It’s that glorious time of year where you stop pretending to hold the reins on your love of football and just let the onslaught of football news coverage and, now, actual games wash over you in a deluge of gridiron stats and stories. Football is everywhere. New Orleans Saints jerseys are on the loose and the latest Fleurty Girl Saints T-shirts are flying off the shelves. Hell, a creative employee at Winn-Dixie on Tchoupitoulas even took the time to make a giant Angry Wave display out of 12-packs. It’s all so perfect.
This is my humble attempt to comment on every single team in America. Just kidding, but there is a lot going on.
1. It’s a crazy time in our college football lives. Just ask the UCF Knights who just became a national champion via the NCAA record books. The reasoning is written here and I don’t care about that but now I just wish that the Tulane Green Wave had the defending national champion Knights on their schedule this year.
2. Speaking of national championships, as in, how that’s all that matters to some schools, congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes who became the latest in an unfortunately long line of higher institutions to show that the championship ring is the only thing and everything else is secondary. Moreover, congratulations to Urban Meyer for acting like a total prick when given the chance to apologize to a victim of domestic violence and made it, yet again, all about him. Here’s to hoping this story haunts that program all year long. Meyer eventually apologized via a tweet. Stay classy, Ohio State.
3. It would also seem that the 2008 Utah Utes are now in the record books as national champions as well after being named number one by a “major selector.” Same thing here as with UCF, I just don’t have time to look into major selectors or any other new sports term for that matter. Hell, I still don’t even understand half of the stats in pro baseball. Even crazier than this newly acquired title by Utah is the fact that since 1994, the school is 15-2 in bowl games.
4. You know where no one is talking national championship? Baton Rouge. LSU could be in for an interesting year as the team has its perennial question mark at quarterback and must replace Derrius Guice. The defense returns a lot of starters but no one knows how this offense will click. The ESPN FPI even has the Tigers going 6-6, an outcome that would send Coach Orgeron packing after only his second full year as head coach.
5. Don’t get caught napping and miss out on Tulane’s first game of the season on Thursday night. Better yet, get out to Yulman Stadium to check out the Green Wave take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Buy you and your friends a ticket and fill up the stadium. There’s not a bad seat in the house.
6. You got to give props to UL-Lafayette. I assure you, going on the road to play Mississippi State on Sept. 15 and then Alabama on Sept. 29 will not be fun.
7. In a “you would only know this if you watch FCS football” note — Nicholls State will have to guard against looking past Tulane to their match up with McNeese State. The two clubs’ rivalry will be at an all-time high, a year after Nicholls State upset the Cowboys and, essentially, took their spot in the FCS playoffs. The men from Lake Charles have had this Sept. 15 matchup circled since the schedules were released.
8. The worst day of the NFL season, besides the one where your team is eliminated from the playoffs or Super Bowl, is this coming Sunday. The fourth preseason game of the year will mean everything to a handful of players fighting to make the New Orleans Saints’ roster, but not much to anyone else involved. The Saints should give everyone a free beer that shows up to the Superdome this weekend.
9. Props to Gayle Benson with the announcement that her Dixie Beer company will begin construction on a new brewery facility in New Orleans East. I’ve been diametrically opposed to Dixie Brewing’s suspect ad campaigns claiming it was still a New Orleans beer even though it was made in Memphis, Tennessee. So this is good news. Now, after the move, the brewery will hopefully offer some new and different styles than what they have on shelves because their flagship beers wouldn’t rank in anyone’s Top 20 let alone Top 10.
10. Just think, after all of the talk about draft picks and giving up too much, if the Saints’ Marcus Davenport turns out to be an absolute beast coming off the edge opposite Cam Jordan? That’s got to get you excited, right?
11. I’m hating the fact that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have Ryan Fitzpatrick as their QB1 in week one at the Superdome. Fitzpatrick is no superstar but can still handle the position. The 35-year-old journeyman won’t be deterred by a rabid crowd and, at the end of the day, might be a better choice for the Bucs first three games, a brutal stretch that includes games versus the Saints, Eagles and Steelers. Here’s to Jordan and Davenport making it a long day in the Superdome for the old man.
12. I like calling NFL players old even though I’m older than the oldest active player in the league, Adam Vinatieri, a player who is so old that his first pro team was the Amsterdam Admirals of the defunct World League of American Football.
13. Does anyone do any real tailgating for the Saints games? I’m not talking about going to bars and restaurants before the game because that’s not tailgating. I’m talking about standing around parking lots, listening to music (loud) and cooking up some delicious food, preferably chicken wings. Anyone?
Well anyway, enjoy the college football this weekend, New Orleans! It’s a beautiful time of year. I’m going to skip the Saints final preseason game because life is too short to watch preseason football. What I am going to do is scour the city looking for my new Saints T-shirt and, since I already have tickets, stare at the Superdome in anticipation of week one of the NFL season. Who Dat.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Bayou Teche Brewing’s “Cinco de Bayou” Lager
Playlist Recommendation: Tulane Fight Song