If you were a sane person, you would have marked the two months “off” after Mardi Gras to recover from a month of excess. But of course, you’re not sane and therefore we have the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Melanie and I got out into the mix of Jazz Fest on Saturday and I was struck by the randomness of this behemoth of a music festival. There is simply no world in which yours truly would pay to see Katy Perry in concert, but there I was dancing my teenage heart away to hit after hit. It was gloriously wonderful. It was hilariously random.
In honor of my “Teenage Dream” here are some random sport notes from the past week.
Mel Kiper can complain all he wants but the Saints pulled off a solid haul in this year’s NFL Draft. Look, when your first pick is a center it’s never going to be considered a sexy draft but picking Erik McCoy was absolutely critical as the position is a major question mark with the retirement of Max Unger. This kid from Texas A&M might be called upon immediately to center a Superbowl-contending ball club, so hopefully the Saints nailed it with this pick.
It was a draft that was all about need and bolstering the ranks. It’s going to be a competitive camp in the defensive backfield as new picks Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from Florida and Saquan Hampton out of Rutgers join a talented position group.
The pick everyone is hoping comes out of the clouds and lights up the scoreboards is the seventh round pick out of Notre Dame, Alizé Mack. A deadly tight end makes a modern-day offense hum and Mack will need to fill the shoes of Ben Watson, who also retired. It could be a lot to ask from a seventh-rounder, however.
Speaking of deadly, I have to give a shout out to New Orleans rapper, Curren$y, who put on an awesome show Saturday. His rap style is matched only by his humor between tracks as Curren$y had the crowd rolling when they weren’t too busy getting down.
It’s like the Tulane Green Wave baseball team were that Jazz Fester who wasn’t paying attention and stumbled over a pile of still wet turf (we won’t go into what it really is). It was a rough week for Tulane right when they needed a solid one.
Heading into the week, Tulane set themselves up with great play and were about to start chiseling into some NCAA at-large bid conversations, but then dropped a mid-week game versus Southeastern Louisiana and lost a series to East Carolina. Worse than the losses were the fashion in which they came, as Tulane pitching gave up 41 runs over the four games in front of an all-of-a-sudden shaky defense. Luckily, they were able to salvage a 9-8 victory over the Pirates on Sunday.
They have 12 games left and probably need to win nine of them to have a shot at the NCAA regionals. They’re sitting second in the AAC (the Pirates have run away with the league) and will need to hold that spot and probably fight their way to the AAC tournament championship to have a shot at a bid.
I’ll say it again: Midweek games count as much as weekend games in the RPI because it all gets thrown into the mix when it’s all said and done.
Tulane hosts the UNO Privateers on Tuesday and will play at home in nine of their last 12 games. If you consider yourself a fan, this gives you a lot of opportunities to go have an impact on this tournament-caliber team.
Speaking of random, let’s throw this back to the miserable NBA season that was in New Orleans.
I’m a born and raised University of Kentucky fan. I don’t watch every game like I used to but I guess if you cut me some blue would still trickle out. So, yes, I was ecstatic that Anthony Davis was playing in New Orleans. Then, of course, the Pelicans kept adding Wildcats around him and I loved that too. Unfortunately, NCAA success doesn’t equate NBA success and, lets face it, the second DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins got hurt the Pelicans went down the drain.
You can point to bad leadership. The organization didn’t build a team around Davis is the standard line. However, you can also point to bad leadership from Davis as well. The second he demanded a mid-season trade the franchise melted down, losses piled up and Davis sat on the sideline more often than not. In retrospect, it would’ve been better for management to ask him not to show up to the game at all.
However, props to the Pelicans that did suit up. Julius Randle and the crew played some inspired ball on most nights. It must’ve been hard to do with a diva on the sidelines pretending to care.
Then of course, on the last night, Davis wore his “That’s All Folks” T-shirt and once he caught flak for that pretended not to know what he was wearing. That right there sums up the new Anthony Davis in my eyes. Not that he wore the shirt. No, he wasn’t mature enough to own up to wearing the shirt. To say my Kentucky heart was bummed would be an understatement. Turns out, Davis is no Curren$y. Hell, he’s not even a Katy Perry at this point.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Gnarly Barley Brewing’s “Radical” Rye P.A.
Playlist Recommendation: Curren$y – “Tecmo Flow”
Around the Way
I’m not sure when the now-defunct AAF league was supposed to have their championship game but, in my mind, after a few upsets the Birmingham Iron knocked off the Orlando Apollos in the East division and then the strong Iron defense held on versus the San Antonio Commanders in a 19-14 slugfest.
So congratulations to the champions, championship and playoffs that never happened in a league that is never more!