Isn’t it funny how someone saying, “we don’t watch TV” is one of the most pretentious sounding statements of all time? I mean not being addicted to TV is a good thing, right? It still just sounds weird. Anyway, I don’t watch TV.
Obviously I watch TV y’all, but aside from being glued to it for a New Orleans Saints game you won’t find me in front of it very much. I made the decision about a decade ago to not miss real life for televised images and it has really made my life better. Then life changed and now I find myself dusting off my old friend more and more.
A few points to make before getting into the nation’s new old favorite sport that is called TV watching. First, let’s not kid ourselves about anyone who says they don’t watch TV that much or that they don’t have cable. Those folks still have their eyes glued to a screen. It’s not a TV. It’s their iPad. Second, the next time we have a pandemic I am going to hit the library hard right before we shut everything down. Did you know you can check out 30 books at a time? That’s a lot of material to work through after you’ve exhausted all of your flour making bread, chalk making sidewalk art and paint making awesome signs.
So, where does that leave us? Everyone is watching TV again and, just like the olden days and times of yore, we’re talking about our favorite stories. Honestly, I think it’s a requirement that you have to start talking about the Netflix series you’re watching to get on Zoom. Feels that way anyway.
When everyone started social distancing 30 years ago the first thing I watched was “28 Days Later,” a magnificent zombie movie. It’s also one of the few instances in cinematic history where part two, “28 Weeks Later,” was arguably better than the initial entry. My homey Darrin says the Korean flick, “Flu,” is great as well but Melanie has drawn the line on watching anymore pandemic-style flicks so I’ll have to watch that one in the wee hours.
I’m also going to watch some sports-related flicks but not sports movies. What I mean is movies like “Boyz In The Hood,” which obviously isn’t a football film per se but the sport, and the possibility of a brighter future, hangs over one of its main characters, Ricky. A much lighter film that has sports as a backdrop is the classic comedy, “Dazed and Confused.” A movie that was mistakenly marketed as a stoner flick when it debuted is actually the perfect high school flick along the lines of, “American Graffiti.” Dazed, set in the ‘70s, follows a bunch of kids on the last day and night of school and features the perfectly named Randall “Pink” Floyd, the school’s junior quarterback, and the freshman pitcher, Mitch. It’s a flick that has hazing and keggers at its core but it’s truly a heartfelt film about community.
If you like sport documentaries then you know about ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, easily the best production the network has ever created. It’s a list of classics at this point, from “King’s Ransom,” which detailed Wayne Gretzky’s shocking trade from the Edmonton Oilers to, “Pony Excess,” which tells the story of the shadiness of college football through the rise, and hard fall, of Southern Methodist University.
It’s a can’t-miss series and the greatest of them all, in my opinion, is, “June 17th, 1994.” This 90-minute masterpiece in editing shows what could only be described as a wild day in sports. The documentary quick cuts through the opening of the World Cup to the finale of Arnold Palmer’s career at the U.S. Open. The New York Rangers’ victory parade flows into the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets battling in the NBA Finals (the year Michael Jordan played baseball). That, in and of itself, would make a cool doc but it was all overshadowed by what the world was really watching — a white Ford bronco on a L.A. highway. It’s a riveting watch.
Looking ahead, the NFL Draft is right around the corner. I assume this will be the most-watched NFL Draft of all time since we’re all stuck inside. It kicks off on Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. Join the rest of the world in watching Joe Burrow begin the long trek to bringing a playoff victory to the Cincinnati Bengals. The New Orleans Saints will pick 24th and look to add in the last puzzle pieces to bringing the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to the Crescent City.
Keep up the good work New Orleans! Stats don’t lie and they show that you’re doing a great job. Let’s keep kicking tail in April so we can all party in the Superdome in September! WHO DAT!
Beer Pairing: I finally had my first Dixie Lager brewed in New Orleans!
Playlist Recommendation: Black Flag – “TV Party”
Around the Way
I want to give a shout out to the New Orleans Public Library system. They do a ton with a little and are an amazing resource for the city. Even though it’s shut down like everything else I wanted you to know that it’s still open, just in a virtual way.
If you have a library card you can borrow almost any book from their Overdrive app. A sweet bonus to Overdrive is if they don’t have a book you can request it and they might be able to get it. I requested, “The Cajuns: Americanization Of A People,” by Shane K. Bernard and a few weeks later, bam, they let me know they had it.
The library also offers Hoopla, which I use religiously to read every comic book known to man. You should…check it out! Library pun!