Mar 6, 201910:48 AM
Full Sport Press
'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'
Happy Mardi Gras
What a year!
I hope you’ve had an awesome and safe Mardi Gras with friends, family and all of the people you love. As the relentless Uptown parades came to an end and the streets were cleared at midnight it’s always hard not to feel like a chapter has closed while, at the same time, feeling like a fresh one is just beginning.
As we look forward to the rest of the year in the greatest city in the world let’s not forget the season we just left.
Looking back, the end of the NFL season seems like a long time ago but also like it just ended. That’s because this town truly loves the Saints and you are reminded of that love every time you walk around the city.
Of course, this past season remains fresher than most due to the facts that the Saints had one of their greatest seasons ever and how the NFL referees robbed the team of its Super Bowl berth.
That robbery was highlighted by Krewe d’Etat’s “Willful Blindness” float, which was preceded by a marching group of referees. The float itself mocked Roger Goodell and featured a job qualifications list that stated NFL referees must have poor judgment and eyesight and do whatever Roger Goodell tells them to do.
Many other riders were throwing the now-New Orleans famous Goodell as Bozo the Clown t-shirt, while other tossed penalty flags. It was all good fun and the crowds loved it.
Cam Jordan was Grand Marshal of the Krewe of Tucks and the crowd greeted him like a champion prompting me to realize that this Mardi Gras, along with the Boycott Bowl, proved that once again there are many moments like these that are way more important than any title the stale NFL can dole out.
Are they rolling yet?
You’ve heard it scores of times these past two weeks as the crowds lined up sidewalk side or neutral ground side with someone looking at their app on a smartphone — are they rolling yet?
Most of the time they were in a season that saw most of the parades go off without a hitch and only a few delays. Side note: For the parades who are threatened by rain please do not cancel all of the marching bands and other marching groups. A parade just made of floats is just a truck parade and goes by way too quickly and just isn’t that fun.
Anyway, a similar question is starting to float around Uptown: Is Tulane baseball rolling? The eternal optimist would say heck yeah while the pessimist would point to Tulane losing its biggest series of the young season to Ole Miss. The realist, however, should definitely be happy with how the season has kicked off.
You only have to point to the last two seasons to see how bad it can really get for some clubs. The 2017 Tulane ball club was stacked with a veteran ball club in every aspect only to face plant out of the gate and stumble to a 3-13 start from which they would never recover. The 2018 Greenies would fall to 6-7 after a series opening sweep over Wright State and would never regain any momentum on the way to the club’s second straight losing season.
So now how do you feel about Tulane sitting at 9-3?
Tulane gave away a game to Army on Sunday in an error-ridden 7-6 loss but the team has performed well overall. The club is getting quality starts for the most part from the weekend trio in Kaleb Roper, Keagan Gillies and Chase Solesky while Josh Bates has locked down the mid-week starter’s role going 2-0 and not giving up a run in 12 innings pitched. Things can get a little interesting when the Green Wave goes into the relief ranks but, on the other hand, reliever Brenden Cellucci had his strongest outing of the year on Saturday blanking St. Joseph’s through 2.2 innings with six strikeouts.
A tantalizing question is just how high this offense can go. The Tulane line up has to be striking fear into the hearts of opposing pitches as the team is currently sending six to seven guys to the plate with batting averages north of .300.
Trevor Jensen (.423, six doubles, 10 RBI) and Kody Hoese (.407, six HRs, 15 RBI) are knocking the leather off the ball and the outfield is so stacked its keeping newcomer Hudson Haskin, who’s had a great start to his career, fighting to get into the game.
It’s a nice problem to have but stats don’t tell the entire story. This team had its share of .300 hitters last year but it’s the timing of the hitting this year that is impressive. Tulane is applying offensive pressure as soon as they walk out onto the field whereas last year a lot of the offense was put up in garbage time with games, and the season, already out hand.
It’s too early to call if the team is rolling or not and Tulane desperately needs to win the next two weekend series versus UC-Santa Barbara and UC-Riverside to bolster post-season hopes but this team feels like it is very, very close to becoming a threat.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Gnarly Barley Brewing’s “Jucifer” IPA
Playlist Recommendation: Professor Longhair – “Go To The Mardi Gras”
Around the Way
I hate to end on a sour note but since I don’t see anyone else writing about it I will.
What is up with krewe members riding floats and chucking five-pound bags of beads at people’s heads? I totally understand that people get hit with throws, but for krewe members going into a full wind up and intentionally throwing heavy objects at revelers is ridiculous. I watched members of Thoth do it and have read the same about Bacchus. This is absolutely ridiculous and the opposite of what Carnival season is about.