By William Correro
Yes, that was a hold that should have been called by the PAC 10 crew on the opening kickoff run for a touchdown in the BCS National Championship Game. I must have been asked two dozen times about it. Guess it means you are learning about the finer points of the game which is a good thing. Truth be known, that initial shock of a touchdown on the opening kickoff probably did more good for Florida than anything.
Not a bad season for the SEC. Finishing up the bowls at six and three is good. We could have done better on the losses but that last one sure made up for them.
It was a classic example of "why we play the games" for sure. Every sports media type in the country had written off the Gators and their biggest comment was how bad would the Buckeyes beat them?
I really had fun watching it and had my family shaking their heads with my "banshee-ish" screaming. I had worked Florida four times this season but I swear they never played with such intensity as they did in the big game.
All season, I could see how good their defense was but they played well above that. I almost ran down the street yelling "S – E – C" and all right after it went final but I did think better of that.
I have no idea how Fox came up with the broadcast crew but the best, to me, was Charles Davis. He used to be the Jefferson Pilot Sports sideline guy before they hired Dave Baker. Anyway, How ?bout them Gators!
One thing I noticed about the crew working the game was how they didn’t close on the play as the ball carrier is down. In the SEC, you can see all officials move toward the runner as he is tackled even on a short running play.
The reason for that is it helps to stop the little skirmishes that can and do break out between opposing players not directly involved in the tackling as the play ends. There were several instances of little chicken fights and one player getting a last "cheap shot" hit to make a statement with no official in sight except for the one with the spot.
We don’t mean to penalize each and every one of those but with a close presence of a striped shirt, ninety-nine percent of that won’t happen. But if it does, you have to get it early in the game to stop it before it escalates.
S-E-C, S-E-C. How sweet it is.
By Robert Neill
Betsy and I went to Noo Awleans for a wedding last week, and it was our first visit to the Big Easy since Hurricane Katrina. We’ve missed it.
I will always and forever be a country boy, but if God told me, "Okay, Neill, you’re going to have to live in a city for the rest of your life, but I’ll let you pick the city," I’d pick Noo Awleans, in spite of all the post-Katrina flack.
I care nothing about the year-long parties, Mardi Gras, the sports teams, or the crime rate. What we enjoy so much are the eatin’ places.
Of the which, our favorite one isn’t even in the city: it’s about 45 minutes north and west, at a turnoff called Manchac. Middendorf’s is the name of the restaurant.
My pick from the menu is always the broiled soft-shell crab, but the barbequed oysters and the gumbo are hard to beat. Betsy goes for the oyster po-boys, and the kids all loved the thin-fried catfish.
When we dropped in last Friday for lunch, that was obviously the most popular dish. Since we were directed to a table in the back of the back room, we had a chance to look at what everyone else was eating.
When the young waitress brought us our menus and water, she asked where we were from, and I replied "The Mississippi Delta."
Then I swept my hand at the other tables full of catfish platters and guessed, "Where I bet y’all buy most of the catfish you serve in here, right?" I have read that the Delta supplies nearly 75% of all the commercially-bought catfish in America – maybe the world!
She smiled, shaking her head. "No, Sir, all of our catfish is caught locally."
Now, that was a surprise, to me. My hat is off to the Middendorf folks. Our oldest daughter Christie went to Tulane, plus I have done a lot of fishing, hunting, and sailing with Admiral Drake and Captain Hook – Gene Drake & Ted Daly – plus I played football at Ole Miss when we owned the Sugar Bowl, so we’ve made a lot of trips to Noo Awleans, and we always plan to be going by Manchac on the way down and the way back, right at lunchtime!
This is an aside, but I counted at least 33 NCAA Division I bowl games this season. Do you realize that, 40 years ago, there weren’t but four? The Sugar, Orange, Rose and Cotton – the Gator Bowl was new, and a kind of consolation prize. Lordee, how times have changed!
At any rate, we departed Manchac full of crabs and oysters, then had another feast at the wedding in the St. Louis Hotel that night, everything from gumbo (made with a gizzard base!) to shrimp Creole to jambalaya to oysters Rockefeller to banana Foster, with lots more in between. We were only a block or so from Antoine’s, Gallatoir’s, Arnaud’s, and Brennan’s, and Caf? du Monde was walking distance, as was the Pearl Oyster Bar. Nothing downtown really showed the effects of Katrina, 18 months ago almost.
I’d probably weigh 500 pounds if I lived in Noo Awleans, but you know what? We got home about 6:30 Saturday evening, and about Rolling Fork, Betsy asked, "What would you like for supper?’ And before we realized it, we were placing a call to pick up a couple of Lillo’s Deluxe pizzas!
Yeah, we’d just been to the big city, with some of the best eatin’ places in the world, but we live within 15 minutes of some of the best eatin’ places anywhere: Lillo’s, Cicero’s, Flavors, Connie’s, Doe’s, & Tabb’s are some of our personal favorites, but there are many others in this middle of the Delta, none of them requiring two tanks of gasoline to get to, either.
(Another aside: we saw gas all the way up to $2.43 for regular, but when we got home, where I had filled up at Ed Loudon’s for $2.09 before leaving, Ed was down to $2.07.) Home sweet home!
We had a wonderful time at Angie and Sam’s wedding with old and new friends, and ate some delicious meals in Noo Awleans. To paraphrase Br’er Rabbit, "Everybody’s got an eatin’ place!"
Some of mine are a long way off, but most of them can’t beat the best of our own hometown folks!