Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hurricane Les

First, thanks to Straight Bangin' for the shout out.

No I didn't write this, but I nearly feel out of my non-leather chair at work laughing, and crying.

Hurricane Les continues to strengthen over the LSU campus. This is an extremely dangerous storm. As of 10 amcdt Les has strengthened to a Category 5 and his winds are affecting almost every part of the state. The storm is stationary at this time but is expected to make a northeast turn Saturday morning. Although the storm will be centered over the Starkville the damage will likely be done to Baton Rouge. This hurricane has already destroyed most of what has been built in the last 5 years and horrified 90,000+ that were trapped in Tiger Stadium as the storm strengthened.
To make maters worse Hurricane Les is accompanied by Tropical Storm Bo. The future path of these storms is uncertain at this time. It appears they will continue to cause widespread damage to southern Louisiana. Without a steering current and the fact that neither one of these storms have a clue they could cause widespread destruction for the next 9 weeks. The longterm forecast has the hurricane centered over Nashville in 2 weeks before looping back to Baton Rouge. There is no high in site to get rid of these lows.A tropical depression has also appeared over the LSU campus.......If it becomes a storm the name will be Skip.

Public Enemy and Hurricane Katrina

I need to write more, but work has been wild lately, LSU is down (but hopefully not out), and my email buddy from NYC has been taking up the rest of work BS time.

Check out Public Enemy’s new song about Hurricane Katrina (click on the album cover):

This is what I’m talking about, Public Enemy, back with a vengeance. About time they came out with something new, I like the song. Of course I’ve always been a Public Enemy fan, even at their wildest. Will this song change anything, probably not, but it needs to be said, and who better to say it than Chuck D, the voice of conviction.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Tennesse 30 - LSU 27

I feel for the fans mostly, but I throw the players in there too. They are the ones who are on the field battling for 60 minutes, although in this case more like 30. But mostly for the fans. Fans that have craved a home football game in Death Valley for weeks now. Fans that lifted there heads from wreckage left by the storms hoping to have their spirits lifted for at least a short time. And they did I guess. For a half, 30 game minutes, about 2 hours real-time, they were on top of the world. Then reality set in. The final 30 minutes were played and people went back home to their dishoveled lifes heartbroken, angry and disappointed. Will victory come again? Yeah, probably next week in Mississippi. But this one will linger. I hope it lingers as a reminder: To the team, you don't want to feel like this again. To the fans, make sure your priorities are straight. There are too many ups and downs in things you cannot control. Make sure your life is good and the pain will only linger for a short while. Until you get something to eat and prepare for bed. Until you watch two episodes of Alias to get over the pain (that's what I did). Until you talk yourself dry until the next game. Disappointment may draw near, but victory will come again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Black Head Coaches

I need to write about more than football, I will at some point, but…

Monday I wrote this in regards to UCLA, “Plus I also rooted for UCLA because their coach is a brother”. Currently there are three black head coaches in Division I football. Over half of the players are black. I could give you all the grisly details, but if you have the time read this: Black Coaches Association Hiring Report Card.

I’m fairly certain I’m not the first to say this, probably someone has written some fancy graduate thesis on it, but in my own words I’ll call it the “Jesse Jackson/Marion Berry Corollary”. I think to some degree black folks have the utmost respect for any black person who can succeed in any venue traditionally limited to white folks, especially when qualified blacks get passed over and over again for the same position (note: I would put OJ in there, I mean he did get away with killing white folks, but nah, most black folks think he is a quack). If you examine the numbers, or just look on the sidelines this Saturday, head football coach of a major D1 program or NFL head coach is basically limited to white folks. So according to the corollary, yes, I’m gonna cheer for any brother who is a head coach and is doing a good job with his team. Now I won’t go as far as to condone cheating, running a program with academic problems, or a lack of discipline, i.e. the 1980’s thug units of Oklahoma and Miami. Throwing in a LSU reference, the main thing I like about Saban was that his players stayed out of trouble and performed in the classroom. Winning helps, but off the field matters just as much in my opinion. (PS. If any of my tailgate buddies read that last sentence, no I haven’t lost my mind).

On the positive I guess progress is being made on some fronts, I remember back in the day when Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, and Doug Williams were the only brothers throwing the rock. Just off the top of my head there have to be at least 10 starting black QB’s in the NFL. It used to be said that blacks didn’t have the mental aptitude or leadership abilities to manage the game from the QB position. Well obviously that has been proven wrong. Maybe I’m just impatient but I’m getting a little tired of waiting to see some more Black head coaches on the sideline.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Addendum to Monday Football Musings - 9/19

Song – Don’t Take It Personal - Monica

“Just one of those days, that a team goes thru…..”, yep thats about it. I really don’t want to discuss the game; basically the Saints just didn’t play well. It happens in the NFL at times. And considering the circumstances the Saints are playing under it will probably happen again this year. However I was getting tired of the NFL shenanigans about this being a Saints home game, who cares if you painted the field or had N.O. musicians play before the game or even if the crowd cheered for the Saints when they came out, it was still a NFL road game for the Saints. Aaron Brooks said it best I think,

“People are making [decisions] and we don't have no say so. We didn't want to come out here. Don't get me wrong. They beat our [butts]. But who the hell in our organization would agree to a home game in New York?....I hope they raised enough money for the city and the evacuees. But don't patronize us though, try to make us feel good. Don't do that. That's all it was about. It was a bigger stage than the Super Bowl damn near. We start that game, 60,000 people rooting for the Giants. Don't get it twisted."

Good stuff Aaron, I’m even gonna let those 3 interceptions and that horrible fumble slide, at least for this week.

Also, the Sunday Night ESPN crew that worked the game is horrible. We’ve all known this for years but I just wanted to state the fact again. Actually there is one exception, I think Suzy Kolber is pretty good and she’s really cute, just ask Joe Nameth.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Monday Football Musings - 9/19

I was debating whether to wait until Tuesday, but I’ll go for it anyway.

Saints – playing a home game tonight against the New York Football Giants. I’m picking the Saints, because, well I always do.

LSU - off this past week, big home game against the U of Tennessee this week. Should be fun, can’t wait to tailgate. ESPN College Gameday is coming, hopefully this new storm, Rita won’t head this way. I hate to sound selfish and insensitive to those caught in Katrina’s vast matrix of destruction, but I need some LSU football in Tiger Stadium, ASAP.

Southern(game recap) I was going to attend this game, but the combo of having to work all day Saturday and shady weather kept me from making it across town to the yard to catch the game. Besides, they were playing Prairie View, they have not beaten SU in about 30 years, well actually they haven’t beaten a lot of people in a long time. But they are getting better, so they say. Anyway the score was 3-0 at halftime. Now SU did finally win 38-0 and I’m happy they won but I do have 3 concerns: 1) At home you generally should be able to drop more than 3 points in one half on a school like Prairie View, 2) only running for 51 yards on PV isn’t very good, combined with 30 yards last week and the running game has to get better, and 3) Apparently Grambling just got facebook, my cousin out there sent me a message…so when is Southern gonna get hooked up with facebook, ok so its not related to Southern football but I just felt like putting it here. On the good side, sophomore QB J.C. Lewis had a good game.
song: because I've been working my butt off today and I'm freakin tired, same song from last week, come on Jags, "Let's Straighten It Out"

Random Football Notes:
I watched about half of the Florida St.Boston College game. BC showed out well in their first ACC game, I’ll attribute the loss to “growing pains”. This week is gonna be hectic but I may write more about it later. BC right now reminds me a little of LSU’s 1996 and 1997 teams under Dinardo and the 2000 team under Saban.

I don’t like USC, but dayymmee, they put it down on the Razorbacks, dropped 70 on ‘em. 28-0 like three minutes into the game, that’s nasty.

I checked out a little OU-UCLA. OU’s gonna struggle this year. I know he caught a lotta hell for bad championship game performances vs. LSU and USC in consecutive years, but I bet most OU fans would love to have no-knees Jason White back. As far as UCLA, beat USC this year and I’m on the boat. Plus I also rooted for UCLA because their coach is a brother. Is that good or bad? I need to write more on this at some point.

Didn’t get to watch much NFL this week, but gonna try to catch both games tonight.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

AstroWorld, I'll Miss You

"Now after 37 years, the landmark Six Flags AstroWorld theme park will close at the end of this season, the victim of rising land values that overshadow its worth as an entertainment venue."
rest of article

Most folks will yawn at this, but AstroWorld/WaterWorld in Houston is closing this year. Other than a horrifying experience as a 5 year old on Space Mountain in Disneyland (I had to use the bathroom and I was told to get to all of the restrooms you had to get on the ride), AstroWorld is where I really started to love riding roller coasters. I admit it was a little run down, but it was still fun. We would normally go on a weekday when it wasn’t crowded, on days like that the longest line was only about 15 minutes, some coasters you could ride over and over again with basically no wait. I could probably navigate the park with my eyes closed if needed. I would say Greased Lightning (sp) and the Texas Cyclone were my two favorite old coasters; I was also partial to the Batman coaster. Growing up I probably made at least one trip there each summer. When I was a little kid I also liked Looney Toons Land. We would normally stay in the Marriot, now Sheraton across the street, then catch the shuttle to the park. Going to Houston, AstroWorld and maybe WaterWorld, then if the Astros were in town catching a baseball game in the Astrodome was pretty much a summer ritual. I’ll miss that old park right off I-610. Maybe there will be a silver lining in this, if the New Orleans Six Flags ever reopens maybe they could move some of the AstroWorld rides there.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Monday Football Musings

I’m gonna try and start doing this each Monday, write a little bit about each of the three football teams I constantly follow and maybe a few other random bits. At the end I’ll put a song that I think about when writing for each team. I my even name this piece of writing if I can think of something snappy.

LSU – first off, I hate watching games like this, they seem to take years off your life. That being said, it was a great win. Now a lot of LSU fans were upset about the game, but I look at it this way, less than a week before the game LSU found out they had to travel 1400 miles for a home game, then they were playing a top 15 team (which I think Arizona St. proved they are) basically on the road, who was actually the favorite. I don’t have the time to look it up but I would imagine when higher ranked teams (LSU was #5) who are underdogs according the line play top 15 teams on the road, the higher ranked team normally loses. Adding into the mix this was LSU’s first game of the season, it was a great win. Yeah the defense got lit up, but I prefer to focus on the positives, really good special teams play, great effort throughout and a really good game by the young QB, Russell.
Song: I Won’t Complain – Rev. Paul Jones

Southern – Almost similar situation to LSU, SU was the better team, but they were playing on the road after their opener was postponed. SU played Mississippi Valley State U., in Itty Bitty, Mississippi, well actually in Itta Bena, Mississippi, but Itta Bena, Mississippi is a very Itty Bitty city in Mississippi, so I call Itta Bena, Mississippi, Itty Bitty, Mississippi. (try saying that sentence 5 times fast). Now I didn’t see the game (ESPN generally doesn’t generally jump to cover black college football) and I missed the replay. I did catch about a quarter on the radio. And like LSU, this was a close game, but the Jags came up short in the end. MVSU’s QB is as Miss St. transfer, very talented, and he had an amazing game. That was the difference; SU couldn’t stop him when it mattered. PS. I’m sure Southern’s band, the “Human Jukebox” showed up, they always bring it.
Song: Let’s Straighten It Out – Kenny Latimore although I think BB King broke it out first

Saints – yep, they did da thang on Sunday. Not only did they win, but they looked going doing it. Deuce ran hard, Aaron was very consistent and he made plays when had too. That’s all I ask, play hard, and make plays when you can. I don’t want to get too high on them yet, I’ve been through this drill before, but they beat a good team (Carolina) on the road. Much love to the Saints. Just keep it up fellas.
Song: They All Ask For You - Meters

Random Thoughts:
-Good job Miami and Nick Saban, although we miss you in the Purple and Gold.
-Texas played a good game in beating Ohio State, but you gotta beat Oklahoma before I get excited.
-Speaking of Ohio State, Big 10 is not looking very good, the 3 best teams in the conference all get beat, all basically playing at home, not good.
-Tamara, your Browns are gonna be ok, just give’em some time. I promise.
-UMichigan, great performance against Notre Dame, keep this up I'm and I 'm gonna jump off the 20 year Maize and Blue bandwagon I've been on.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Letting It Out

I will preface this post by saying I truly have nothing to complain about compared to many of my South Louisiana brethren without shelter, food, employment, or loved ones. But I must say this storm has profoundly affected my life. I normally don’t write all personal like this, it makes me feel too self-conscious. But here I go, just me, no humor (not that there ever is much anyway):

- I’ve felt like breaking down and crying a number of times the past week, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, I feel for those displaced and I love the city of New Orleans, at times it feels like I’ve lost a family member…
- I had to stop watching most of the news stories about New Orleans. I still keep up in the paper and online, but the images started to affect me too much…
- Volunteering at an evacuee shelter is a great idea and very appreciated by those in need, on other hand it is a gut-wrenching scene that stays with you……
- On the same note its weird watching people who have been culturally sheltered deal with trying to help those who are in need, but at least they try…
- With the BR population exploding in the past week I now have to get up earlier to deal with traffic, its insane, I feel like I’m in Houston or ATL all of a sudden…
- Work has been good and bad. With all of the relocated people here we will have a lot of new business; in turn I have worked everyday since last Tuesday and some days 10, 11, and 12 hours. I generally like my job but I’ve been here too much…
- I’m still trying to get by the gym when I can and I’ve managed to play tennis a few times the past week, but I seem to wake up always feeling tired and moopish…
- My most recent romantic adventure has ended, it was a very amicable split, but it leaves me wondering if I’m capable of dating any women for more than a few weeks…
- The main way I know things are different is that I’m not into football season yet. I live for this time of year (see here), but I just can’t get into it so far. It doesn’t help that LSU has not played yet and doesn’t have a home game until maybe September 24th (well technically this weekend is a home game, just 1400 miles from campus) . On top of that I can’t even tell you who made the Saints final roster. Maybe it just takes time, I’m sure I’ll get back on the boat soon…
- And last, I’m making it ok, God is good, I have a great life and some awesome friends – you know who you are

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Report From New Orleans

I received this email from my friend Stacy, who is a LSU Medical School graduate and is in residency in New Orleans. Quite an amazing report, great job Stacey.

hey all.
very exhausted this afternoon after my first good sleep in 6 days.
i had the privilege of taking care of my patients at university hospital during the hurricane and that was truly an unforgettable experience. after 4 days without A/C and 3 days without running water, I can gladly say it is good to be home.

we delivered babies by flashlight and sat around watching the helicopters pass us by as we comforted new moms and held newborn babies to keep them warm.

supplies got low, antibiotics ran out, but somehow we finally got everyone out on Friday. The most scary experience I have ever been through...thankful to be alive.

University and Charity Hospitals are a island in the middle of a sewer about 9 feet high. The campus is just was an unbelievable site to see as I was carried out by airboat on friday.

will keep all of you posted. please stay in touch and keep everyone who lost homes and lives in your prayers. John and I's house survived and we are very thankful. we look forward to seeing any of your faces in the coming weeks as the relief effort in BR and surrounding areas will be a tough one.

miss all of you-

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Keeping Things In Perspective

Good Afternoon, I feel ok today. Not great, but ok is more than good enough considering the circumstances. First, if anyone around the BR reads this, go to LSU to volunteer at the shelters. From what we are hearing they can use all the help they can get.

Now, I was in a horribly foul mood yesterday. I rarely, rarely ever get this way. But the circumstances were just too much. The disaster scene in New Orleans, working 11 and 12 hours days only taking trouble calls, not having electrical power at home, worrying about friends, it just can pile up. And I was extremely aggravated, I would actually say pissed about the news coverage of events in New Orleans. I know a lot of people are still in the city and there is some crime and looting going on, but those people are only a small minority of the people left in the city. Most are just trying to do whatever they need to do to survive. But the media is scaring people with the images they constantly show. And this suggestion some people chose not to leave so they could loot afterwards, yeah there may have been a few, but most who stayed did so because they had no means of transportation to leave, or they had nowhere to go. There are some serious social and economical paradigms that have been at work over the past 50 years in New Orleans that have to be considered in this situation. Basically what I am saying is most of the people still there are law- abiding citizens, they are just scared and upset because they are trapped. We need to understand this. Now I am in not way justifying shooting at cops or even looting, but these people are trying to stay alive. What would you do in the same situation? Nuff ranting for now.

By the time yesterday afternoon rolled around after 10 hours of work I was worn out. I have two friends I generally email at least once and day and another I exchange IM’s with, but I didn’t even feel like writing these individuals, I was in such a negative mood. About 5:30, I get a call from one of our customers from New Orleans, a woman from Ohio who worked conventions in the city. Apparently the only possessions she was able to bring with her were a purse and cell phone that didn’t work. She was staying with some friends in Baton Rouge who were still out of power and she had not been able to contact her family. I could tell she was about to breakdown, technically I shouldn’t have done this, but I got with my boss, used some top secret stuff :) to find her aunt’s phone number in Ohio. I then called her aunt in Ohio, then put them in a conference call and let them talk. It was the first time that she had any contact with her family since the hurricane. I’m generally not an emotional dude, but they were crying and I started to tear up at first. I didn’t stay in the conference to listen, that may have opened the gates. I know it was only one small thing, but after than all my negativity just washed away. The smile was back. And about 10 minutes later I found out my power was back on. Its amazing how one event can turn a crappy day around. The rest of my evening was much better, went to the gym, worked out for bit, then got on the bike and checked out this one girl with the most amazing legs and another girl that is a promo model for Budweiser (I’m a guy, I should have this liberty every so often, and I know both of them so that helps). Then I went and played tennis with a friend. Lastly went home, with power and AC finally. I’m blessed, still mad about some things and still saddened about the hurricane, but still blessed. Oh, pretty much all of my friends from the N.O. area are safe as are most of their families. I’ll say it one last time, I’m blessed.