It has been three months since the Hard Rock Hotel collapsed on Canal Street, killing three workers and injuring dozens of others. Since that time, lawsuits have been filed, but very little has been done to demolish the partially collapsed building. After the collapse, an effort to demolish two large cranes on the building site only partially succeeded as one crane is still dangling from the side of the building. To make matters worse, the bodies of two dead construction workers remain in the building.
As you know by now, the Saints will host the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in a game that will break the tie for the NFC’s top seed. Both teams are 10-2 after the Niners lost at Baltimore and the Saints avenged an earlier loss by defeating the Falcons Thanksgiving night. Beating the Falcons anytime, especially after that Week 10 upset, is sweet, but I was looking ahead to this week for a special reason. I hate the 49ers.
For months, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other city leaders have been boasting about the reduction in murders this year. It looks like 2019 will end with a significant decrease in the murder rate. This is great news and should be celebrated by all citizens in New Orleans.
Despite this progress, there are serious concerns which remain about crime in New Orleans. Auto burglaries are on the increase all over New Orleans. Sadly, on Sunday morning, at the end of the Bayou Classic weekend, there was a mass shooting on Canal Street. In this case, 10 people were shot and, thankfully, none were killed.
It's time to talk Turkey.
With Thanksgiving now roughly ten days away, it is almost winter holiday-time when we spend quality moments with our friends, relatives and loved-ones. And to prepare everyone with the right spirit, on Thursday November 21, we're serving up some of the most recognized political-turkey-talk with punch.
I had a great idea a few weeks ago, right after Drew Brees cracked his thumb on a Ram horn and was staring at a 6- to 8-week rehab. The scenario went this way: We knew Teddy Bridgewater would replace Brees during a very difficult stretch of the schedule. After all, the local heroes had fallen a game behind the Rams and then had to travel to Seattle where the Seahawks almost never lose to good teams. Then the Cowboys would come to town spitting vinegar that this is – finally – their year. Tampa Bay was up next and was scoring more points than Wilt Chamberlain’s Warriors, then the Saints hit the road again for games at Jacksonville and Chicago where the Bears were another 2018 playoff team.
If Teddy Bridgewater has achieved anything this season, he has added another feather in Coach Sean Payton’s genius bonnet. If Payton had not pushed the re-signing of the free agent quarterback after last season, the Saints might not be at 5-1 today and a favorite to make the Super Bowl. Of course, with Pope Francis inadvertently expressing his blessing on the Saints this week, Who Dat Nation is trying to enlist the Pontiff to use his spiritual influence to speed up Drew Brees’ recovery and send Bridgewater back to the bench.
A remarkable thing occurred this past weekend that should have raised the eyebrows of any fan who has questioned the skill, the intentions and probably the heritage of NFL game officials. On Saturday, the NFL and the NFL Referees Association reached agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement that goes through the 2025 season. The current deal was set to expire next May. No information was given on improved methods of training or rules reviews or even the hands-off conversation of full-time officials. Nothing other than the subliminal news that the quality of officiating you have been seeing is the same quality of officiating that you will be seeing forthwith.
Refs try to rub it in, but this time Saints prevail
The first week of the NFL season has come and gone, and not much has changed. The Browns are still terrible, the Patriots are still dominating, we still have whack-jobs by the basketful, and game officials still shoot themselves in the foot, as we saw on Monday Night Football.
It seems that Lusher High School in New Orleans has a celebrity teacher this year, former Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He will be teaching an Advanced Placement American Government course to a select group of students.
Not surprisingly, his emphasis will be on local government, which makes sense since Landrieu was Mayor of New Orleans for eight years. While it might be interesting to hear from Landrieu’s liberal perspective, will the high school be offering an alternative ideological viewpoint? Will there be balance in the classroom?
How much longer can Drew Brees defy the age line?
I am writing this missive while sitting on a heating pad. I was lacing up my golf shoes this morning when I felt a twinge in my left side along the belt line. It wasn’t bad but it was annoying, especially since I had already completed my stretching followed by my three-mile Old Fartlek run-walk-run, all without incident.
Last week, a reporter for a local television station called, asking my reaction to the Saints’ $100 million, five-year extension for WR Michael Thomas. Of course, he didn’t get me the first time he called - I was on the golf course and the phone was muffled - so he left a message. That gave me some time to think about it, so after I finished playing I went home to prepare before I called him back.
After roughly 18 years of playing in some of the finest venues in the city, Politics with a Punch is taking it to the burbs and going Italian.
“Punch”, as we love to call our political comedy show where just about everything goes, is leaving the Eiffel Society in New Orleans and taking its troupe of the top local newsmakers, celebrities, media stars, comedians and politicians (no, the latter two are not necessarily synonymous.
Our new home is Andrea's in Metairie, and our next show is this Thursday August 1. Doors open at 6 pm, show begins at 8pm..
You might say the writing is on the wall or in this case, exterior fence. Free expression primes the New Orleans code enforcement. At least for now.
A federal court just found in favor of a homeowner-artist, who like just about everybody on this globe, has had a few things to say about the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, whether it be positive or negative or both. Few, however, take it out on their own fence.
With little to no local media coverage, New Orleans Mayor LaToya and her family left this week for a vacation in Hawaii. She will be back in the office next Monday according to her staff.