As the city recovers from its first parade weekend, Krewe du Vieux and krewedelusion in the French Quarter, let’s hand out some awards and prepare for the gauntlet of parades that are about to hit Uptown. Get ready New Orleans. The greatest season of them all has arrived.
The Mardi Gras is How Soon!?! Award
Yes as you read this my friends, Mardi Gras Day is a mere 14 days away. It’s startling I know. You don’t have your costume ready? Join the club. At this point I’m considering the Just Paint My Entire Body Blue route. It’s not a bad idea, right? I mean, how can you be mad at a guy who blew off getting a proper costume but painted his body blue?
Something else that is startling is every press release from the Tulane athletic department that always starts with FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Ease up, Tulane. My first thought shouldn’t be that some disaster occurred when you’re really just telling me that Tulane bowling had a strong weekend and beat the likes of Delaware State and Franklin Pierce (who might just be one person for all I know). Anyway, props to the ninth-ranked Tulane bowling squad and me getting to use my favorite hashtag — #BowlWave.
You Gotta Eat When You Can Award
Every Carnival-goer knows it is essential to get food in your belly whenever you can out on the parade route. For newcomers, please note, the parade schedule times are a lie. You will not be done watching a parade at 8 p.m. That parade is going to be delayed by the other parade that was delayed by the other parade that was delayed. See? And now your friends are looking at you funny because your gallon of daiquiris with one bag of Zapp’s diet didn’t really work out and has you lit up like the Commonwealth.
The New Orleans Privateers (11-10) know when to eat as well. UNO feasted on the inferior competition provided by Northwestern State and Incarnate Word this past week and moved into first place in a stacked Southland Conference.
The road gets a lot tougher for the Privateers in February with a pair of games versus Nicholls State and Southeastern Louisiana and a one-off versus perennial Southland-contender Sam Houston State and that’s why you need every win you can get when you can get it.
The (Not) Sitting This One Out Award
This might be specifically for folks who live on the Uptown parade route with its relentless attack of festivities during Carnival. More specifically, it’s the feeling you get as you wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, hearing the bands making the turn off of Napoleon Avenue, prompting you to declare, “No. Just no.” You’re going to sit this one out, right? OF COURSE YOU’RE NOT SITTING IT OUT. Sure, rest is fun but if you’re not there then you’re just not there, man.
This award goes to Tulane Green Wave baseball. After a rough (and that’s an understatement) last season you better not jump off the bandwagon. This team is too fun to watch and a great way to spend an afternoon or night in Uptown.
They’re also shiny and new like that string of beads you just caught. Even if you’ve been watching the team for the past few seasons, grab a program when you’re at Turchin Stadium this year, as the team has a massive influx of new faces. Thankfully, the team will have some faces you know on the pitching staff with the likes of Ross Massey, Chase Solesky and Keagan Gillies on the mound.
I Can’t Catch Anything Award
This is for the weird phenomenon when everything is seemingly going your way but then it horribly goes awry. Some days you just can’t miss. During the Tucks parade of 2015, I was seemingly on fire with catches with moves not unlike Neo from “The Matrix.” If I put my hand up, it came back down with some glorious beads or a toilet plunger. Then, the next day, a much cockier version of myself couldn’t catch a cold on the route. At best, the beads bounced off of my hands into someone’s unexpecting head. At worst, it was my head that took the bead blast.
Sometimes life just deals you a bad hand not unlike what happened to the New Orleans Pelicans’ Demarcus “Boogie” Cousins in Houston. In a cruel twist to the season Cousins tore his Achilles with 12 seconds to go in the game, ending his MVP-caliber season (25.2 points per game, 12.9 rebounds per game) and possibly any hopes the Pelicans have at making the NBA playoffs but maybe Anthony Davis will just start putting up 50 points a night. You never know!
Enjoy the season, folks. I hope you get out on the route and have a safe time. Keep your eyes peeled for the little ones around you and give them some toys if you make the catch.
Carnival is headed to Uptown, everybody! I hope you’re ready.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Brieux Carre’s “Krewe du Brieux” Amber Ale
Playlist Recommendation: Huey “Piano” Smith – “Don’t You Just Know It”
Around the Way
Here’s another award for maybe only yours truly. I’ll call it the “Hey, let’s go see what Carnival is like in another town” Award. I would actually love to but, boy, it’s just hard to leave the friendly confines of New Orleans during the season. So, if you find yourself Uptown grab some beers at Fat Harry’s, a fine sports bar, or Martin Wine Cellars (and they have delicious food) on Barrone Street and come find me in the neighborhood. I’ll be right up front, street side, on the route.