New Orleans Star Wars
Geeking out on local sports
A short time ago,
In a movie theater far, far up Prytania.
Guess what movie I went to see? Yes, Melanie and I officially became the last two people on Earth to see “Rogue One.” The movie was awesome and I haven’t stopped peppering Melanie with geeky Star Wars facts and now guess what you’re going to read? That’s right folks, take a trip with me into — Nola Star Wars: Revenge of the King Cake.
Spoiler Alert: this has nothing to do with King Cake, but it is that time of year for New Orleans’ favorite seasonal confection and, being your friend, I just wanted to subtly remind you that once Carnival season ends you may be on a beach shortly thereafter. Who said anything about Jabba the Hutt? I definitely didn’t just bring up Jabba the Hutt.
When you think about the city’s nickname, the Crescent City sounds like a name in the Star Wars universe. Remember Cloud City from “Empire Strikes Back”? You know the city run by Billy Dee Williams of Colt 45 malt liquor fame? I wouldn’t be surprised to see Williams in the neutral ground some Carnival day. How many degrees of separation are there really between any of us in this town anyway?
I’m often sitting in a bar in town or restaurant in Tatooine and look up to see a complete “stranger” but, from social media, know that this stranger makes good-looking fish tacos or really needs to learn how to spell. This is a small town, padawan.
Think about the New York Giants’ Eli Manning — the pride of Isidore Newman — throwing to his number one receiver Odell Beckham Jr. — also the pride of Isidore Newman. Furthermore, and expanding our universe a little bit, Beckham Jr. set the record for “Most catches in first three seasons” with 288 grabs. But he didn’t set it alone. He tied with — his former LSU teammate Jarvis Landry. That’s exactly like Luke Skywalker training with Yoda thinking he’s the only Jedi. But we find out — “there is another (Leia).” All of this info is obviously delivered in that cool way that only Yoda, or very hung-over people, can speak. “Breakfast eggs. Now I have.”
The Giants got whipped by the Green Bay Packers, 38-13, last weekend (and OBJ evidently used the Force on this wall). This weekend, Tulane will be repped by Kansas City’s kicker Cairo Santos (now that’s a Star Wars name), who has just completed the finest regular season in his young career. Santos hit 88.6 percent of his field goal attempts this year, with a long of 54 yards. He’ll need to be perfect this Sunday for the Chiefs to beat the evil empire known as the Pittsburgh Steelers. Santos, like the assassin Boba Fett (or is it Boba Feet?) dropped two field goals against the hometown heroes earlier this year.
There’s a joke in here somewhere about Saints GM Mickey Loomis being the emperor but, since it now seems that Sean Payton is staying put, I’ll give those guys a break for awhile and just sing my favorite line from the Talking Heads hit, “Once In A Lifetime.”
“Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.”
Speaking of Luke Skywalker, or Obi-wan Kenobi, or whomever you think is the greatest Star Wars hero — Anthony Davis just put in another mind-boggling performance for the Pelicans…and of course the Pelicans lost. Davis went for 36 points and 15 rebounds and the Pels still easily lost 117-108 to the Boston Celtics. As reported by WDSU’s Fletcher Mackel, this is the eighth time Davis has gone for 35-15. The rest of the league has only accomplished that feat six times.
The Pelicans are only 1.5 games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference playoffs but, at the same time, the Pelicans are only 2.5 games out of last place in the Western Conference. Save us, Obi-wan, you’re our only hope.
How about that band of rebels on the Lakefront? The UNO Privateers basketball team, much like last year’s baseball team, is defying expectations at the halfway point of the season. The Privateers were picked to finish 10th in the Southland Conference this year, but are now 4-0 in the conference and 9-6 overall. Out of conference, UNO owns victories over Tulane and Washington State. The team has already upset Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (picked to finish third) and Abilene Christian (picked sixth) in conference play. The young warriors will get to face their own Darth Vader Jan. 12, when they host Sam Houston State (picked to finish first) at Lakefront Arena. So, put away your light sabers and buy some tickets to support your Privateers.
Now it’s time for a grammar joke! Maybe we shouldn’t trust the Southland Conference preseason basketball rankings. Most conferences, comprised of a number of institutions of higher learning, have a “coaches poll.” Well, evidently the Southland just has a “Coach’s poll.” So, I guess it’s just one guy making these predictions, right? Because surely one of the 13 universities would’ve realized that the term “Coach’s” is showing possession of a singular. Surely.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Empire Brewing Company’s “Strikes Bock” Lager
Playlist Recommendation: John Williams – “The Imperial March”
Around the Way
Congratulations to Shelby Stewart of Dillard University for being named to the 2016 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes team. To qualify, athletes had to have a 3.5 grade point average or above and hold a junior status. The junior outside hitter hailing from Houston, Texas was also named to the GCAC volleyball All-tournament team.