BIG FUN ON THE 54-BAYOU
The plan had been to arrive in New Orleans on Thursday night, but since cousin Isidore decided to make an unscheduled visit, I moved our flight to Friday morning to avoid the Hurricane like every other good little weather nerd glued to his computer last week. Hey, I freely admit it, I folded under the pressure of 90 mph winds, torrential rains and the fear of drowning something other than my liver on Bourbon Street. But what the hell, I figured one less night in the French Quarter wouldn't kill me - although one more probably would.
Southwest Flight #121 took off on time at 6:20AM Friday morning to the chants of "Isidore, is no more" and it wasn't long after that that we reached Louisiana air space and the captain came on and said "you are now free to start drinking." Well, that's what I heard anyway and when the flight attendant called for coffee or OJ, I anted up, laying down 3 of a kind drink coupons, and said "beer me." Oh there's just nothing quite like downing a cold one before 7am much to the horror and astonishment of all the passengers around you.
Dr. Cooke, Maggie's dad, was kind enough (or crazy enough) to allow eight of us (marginally mature adults at best) to stay in his historic home in the Garden District. I've been to New Orleans several times, but I've always stayed in a hotel. And while any trip to NOLA is a trip worth taking, after staying with the locals, I've got to admit the experience was just that much better. Just being in that environment, you start to understand why they call it the Big Easy. Away from the noise and excitement of Bourbon street and other tourist hot spots, the people and the pace of life are much more laid back. They really seem to care more about the time they spend rather than the money.
But around 2pm it was time to be tourists again. All that culture crap was starting to sober us up (not an easy thing to do in New Orleans). And since no trip to NOLA is complete without a visit to Pat O's, we hopped on the St. Charles street trolley and off we went to the French Quarter. The trolley takes you all the way to the corner of Canal and Bourbon and it's only a $1.25, cheapest thrill you can buy. What about those plastic beads? Okay almost the cheapest. Anyway, once we got to Pat O's we located a table out in the courtyard where we plopped down in our chairs a little worn out from the trip. Only one thing to do to get this party started, round of Hurricanes and I'm not talkin' about Isidore. These things are 24 ounces of pure hell. I'm still not sure what's in them but if you can imagine Mr. Kool-Aid getting a Bacardi 151 enema, you're not too far off. All I know is every time I drink them, when I wake up the next morning, my teeth are fuzzy and my ass hurts. But lets not go there. We'll let the therapist handle that disturbing thought.
After Pat O's it was time for raw oysters and shrimp Po-Boys and the best place to get those is ACME Oyster bar. It's only a block off Bourbon and though there is usually a line, it's worth the wait. They shuck those oysters right at the bar. And if you're looking for a little extra fire power, take a raw one and put it between some crackers with a little horse radish and tabasco. For the old dudes, it's like Viagra in half the time, but I wouldn't know about that. At any rate, after scarfing down six of those bad boys, I was so fired up I ran outside and started leading TEXAS-FIGHT with the people waiting in line. Oh no you say. Oh yes, unfortunately by that time, I was "that guy".
Saturday morning came awfully fast, which was understandable considering the last thing I remember from Friday night was asking the cab driver to take me to a witch doctor so I could put a hex on Bob Stoops. Not so much I guess. Oh well, at least I didn't get face down in a bowl of Popeye's red beans like I usually do. Believe me, that's not good for anyone. And speaking of good, the one healthy thing I did the whole weekend was go jogging. The trolley tracks on St. Charles are great for that. And since the trolleys move about as fast as they did 100 years ago, you can run right on the tracks. But since my reflexes weren't exactly lightning quick and I didn't feel like reenacting any scenes from "Stand by me", I opted to get off the tracks and head into Audubon Park. It's a nice place, mainly for bird watchers but it's got a two-mile track around it and joggers are tolerated. Although, by the looks I was getting from those Brown Pelican pushers, I'm sure they would have preferred my hung-over ass be put on the endangered list. Lets just say you didn't need binoculars to tell that my sweat alone was at least 40-proof and if I had come much closer they probably would have had to tattoo a liquor license on my ass. Regardless, I enjoyed it. And after a shower and a little quality time with the gold bond, I was ready to go to....
Attendance in the Superdome was estimated at 45,000 and of that total, I think 14 were Tulane fans. There were so many Longhorn fans in the stands they actually considered changing Tulane's mascot to the Orange Wave. Okay, not really, but it was ridiculous. Needless to say, it felt like DKR with a roof. Unfortunately, Texas still played like it was on the road playing timid for most of the first half. Again, I just think the Horns aren't being pushed and it wasn't until back-ups like Selvin Young got in the game, that things began to get interesting. Thanks to Selvin, an embarrassing 14-0 half-time lead turned into 49 nothin' romp in the second half. I'm a big Cedric Benson fan, but this Young kid seems to hit the holes faster and brings a lot of pure excitement to the game. Pretty much one play summed up Tulane's day - on a 3rd in long from deep in Texas territory, Simms threw deep and had his pass picked off. However, the Tulane player who intercepted the ball promptly fumbled it to the turf where it was recovered by a Longhorn giving Texas a net gain of about 40 yards. I guess it's true what they say, you can't win for losing. What ever the hell that means. Anyway, I'm so bored with this game I can't wait to get to the....
Finally, it's time to start conference play. Every two-bit hack sports writer is just itching to write an article stipulating that all of Texas' shortcomings are due to the fact that they don't play any non conference marquee match ups. Unfortunately, Oklahoma State is going to do little in the way of diverting their attention elsewhere. However, OSU did show some promise last year in beating OU in what can only be described as the shocker of the season. But that watershed win quickly dried up with an opening loss this season to La-Tech. But Josh Fields isn't a bad quarterback and OSU has proven they can put points on the board. Then again who couldn't against the likes of N. Iowa and SMU? And seeing how OSU has been prone to giving up more turnovers than Betty Crocker and Fields is a drop back quarterback, rather than a scrambler, I'm not seeing OSU as a real big challenge and that 24-1/2 point spread is probably well deserved, especially when they're on the road. But don't take my word for it, let's here from the....
The boys from Stillwater, still suck (Texas 52, OSU 17)
TAILGATE UPDATE w/NAD E. LITE
Saturday morning (mmm, Smurfette), the guys will be down at the tailgate by 8am ("wake me up before you go-go") serving up Bloody Marys (part of this balanced breakfast), Tequila Sunrises (umbrella sold separately) and Screwdrivers (pulp ediction). There will also be breakfast tacos (you want cheese mijo?) and if you want beer (kegs with your eggs), you better bring it (have beer will travel). The game starts at 11:30am (O-S-who), so get there early (get the worm). Same place as usual ("in a van down by the river") and as always, donations are appreciated (dead presidents).
QUOTE OF THE WEEK"Don't be that guy." - everyone I came in contact with last weekend