on the Web site for the Pelican Institute, a Louisiana think tank that promotes the free market and limited government. "If the proposed healthcare legislation were to be signed into law, the $300 million allocated to Louisiana will pale in comparison to the long-term debt Louisiana citizens will ultimately shoulder."

Side note: In December, the Pelican Institute hosted a mayoral forum where the main topic of discussion was the office of Inspector General and the desirability of rooting out suspicious political types in Orleans Parish. I wonder if Flanagan was there that day. IG Paul Quatrevaux was there. He was actually sort of the guest of honor.

Dai, who authorities said was arrested outside the building, is a former assistant director of a program at Trinity Washington University that taught students about careers in intelligence, university president Patricia McGuire said.

The program was part of a national effort following the Sept. 11 attacks to interest students at liberal arts colleges in careers as spies. McGuire said Dai was an administrator and that the program did not teach spy craft. He was also active in the conservative newspaper and other organizations at George Washington University.

O'Keefe and Basel were also active in conservative publications at their respective colleges, Rutgers University and the University of Minnesota-Morris. They gave a joint interview Jan. 14 to CampusReform.org, a Web site that supports college conservatives on student publications.

The AZ commenter who shared this article asks the first obvious question about the Liddettes,
If someone can figure out how these four guys from four different states came to be working on this "project" together...... hmmmmm, how do they all know each other?
Obvious question but compelling because if there's a "how they all know each other" there's also a "why they all know each other" Oyster is on to much the same thing here.

it's difficult for me to believe a couple things about this deal:

1) that you would coordinate with a team of people on an operation like this, and absolutely no one else would know about it

2) that you would take the risk of trying to bug a Senator's office in a Federal Building, just to do a random "fishing expedition" for politically useful material. Surely, this pimp and his buddies had some theory about what they hoped to find.

What were they doing? Also how did they get in position to do it in the first place? The Hale Boggs Federal Building has a fairly serious security operation. I guess it's possible for Lil Liddy and the Liddettes to get by them without proper credentials but I'd like to know more about how that happened.

In the comments over at YRHT, Clay asks why the Liddettes were taken to St. Bernard Parish lockup instead of OPP. Clay guesses that US Attorney Jim Letten "felt sorry for the poor little white boys and didn't want them to experience the hellhole that OPP is." That would be mighty white of ole Jim to do that for the boys wouldn't it?

Finally, and sort of along the same lines, there's this. Watch the way WWL has Lucy Bustamante introduce the story as,
"A U.S. Senator, accusations of potential phone tapping in her office, and four young men with no prior criminal records at the center of it all."
A Senator, accusations, and four young men "with no prior criminal record" just laying there with no verbs as though they just fell in together in Lucy's lap. What a farcical little situation we have here. Isn't it all so cute. Your heart sorta goes out to those four young men with no prior criminal record. I hope wiser persons come to extricate them from "the center of it all" before dinner. Earlier this evening in the Tweeter Tube I watched The Gambit ask WWLTV about the curious description. No answer. At least Bigad Shaban managed to have an "interesting night" We were relieved to learn that he finally located his car.

Meanwhile NOLA.com senses that, even though it really is just background material here, its readers are sure to be interested in watching Lil' Liddy do his pimp thing in the ACORN offices one more time so they make sure to include the video in their story. At least it reminds us that this isn't the first time Lil' Liddy has somehow found himself "at the center of it all."

Update: Regarding the Liddettes' visit to St. Bernard Parish lockup see YRHT:
About the transfer to St. Bernard, I'm informed by a very knowledgable source that the St. Bernard sheriff "has a contract to take federal prisoners, as well as prisoners from other parishes". (Orleans had one too at one time, but probably not currently.

Also more on the Pelican Institute from CenLamar where we find this characterization of the PI from the Louisiana Progress Initiative
The Pelican Institute claims to be focused on Louisiana public policy, but regularly brings in activists and scholars from outside the state. Almost all of their Louisiana policy work is conducted by conservative writers on the east coast.
It's sort of like the James Perry campaign of the Right.

TPM is all over this story and has more on the Pelican Institute, the Liddettes, and the network of conservative campus media projects that connect them here and here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You may begin wrapping your riddles inside your mystery-filled enigmas.....

..... Now

And to think, people were actually worried that the Superbowl might make the political season boring by comparison.

Instant Update: I make little jokes and all but, seriously, check this out.
Also arrested were Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan, all 24. Flanagan is the son of William Flanagan, who is the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, the office confirmed. All four were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses with the intent of committing a felony.

Just think about that for a sec. This will be interesting.

Almost as instant upperdate because the update wasn't complete:

Robert Flanagan's attorney, J. Garrison Jordan, said he believes his client works for the Pelican Institute. Asked the motivation for the alleged wiretap plot, he said: "I think it was poor judgment. I don't think there was any intent or motive to commit a crime."

You see the son of the acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, who works for a local conservative political organization just attempted a break-in at the office of a sitting Democratic U.S. Senator. See what I mean about interesting when you write it all out like that?

Slightly less instant uppestdate just for bonus fun: The Federal offense here falls under the jurisdiction of Rebuplican U.S. Attorney Jim Letten. Wonder how that's going to work. Maybe John Georges was right all along.


As per the stipulations of Obama's agreement to root for the Saints, the Colts will be awarded 4 of the 6 points generated by each Saints touchdown. This sounds bad but White House sources say they insisted that the Saints be credited for successful two point conversions they attempt which gives them an opportunity to recoup their losses during the end-game.

Any extra point converted by the kicker goes to Joe Lieberman.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

They're telling me I can get $1000.00 for my tickets


"Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.

Proverbs 11:7

At the beginning of the football season, I wrote.

Those of us who grew up here had been told for most of our lives to expect that one day our sinking marsh metropolis was going to be wiped away and we along with it. Many of us had actually kind of resigned ourselves to that fact. Some of us pretty much spent our twenties just kind of goofing off and waiting for it to happen, really. Call it a secular version of what the Rapture Ready crowd does. But then the Rapture came and went and now, four years later, those of us who are Left Behind wonder, what do we do now? What are we waiting for? Is something else supposed to happen? I think, yes.

Fuckabuncha riches. I am praying to St. Buddy and going down to the Sacredome to be close to Breesus on this, our righteous day of wrath. Here is today's altar.

NFC Championship Altar

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We so got this... also why is Rita LeBlanc such a big stupid liar?

We got this. I mean... come on


I was disappointed in Keith Spera's story about the Crunk song in this morning's T-P for a couple of reasons. First, Spera hasn't yet learned that Rita Benson-Leblanc is a self-aggrandizing compulsive liar.
Saints owner/executive vice president Rita Benson LeBlanc, the granddaughter of principal owner Tom Benson, oversees entertainment during games. She takes suggestions from Lish Broussard-Sheridan, the Saints' assistant director of community affairs, and other staffers when selecting music. Songs sometimes bubble up from the music players pick for warm-ups.

An instrumental hook from "Halftime" first turned up in the Saints' music mix two years ago. LeBlanc noticed even the "square types" in the owner's suite moved to it. "It got everybody in our suite riled up and excited and wiggling," she said. "Which is comical for people who are not really dancers."

More importantly, players on the field responded. So this year, "Halftime" moved up to primetime.

"What's great about it to me is it's everything coming together," LeBlanc said. "We liked it, the players liked it and the fans have embraced it. In a very natural and viral way, it has become our mantra, our theme song. We play it as much as possible."

It's interesting to note that Rita, who "oversees entertainment during the games" has concocted a version of this story which suggests that 1) The first people connected with the team to get excited about the song were in the owner's suite. 2) This year, under Rita's direction, the song was "moved up to primetime". I'm not clear on what the second statement means, specifically. I think she's suggesting it was her idea to have the song played after touchdowns. Anyway, neither of these statements strikes me as true. For one thing, Rita tells Spera that "Halftime" showed up "in the mix" two years ago. That's just flat-out wrong. According to this Offbeat article and also according to the eyewitness account of your humble Yellow Blogger, the song has played after most if not every touchdown since 2006. Now it's possible that the people in the owner's suite happened to begin noticing Saints fans getting crunk in the stands only two years ago. I'd believe that. But I don't believe that Rita LeBlanc had much, if anything, to do with getting the song "moved up to primetime". Why does Rita LeBlanc have this compulsive need to tell so many lies?

The second problem I have with Spera's article is his incomplete attempt at describing why the song resonates so well with the New Orleans audience.

Technically speaking, why does "Halftime" work so well?

"It's the beat more than anything," theorizes Sanford Hinderlie, a Loyola University professor of music and Saints season ticket holder. "All that music in the Dome is dealing with the beat. It's moving your body more than anything."

Tom Benson's body language would seem to confirm that theory. "I do watch my grandfather," LeBlanc said. "If he bobs his head without knowing that he's getting into the song, then that's a good one. Because it means that it's got a bass rhythm that everybody is going to want to move to."

Um... that's nice but we were looking for something other than the owner's body language to go on here. I give Spera credit for quoting this awkward WDSU interview with the Ying Yang Twins where they talk about how they've built their musical style off of New Orleans hip-hop and bounce influences. But we would have liked to have seen him follow that thread a little bit... at least as far as the NOLA based Cash Money label and home-grown superstar Lil Wayne.
“I’m rooting for Brett because I’m a diehard,” Weezy explained to us early Thursday (January 21). A signed Favre football is one of the prize possessions in Weezy’s extensive sports memorabilia collection. As for who the dynamic performer thinks will win the game, Wayne — who’s appeared on ESPN a few times to talk sports — gave his analysis from an unbiased standpoint. Minnesota has a superior ground game and defense in his opinion.

“I believe the Vikings will win because of the running attack,” Wayne assessed. “The Saints give up about 150 rushing yards a game, and the Vikings have arguably the best running back in the game [Adrian Peterson]. … I believe the Vikings defense will frustrate Brees.”

Alright, actually, fuck Lil Wayne. The big point I think Spera is missing here is that the main riff in "Halftime" is built from marching band music. In other words, it sounds like a friggin Mardi Gras parade coming at you. Is it really any surprise the whole city is into it? Damn WDSU for their silly lack of embeddable video, but click here to see the Marine Corps band figuring it out. Watch for more of this throughout Carnival season.

Meanwhile, we so got this.

One more to Miami

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Greatest Football Season of All Time or The Greatest Football Season of All Time

Before we look back at this (admittedly quite memorable) football season I'd like to spend a few minutes looking back at the Greatest Football Season of All Time. 1987 was the Saints' 21st year in the NFL. And although the team and the city already enjoyed a strong bond forged in humor, hope and heartache, 1987 was the year it finally all paid off. This was not only the first Saints team to advance to the playoffs, it was the first to even win more games than it lost in a single season. After 20 years. Think about that. Nobody had seen anything like it before. Nobody knew how to act. So they just did was comes naturally in New Orleans. They made it ridiculous.

If you're a casual observer and are surprised at the way New Orleans takes to football season, if you're surprised at the way it dominates the evening news, the front page, the bakery section at the supermarket, if you notice people reading a bit too much into the color of their brake tags,

Black and Gold Brake tag

or if you get a look at shit like this Who Dat Halloween

or this Breesus walks on water

or these people

Saints Superfan Secondline from rob davis | photography on Vimeo.

And you're wondering what it is about this year that has caused people lose their damn minds, know that all this is just a continuation of a theme begun over 20 years ago. This time around we really have seen it before, though. Everything you see in the atmosphere surrounding this team, we saw then and we saw it then for the first time. And it was even bigger and crazier than this. Really it was.

Maybe I just feel this way because I was 13 years old then and everything that happens when you're 13 seems really important. But I don't think that's all there is to it. '87 was the genesis of so many memes that live on today. Take, for example, this year's absurd proliferation of Saints-themed music. Heard the "I Believe" song lately? That was 1987. Here's a You Tube video of "Who Dat Christmas" featuring photos of the 2009 Saints but, if you listen to the song, (of course you should) it's littered with names from the 87 roster which it was written to celebrate.

I can remember every game from that season. Not only that, but I can remember odd details about where I was at seemingly minor moments during the year. I remember sitting in the back seat of my dad's car when the Saints recorded their second safety of the game in the season opener against Cleveland. Dad couldn't stop laughing at the Saints for not knowing how to line up on the ensuing free kick and drawing a penalty for it... twice. I remember the way the floor of the living room felt while I was kneeling there as the Saints won their ninth consecutive game. I remember screaming at the TV when Saints nose tackle Tony Elliot kicked a ball the officials were trying to put in play as time expired thus depriving the 49ers of one last play in an epic win at San Francisco.

I remember the "Coulda Shoulda Woulda" speech. I remember the strike. In fact, I remember watching this game played during the strike in Chicago which featured a notable replacement player as quarterback of the Bears.

I know. The symmetry. Weird, huh? Makes you wonder if all this wasn't meant to happen somehow.

Your 2009 New Orleans Saints in Bullet Points
  • Coach Soupy finally learns how football works Seymour D Fair passes along a key stat.
    In Sean Payton era, Saints are 0-12 (incl. 2006 NFC Championship Game) when 20 or less rush attempts/game.
    Because Payton has developed a reputation for wide open offense and because of all the attention Drew Brees receives, the Saints are widely thought of as a one-dimensional offense. And this has been an accurate characterization of Payton's previous teams, but not this one. The 2009 Saints were by far the most balanced of the Payton era. The Saints attempted 544 passes vs 468 rushes. They don't feature one workhorse back, but, as a team, they ran for over 2000 yards averaging 4.5 per carry. Four of their five offensive linemen were named as Pro Bowl starters or alternates and that isn't just for pass protection. In the divisional game against Arizona, the Saints destroyed the Cardinals by dominating the line of scrimmage (34 rushing attempts for 171 yards; 5.0 avg) Simply put, this is how you win pro football games. Sean Payton is an imaginative dude who likes to draw up X-Box style plays so it took him a while to figure this out. But give him credit for doing so. At his press conference on Sunday, Payton said he has learned from the team's experience in the 2006 NFC Championship and we believe him. Nobody's perfect, especially not football coaches. Sean Payton, at least, recognizes that fact and this is his greatest strength. It's an unusual quality in his profession.

  • #Iamnotworried After the Miami game, the conventional wisdom at the time was that the Saints had pulled off an epic comeback we'd all be talking about for years. Little did we know at the time that the epic comeback would become a near-weekly event for a team that never seemed to be phased by anything.

    The Miami game was a turning point for some of us. It was the moment in the season where we just stopped worrying. We realized the Saints still had weaknesses. They couldn't stop the run. They gave up a lot of big plays. But somehow none of this had to mean they wouldn't be ok. The Saints gave up a 68 yard touchdown run to Ricky Williams. In the end it didn't matter. At Philadelphia they gave up a 71 yard touchdown to DeSean Jackson. In the end it didn't matter. At home against Carolina, the Saints gave up a 66 yard touchdown run by DeAngelo Williams. Didn't matter. Atlanta's Roddy White burned them for 68 yards. So what? At Carolina, the Saints gave up a 68 yard touchdown run to Jonathan Stewart. That whole game didn't matter. So, on Saturday night, when we watched Tim Hightower rumble 70 yards on the first play of the game, we just laughed. We're used to this shit. And it just doesn't matter.

    New Orleans Saints vs. the Arizona Cardinals
    Whatever. Seen it. What else you got?

    Because we were so used to this by the time of the Dallas game, we fully expected the Saints to come back and win that one too. Even when the Saints were down 24-3 we were tagging our Tweeter Tubes with #iamnotworried. And, you know, we were almost right. After the win Saturday we immediately began lobbying for another shot at Dallas. But that doesn't seem to matter now either. The eventual NFC Championship matchup is the right one for reasons discussed elsewhere in this post.

  • Defining moments: It's hard to argue against this play as the quintessential embodiment of our #iamnotworried theme. Actually, let's watch it ten or fifteen times right now before we move on.

    And yet we're still calling that a close second to seeing the Superdome crowd "stand up and get crunk" after the Saints scored their first touchdown of their second half comeback against Carolina. Everybody dancing at that point just kind of knew we were coming to get them. Guess you had to be there.

    Here's somebody's shaky video of a similar moment during the Falcons game.

    BTW, we're not sure why it took four years of hearing "Halftime" by the Ying Yang Twins in the Superdome for fans to fully embrace the song but now that they have, rest assured it will never ever go away. Before the Cardinals game, the U.S. Marine Corps band performed the song on the field to pump up the crowd. Get ready to hear this in every Mardi Gras parade this year.

    Ah... and there's somebody's shaky video of the Marine band.

  • Performances more important than the quarterback's: Yeah I know everybody loves Breesus. But the quarterback play has been a constant for four years now and the team hadn't made the leap forward it did this season without some other stuff going on. The following is a list of six (Yes, six!) players who stepped up and made the more of a difference than the quarterback did for the Saints in 2009.

    1. Darren Sharper Since the beginning of the season we've been reading about the brilliance of Gregg Williams and how he single-handedly saved the defense by teaching them that turnovers are a good thing or something. I'd like to ask the authors of this oft-repeated story to try writing it again but cross out every occurrence of Sharper's name and write "Josh Bullocks" in its place. No, I know, it doesn't make sense. How could it?

      When the Saints signed Sharper, we expected him to improve the secondary. He's a veteran all-pro with a reputation for being around the ball. What we didn't know was just how ridiculous he would be in living up to that reputation. Sharper intercepted 9 passes in 2009. Oh by the way he returned them for 376 yards. That's an NFL record. Oh and he brought three of them back for touchdowns. One of those three, he went 99 yards with. That's a team record. Get the picture?

      Against Arizona, Sharper was there to scoop up Jerheme Urban's fumble on the Cardinals' second play of the game. (FUN FACT: The score was 14-7 before Arizona had run even three plays on offense) He also should have had another pick had it not been nullified by a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty. None of the praise you've read about the "opportunistic" Saints defense happens this year without Sharper in the lineup. The Saints defense isn't perfect with him, but without Sharper they're utter crap. And we aren't discussing any of this today if the defense is utter crap.

      New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
      Darren Sharper: The difference between NFC Championship berth and Utter Crap

    2. Frenchy Thomas: Thomas was asked to be the closest thing the Saints would have to a primary back this season. At the beginning of the year, I was skeptical.
      I'm not sold on Pierre Thomas this year. It usually looks like a mistake to me when an athlete who relies primarily on agility decides to suddenly put on an extra ten pounds.
      Wrong. Thomas carried the extra weight and the Saints' resurgent running game all year. Splitting the bulk of the carries with Mike Bell, Thomas led the Saints in rushing with 793 yards and 6 touchdowns. Thomas' elusive but tough running style is fun to watch. Few athletes exhibit the same sort of balance and body control that allows Frenchy to avoid or spin out of as many tackles as he does. Of course, it could also be the $2,000 mouthpiece but we're still on the fence about that one.

      Bills vs. Saints
      Thomas also led the Saints in gratuitous tweeting of the phrase, "Who Dat"

    3. Robert Meachem: After spending his first two seasons having trouble getting on the field, the Saints' 2007 first-round draft pick finally broke through in 2009. Meachem (45 receptions 722 yards) shared the team lead in touchdowns with 9 and emerged as the number one big play threat. If the offense was throwing a hay-maker this year, chances are the play involved Meachem. Oh and there was that one thing he did against Washington. (Scroll back up and watch it a few more times. It's good stuff.) Unfortunately, Meach came up a bit lame Saturday. This would worry us were it not for the fact that the Saints still have...

    4. Devery Henderson: Devery just keeps getting better. With Meachem assuming more of the designated homerun role, Henderson focused on becoming a more reliable receiver posting career high numbers in receptions (51) and yardage (804). At one point this year, we even went so far as to refer to the remarkably consistent Devery as "the glue" of the Saints' receiving corps. This isn't to say that he can't still turn in the a big play when called upon. Henderson was asked to do just that when he hauled in this back-breaking 44 yard touchdown off of a flea-flicker play on Saturday.

      New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
      Menckles on the flea-flicker, "Are we allowed to do that?"

    5. Jeremey Shockey: That's right, I said it. Poochie made a huge difference for the Saints in 2009. It's not that his numbers (48 receptions 569 yards 3 touchdowns) are all that impressive. It's more that he represented enough of a legitimate threat to make defenses worry about where he was when he was on the field. When they didn't, he hurt them. And he hurt them often on third down and at crucial points in ball games. When they did pay attention to him, it made the other receivers all the more dangerous. When Shockey missed time toward the end of the season, the offense wasn't the same. Poochie played on a sore toe against Arizona and scored a touchdown. But he also bruised a knee in the process. Keep an eye on him this week. He will be needed against Minnesota.

      New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals
      Poochie has also developed into something of a philosopher-poet this season... or so we're told.

    6. Thomas Morstead: In our estimation, Morstead's addition is on par with Sharper's as the most impressive and most important contributor to the Saints' success this season. No need to rehash the arguments we've been making in his favor all season long. No need to point out, once again, that we bought a jersey with his number on it this season... oh what the the hell here ya go.

      Morstead for MVP

      Morstead's numbers actually put him somewhere in the middle of the NFL pack statistically but remember a couple of things. 1) The Saints don't punt as often as most teams and yet Morstead seems to make the most out of his limited opportunities. 2) Did you know we're living in the "Golden Age of Punting"? It's true. Check out this recent Sports Illustrated treatment of the subject by John Ed Bradley.
      Statistics suggest that this is the golden age of NFL punting. During the first 12 weeks of the season, the average punt went 44.3 yards, a half yard farther than the record set last year. Punters were on pace to drop 868 balls inside their opponents' 20-yard lines, 103 more than the league mark set in 2007. And the Raiders' Shane Lechler was on course to equal or break the season record of 51.40 yards per punt set 69 years ago by Sammy Baugh. Yet among fans, the punter may be the least appreciated man in the game.

      At a time when punters are starting to get taken more seriously as weapons, rookie Morstead is part of this new wave. And fans and media are beginning to take notice. Commentators widely declared Morstead the top performer of the Dallas and Carolina games near the end of the season. Many began arguing for his inclusion in Pro-Bowl consideration. During Saturday's playoff game, I snapped this crappy phone picture.

      Tom Kicks Balls

      Look closely. A fan a few rows ahead of us was holding a sign that read "Tom Kicks Balls". The Cult of Morstead is growing. We kind of feel like we built that bandwagon. So, yeah, we're a little proud of ourselves.

  • Uh Oh the kicker every kicker in the league sucks This is the part where we're supposed to write about how the Saints have had difficulty finding consistency in their place kicking game ever since they dumped John Carney for Olindo Mare back in 2007. We're supposed to tell you about the strange case of Garrett "Scooter" Hartley whose banned substance suspension at the beginning of the year opened the door for Carney to rejoin the team. Neither Hartley nor Carney has earned the fans' confidence this season. And since we've invested some time and energy in finding a way to blame Rob Couhig for the kicking suckery, we really would like to leave it at that.

    But stop and look around for a second. 2009 has got to be the worst place kicking season in memory. Evidence abounds for this and you can add your own story but lets look at just the examples I can remember right now.

    December 6 Saints vs Redskins: Washington's Shaun Suisham misses a 23 chip shot that would have put the Redskins up by two scores with less than two minutes left to play. Instead the Saints tie the game up and win in overtime. Drew Brees said afterward that the missed kick was validation of his belief in "destiny." The Redskins, on the other hand, merely believed that Suisham kind of sucked. They released him the next day.

    December 19 Saints vs Cowboys: Dallas kicker Nick Folk misses from 24 yards away giving the Saints one last chance to save themselves from being upset. The Saints couldn't capitalize on the opportunity but the miss was enough to convince the Cowboys to dump Folk and replace him with.... wait for it.... Shaun Suisham. Suisham would go on to miss three more field goals for the Cowboys, two of those in their playoff loss to Minnesota.

    December 27 Saints vs Bucs: Hartley misses from 37 yards away at the end of regulation. Bucs win in overtime.

    NFC Wild Card Game Arizona vs Green Bay: Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers hooks a 34 yard attempt at the end of regulation. Luckily for Rackers, the Cards went on to win in OT. Otherwise Nick Folk might have gotten a call.

    AFC Wild Card Game: Jets vs Bengals
    Cincinnati's Shayne Graham misses two makeable field goals at crucial points in a playoff game. The Bengals can't overcome it. Jets move on.

    AFC Divisional Round Game: Jets vs Chargers San Diego's Nate Kaeding missed three big kicks which end up accounting for more than the difference in the final score. Jets move on. The Chargers are out.

    Oh one more thing. Kaeding was named a starter in the Pro Bowl this year. God, the kicking sucked this season.

  • Two things we still don't particularly care for:

    1) Reggie Bush Okay so Bush had a pretty big game Saturday. And yes we've read all the stuff about how that performance signaled his full recovery from micro-fracture knee surgery, how he finally learned how to run aggressively because Soupy gave him a wooden bat or something. But, look, I still say it's not worth it. Reggie Bush's typical season consists of one game where he does something spectacular, five or six where he at least contributes something positive, and two or three where he does something maddeningly stupid. He doesn't play at all in the other six to eight games. It's not worth it.

    More specifically, Bush's meager contribution to the team is not worth having to explain over and over again how unimportant he actually is to casual football fans from out of town who to this very day simply cannot name another player on the team. No, seriously, that happens to me. Every time the in-laws bring up football, it's always about Reggie. Not even Brees has anything like Bush's name-recognition. He's sort of the "New Orleans is below sea level" of football and he's just not worth the aggravation.

    2) Coach Soupy's hokey gimmickry: Did you hear? The Saints are wearing funny T-shirts this year? Did you see that one line the coach had about the cheese? Remember when he organized a jazz funeral for trophies? And then when that wasn't working he had the trophies exhumed? And then last week he gets the team ready to play by adding a fat, semi-retired cripple to the roster and giving everybody else baseball bats.

    I guess what I'm saying here is can we make this stop, please? It's embarrassing. Although, it might be fun to try and guess where they're planning to bury the Halas Trophy. Will they leave the hole open until they throw the Lombardi in there with it?

  • Malcolm Jenkins is still garbage Just thought you should know.

  • Pants on the ground... in a big pile... on fire It has been suggested in other corners of the internets that Saints fans get together before this weekend's game to burn the dreaded black leotard pants in a great ceremonial bonfire on the Orleans Avenue neutral ground. We wholeheartedly endorse this idea. Should have done it on New Year's Eve but better now than never.

  • Finally, one more thing about Saints fans. Last week, we kind of called out what we saw as some uncharacteristically poor behavior bubbling up from Saints fans in the latter part of this season. But I was wrong about one thing.
    Undoubtedly the team will benefit from the 2 weeks of rest they've allowed their key players. (The Saints wisely held many of their starters out of the meaningless season finale at Carolina.) We expect them to enter the playoffs at their best. The fans, on the other hand, are a different story.
    In fact, the Saints fans had benefited from the rest. The playoff game against Arizona was their best of the season. They were loud. According to last Sunday's T-P, they broke 113 decibels. They were funny. Several times during the game, when the Saints' offense got into short yardage situations, the crowd started calling for Deuce; not because they thought he should be in the game, but because they knew he could hear them. Most importantly, they were classy. It seemed like everyone went out of their way to be gracious and friendly to the visiting Cardinals fans. Lots of "thank you for coming"s even a few hugs. It was really great. I guess that's pretty easy to do when you win by 30 points. But it was more that just the margin of victory. It was also partially the clean emotional slate everybody has now that there's just no way anyone can be disappointed with the season's result. And I think it was also the result of some soul searching on the part of the fans. I really think everyone sort of forgot who they were for a while back there and wanted to make up for it. Maybe the bye week really did help the fans as much as it helped the team.

So this is the part of the weekly post where I'm supposed to write a bunch of stuff about how this week, this team is finally the one that is going to fully exploit the Saints' weaknesses. You know, Adrian Peterson is going run through the weak run defense all day, Jared Allen is going to kill Jermon Bushrod, that sort of thing. But I can't do that right now.

If you've read this much of the post you can see I've spent a lot of time looking at Saints stuff on YouTube this week. I've got one more video to show you. And, of course, it happens to be from 1987, The Greatest Football Season of All Time. This is the CBS pre-game footage of that first ever Saints playoff appearance. I was in the Dome for this game and am honestly... I don't know... moved to watch this remarkable historical document of that day. It features all sorts of goodies like Al Hirt, Jimmy the Greek, the old NFL Today theme music, and Johnnie Poe.

It also features the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

The 44-10 hurt the Vikings put on the Saints and their fans on January 3, 1988 was only the first in a line of conspicuous blows delivered over the course of nearly a full generation now. In ensuing seasons Jim Mora's competitive Saints teams suffered a series of demoralizing regular season blowout losses to Minnesota. Late in the 88 season, the Vikings ruined the Saints' year (and any thoughts of revenge) by rolling over them 45-3. Two years later, they rubbed more lye in our lutefisk by blowing the Saints out again 32-3. By this point it was burned into our heads. We hated the Vikings.

In 2000, Jim Haslett's suddenly resurgent Saints fresh off their first ever playoff victory were blown out again by Minnesota in the divisional round 34-16. The Saints would not return to the playoffs for 6 years.

In 2002, the Saints and Vikings played one of the strangest games in Saints history when Daunte Culpepper ran in a two point conversion with no time remaining to beat the Saints by one point. The loss precipitated a horrendous December collapse which marked the beginning of the downward trajectory of Haslett's stint as coach. This game is also infamous for the Saints' awful gold jerseys which we sincerely hope they never ever ever wear again.

Last year the Saints and Vikings played an epic Monday Night game which sort of encapsulated the exciting-but-not-quite-over-the-hump 2008 Saints season.

The point of all this is, somehow we knew that one day if the Saints were ever in this position again, it would have to be Minnesota standing in the way. The point is, we owe them. And right now that's all we're thinking about. And right now #iamnotworried.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Last night's election results

Obviously this was a national referendum on selling your daughter to the highest bidder. You'll never guess which side won.

Sybil's Smackdown

Sybil Morial may have just delivered a game-changing blow to Troy Henry in the mayor's race. I'm a little pre-occupied with football this week so just go check out Adrastos' take. I pretty much agree with everything there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Clowns vs Evil People

Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson are clowns. David Brooks is an evil person.

Got it?

Please do something to help the people of Haiti. Whatever you can. Whatever you think is appropriate.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In case you're wondering what the difference was yesterday

We're pretty sure it was our Who Dat altar.


And now we get to make another one next week. Great game. More later.

Update: Making your own on Sunday? Need votive candles? Try here.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Who Dat Nationalism or Now We Can Haz Mardi Gras?

It's been a disappointing month for the New Orleans Saints. The strain and stress of the long NFL season has taken its toll on the team's health and shaken its confidence. Just playing 16 professional football games is bound to do that, let alone the added pressure of maintaining a 13 game winning streak. Even during the tail end of that winning streak, we found ourselves writing each week that the Saints were, "beat the fuck up and wore the fuck out." Undoubtedly the team will benefit from the 2 weeks of rest they've allowed their key players. (The Saints wisely held many of their starters out of the meaningless season finale at Carolina.) We expect them to enter the playoffs at their best. The fans, on the other hand, are a different story.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Clio wrote a pair of letters to the Dallas and New Orleans papers. Here is what he sent to the T-P.
As a longtime Saints fan and season ticket holder, I was proud of my team's effort against the Cowboys Saturday night, but I was ashamed of some of my fellow Saints fans' treatment of Cowboys fans.

Ever since I was treated poorly as a Saints fan on a trip to a game at Indianapolis a few years ago, I have made it a point to welcome opposing teams' fans to the Superdome. They are always appreciative, and I've had some nice conversations with people from all over the country.

This past Saturday night, every Cowboys fan with whom I spoke told me that that he or she had been treated badly by some of my fellow Saints fans. In addition, a friend who was on the field at the end of the game witnessed a Saints fan verbally abusing (with profanity) the Sports Illustrated reporter Peter King, who is a Saints season ticket holder.

To my fellow fans: we can do better. That is not who we are. New Orleans is a city of hospitality, warmth, and acceptance of difference--even if that difference means that the other person is wearing another color jersey.

Our warmth comes from knowing that we live in a city like no other, a city that we love. We don't have time for abusing other cities. We're too busy loving our city and our team.

Now I'm certainly not above "abusing other cities" in general terms but, as a Saints season ticket holder and frequenter of the touristier areas of the Quarter on weekends, I always look forward to meeting and talking with visiting football fans. It has long been my impression that Saints fans are typically welcoming and good-humored with visiting fans. But that hasn't always been the case this year. And Clio isn't the only one who has noticed. Two fans share anecdotes in the following excerpt from Leo McGovern's "Homefield Advantage" column in this month's ANTIGRAVITY Magazine.


There are many side effects that present themselves when a team begins to win, particularly when it’s a team that hasn’t won a lot before. It’s no big surprise, then, that the Saints bandwagon is a lot heavier than it was back in August. Hell, in a lot of ways it’s heavier than it was back in 2006, when the Saints were 10-6 and made a trip to the NFC Championship game. Unfortunately, a side effect of all this winning is that some Saints fans have become horrible fucking assholes. Or that wonderful selection of fans simply gained a few new members with all the bandwagon jumping, members who have shown their true colors after a couple of Saints losses. Either way, it’s a problem.

We’ve been disappointed by the Saints so many times and have dealt with so many tough, hard-to-believe-it-could-happen losses that it was utterly disappointing to feel the misplaced anger and stupidity emanating from so many seats during the Saturday night game against the Cowboys.

We actually left the Superdome about halfway through the 3rd quarter, not due to frustration with the team (though there was some of that, for sure) but because it had virtually become uncomfortable to stay. One season ticket holder two rows in front of us yelled at a Cowboys fan so hard that he was visibly shaking afterwards. Another got into no fewer than three altercations with that same Cowboys fan before a cop came up and nearly kicked the Cowboys fan out (which would’ve been a damn shame, considering the only reason he was being obnoxious was because he was being taunted and yelled at by Saints fans). The general feeling was that everyone expected us to win. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when it didn’t look like that was going to happen, too many fans got bent out of shape because they somehow felt entitled to a win. On our way out from the game, we saw a full-fledged fistfight between two Saints fans in one of the smoking sections outside the dome. I’d have hated to see the reaction after we actually lost.

The Dallas game wasn’t the first instance of Saints fans acting out. Jeffrey (from the awesome Library Chronicles—visit him at librarychronicles.blogspot.com—and host of the sports panel at the 2009 Rising Tide) relayed this story, from the Patriots game:

“After the New England game, we were walking down the ramp talking to a couple of Patriots fans who had come to New Orleans to see this game but also to get engaged and celebrate. They were nice people… But the conversation started to get uncomfortable when a very loud and obnoxious Saints fan noticed their jerseys and just started bellowing into the guy’s ear the whole rest of the way down. ‘Patriots are losers! Go back to Boston! You suck!’ Now, most of the Saints fans around us were kind of embarrassed at this and tried to politely intervene but the guy was kind of relentless. We would say, ‘Thank you for visiting our city. Sorry this guy is an idiot.’ And he would just scream louder, ‘I’m an idiot! I’m an 11-0 idiot!’”

I’ve been known to throw a fit at a game before (I’ve broken a radio or two, and some headphones), but I’ve never felt entitled to win—I mean, what are we becoming, Yankees fans without the championships? There are still too many real fans in the city to get disillusioned about our fan base, but hopefully this loss dumps some of those bandwagon jumpers who showed up in droves just to see something “undefeated.” To put it succinctly—we can be better, New Orleans. And we should be better sports.

And prior to this season, I've always believed that we were better sports. Saints fans know better than anyone that, while winning is nice, it's hardly the main determinant of whether or not we're getting our money's worth in quality entertainment. Prior to this season, the Sean Payton era has brought us some of the most exciting football Saints fans have seen. And yet the team's regular season record was right at .500. Historically, Saints fans have led the NFL in attendance per victory, in creative costuming, alcohol tolerance, good humor... all the crucial statistics. But this year they've been knocked off their game somehow. Why is that?

Somewhere during the streak, we started a running item called "Going undefeated is actually kinda gay" It became more and more apparent to us that the unbeaten streak was not only wearing on the team, but it was also damaging the fans' attitude. It changed the week's mantra from, "Wouldn't be great if we beat these guys!" to "Dammit we better not fuck this up!" Saints fans are used to getting over disappointment, but week after week of overcoming that takes a little extra effort. It takes a certain brand of wit, and genuine dark humor to help over-hyped Saints fans de-Beavis and recapture their perspective. It takes...

St. Buddy
Where have you gone, Diliberto? Who Dat Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

But, alas, St. Buddy has moved on to that big racetrack in the sky and we're left with... well this idiot (click to see Bobby Hebert acting like an idiot) With the clownish, angry, semi-literate, belching Hebert taking over for the streetwise Diliberto, "Who Dat Nation" (as Hebert so cloyingly refers to the fan base) has lost its center. Hebert's radio show is a train wreck. Hebert constantly talks over his guests and co-hosts with a stream-of-consciousness bellow of boring banal cliches which ultimately leave listeners more frustrated than they were when they tuned in. Generally, people tune in to post-game call-in shows to relieve frustration. Hebert only exacerbates the condition. The stress of the unbeaten streak is tough but I believe it is Hebert's coarsening of the discourse that has inflicted the most damage to the Who Dat psyche. After the season, we'll be starting our Get-This-Coonass-Redneck-Idiot off of my radio campaign. But for now, let's all try to rise above it.

Today, #Iamnotworried (Twitter TM). When we looked at the Saints at the beginning of this season, we figured them for about 9 wins. They've managed to exceed that projection by four wins, which we think is pretty amazing. We don't know what's going to happen today so we have no idea what sort of mood we'll all be in later. I'm putting together a short look back at this memorable season which might be fun to look at later no matter which way today's game goes. But as of right now the season is incomplete so we're saving it for when we know.

Anyway, the best thing about this football season is that it has seamlessly segued right into Carnival. And so before we head out to the Dome, we ask you to please enjoy this 30 seconds of crappy video from last night's Pussyfooters Ball. What you're not exactly seeing in the shot is the 610 Stompers standing up and getting crunk.

Happy Who Dat Gras (Literally Fat Who Dat, the best kind)

Friday, January 15, 2010

HOLY MOTHER OF FUCK or okay well... eh

The post I've got in the can is all about how I'm disappointed in Saints fans this season and how I'm not too optimistic about tomorrow and how I pretty much hate Bobby Hebert and that I'm even kind of feeling eh about the whole season right now... and maybe I'll finish writing that later but put that shit on hold because


Deuce is back!
Dave Cohen Reporting

The New Orleans Saints have signed former Black and Gold running back Deuce McAllister.

Sources confirm McAllister is back on the team after more than a year away from football.

During the offseason, the Saints released McAllister who had been struggling with multiple knee injuries.

We are awaiting details on McAllister's planned role with the Saints as they prepare for a divisional playoff game with the Cardinals. So far, officails are only saying he is on the "active roster."

Deuce: He knows what to do and how to do it.

I am getting the Tebow tears right now. Give me a minute.

Update: T-P's Jeff Duncan reports that DT Rodney Leslie was placed on IR to make room for Deuce. That's good news because it means that (as far as we know) Frenchy is still good to go. Also, according to Duncan on Twitter, Sean Payton says
"We’re excited to have him back with the team and to have him lead us out on to the field tomorrow.”

This will be a significant moment. I'll try to make it to the Dome on time.

Also Joe Horn is really really pissed off right now.

Upperdate: WWLTV now reporting that Deuce will be inactive tomorrow and serve as an "honorary captain". And of course that makes sense but is far less fun.

Okay it's official. The Saints never intended to bring Deuce back as anything other than a cheerleader and just happened to find a roster spot for him at the last second. Oh well. That was a roller coaster. Frankly I feel even worse than before for having been through it.


Spike Lee is working on a sequel to 2006's When the Levees Broke
Lee has said for years that he intended to follow-up on the original by perhaps expanding its scope to Katrina’s impact on the entire Gulf Coast.

"Returning to New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina, the new film will revisit some of the people who appeared in 'When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts' to find out what has happened to their lives since then," says a news release on HBO's press website. "The documentary will look at the progress and failures in education, housing and population relocation, and spotlight New Orleans's indomitable spirit. Going beyond the boundaries of the city, the film will also visit the devastated Gulf Coast area."
I remember watching Lee's original film on the first anniversary of the Federal Flood. Viewing the film, I thought, was a factually and emotionally pitch-perfect way to meditate on the day's significance. Here's what I wrote about it at the time. I am very much looking forward to seeing the follow-up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The most I ever learned about Haiti I learned back in 1998 when I happened to be reading Carolyn Fick's The Making of Haiti at about the same time that this amazing exhibit on Haitian Vodou debuted at NOMA.

Louisiana artist Tina Girouard, a consultant to the show, described it more succinctly: "This is the King Tut show of Vodou," she said. "The difference is that Louisiana has a profound cultural connection to Haiti. When I was in Haiti I saw street parades that looked a lot like jazz funerals, raised tombs in graveyards, sequined and beaded costumes that resembled those worn by Mardi Gras Indians.

"One day, someone served me something that they described as an unusual peasant dish from Haiti. Then they brought me a bowl with rice, crab, okra - in other words, it was gumbo without the file!"

Beneath their shared surface features, New Orleans and Haiti also share a cultural disposition to create hybrid forms. Jazz, that quintessential New Orleans creation, blends African and European forms with the same ease that a Vodou priest incorporates Masonic emblems, Rosicrucian beliefs, Catholic saints, African gods and the practice of spirit possession.

Cosentino traces that syncretic disposition back to Africa.

"Most of the slaves brought to Haiti came from African cultures whose hallmark was an openess to everything that came their way in the realm of religion and culture.

Yesterday the Preservation Resource Center put up this short post about Haitian and New Orleanian shared architectural influences.

Given, even, the relatively little I do know about it, I don't think it's too much of a reach for me to say that Haiti is a place whose history is intimately intertwined with our own and whose culture exhibits a number of compelling commonalities with ours. But even if these things were not so, it would not change the fact that the people who live there are in terrible need at the moment and that alone should be enough for us to concern ourselves with.

I'm not about to tell anyone what to do but if it does happen that you are interested in donating something to the earthquake relief effort, please take a look at this guide to choosing appropriate vectors for your charity, particularly this part.

2. Do NOT Recommend

Collecting donated goods
Don't take up collections of donated goods to send over. Donated goods can clog up ports delaying other items from clearing quickly. They may also not be appropriate for the climate, religion or culture. Please do not take up collections of medicine, clothing, baby formula, or food for shipment.

Showing up to volunteer
I don't recommend going into the area to volunteer. Even if you have a specialized trade such as a doctor or an architect your credentials may not be recognized in that country. In addition you may not find an international charity able to take you on for liability reasons and the fact that you don't have prior disaster experience and training.

Taking over goods or money to hand out
Don't go over there yourself with money or goods you've collected from friends and family. Although well intentioned, this can actually make the situation worse as it adds to the confusion, diverts resources, and may lead to aid dependency.

Giving to charities started immediately after the disaster
I do not recommend giving to charities that are started right after a disaster unless the founder has considerable development or disaster relief experience. While good intentioned, charities that do not understand disaster relief can get in the way of other relief efforts and makes coordination even more difficult than it is already.

Giving without verifying the organization is not a fraud

After the tsunami there were several fake charities created, in Thailand someone came around to one of the permanent housing area and took photos and then posted them as their own. Donors should verify that the nonprofit is real before giving. Google the exact name - be careful that they haven't used a name that is almost identical to a well known charity - if the organization has been in operation for a while there should be other links to conferences their staff have attended, newspaper articles written about them, etc...

If you want to give something but don't know where to begin, Gambit's David Winkler-Schmit compiled a short list of sure bets here. Charity Navigator is another helpful place to research your options. I'm not sure how I feel about donating by text message, which seems to be a popular choice today, but since I pay my phone bill by check, it does seem like a convenient way to cut the credit leeches out of the transaction.

Oh and also fuck Pat Robertson.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Things I noticed today

  • Today, as I lay on the couch, mostly knocked out by some sort of Avian Swine SARS or whatever, I found myself describing to people the experience of being actually sick as "kind of like being hungover" That's probably a bad sign.

  • If it turns out that I'm wrong about a great many things and there actually is a Hell, Pat Robertson is going to be the mayor of that place. (Sorry, Foursquare players, you'll just have to settle for the "Social Media Entrepreneur" badge. I'm sure there will plenty to go around there.)

  • During this morning's Mayoral debate on WBOK, John Georges told James Perry, "You're not a cerebral thinker". Later, in his closing statement, Georges stressed the point that he is a "leader" which he described as being something like a "humble Archbishop" You figure it out.

  • After the debate, I left my radio tuned to WBOK for much of the day. During "Showtime in the Afternoon" with Paul Beaulieu and John Slade the discussion was mostly about how Perry has probably struck some sort of deal with Mitch Landrieu where he gets to be Mitch's "CAO or City Attorney" in exchange for his "uncivil" attacks on Troy Henry.

    At another point in the show, the hosts were discussing one of Perry's points from this morning about how many of the city's neighborhoods are more segregated (or at least more predominantly black) than they were a generation ago. One of the hosts remarked, "Now if you go Uptown you'll still see some whites and blacks living near each other... but sometimes when I'm Uptown I kind of feel like I'm in a Woody Allen movie if you know what I mean." Actually, what does that mean?

  • I just found out that WDSU will live stream tonight's Mayoral forum. Check it out here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I'd like to apologize to James Perry

For the longest time I've viewed Perry's campaign as less an actual attempt at becoming Mayor and more as a networking project for the "candidate" to parlay into some sort of well-compensated but benevolent enough sounding advocacy and/or punditry position on the national professional do-gooder circuit. And because of this, I never really considered Perry a "serious" candidate for Mayor of New Orleans. Of course, I still think those things about Perry but I feel compelled qualify the "un-serious" label with the question, well if that's "un-serious" then what the hell do you call John Georges?

Georges rejected the notion that the growth of the city's biggest suburb was driven by desegregation of city schools and other racial anxieties.

"Why does Jefferson Parish exist? Why do people leave this city? You call it 'white flight.' How about the failed taxing policies of the Landrieus?" he offered. "Moon Landrieu's policies. People moved to Jefferson Parish because property taxes were lower."

Asked if there wasn't a racial motivation for some, he said: "No. Come on. You really think people think like that? No. They moved because of fear of crime and property taxes."

Wait. I'm going to try and type this just to see if I can. John Georges, in a speech intended to curry favor with black voters in New Orleans, having just recently declared himself "an African-American candidate" in an interview with the L.A. Times CORRECTION: Associated Press article, presented us with the very novel theory that the nationwide demographic phenomenon known as "white flight" had less to do with race than "the taxing policies of the Landrieus".

Got it?

I'm not sure I do. I'll type this one more time. Georges on race and 20th Century urban migration patterns: "You really think people think like that?"



Again, we've already used up "un-serious" What exactly do we call this?

Nothing to see here

Please disperse

Off-camera, Riley told WDSU that he doesn't believe the e-mail is a big deal, that he's never seen the message and he doesn't have proof that Head actually sent it.

Oh right... a bit too late I guess

Update: If you're not up on the background, go check out Adrastos who has had the considerable fortitude necessary to sift through this bullcrap already.

So glad to have James Gill back

Because this is classic

When reporters need an expert opinion on a court case, they almost always call Dane Ciolino, professor of ethics and criminal law at Loyola University.

Ciolino also crops up from time to time as mouthpiece for some sleazebag public official. Whether his dual roles constitute a conflict is a ticklish question. I'd need to call an expert on that one.

Ciolino's current gig is as attorney for Tim Whitmer, who took time out from his $190,000-a-year job as Jefferson Parish CAO to flog insurance. He displayed a great aptitude for his sideline, particularly when hawking policies to government agencies, contractors and employees in his bailiwick

Ray Nagin once famously said that politics in New Orleans is "the dominant industry". I meditate on that thesis more and more each day. Here we see the dominant industry helping to prop up the insurance business, the legal profession, the TV punditry, and manage to sell me another newspaper in the process since I pretty much buy the T-P for Gill's column and Jeff Duncan's Saints coverage. It's quite a powerful multiplier effect. Maybe this is the crucial stimulus that keeps the economic "trend" effectively "bucked" to City Business's great delight. I wonder if we should hire an "expert" to look into this for us. What's Loren Scott doing this week?

Billy Tauzin

Yeah, it figures.

I'm going to star making a list of potential 2012 Democratic primary candidates who may be preferable to Obama should any of them decide to run. Right off the bat, such a list would include 1) The decaying corpse of Edward Kennedy 2) A piece of toast 3) Manny Bruno.


Saturday, January 09, 2010

Quote of the Day

John Georges:
"I am an African-American candidate," he said flatly in a recent interview. "What I mean by that is, I am a candidate that African-Americans have voted for and will vote for."

Because there seems to be some interest in comfort food today

Here's what I did last night.

Chicken-Chipotle mac and cheese

I guess you'd call it a Chicken-Chipotle Mac and Cheese, although I am so sick of hearing the word "chipotle" that I want to start randomly stabbing people in the neck. However that doesn't change the fact that I like to cook with dried jalapenos.

This was successful but very very rich. But if you can handle that, here's what you do.

A) Chipotle butter

1) Place five or six large dried jalapenos (chipotle peppers.. although I am sick of that word) into boiling water for a few minutes to rehydrate.

2) Along with the peppers, chop one whole garlic clove and one bunch of green onions. Shove all that stuff into the blender with about a 1/4 stick of softened butter. Process until you're satisfied with the consistency of your goo. Set aside.

B) Chicken: I used a package of boneless thighs from Rouses.

1) Cut chicken into 1 1/2 by 1 inch pieces coat in black pepper, cumin, salt, paprika, and garlic powder.

2) Saute chicken pieces in butter in a large skillet. Remove and set aside.

C) Bechemel sauce

1) In the large pan, add about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of flour to a stick of butter. Stir until you have a nice white roux.

2) Add whatever combination of heavy cream and/or evaporated milk you have laying around until you build a thick heavy sauce. (Probably 2-3 cups of cream/milk in all. I'm never very exact with my measurements)

3) Add salt and pepper.

4) Add chipotle butter to your bechemel.

5) Add a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan and then maybe a pound of grated cheddar and jack cheese. Stir until incorporated.

D) Assembly

1) Bring together one pound of cooked elbow macaroni with your chicken pieces and your sauce and mix well.

2) Arrange mixture in a large Pyrex baking pan, top with salt, paprika, and double fistfulls of cheese.

3) Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Again, it's very rich and very heavy and I found I couldn't eat quite as much as I would have liked in one sitting. (Although that's probably a good thing.) But it's just the perfect sort of thing for the once-in-a-decade sub-freezing weather we're having this week.