Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Same Thing For Every Child

I woke up this morning with sore shoulders from swinging hammers and shoveling dirt all day at KIPP Central City Primary school. It was a great day despite the fact that we worked much harder than I thought we were going to. It was good to see a lot of parents that we haven’t seen before out there building benches and laying sod. Nothing brings a school together like getting your clothes dirty. We had more dads out there too and that always makes me better about things. I think more people show up each time because of the staff led by the principal Mr. Johnson. You don’t mind leaving your kids with that guy. New Orleans is lucky to have him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the main reason Chris Paul of the Hornets chose that school as the pilot for his Afterschool Zone.

People should know that the class of 2021 was the inaugural kindergarten class at KIPP Central City and at the time no one had any idea what was going to happen. We basically sent our children into a situation that could have gone either way. I mention this because I love my charter school but I don’t like the way the charter school situation is being handled as a whole. As a matter of fact, as time goes by I am not for or against charters, local control or choices for parents. I’m for a quality education for all the children of New Orleans and the easiest way to make sure that happens.

As a parent I love my school of choice. I don’t want anyone to stick their noses in and change anything just for the sake of changing it. If it’s not broke then don’t fix it. Now I know my school is a charter school and since I love it then that should be in favor of charter schools. I’m in favor of what’s going on over there but why does it have to be restricted to just schools under the banner of that charter or any other charter if what they are doing is working. After five years since the schools were taken over, we should be at a point now where we are ready to streamline this thing and implement the processes that have show success across the board. That means to me that the city should be able to run its own schools and that nothing going on at KIPP should be in danger. Instead of going in there and changing what the successful schools are doing the other schools should be learning from them. That sounds like what would be happening if it was truly all about educating every child.

Thursday I read a newspaper article that said that almost 20 new groups have applied for a charter to run schools in New Orleans. When I see that I’m thinking the powers that be are still experimenting and playing games with the kids’ future. If we already have programs that are successful then either let them have all the charters or apply parts of what they do to every school and give the city control provided they wouldn’t go into schools and start removing people just to bring their friends back on a post Katrina revenge mission.

When I see all these new potential charters it makes me wonder about what happens to those kids if things don’t work out. I think we have a good idea of what’s working so lets just do those things. I keep hearing the word “choices” everywhere when the discussion of public schools in New Orleans comes up. As a parent and concerned city I don’t care about choices. I care about educating everybody enough to have a good life and stay out of poverty. That shouldn’t have anything to do with choices. I want everyone to have the same feeling about their school that I do and until we take the guessing game out of that then the system is still failing.

Some of our children are are in great schools in the city but we can't isolate them from everybody else that's not.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sitting On My Porch Part Fifty Seven

My Saints hangover is gone. I have finally accepted that we lost to the Cleveland Browns. That was a bitter pill to swallow. Next week there will be no pre-game Saints post. I probably won’t have time to write it anyway with Halloween and birthday parties going on. We’ll just see what happens against Pittsburgh and deal with the second half of the season. I will say this; when you are trying to right the ship on offense the Steelers isn’t exactly the team you want to see.

I hope the chain gang man that was hit on the sideline is doing better and that Courtney Roby is not feeling too bad by running him over.

My Saints hangover ended and my city budget hangover started. After listening to those hearing two days in a row I feel dizzy. I knew everyone was going to be hesitant to accept this budget because of the property tax hike. I have been telling everyone for years that we didn’t have enough money to do anything. Marc Morial knew it. Ray Nagin knew it too. Mayor Landrieu knows it and that’s why he presented a plan with the tax increase. We’ll see how it goes once everything is approved. Something tells me that we will be in the same fiscal shape we are in now next year. If that’s what everyone wants them fine. But there should be no complaining.

Next week I have to vote for my new congress person. If I vote for Joseph Cao it will be because I was impressed enough with him personally to ignore anything that has came out since the campaign started. I have been pleasantly surprised with his performance. The downside is that his party has made it perfectly clear that they are not trying to spend any money on anything that my community would need. We just can’t afford that at this time so I might have to vote with the standard New Orleans black candidate in Cedric Richmond. He’s impressive, he’s smart, he looks like a leader and we’ll probably see him every six months. This is the kind of situation that makes the obligation I feel to vote something I wish I didn’t have.

Sometimes I think about it and I would love to be conservative. I would love to be so conservative that I would volunteer to hold a Tea Party rally in my back yard. I would love that because it would mean that I, and my neighbors, and the folks in the hood I grew up in and all of my other people in New Orleans and around America were educated and functioning at level that would allow them so sustain themselves without help. If that really was the case you could get rid of all the assistance programs in the budget. That would be a far better way of living than hustling from check to check and calling around looking for rent and utility subsidies. That’s not where we are right now and I don’t want to see hundreds of people sleeping in boxes before we figure out how to get there. I don’t really care about Republicans or Democrats. I care about struggling parents and their children. I sound like the Rent Is Too Damn High dude. One could make the argument that the current setup makes us dependent so we will never be as self-sufficient as we could be. I might agree with some of that but cold turkey isn’t the way to go.

With all the traveling he’s doing the governor should buy everyone a souvenir t-shirt that reads “My governor went away for a campaign fundraiser in another state while we had a budget crisis and all I got was this dumb t-shirt”. I used to love those things when my grandparents came back from Las Vegas.

I’m not trying to put anyone’s business out in the street but I have heard a few stories. I won’t get into any details. All I will say is that if BP takes a second look at some of these claims it’s going to be one of the most embarrassing things to hit the area since the guy took his FEMA check to the strip club or this brother right here. I hope the things I have been hearing aren’t true.

Since I have been spending time with these kids lately and throwing the football around, I am finally realizing just how much I let my body go as an adult. When I was their age I could go outside at 8AM and run until 8PM. Now if I start running at 8AM I am going to be ready to go back to sleep at 8:45. It’s just been too much steak, too much drinking, and too much watching sports instead of playing. These boys are bringing back my youthful spirit and I am starting to do better.

I’m feeling so inspired that earlier I bought a six pack of Bohemia beers from Mexico and no matter how awesome they taste when they are really cold, I am only going to drink three. …..during the first half of the Lakers game…..the other three are for the post game show.

I’m taking baby steps to recapture my youth.

Maybe if I listen to some music from my youth I will get inspired and workout. It probably won't happen tonight but this song goes good with my beer.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I don't know what's going to happen anymore. I'm going to drink a beer and watch the championship DVD from last year to snap out of the daze.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 7: Cleveland, Coaching And Other Stuff

Since my weekly Saints post are the only time I really blog about sports I have a few lagniappe items I want to talk about.

I was going to tell you about how I didn’t like the NFL fining and potentially suspending players for violent hits. I changed my mind because I watched the story on the young man from Rutgers that is paralyzed after his injury last week and it made me sad. Somebody really could die playing football for our entertainment. You’ll never get all of the violence out because everyone is just moving too fast and there are too big. However, I guess they could try and eliminate some of the danger if they can. I hope Eric LaGrand gets well soon.

Texas Ranger fans can make that official thank you to New Orleans any day now for spreading some of our local sports mojo over to Ron Washington who managed them to their first World Series. Avery Johnson is the coach of the New Jersey Nets in the NBA. A Nets-Lakers final seems reasonable to me.

LSU is somehow 7-0 despite being involved with some of the craziest games in college football history. As I write this they are Auburn and possibly the future Heisman winner Cam Newton. There is no way a man is supposed to be that big AND that athletic at the same time. It should be a fun game to watch as long as LSU quarterbacks don’t give it away. Louisiana should consider making Les Miles president of all state colleges. With the recent budget cuts you need someone with that kind of luck.

Back to the Saints…..

Chris Ivory made me look like I didn’t know what I was talking about last week and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not like the running game had given much too optimistic about and it was only one week so I stand by what I said. The offense will still be working through things until Reggie and Pierre get back. Something tells me that Pierre Thomas is a lot more injured than it appeared when he ran off the field against Atlanta. I’m not sure when he’s coming back but if we can hold on for these next few weeks while everyone gets back in form no one is going to look forward to playing us the second half of the season. I’m not sure what’s going to happen against Pittsburgh next week because we are still getting things in order but I smell about a six or seven game winning streak coming on.

The group I need to apologize to is the best coaching staff in the league lead by Sean Payton. I can honestly say that the last few years I have watched players get better week by week because of this staff. If you look at the Saints roster it’s a lot of mid round picks and undrafted free agents that have worked with to become better and be a great team. I always figured if we were going to be a championship team that’s the way it had to be because our market size. As long as we have this staff we will always be competitive because they can turn kids like Chris Ivory into good players.

It’s hard to say what’s going to happen Sunday against Cleveland. Colt McCoy is making his second start. Peyton Hillis is on one of my fantasy teams so I know he’s having a good year. James Harrison almost destroyed their other playmakers last week. There’s no telling what shape they are in. I don’t think Cleveland has anyone to take advantage of our injuries in the secondary. I won’t disrespect them because they have been playing games pretty close before last week. I saw we give Scott Fujita a standing ovation for being part of the dream team then send him back to Ohio with a lost.

Saints 27 Browns 14

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm Just Trying To Make It Easier

My baby brother is probably really pissed at me right now. He can call the older one and get a few pointers. I know I get on my brothers and some of my friends’ nerves. I realize there are times when I’m talking when they wish I would just shut up and let them do what they want to do. I had a moment like that this morning. I’m always fussing about something. They should know that I only spend that kind of energy fussing about things if I care about the people involved. It’s not that I want to control what they do or that I think I am better than they are. I make mistakes all the time. It’s just that I have been out in the workforce on different levels since I was 18 and there are certain things and appearances you don’t see that much. On average you just don’t see many brothers with tattoos all over and a mouth full of gold teeth sitting in the meeting room. Even if the meeting is full of black people you don’t see those brothers much if you see them at all.

Everybody has the right to make the choice to do what they want to do. You can dye your hair green. You can get a bone pierced through your nose. You can get a tattoo of a shotgun right between your eyes. If you can pay for that no one can stop you. Just understand that if you do there may be some things you won’t have access to. This is especially true for young black people who barely have access to some opportunities anyway. I think I might be a little harsh when I see it happening with my people and I tend to go off a little. It might sound like I’m being a hater but I love them and I have nothing but the best intentions. I’m just trying to make things as easy as possible by eliminating unnecessary reasons for people to exclude them.

I blame the community for all of this. Someone is going to read this and get mad at me but that’s fine. We always romanticize the idea of the hood rebel that defies all odds and ends up CEO of a company or some other big position. Now we got regular everyday cats doing the same things the thugs are doing without any concern for those actions coming back to haunt them. Sure, there’s a guy somewhere that went to jail, got out and made himself a successful business person. For every one of those guys there are thousand’s more that can’t find a job emptying trash cans. There are thousands of cats with homemade rap CD’s waiting to be discovered by some big time producer surfing the net. For every Soulja Boy there’s going to be hundreds of grown men not focused on doing something else waiting for that break. Ladies, you can get your baby daddy’s name tattooed on your neck but you better be so talented that people have no choice but to ignore that.

These people you see thriving with these kinds of things are not the blueprint. They are the exceptions to the rule. They know that more than anybody. We all are not making it over the hump this way. We don’t want to admit that because the reality is a lot to deal with. We’d rather think everything is going to work out fine just the way it is. I wish it would. I hope it does. Experience has shown me it’s not going to work out like that so I’m going to keep on supporting my people and pissing them off at the same time because the situation is too critical to cosign on bad decisions. I love them all too much for that. At the end of the day all I really want is for everybody to have the least amount of drama possible.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Rent Really Is Too Damn High

Normally I don't care about local elections in other states. I feel like if crazy people get elected in other areas it doesn't affect me. I got my own issues with leadership. Today, I am going against my own rules and would like to invite Jimmy McMillan and his Rent is Too Damn High Party to New Orleans to set up shop. When I saw this clip from the New York Governor debate I was hooked. Things are getting pretty boring around here with everyone acting all civil. We need to shake things up. Plus, I know from my experiences every day that rent really is too damn high in New Orleans. The same place that used to cost six hundred dollars before Katrina may cost one thousand dollars to rent now. We are not talking about state of the art condominiums either. We need Jimmy McMillan to get at some of these landlords. He's sitting on a gold mine of constituents if he comes here. We don't really need a mayor right now but maybe we can put an extra seat on the council for him. I will take off from work for his first council meeting. Actually, I am being too optimistic. I'll consider it a success if he makes it through speaking at one meeting without getting arrested. I don't know how much the training the NOPD has with karate experts but it will be fun to find out.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wishing The Governor Safe Travel

J. Ryan Hudson is the LSU student body president. Yesterday he wrote a letter to the governor asking him to return to his own state and work on the budget crisis. He feels like the governor is spending too much time raising money and campaigning for candidates outside the state when he could be here fixing his own state’s problems. I respect his opinion but I think the governor could keep traveling and raising money because there’s nothing for him to do here. He should keep making speeches and impressing people with his knowledge and conservative values. He could sit at his desk 24 hours a day and still won’t have any more money to spend than he does now.

The governor’s office released a statement concerning the letter today. It included the following quote....

“In FY 2010, Louisiana ranked ninth in the nation for the amount of state dollars spent on higher education as a percentage of state taxes. So the answer is certainly not to raise taxes on the backs of Louisianians.”

There you have it. We are not going to raise any taxes on the backs of Louisianans to educate themselves and their children. Everybody needs to take their cuts and deal with it because this is what a lot of the people say that they want and we got it. If we want lower taxes and less government then we to deal with all the things you can’t do under those circumstances. When mental health services are cut you have to deal with it. When programs for the elderly and social services are cut you have to deal with that too. If your kids have to leave the state because you can’t afford to pay for the private college program that the state public colleges no longer have because of budget cuts then you have to deal with that too.

You don’t have to be a Republican or a Democrat to figure this out. It's just like everyday life. If I hang out for a few days on the weekend and blow my budget for the next pay period then I have to make adjustments. That’s what you do when you don’t have the money you are supposed to have or thought you would. We don't have the money and no wants to pay any extra so things have to be cut.

I can accept that but how many people can do the same if they think it’s going to affect something important to them? I am sure Bobby Jindal would have won the governor’s race either way but what if he said he was going to cut taxes when he got in office and that eventually it would affect higher education and who knows what else because the deficit won’t be getting any smaller? Who knows what might have happened.

The kids at LSU should just do the best they can with that they have like everyone else. Call the kids at Southern University of New Orleans so they can walk you through how to manage. We all have to do our part to keep taxes off the backs of Louisianans to educate ourselves. We can get a great education in Texas.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 6: Missing Our Running Backs and Is Something Wrong With Drew?

The Saints lost to the Arizona Cardinals last week in a way that was so puzzling that I have heard people try to analyze it all week and I still don’t quite know what happened. The only offensive touchdown from Arizona came on a fumble that was recovered by an offensive lineman after the Saints almost ended their rookie quarterback’s career. If the Saints offense doesn’t turn the ball over there is no way they lose the game because Arizona’s offense was clearly not ready to win an NFL game. The entire season so far has been about the Saints beating themselves. That’s the difference so far between this season and last.

I think some of the fans have forgotten the fact there weren’t many blowouts last season. There were a handful of games where we were special and destroyed the other team like the Giants and the Cardinals but most of the games were tight and we won by not making mistakes and winning the turnover battle. I don’t think we are out of the woods yet. This Tampa game may be a little harder than it should be.

The Saints have a lot of injuries to key players. No one in the media seems to be mentioning that we are missing so many starters especially Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. I don’t know any team that could lose their top two running backs and look the same on offense. Don’t be fooled by the flashes Chris Ivory or Ladell Betts might show. The Saints offense needs Reggie and Pierre. The lost of both of those guys is really hurting and it’s affecting the way Sean Payton calls the game.

My friend got mad last week because he said the Saints weren’t running the ball enough to keep the defense honest. I told him it wouldn’t matter if they ran the ball twenty plays in a row, teams still wouldn’t respect Betts or Ivory and put extra people in pass coverage. They have no fear of the running backs we are playing now beating them. Defenses are scared of Reggie’s big play potential so they always keep someone around to watch him. When Pierre is in the game he can make defenses pay for not committing someone to him but gaining big yards on screen plays and dump off passes. Last year the most important player on that offense besides Drew Brees was Pierre Thomas and if he is not out there with his skill set things are going to be different. We need those guys back or the passing game is going to have problems.

That brings me to the great Drew Brees. Fans seem to be worried about Drew. Some people think it’s the Madden curse. Some folks think it’s because his wife is about to have his second son. I don’t think either of those things are an issue. There may not be anything wrong with him but since I am a fan and it’s my job to read more into things than what’s really there here’s a new theory to add to the list. I think that Drew wants to please everyone so much and win so badly that he is pressing the issue.

Think about where Drew Brees is now and how he got there. He’s not a pedigreed first round pick like the Manning brothers or a Superbowl champ that plays in a city where the media would blow him up like Tom Brady. He’s from Texas and wasn’t really recruited by any of the major schools there so he ends up at Purdue in Indiana. He takes them to the Rose Bowl but ends up as a second round pick by San Diego. They thought so much of him that they drafted Phillip Rivers in the first round when he was already there. He hurts his shoulder and no one is sure if he can recover. He tries to go Miami but they preferred Daunte Culpepper instead and he ends up in a flooded city with a rookie head coach. Five years later he’s so beloved around this area that I am willing to bet there are babies from the housing projects to gated communities with some variation of Drew in their names. There’s a little girl name Drewbreenisia that’s learning how to walk right now in honor of him.

There’s no one in any NFL city as beloved to the fans as that guy and he embraces every minute. I know he wants to win and make us all happy but I just want to tell him that at this point it doesn’t matter what he does. We’ll love him anyway. He delivered the first title. He represents us well wherever he goes. He could throw for 50 yards tomorrow and it won’t change how we feel about him. Take what the defense gives you Drew and punt if you have to. We’ll win ugly until reinforcements arrive.

The only reason this game is so crucial tomorrow is that everyone seems to be letting Atlanta off the hook and they keep winning. We don’t want to be too far behind them going into the later part of the season. I think Sean Payton and the team knows that so we should be focused. The game will be close because we are playing shorthanded but I say we beat the young Tampa squad and get one week closer to being healthy.

Saints 20- Buccaneers 13

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sitting On My Porch Part Fifty Six

For the last two days I was caught up watching the miners rescue on CNN. I don’t know that was so fascinating to me. Everyone seemed to be into it. I think that’s because there’s so much negative news and stories of despair people were really tripping out off the fact that these guys actually survived. I like the way Chile but their flag and colors everywhere they could just to let you know that they did it all themselves. It was fun to watch.

Today my mayor is going to present the next city budget. Giving the current financial situation my expectations are simple. I will be happy if parking too close to a fire hydrant isn’t a 700 dollar fine or we are not down to once a month trash collection. I live in New Orleans East so it might be every three months for us. Other than that I am bracing for sacrifice. I’m willing to accept anything as long as he does announce a new board or commission. College administrations’ time is already stretched too thin.

I have been really bored by the midterm election coverage since the campaign started the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated. There are only so many times you can listen to the same thing over and over before it gets on your nerves. I just want the Republicans to hurry up and win so we can see if they actually have the guts to mess with Social Security and Medicaid. At this point I am tired of equally guilty people placing blame on one another. I just want someone to do something constructive.

The new issue this week is the mysterious donations to the 501c4 political organizations. Why is this a big deal? American companies make investments and send money and jobs to other countries every day. The majority of the investments of the rich everyone wants to keep tax cuts in place for go overseas. You knew once the Supreme Court said companies could get involved with campaign finance this was going to happen. Is there any American with an education higher than the sixth grade that still believes regular people have anything to do with political campaigns outside of the voting itself?

If you follow the Tea Party and honestly think that the 50 bucks you and your co workers sent in to your local senate candidate really had something to do with that ad he or she is running every fifteen minutes on television and radio you are very naïve.

If you are a President Obama supporter that really thinks enough old black people in the south sent in 20 dollar donations to help him beat Jon McCain you are very naïve too.

As long as there is no real campaign finance reform every politician elected will have to answer to someone other than the people who actually voted for them. All you can hope for is that the person you voted for doesn’t owe a corporation that wants to send your job to Asia or South America.

This Brett Favre story about him sending pictures to this lady was worth the daily updates about him thinking retirement. Did he take them in the mirror of the bathroom like people do on Facebook? If he doesn’t come back to lead the Vikings to the championship the Saints stole from them this never happens. I want to thank Brad Childress for having no faith in Tavaris Jackson and the three teammates that came down to Hattiesburg to beg Brett to come back.
Is Drew Brees having the Madden Curse?

I want to give a shout out to New Orleans’ own Ron Washington the manager of the Texas Rangers for leading them to their first ever playoff win.
First I said I would never join Facebook but I went back on that. Then I said I would never join Twitter and I went back on that. My track record isn’t good but I have another vow that I am sure I will keep. I will never ever ever watch Glee. I don’t care if they have a Tupac tribute episode next season I’m not doing it. I have to draw the line somewhere.

In response to the BET awards I watched the other night which featured a performance by Antoine “raping everybody” Dobson and my obvious bias to anything New Orleans, I endorse this video.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Small Things Go A Long Way

Big Cliff thought me how to tie my own tie when I was 11 years old right before my sixth grade graduation. I remember that because it was the first time I did it myself and it took about five tries to get it lined up properly. Those are the kind of things that come back to you when you get older and read stories like this one. It’s also the kind of thing that gave me a blueprint on how to behave and carry myself. I know a lot of young black men in our city don’t have that at home or even another man close to them that give it to them. When my daughter Gabby graduated from Kindergarten there was a bunch of little boys when ties around their necks that weren’t tied. A few of them were with their daddies and that made me depressed. The two little boys whose ties I fixed still speak to me when they see me around the school. I take a little pride in passing that down even though they probably can’t remember how I did it. That’s okay. I would go back every time they needed to dress up to show them again.

It’s necessary to admit that as a community we are really starting from a basic level of just showing some of these young men things like how to tie a tie but we are. There’s two ways we can handle it. We can sit around and shake our heads while we wait for the super hero to fly in and instantly change the social issues that leads these kids down the wrong road. That option is not going to work. The other thing we can do is take one or as many as your life can handle and try to show them things that may make them look at life differently. That’s why I finally joined the mentoring program. I learned too many things from great men in my life to let it go to waste. You can’t change where they live or what circumstances they were born into but sometimes simple things like being able to stand in the mirror and fix your clothes like a man can give you just enough self worth to look into other options besides the street life.

I want to give a shout out to the mayor for participating and being a mayor of the people no matter what color or background. Stuff like this helps bring the city together. I want to give props to Andre Perry who puts actions behind his words. The next time something like this is going on I want to be in on it. I would love to show a young man the Harris method for tying a tie and why I believe in the proper use of a good pair of suspenders.

Sometimes you need a morale booster.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Where's The Local Stereotypical Flavor?

Over the weekend I watched a lot of football. It had to be at least ten different games. On ever local station a game was on I must have saw this David Vitter commercial about Charlie Melancon with the illegal aliens receiving a warm reception at least 20 times. I heard on cable news last week that several senators around the country were going to use this exact same commercial and just change the name of the democratic senator they were running against.

First of all David Vitter doesn’t need to do this since most of his district is just going to vote for him because of President Obama. Congressman Melancon never stood a chance. Secondly, I find this commercial very disappointing. Senator Vitter is from South Louisiana and we are supposed to be a lot more creative than just using the same hate mongering ad everyone else is using. The least he could have done was spiced it up a little with some local stereotypes.

How about when the illegal aliens come through the gate five brothers with dreadlocks and their pregnant girlfriends with four other kids wearing Chocolate City shirts with Ray Nagin’s picture on the front start dancing to bounce music while holding a FEMA check?

That’s the kind of use of stereotypes I could appreciate. Hopefully, next time if he gets a real opponent he can dig deeper than he did this time around.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Week 5: A Message To The Fans

The Saints play Arizona Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals will be starting a rookie quarterback. Despite the injuries we have, I’m not worried about this game. Instead of analyzing this week’s game I want to talk to the fans and give them a little reality check. Last week after a usual close game with the Panthers there were people talking about how awful we looked and discussing whether or not fans should be worried. I even heard a few boos during the game. It’s time to break out my favorite Saints game story.

There was nothing more frustrating than being a season ticket holder during the Haslett/Brooks era. The difference between the Mike Ditka years and the Haslett years is that during the era of Mike Ditka I knew we weren’t going to win. We were outmanned and outcoached. I’m surprised that last team he had here didn’t go 0-16. The Haslett era after his first year was nothing like that. Every year we had a chance to make the playoffs but we just didn’t do it. Those teams were bipolar. We could blow out a team by 20 points one week and then lose the next three games by 30. What made it even worse is that the coach used to get pissed off at the fans for acting like they were unsatisfied and the quarterback used to not seem to be that bothered about it either. I’ll never forget the final game of the 2002 season when all we needed was one win with three games left and we tanked all three including the last one to Carolina when Aaron Brooks arm was about to fall off.

During the 2004 season we played a home game against the Denver Broncos. This was the season that the team started 4-8 and then decided they wanted to be good and won the last four but didn’t make the playoffs. By that time the frustration with the fans had reached a fever pitch. During the first quarter of that game the Broncos almost ran for 100 yards in that one quarter alone. I think they finished with about 96 yards. My cousin David was at the end of his rope and by week 10 he was so delirious he was pulling for the Broncos to reach the century mark. What made it even worse is that it seemed like the Broncos ran the same two plays over and over and they worked every time. Well, at some point in that game we were down by double digits. I don’t remember the exact score at the time but the Saints made a touchdown. The entire Superdome broke out in a second line dance. That led to the highlight of my season ticket experience when my cousin in the midst of all those happy losers started his rant. All I remember is the first two lines…..”We live in a city with some ignorant motherf!#Kers! Don’t they see the scoreboard?” I wasn’t celebrating a touchdown to keep the game close either but I was too busy laughing at him to look upset.

Now, if we can spend our money and dance through all of the foolishness in the past we can’t be tripping about a 3-1 start after a Superbowl winning season. Saints fans I am begging you in the name of all that we have been through with the team and personally. Don’t let success turn us into a bunch of assholes. We got a real coach and GM that work together. The coach has a great staff. The players on this team act like they were raised here and the quarterback let you guys suggest names for his new baby today. Everyone needs to relax and not let ourselves turn into Jets fans. We don’t want to be obnoxious like they are. Let’s enjoy this era.

Saints 27 – Cardinals 10

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Server's Down At Work Today

This post is named the way it is because I didn’t intend to write it. The server crashed at work today. I have internet but everything else is unavailable. I needed to do something to keep from falling asleep………

It’s a beautiful day outside today. New Orleans has been on a winning streak as far as weather is concerned. I decided to take a ride at lunch with my window down and enjoy the breeze. It was reporting time at work so I have been locked in this office all day plus taking work home to try and get everything looking good. I’m still fine tuning the process so we won’t have to do that all the time. This instance has been better than the previous ones so I got a chance to take it easier. The kids have fall break from school right now so I took a long way to work this morning. I have been taking the stairs in the morning and usually I am here before everyone so if I need to pause between floors or give up and catch the elevator before my floor no one knows. Because I was later this morning I ended up taking the stairs with our CEO. Now, she takes the stairs everyday and weighs 100 pounds soaking wet. Now I had to walk and talk with her and try not to throw up while my chest explodes. I survived but it took me 20 minutes to recover. I’m encouraged by that because it would usually take an hour. I’m winning.

Yesterday I went on a field trip to the library. Those are always an adventure. There was another dad chaperoning with me from the other class that went on the trip. I thought that was real cool even though he didn’t help me carry that heavy ass cooler full of milks for lunch. Hopefully someone is fixing this man a big dinner or big breakfast. I was thinking this morning about how black people have this belief that you shouldn’t give praise and attention to men for things they are supposed to do like taking care of their kids and not going to jail. It might be time to change that because one of the problems we have with violence and crime is the fact that we have too many people in our community frustrated with living a regular life. If everyone is obsessed with getting their shine on we are never going to be able to deal with the issue properly because we have a long way to go before we can expect entire neighborhoods to make six figure salaries. These kids are very perceptive just like we were as youngsters. They know you can’t get a lot more attention being Sport T the downtown gangster instead of Terrance the dude that paints houses. We have to start showing some love to these regular everyday heroes so these little boys can learn that responsibility is sexy.

I have a real good Saints post to write later. I might sit outside and write it later while I smoke a nice cigar from Mayan Imports and enjoy the lack of humidity. I’m one of those people that have a favorite for everything but I will always try something different especially if I am being cheap and something is on sale. I tried some unknown brand of cigars the other day just because they were being discontinued and were on sale. It took Listerine, Scope, Colgate and Crest to get the taste out of my mouth. There’s a reason why things get discontinued.

I think it’s time to go home……

And I am feeling this song………

TheSeKondElement – Closer Pt. 2

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Giving Up Is Not An Option

Monday was the funeral of two year old Jeremy Galmon who was killed last Sunday in crossfire. By all accounts he received the type of send off usually reserved for New Orleans royalty. New Orleans has a strange way of showing pain sometimes. My family has been here since horse and buggies with streets paved with bricks so this is my culture to the bone. With that being said, I thought the services should have been a more low key event. I’m not mad because everyone out there had love in their hearts. I just couldn’t have dealt with all of that if it was my son.

I would love to tell you that the death of this baby is some kind of turning point in the war against violence in our city but I can’t do that. The reason why is because it seems like every year for the last twenty years or more a child has been sacrificed as sign of our community not getting it’s act together to curb the violence. I could close my eyes right now and at least five instances come to mind without much effort. Their stories come to me easily because each one has bothered me just like Jeremy’s murder. I think that deep down they bother the majority of the people in our community even if they don’t express it outwardly. If it was left up to us there would be no violence and no trouble but unfortunately it’s not.

The sad truth is that we have a subculture of individuals in our community that live in their own little world and there’s always something going on. They are so locked in to the code of the streets that I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t even know the community is coming together behind this baby’s death. It’s difficult for outsiders to see because we share the same neighborhoods and upbringing so they don’t know the difference. Those common bonds also make it difficult for us to deal with it because there’s a lot of emotion and history involved. After all the loss of life and pain we still haven’t found a way to separate ourselves enough from Ms. Jones to call and turn in her grandchildren. That makes it complicated and dangerous as well because her grandchildren know who was out there and what if they come after your family to keep you from calling Crimestoppers. That’s a death wish especially if the justice system is just going to release them right back to the street to come looking for you.

I want to be optimistic and think that the lost of this two year old changed that dynamic for the better and people will start coming forward like they did to find his killers. That would be good if it’s true. The only problem is that if more people come forward when something happens it means that more than likely someone else’s baby is no longer with us. It might not be a two year old like Jeremy but it’s still someone’s baby even if they are a teenager.

All my life I have been a foolish dreamer. Everyday I wake up and think about the day I am getting on the interstate and the Crimestoppers billboard with the faces of young black men wanted for murder are no longer needed because this violence is the thing of the past. Until that day comes I will be preparing myself to look at another picture of a kid that’s been murdered and trying not to give up.

Giving up is not an option.......

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Week Four: Here Comes Steve Smith

Now let’s talk about some football. There’s a symptom of the Who Dat Fever that starting taking shape after the Superbowl. The casual fans have forgotten everything about last season and now expect the team to go undefeated. I made a comment during on my Facebook page during the 49ers game and real life friends of mine were questioning my manhood. It was getting ridiculous. Now that we have suffered a loss to our most hated rival, it’s time to admit a few things. One of the reasons I was so positive about a repeat visit to the championship game is because I thought we cheated time and won a Superbowl without a championship caliber defense. I figured if we added a few pieces on that side and kept the offense intact we would actually be better than the championship team from last year. Things didn't work out like I thought.

I was not surprised we lost to a healthy Falcons team. This is not last year’s Saints team. Last year’s team had three running backs. Tomorrow only one of those backs will be playing and he probably shouldn’t. Last year’s team was much more experienced in the defensive backfield with Darren Sharper instead of Malcolm Jenkins. I like Jenkins but there is no way he knows where to be the way Darren Sharper does after three starts in the NFL. When all three linebackers from last year played together they could mask some of the lack of athleticism. Now with Scott Fujita gone we are being exposed on the outside. Tight ends and passes to running backs are killing us. Plus, Roman Harper is not playing as close to the line as last year to help out in run defense and we are not blitzing as much.

You can also tell that some of the receivers didn’t practice with Drew Brees as much in the offseason because their timing is off. Now Drew’s knee is a bothering him a little and Pierre Thomas is banged up too. With the injuries and players not being on the roster anymore I think the next few weeks will be a roller coaster ride no matter who we are playing. I think the Saints will be a better team closer to the end of the year than they are right now. We are still good enough to win every game. If Hartley makes that kick then we escape last week. We are also missing enough people for every week to be a nail biter. I think 5-3 at the half way point will be good if we can hold on while Sean Payton figures it all out.

Tomorrow we play the Panthers. I have no jokes or sarcastic things to say about them because I believe Steve Smith searches his name on the internet looking for people saying anything disrespectful about him to use as motivation. He’s already been destroying the Saints for years and I respect and fear him too much. I love the way he plays I just wish he was in another division. We should be able to win this game with the current condition of the Panthers. Steve Smith is a bad man but I refuse to accept losing a game to a young Jimmy Clausen. I’m actually hoping for a big lead where maybe we can let Chase Daniel play and rest Drew’s knee. I don’t think we have the health on offense for that right now plus the Panthers can run the ball and that’s all you need to do now against our defense with a few short passes added in here and there. Teams are going to do the same thing until we stop it. I am going to call the score 21-14 Saints and hope no one else gets hurt.

Pre Saints Post Lagniappe

Before I talk about the Saints I have a few lagniappe things to address. I was a little too busy at work this week to devote any of that time to blogging and my personal writing space at home has been temporarily taken over for repairs so I am late on this topic. Nowadays we spend a lot of time dogging leadership and finding out what they did wrong. We need to take a moment and give props when they do things well.

I thought Mayor Landrieu, Chief Serpas, and the community handled the Jeremy Galmon murder case about as well as you could handle something like that. I don’t there’s a happy ending possible unless he came back to life but quickly finding out who did it and supporting the family will hopefully make it easier. At one point during the week I thought the mayor was going to suit up and go make the arrest himself. There are some places in this world that can get by with a figurehead type of leader that delegates everything but New Orleans isn’t one of those places right now. We need a leader that’s going to get out there and put some work in. So far, I have no problems with the mayor in that regard.

I went to vote this morning at about 10:00AM and I was the only person that had shown up on my page by then. I’m pretty sure the turnout is going to be really low and that is unacceptable. I know we are disenchanted with politicians but even if you don’t like anyone running you should just go and sign your name on the roll. That way there might be another person who sees’s your interest and decides to get involved because he or she thinks they can win by doing what we want. What reason does anyone have to work on our behalf if we don’t really care? You may not like the system but it’s the only one we have.

I voted No to the NORD reform charter change because I don’t think the city can fund it properly or the business community will really invest financially in the neighborhoods mostly affected by this change. There's nothing I could see as evidence the business community is willing to do it. If they do and it works out I will admit I’m wrong. If nothing changes the way I expect that it won’t then I am going to be angry and talk bad about a lot of people. Either way I will give it a chance since the majority wanted it that way. Next week someone is going to start talking to me about how the shadow government is taking over and how those people will never do anything for the young black kids. Before they can finish I will ask them when the last time they voted was. If it’s been so long that they can’t remember I will ignore them because you didn’t care enough to vote on the kids then I don’t want to hear about your conspiracy theories.