Joe McKnight, the University of Southern California freshman tailback and former John Curtis High School football standout, rushed for 125 yards including scooping up the ball after a broken lateral play and turning it into a 65-yard gain and caught six passes for another 45 yards in USC's 49-17 Rose Bowl victory over the University of Illinois. McKnight has been described as the "next Reggie Bush," and his 170 total yards were part of a Rose Bowl record 633 yards of offense for USC.
Chris Gianelloni, a 23-year-old UNO student who lives in Metairie, recently won Kraft Foods' "Have a Happy Sandwich" video contest, which was held on the www.myspace.com Web site. Gianelloni's animated winning entry, "Tanning Bed," received the most online votes and gave a tongue-in-cheek lesson on how a grilled cheese sandwich achieves its golden brown deliciousness. Gianelloni will be awarded a check for $50,000 and will see his video transformed into a national commercial later this year.
Kings of the Crescent City, a jazz ensemble led by New Orleans native Victor Goines and including a number of New Orleans musicians such as Troy Andrews, guitarist Don Vappie and pianist Jonathan Batiste, will play at the Rose Theater in New York City this Friday and Saturday (Jan. 11 and 12) as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame concert series. The show will be hosted and narrated by another New Orleans native, actor Wendell Pierce.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers missed a December deadline for completing a plan for Category 5 Louisiana hurricane protection. The Corps had given assurances as late as August that the federal plan was "right on schedule." With the assistance of various groups, the state has written its own coastal protection plan, but only federal agencies like the Corps can introduce plans that require federal funding to Congress for authorization.