His name was Roosbay. I’m not quite sure how he spelled it but he was Iranian, has two brothers and he and his family escaped from Iran by way of Turkey and Italy when he was a child before settling on the West Coast. Years later, a 49ers fan now married with a coming daughter, he was boozing it up on Bourbon Street with his buddies and us while watching all the NFL games at Turtle Bay. Just one of the many great things about New Orleans. You meet some of the most interesting people. He had a great line about comparing marriage to 10 grit sandpaper…once in a while you can slide your finger on it and it’s smooth.
I thought it fitting that during my latest trip to the Big Easy that their beloved Saints put a 60 spot on the board as the fans danced the night away. Make no mistake about it, that city loves it’s Saints like no other city in the NFL. Every city has residents that love other teams. Hell, in Philly you have so many Cowboys fans, it’s sickening. But in New Orleans, everyone, and I do mean EVERY SINGLE RESIDENT, is a Saints fan. I’ve never seen so many jerseys of one player as I witnessed BREES 9s in the French Quarter on Sunday. I felt out of place without one on. The win was so surprising, even to the hometown that during a song, the lead singer of a fantastic blues and jazz band we were watching stopped the band mid-song…”whoa, wait a minute. For real? Does that say 60 on that screen?” The crowd laughed and cheered and the band broke in to “When the Saints…”.
There are so many things about the town, other than the bars to appreciate. No one believed me that I was fan of the architecture. “Sure, Dar. You love the architecture.” But I really do. The tiny alleyways and courtyards are my favorite. Where else do you see this around every turn? Or just sitting in Jackson Square on my first day to hear a band straight out of Treme with three horns and a tuba. They were spectacular. Of course, my first stop on the trip was to the Cigar Factory to see my man, Felipe, where they roll their own cigars on display for you. It quickly turned in to what one would expect on a four-day bachelor party in the biggest party town in America. I’ll sprinkle in some anecdotes but let’s roll on with your 2011 Week Seven NFL Notes & Musings…
Let’s start off with cousin Nick meeting a NY Giants fan on Bourbon Street. Nick, the wittiest of the bunch and another die hard Eagle fan asked him, “what week do we end your season this year?” The Giant fan, a good sport, laughed along with us.
I have to admit, along with the crowd at Turtle Bay, I got swept up in Jesus Tebow. His heroics got the bars’ biggest cheers but let’s face it, the Dolphins are openly trying to lose games.
LaDainian Tomlinson is now the fourth running back in NFL history with 600 or more receptions.
My best line of the trip: While watching a horrid girl sing karaoke at The Cat’s Meow, I turned to Pete and said, “this girl’s voice hurts my face.”
Chris Johnson has become the biggest disappointment in a decade in the NFL. He looks really bad playing this sluggish after demanding the contract he received.
We introduced our Asian friend, Tee, as Kim Jong Ill to every girl we could on the trip. Not one knew who Kim Jong Ill was. By the way, the reason we call him Tee (who is from Laos) is because there are actually so many letters in his birth name that if you were to pronounce it correctly, your jaw would snap in half and your tongue would fall out. This happened to a childhood friend of Tee’s. He no longer has a mouth.
Nice to see the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariners play an October baseball game. In case you missed it, the Tribe beat the Mariners 6-3.
Tony Gonzalez (1,104) now only trails Jerry Rice on the all time reception list. He needs just 445 more catches to tie him. He won’t do that.
I still don’t see the point of having an NFL game in Europe each year. If the Eagles ever had to give up a home game, I’d be furious.
On our way out to the bars the first night we were asked by Bryan if it was tough to pick up girls in New Orleans to which I replied, “all you need is eyebrows and a dick in this town.” Eyebrows and dick became the theme of the trip. I must admit, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as hard as I did during those four days.
The Arizona Cardinals are 6-16 since Kurt Warner retired.
While discussing this season of Dexter during a walk through the French Quarter, we were getting this year’s guest star Edward James Olmos confused with James Earl Jones and convinced ourselves they were one person named Edward James Earl Jones Olmos Ramos. He exists.
Carson Palmer hasn’t worn cleats in ten months yet the Raiders figured he should replace Kyle Boller at halftime on Sunday. The result? They each through 3 interceptions and the Raiders got boat raced by, of all teams, the Kansas City Chiefs. It was also the sixth time in franchise history that the Raiders got shut out at home and five of those six have been since 2006!
I thought we had a good trip until I met three sisters in my hotel elevator who were in New Orleans for five days, then left for a cruise for four days, then had three more days in New Orleans. We also ran in to them with their other three sisters and their mother (all from Canada) at dinner on Sunday. THAT is a trip.
I had the best bloody mary of my life at the Oceana Grill on Conti Street in the French Quarter.
I had the second best bloody mary of my life at the Gumbo Pot along the river in the French Quarter.
Minnesota’s Jared Allen set a franchise record with a sack in his ninth straight game.
DeMarco Murray had an unbelievable day for the Cowboys but he plays for Dallas, so who cares?
Our TV’s in the hotel (Ramada Inn on Bourbon) were, essentially locked on porn when you turn them on. This actually aggravated me…stumbling back, I had to ask the front desk to please come up and “get this damn porn off my TV and put on Sportscenter!”
The only game of the weekend I didn’t watch was the 12-7 barnburner between Baltimore and Jacksonville as I was home and finally getting some solid sleep. And I’m really glad I missed this game.
Picture me, drunk on Bourbon Street, trying to coach my wife on how to fold down our new umbrella stroller over the phone. It was quite a site.
Bryan was so hammered during the World Series, he asked what period it was and what the score was at the end of the first quarter. He was convinced he was watching a World Series hockey game in the second quarter. Yep, that town will eat you up and spit you out.
And finally, I’m home a day and a half and I already miss New Orleans. I’ve been there a dozen times now and every time I go, I leave a little piece of my heart there. More than just the boozin’ and the laughs, I love the food. Gumbo is life. Jambalaya is life. The music, everywhere you go, is completely amazing. It’s not always the cleanest city and it certainly has it’s dark spots but there’s a haunting mystique to it that pulls me in around every corner. To go to Tipitina’s and dance, to go Muriel’s or Mr. B’s and eat, to go to the French Market or Royal Street and shop or anywhere and grab a drink is always a memorable experience. I’ve shed a tear every time I’ve left that town and that will probably never change, no matter how many times I go back. And I always will for the rest of my life. It’s my adopted second home and I’m proud of it’s resurgence. Like I always say, go for the food, go for the music, go for the drinks, go for the hospitality, go with a group of friends, go with your better half, JUST GO. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Let the good times roll…