Questions for the Big Easy sports scene
Summer is getting hotter and hotter and if the city would ever do us the favor of not having to worry about streets flooding we could kick back, relax and think about what’s going in our local sports scene.
Here are just a few sports-related questions on my mind about New Orleans.
What if Drew Brees has three more years left in his cannon?
You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. The story first crept up a three seasons ago and went away when the Saints started winning again but has now regained its popularity — does Drew Brees still have it?
I’m not going that route, I’m going the opposite away. Drew Brees will be fine this year and could go another two. Here’s an argument for at least two. This season you don’t even have to worry about. Yes, some national pundits like to point to how the offense slowed down towards the end of last year but that had nothing to do with arm strength. Remember how at the beginning of the season the worry was that the Saints didn’t have a number two receiver? That was a fact and remained a fact throughout the entire season. Yet, everyone stopped talking about it as the Saints offense burnt a hole through the first half of the season. But, if you give NFL defensive coordinators enough material to watch they will find a way to slow you down. Which is exactly what happened.
That’s why it’s critical to have a 100% healthy Ted Ginn Jr. That’s why it’s critical for Cameron Meredith to step up and play to expectations and Tre’Quan Smith and Keith Kirkwood to improve in their second year. Look, Michael Thomas is gonna Michael Thomas but it’s imperative to have another go-to when the chips are down.
What if we packed the house at Yulman Stadium?
Quiz – where is Yulman Stadium? Ridiculous question for most but I guarantee some of you all have no idea because no one has been showing up to support the Tulane Green Wave football program under Coach Willie Fritz.
I get it; you like the team but are tired of watching loss after loss, right? Well lucky for you this is not your father’s Green Wave. This Tulane club is coming off their first winning season since 2013 and a Cure Bowl victory, their first bowl victory since 2002. Did you know that?
Point being is that this is a team on the move. Recently picked to finish third in the AAC West the club is getting respect, is solid on defense and if this squad can ever get an effective passing game going then things get really interesting.
That’s where you come in. Get to Yulman Stadium! There are only 30,000 seats meaning there’s not a bad seat in the house. A packed house and rabid crowd can change close losses to wins. Just imagine, the 2-1 Green Wave hosting the 2-1 Houston Cougars in front of a giant wave of Green. Make this happen.
Tulane kicks off the season at Yulman Stadium on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. against Florida International. Go buy your tickets!
What if the Pelicans get really good, really quick?
You probably know that I’m not much of an NBA fan but boy does this team have some buzz. Obviously, when you have the latest and greatest player, Zion Williamson, on the club hope can spring eternal but New Orleans just watched the last “greatest” player, Mr. That’s All Folks, do a lot of nothing in his tenure here.
However, the reason for the buzz isn’t just Mr. Williamson, it’s all of the new blood starting with Executive V.P. of Basketball Operations, David Griffin. When Griffin was hired, the league noticed and it didn’t take long for him to make waves, getting a solid return for trading Mr. That’s All Folks to the L.A. Lakers.
If Zion comes on and has a good rookie season this club is already improved over last year’s club. The Pelicans will have Jrue Holiday running the show with a cast of new faces. You have to think the former Laker contingent (Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball) have to be happy getting out from underneath the thumb of Lebron James, who threw them right under the bus during the season last year.
Mix in veterans J.J. Reddick and Derrick Favors and don’t forget Jahlil Okafor and it’s easy to see why positivity abounds in the Crescent City. It should be a fun ride.
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Around the Way
What if the University of New Orleans Privateers still had a football team? My god that would be awesome but the last time UNO stepped on the gridiron was 2011 and there is no sign of them returning. I love the Southland Conference and it would be awesome to watch UNO lining up against Nichols State with the conference title on the line. Alas!