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Oct 11, 201608:00 AM
Full Sport Press

'The games we play in New Orleans and beyond'

Walking Up the Avenue

No Saints, Green Wave or Tigers football leads to a weekend of long walks

Did you know walking was good for you? I looked it up and the internet says walking is actually very good for you. Which is great, because I’m a hardcore walker, if such a term even exists. And was this not the perfect weekend for walking? We had beautiful weather and not a lick of local football on TV. The Saints were on a bye and the Green Wave and Tigers both had games postponed due to Hurricane Matthew hitting the east coast. I don’t know what you did with all of that extra time on your hands but I did a lot of walking, because jogging is just too funny looking.

I actually walk to my day job in the Central Business district. It’s a good trek down St. Charles Avenue that is almost three miles long and is the perfect way to greet the day. You get to see so much on the streets of this town that you wouldn’t experience in, oh I don’t know, anywhere. As the season enters this beautiful 30 days of not being awful, the action picks up and the faces are friendlier because no one has a stream of sweat surfing down their spine into Lake Swamp Ass. It’s lovely.

Walking is the new jogging. At least that’s what I tell myself every time I see a guy profusely sweating up a storm running in the neutral ground. And is there a jogger’s union? It seems that there are enough joggers around to have one. The only reason I bring it up is because I would like them to adopt an “Always Wear A Shirt” policy. Honestly, some of these joggers on St. Charles Avenue are rough looking. Not only do I have to see these guys, who look like extras in a 1970s action movie, glistening under the New Orleans sun but why would anyone want the world to know that they are part Wolfman? I just don’t get it.

And the Center for Disease Control agrees with me (about how it’s good for you, not the Wolfman problem). The CDC says that walking helps people live longer lives and reduces the risk of heart disease, which is great because I just made, and demolished, some barbecue shrimp. Now I’m not a foodologist, if that’s even a thing, but I’m pretty sure recipes that include a, “Now add a stick of butter,” step might not be the best for my health. Anyway, the CDC also states that when I walk to the daiquiri shop I am decreasing the likelihood of stroke, Type 2 diabetes and even some cancers.

And here I thought the extra shots were the best part of my 190 Octane daiquiri.

The good folks at Albion College weigh in on the benefits of walking as well. They note that walking promotes healthier skin and elevates mood. So, what they’re saying is that walking makes you pretty and, guess what, that makes you happy! I should be walking right now as I write this.

Walking also aids in cognitive functions. It clears your mind, so to speak. I’m often walking when I get a lot of my world-class ideas. Many of which I tweet immediately and then forget, but some of them stick with me.

Like what if Tulane turned at least one of their “Fall Ball” baseball games into an event? I walked 4.5 miles to Turchin Stadium, by way of the daiquiri shop on St. Charles Avenue, on Oct. 7 to watch the Green Wave scrimmage. The place, as expected, was pretty empty but it was one of the best times I’ve had at the field. The low-key affair really brought forth the “fun” aspect of the sport. Instead of seeing the team in front of 2,500 fans, I watched young kids playing a sport they love. Coach Travis Jewett posted up behind second base and kept it light as well. Jewett barked out call-and-response cheers with his new team, the players chattered away out in the field and freshman catcher Joe Singley got the sound guy to crank up the music between innings. It was great seeing and hearing all of the new names and would be really fun to have a packed house. Somebody let Troy Dannen know I need to talk to him.

Speaking of talking (or not), why did the SEC commissioner, Greg Sankey, let Florida duck out of the LSU game? Sankey got played like a piano by Florida by not stepping in and demanding a solution. Everyone knew that the weather report wasn’t going to change, but Sankey wouldn’t force Florida’s hand, and then guess what? It was too late. Game cancelled. And it’s a decision that will haunt Sankey, because Tennessee is likely facing their second SEC loss of the season this week against Alabama. By ducking the LSU game, Florida sits with one loss on the season. If they beat Missouri, Georgia and Arkansas they’ll go to the SEC championship, by virtue of having a better win percentage, and the football world will go positively bananas.

On Saturday, Melanie and I walked to Audubon Park (nearly 2 miles). We then followed the park’s track (1.8 miles) and eventually stepped back home along Magazine Street (2 miles). It was a good haul that we broke up by chilling on a park bench for a while. Melanie took awesome photos of the park and I quacked at ducks. It was nice. We also enjoyed a Sunday stroll to the French Quarter (3.7 miles), but then hopped the streetcar home.

So, in total, I walked around 20 miles this weekend. I’m not a health nut. It’s just really easy to do in this town and it’s good for you. Which is the reason I write this. I want you to be healthy. We can come up with a million ideas to be lazy and slack, but, as with all good things, we owe it to ourselves to make an effort. Teach yourself and teach your children healthy habits. You don’t have to be the greatest athlete to do this. You just have to try.

Take care of yourself, New Orleans.

 

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

 

Beer Pairing: Boulevard Brewing’s “Long Strange Tripel” 

Playlist Recommendation: The Time – “The Walk

 

 

Around the Way

After having to reschedule their game with UCF, the Green Wave get back on the gridiron this Saturday against Memphis at Yulman Stadium. The Green Wave are 10 point underdogs and will rely heavily on their 13th-ranked defense to slow down Memphis quarterback Riley Ferguson, who is averaging 272 yards passing per game and has thrown 11 TD’s. The Tigers have crushed the likes of Kansas and Bowling Green and beat Temple, 34-27, in an AAC matchup. Kickoff is Friday at 7 p.m. GO TO THE GAME.

No matter how silly it looks, run, don’t walk to see Tulane Women’s Volleyball team at the Devlin Fieldhouse this weekend, as well. The ladies are red hot after sweeping UCF to move to 12-6 on the season. The Green Wave are sitting at 4-2 and tied for second place in the conference. Tulane takes on the ECU Pirates Thursday night and then the Wave plays the UC Bearcats, who are tied for first in the conference, on Saturday. Coach Jim Barnes has quickly turned this team back into a contender so let’s get to Devlin and show our support. Roll Wave.

 

 

*Second photo by Melanie Warner Spencer

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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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