"…and not for five minutes will I be distracted from the wonder…"

A Fan’s Notes

Deeper South,The Wonder — d-ashes on November 9, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Sweet Jeebus, has it really been a month since the my last post? My football season is truly a universe unto itself, friends, wherein time isn’t measured in days but in those long empty spaces between pre-game tailgates.

In the last month we’ve seen LSU go 2-1 and the Saints post a balancing 4-0 record against their 0-4 start. And a side note on LSU’s loss at Kentucky: Dr. K and I were in New Orleans for Rocky’s wedding and I had to tear myself away from the hotel television at the end of regulation. However, that had me walking into Mater Dolorosa on South Carrollton as the 2nd overtime started, so I appealed to the highest power you can appeal to when it comes to Southeast Louisiana football. Just sayin’, I feel comfortable that I did all I personally could as a fan.

This last weekend saw about the best weekend of Louisiana football I’ve ever known. I went down to watch the LSU/Alabama game with Baconfat down in New Orleans. Baconfat is a pretty big Alabama fan, to the point that he burned his Tide shirt after we ruined their chances of playing for a national championship 2 years ago in Tuscaloosa. This time the situation was reversed almost exactly. With the pomp and vitriol of Saban-Bowl added to the mix it suffices to say there was some contentious near-violence as the Tigers and the Tide traded blows. Gorjus, on the other hand, is much more of a gentleman fanatic for his beloved Bama and we agreed via text message, before the 3rd quarter was even over, that we were witnessing a game for the ages. Apparently this is the only type that LSU seems content to play against SEC opponents considering how Florida, Kentucky, Auburn and then Alabama went down.

So Chad Jones makes a play to arrive on the national stage and Jacob Hester seals the Tide’s fate (and HOLY SHIT, is Jacob Hester a baller or what? For all the plays that guy has made this year, running down that Bama defender one-on-one to save a touchdown on an interception has to be one of the most impressive). I’ve adamantly maintained to those still in attendance that after almost 5 hours of coronary inducing football and in preparation for the next day’s Saint’s game in the Dome, there’s no New Orleans night-life for me…

About 20 minutes later and I’m at St. Joe’s on my first mojito, watching Florida State and Boston College battle it out. Because their colors are so close I twice get dirty looks from the 250+ pound women next to me at the bar when I erroneously cheer a Boston College play. By my second mojito, though, I’ve got my uniforms straight and by my third, FSU has prevailed. Some 7 hours after LSU’s kickoff we’re a shoe-in for the #2 spot in the BCS. All is right with the world for a few hours, but the weekend’s football is only halfway done…

This is my first noon Saint’s game where I haven’t had to make the drive over from Baton Rouge the same morning. I’m up at 8 am, somehow unaffected from the previous days 5 hours of beer drinking and 3 mojito post-game celebration. I have enough time to grab a latte and a muffin over at Rue de la Course on Magazine, where a 2-3 year old in a Saints jersey tries to tackle me while I’m using the ATM. His dad corrals him and apologizes, to which I laugh and ask the little guy if he’s ready to get Reggie 100+ all purpose yards today. His dad answers for him. “Hell yes!” Nine am and I’m at the UG tail-gating spot under Claiborne Avenue. It’s the earliest I’ve ever arrived and only 4 other people have beat me. Breakfast is cold beer and sausage biscuits fresh off the grill on a bluebird morning in sleepy Sunday New Orleans.

Within the hour the scene is not so sleepy. The Underpass Gang and the supporting cast are in full swing while the rest of New Orleans wakes itself up for game day. This is a contest to be excited and nervous about. It’s about as even a match up as we’ve had all year. Jacksonville’s rushing offense plays right into our run-stopping defense. We really, really need to be at .500 halfway through the season if the post-season is even going to be a distant possibility.

And boy do the Saints deliver. While tied at the half at 17 we’d only give up one more touchdown and cruise to a 41-24 win with the Dome rocking and section 652 in fine spirits.The last 2 minutes of the game were pretty much just spent dancing to the Dixieland pumped in over the speakers. And with that, the perfect weekend of Louisiana football is in the books, and all that awaits is a sun-splashed drive back to Baton Rouge, reveling in two big wins by my two favorite football teams.

Somewhere in all that football there’s room for news of much more import and/or interest. My brother-in-law, Brandon Jones, survived a few days of lead switches to eventually win the District 111 seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives by all of 11 votes. I did his web site for him and as small as that contribution is, I consider it an accomplishment to help elect a Democrat to state office in Mississippi. I trust he will serve the Mississippi Gulf Coast well at a time when strong leaders are needed over there.

Also, over at PrettyFakes, Gorjus and Professor Fury have landed author and Mississippi native Jack Butler as a regular contributor. Jack quickly made a splash with his anagram game and you can check out some witty, hilarious entries here and here.

With that, I’ll bid adieu. My parents and Buster should be rolling into town in just a bit for LSU’s homecoming game tomorrow against Louisiana Tech. Please, please, please let this game conclude without a significant cardiac event. Sunday finds me in the Dome, ready to do it all again, as the Saints host the Rams, a team that, at 0-8, makes you wonder if they are equally as dangerous as a team that’s 8-0.

Post title stolen from Fred Exley‘s autobiographical novel and one of my all-time favorites, A Fan’s Notes.

1 Comment »

  1. Cud’n Ashes, that was indeed a game to remember. It’s seared on my brain . . . and I don’t regret it. Do I wish Bama would have won? Absolutely, but it’s just not time yet. And Jacob Hester is AWESOME. He just flat-out is.

    Great to see you last night at the Chimes!

    Comment by gorjus — November 12, 2007 @ 1:19 pm

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