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Jul 17, 201808:05 AM
Full Sport Press

'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'

Bunch of Bull

Roller Derby and bad news

instagram.com/nolabulls | @stewartlimey

So, I’m a runner now. Yes, I know your mind is blown. For I’m sure you’ve read my opposition to such endeavors. I’ve written about the shirtless messes running down the neutral ground irking me and the fact that I felt ridiculous doing it that one time a few decades ago. However, that’s all in the past as I just completed my first race.

I ran in the New Orleans version of the Running of the Bulls this past Saturday and, to be honest, I think I may have won.

Of course, by running I mean walking with my group of friends and by winning I mean we were drinking adult beverages at 7 a.m., which, as you know, is perfectly acceptable when there are 1,000 other people doing it at the same time.

Me and my fellow Sangria-fueled athletes hit the streets of the Central Business District dressed in red and white. The “race” kicked off and we marched along like innocent sheep as the bulls, in this case the Big Easy Roller Girls, roared up behind us and delivered swats via Whiffle ball bats. The thwacks were sometimes soft, sometimes quite firm.

Unlike the Running of the Bulls in Spain, in which the herd thunders by in a rush, the New Orleans version was a more spread out affair sometimes leading one to forget why he was walking in the street at 8 a.m. with a cocktail in hand and then SMACK!

Back to reality and another roller girl skates away into the sunshine. The names of the roller derby girls were hard to keep up with as they shot by but I’m pretty sure I got smacked by one named Amelia Slaughter Heart, but I’m not sure. Again, it was early and Sangria.

It was an awesome event that raised money to support such great causes like Beth’s Friends Forever and Big Easy Animal Rescue. As we finished the race (they forgot to crown me as champion) we danced in the Sugar Mill to d.j. superstar Crystal Method and it was just another perfect day in New Orleans.

Go check out the Big Easy Roller Girls in their home season closer at Lakefront Arena this July 21. After that, on Aug.5, the Roller Girls will host their spectacular rumble called Sweat Fest, a massive weekend of Roller Derby action featuring teams from all over the country.

 

Tulane and LSU baseball

And now for something decidedly less cool.

Isn’t it weird how, as fans, we just take some things for granted? The Alabama Crimson Tide are always great in football, the Kentucky Wildcats always have five new star freshman on the basketball court and Tulane and LSU will always knock heads in a couple mid-week showdowns in college baseball. Right?

It seemed that way until WGNO’s Ed Daniels broke the story that the Tulane Green Wave will not be on LSU baseball’s schedule this year. I would say social media exploded but this is local college baseball so the deafening roar was restricted to a few Tulane message boards and some drunken Uptown mumbling about putting an 80-year series on pause for the upcoming year.

Anyway, the series is expected to resume in 2020 at the Shrine on Airline for the Wally Pontiff Jr. Classic. So does that mean that the series will not only be cancelled for next year but also when it resumes, it will only be once a year? Brutal. Fortunately, the college baseball season is a long way off so maybe a scheduling miracle will fall out of the sky. Unless that happens, and no matter the reason, this is a bad look for everyone involved.

Until then, the series record holds with LSU leading 181-131-3. However, Tulane has won five out the last six games versus the Tigers.

So that’s no baseball or football between the natural rivals. Here’s to hoping that Tulane and LSU play another exhibition game this year in basketball. I guess.

 

LSU and the SEC

Believe me, no one in Baton Rouge is thinking about the prospect of playing Tulane in football, they just have bigger fish to fry and it could get really hot.

As always, as SEC Media Days kick off, the Purple and Gold faithful are optimistic (as they should be because it’s July) but realistically this will be another building year for the LSU Tigers. So, please remember that when everyone is calling for Coach Orgeron’s head midway through the season.

It’s going to be tough sledding for the Tigers this year. They get a marquee matchup against the Miami Hurricanes to open the season, and it will be a much-needed victory for the club. Once the Tigers hit league play they’re definitely going to take some hits. LSU has the pleasure of opening the SEC season on the road at Auburn, the only team to beat both Alabama and Georgia last year. The Tigers in Auburn have real title hopes this year.

Later in the year, the Tigers’ season will make or break in the month of October as LSU tries to navigate the gauntlet that includes playing the Florida Gators on the road and Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama at home. It’s going to get rough, folks. So rough that, if this team stumbles in Week Four versus Louisiana Tech they might not go bowling (or even finish with a winning record).

In short, the LSU defense, led by Greedy Williams (best name in football?) and Devin White, better be ready to ball as LSU tries to, yet once again, figure out its quarterback situation.


*photo credit: associated press

 

And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.

 

Beer Pairing: Wayward Owl Brewing’s “Clean Slate” IPA

Playlist Recommendation: Eric B & Rakim – “Follow The Leader”

 

 

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Full Sport Press

'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'

about

              

Mark Patrick Spencer is a writer and assistant director whose work has published in the pages of many literary journals, including Hobart and Midwestern Gothic

Spencer has worked in the entertainment business for 10 years. He broke into film as a production assistant on the football-based "Friday Night Lights," in Austin, Texas. Spencer moved to New Orleans in 2014, and has assistant directed films such as "By Way of Helena," and "Kickboxer: Vengeance."

Spencer lives in Uptown, where he can be found sitting on his porch telling lies about how great he was during his high school football years. 

Contact Spencer at markspencer7@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at @TheSonOfNoise. Follow Full Sport Press at @FullSportNOLA.

 

 

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