First things first, the football gods need to know better than scheduling bye weeks on the same weekend for both the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers. There were some legitimately depressed people walking around. Yet, the sports world carried on and we made it through the dark void. Let’s hop, jump and skip around to see what has been happening.

Obviously the biggest story of the weekend was the Tulane Green Wave becoming bowl eligible for the second season in a row under Coach Willie Fritz. Considering that the program has only been to 12 bowl games since 1902 this feat cannot be stressed enough. With the 38-26 victory over Tulsa, Tulane is guaranteed at least going .500 during the regular season, which has been done only five times since 1998.

Dear Troy Dannen, give Coach Fritz a lifetime contract. Thank you.

With the dip in temperatures we have folded and started cranking up the heat. Melanie fell apart first and turned it on one morning while I was asleep, robbing me of that first smell of the furnace kicking on after a long summer. I just wanted you to know that.

Speaking of heat, the entire college football world will be focused on the #1 LSU Tigers travelling to Tuscaloosa to take on the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide. The winner and loser of this titanic matchup will still be in the race for the college football playoffs but the winner will acquire the “can’t be stopped” mojo for the rest of the season. I know it’s crazy talk but maybe it’s better to actually lose this game, win the rest of your games, not play in the SEC Championship and dare the NCAA to not include you at 11-1.

Speaking of #1 versus #2, the college basketball season kicks off on Nov. 5 with a megawatt matchup between the #1 Michigan State Spartans and #2 Kentucky Wildcats. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, the other game in the doubleheader features #3 Duke Blue Devils versus the #4 Kansas Jayhawks.

It’s a great night of basketball and also indicative of college basketball’s “March Madness” problem (folks not watching until the field of 64 tournament). I’m sure this has been proposed before but how awesome would it be if the season kicked off with a Sweet Sixteen tournament featuring the best of the best? It could easily take place over two weekends and, I think, would get the audience focused on the season instead of waiting until after the NFL season ends (at best). I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why it wouldn’t work but I’m just an idea man, folks. Take your logic somewhere else.

In this strange world that we live in I’m surprised there is not a sect of people who have drawn the line on moving their clocks back and forward an hour. My cat Percy thinks this idea is hilarious but he’s a big fan of mine.

Like offense? Get the to the Smoothie King Center where the New Orleans Pelicans and their opponents seem to be morally opposed to playing defense. The Pelicans, still without “we hope he’s a” superstar Zion Williamson, are off to a slow start, going 1-5. Don’t let that deter you though, as the games features buckets upon buckets and no one blocking out. The Pelicans are averaging just less than 116 points a game. Unfortunately, their opponents are averaging 125 per contest. It’s almost like the Harlem Globetrotters are playing their eternal opponent, the Washington Generals, but the Generals actually make baskets too.

I find that I can watch and get into most college football games. It doesn’t really matter if its FBS or FCS level. On the flip side, I don’t really dig on watching other NFL teams play. To be honest, I couldn’t name the last complete game I watched that did not feature Cam Jordan and his Black and Gold krewe. I guess one gets spoiled watching the New Orleans Saints in the excite-o-meter department.

More parents should name their kids Meadowlark.

Speaking of recipes, it seems we’re due for the seemingly quarterly fake internet outrage over the New York Times butchering a Louisiana-related recipe or writing something about New Orleans that makes everyone flip their wig.

I need to get to Pensacola to check out how hockey in the state of Florida rolls. The Pensacola Ice Flyers play in the Southern Professional Hockey League, a league that features teams with groovy names like the Havoc, Mayhem, Thunderbolts and Rail Yard Dogs. I grew up with minor league hockey in Cincinnati and remain a Cincinnati Cyclones fan to this day but, if I were being honest, the only reason I’m writing this is so I can mention my love for the Canadian comedy TV show, “Letterkenny.” If you know it, you love it. If you don’t, well pitter-patter let’s get at ‘er.

With these Sports Gumbo pieces I’m not going to end with a song and beer but with some positivity because life is too short to get mad or depressed about sports.

So, here’s to the human dynamo that goes by the name Demario Davis. You know him as the wicked linebacker for the New Orleans Saints but a lot of folks know him as a real man of the community. In less than two seasons, Davis bought a wheelchair-accessible van for a family in need, turned getting fined by the NFL for wearing a “Man of God” headband into a charity that has raised over $120,000 for St. Dominic Hospital of Jackson, Mississippi and advocates for better funding for Public Defenders.

Now that’s called making an impact, folks. Have a great week everyone and do your best to help those in need.