Saturday, August 25, 2012

Preview: Saints-Texans as good as it gets in preseason

Posted By on Sat, Aug 25, 2012 at 10:58 AM

It is time for a full on dress rehearsal tonight inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when the New Orleans Saints host the Houston Texans. Historically the third preseason game is usually when teams play it like a regular season game with their game week preparations and play their starters into the third quarter. With the regular season set to open in two weekends, this will be the last significant action many of the starters will see until September 9.

Houston has looked pretty good in their two wins this preseason. The Texans were 18th in the league in passing last season but first overall on the ground. Quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 2,479 yards in 2011 to go with 15 interceptions in only 10 games. Running back Arian Foster rushed for 1,224 yards to go with 10 touchdowns in the 13 games he played last season.

Why give you those stats? Well its help make a point that the Saints defense will be tested Saturday night.
In fact, the Saints offense will be tested as well as the Texans had the NFL’s second best defense last season. This offseason 2006 first-overall pick defensive end Mario Williams signed a six-year deal with Buffalo. Still despite his loss in free agency some people like CBSSports dot com’s Pete Prisco feel the Texans defense could be better without him and better overall this season.

So as far as dress rehearsals go the Saints can’t find a better test to see where the 2012 team is currently at. The Texans are on the league’s best teams. The Saints are as well and that’s just the players going at it on the field for as we know this has been a busy week for the Saints. Injuries at the linebacker position will not make things easier for the Saints defense. Also Aaron Kromer will begin the process of being broken in as the head coach as he will be side by side with Joe Vitt for these final two preseason games learning the ropes. Kromer will take over as head coach while Vitt serves his six game suspension at the start of the season.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

“So nice to return home"

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 6:07 PM

For some, the term “home” refers to where they were born and raised, or perhaps where they attended school. For others, home refers to that place where one truly experienced life’s special moments, where lifelong friendships were made and where one always felt comfortable no matter the circumstances. For me, the great City of New Orleans qualifies for the latter — and boy, was it wonderful to come home recently!

It was just over a year ago that I announced my decision to return to the sports world as CEO of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, the official alumni organization for professional basketball. While excited about the career opportunity, the resulting need for my family and me to relocate from the city we had called home for a dozen years was exceptionally difficult. I had often said that our family had been truly graced because, while we moved to New Orleans in 2000 for a great job (with the Saints), something special happened along the way as we fell totally in love with a city and its incredible people.

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Southern Rep to announce 2012-2013 season at CAC

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Southern Rep presented A Streetcar Named Desire at Michalopoulos Studio in March and April.
  • Photo by Ride Hamilton
  • Southern Rep presented A Streetcar Named Desire at Michalopoulos Studio in March and April.

After finishing its 25th season presenting plays at various locations, including the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), Southern Rep announced it would present its 2012-2013 season at the CAC. The season's productions will be announced Tuesday during a happy hour (5 p.m.-7 p.m.) at the CAC's Cafe Spun. The public is welcome and there will be a cash bar and complimentary hors d'oeuvres.

Arts patrons can get a preview of a host of fall arts programming from local production companies, museums and cultural groups at Culture Collision from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5. After three years at NOMA, the event is being moved to Generations Hall. More than 50 groups will offer fall schedule previews, ticket and membership information and more. There will be a cash bar and food. DJ Matty will provide music. Ratty Scurvics will perform at the afterparty, beginning at 8 p.m., also at Generations Hall.

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Soft shell crab banh mi, anyone?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Pho at Fusion Cafe.

For years before pho and banh mi became part of the lingua franca for local foodies, many Vietnamese families got into the restaurant business serving New Orleans flavors, like gumbo, fried seafood platters and perhaps yakamein. Today, many more of them are choosing to showcase their own traditional flavors, and Vietnamese noodle shops are spreading rapidly around the suburbs and in New Orleans proper.

One relatively new addition to the scene, however, combines both approaches, and adds a little sushi for good measure.

Fusion Café has been around for about a year, quietly serving pho, banh mi, bun salads and spring rolls on one side of the menu and roast beef po-boys, crawfish pies and fried shrimp platters on the other. There’s also an extensive selection of sushi rolls and Japanese restaurant standards like gyoza, edamame and seaweed salad.

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Listen: Gambit's free music Friday

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Lightning Bolt
  • Lightning Bolt

Rapper Nesby Phips released 0017th: Hollygrove Ain't Enough last week. The Jet Lifer's latest features guest spots from Curren$y, Juvenile, Mack Maine and Fiend. Download it here

Explosive guitar-and-drums duo Caddywhompus is on summer tour until next month — meanwhile, it made Boston Phoenix's "50 Bands, 50 States" issue, declaring the band as Louisiana's best new band in 2012. The paper even gives a shoutout to Chinquapin Records, the young New Orleans label with Caddywhompus, Sun Hotel, Glish and several others. Download Caddywhompus' bursting-at-the-seams 2012 EP The Weight here.

Speaking of duos: Rhode Island's pummeling bass-and-drum noise-craftsmen Lightning Bolt headline a very special episode of Sunday's Punk Rock Takeover series at The Big Top (details here). The band's tribal, guttural and fun noise compositions (namely Ride the Skies, Wonderful Rainbow and Hypermagic Mountain) are essential 2000s albums, and its reputation for immense, swarm-like and bodies-pulsing basement shows are captured on their excellent tour documentary The Power Of Salad (including shots from the now-defunct New Orleans DIY punk house Banks Street Warehouse). The band's latest is 2009's Earthly Delights — stream the monumental jam "Colussus" here.

Also: stream a long-lost 20 minute session from 1997, among other tracks, here. Stream another forgotten early track, "King Candy," here.

It'll also be the last show (until December or next year) from Baton Rouge-New Orleans metal lords Thou, whose catalog is available at your downloading pleasure here.

More after the jump.

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Second line Sunday: First parade of the season - Valley of Silent Men

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

@1:49 mark - the chirren!!!

Valley of The Silent Men S&P Club
27th Year Annual Second Line Parade
Sunday, August 26, 2012 *3-6pm

*This parade starts and ends later in the day

Parade route below the jump!

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Hayride's "legitimate rape" cartoon goes viral

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM

The Hayride is a pugnacious, fiercely conservative website covering Louisiana and national politics. Each day, publisher Scott McKay sends out "The Nooner," an email with summaries and links to stories both on the Hayride and in the national media.

But a cartoon on today's Hayride by writer/cartoonist Tom Bonnette has stirred some controversy. We're not going to reprint the cartoon here (it's a play on Rep. Todd Akin's now-infamous reference to "legitimate rape," and titled "Do We Really Want To Keep Talking About Akin?"), but here are some of the reactions:


I emailed McKay (who posts on the Hayride as "MacAoidh"), because I wasn't quite sure who the rapist was supposed to be (Uncle Sam? Bill Clinton?). His response under the jump.

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"Fill in" Kromer ready to continue Payton's work

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Assistant head coach Joe Vitt (left) and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer observe the field during a training camp practice
  • Photo by Gus Kattengell
  • Assistant head coach Joe Vitt (left) and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer observe the field during a training camp practice
The Saints put a wrap on their practice week as they get closer to their preseason meeting against the Houston Texans on Saturday night.

“It’s really been a great week. I think our players are really excited about playing this game,” assistant head coach Joe Vitt said following practice on Thursday.

It’s been a busy week at Saints camp with injury news and the announcement of who will head up the team for the first six weeks of the Season. Offensive line coach and running game coordinator Aaron Kromer will be the acting head coach until Vitt returns from serving a six game suspension. Thursday Kromer addressed the media for the first time as the man in charge and quickly told us that he is in charge but not really.

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NOPD Consent decree: Council approves pay plan for detail oversight office; Justice dept. drafts RFP for monitor

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:14 PM

New Orleans City Council today voted 6-0 to establish a pay plan for the Police Office of Secondary Employment, creating four new classified positions in the city's civil service system. District D Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, who had earlier expressed serious concerns about the office, was absent from today's council meeting.

The office — part of the city's Chief Administrative Office — is to be led by a fifth, unclassified employee: retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. John Salomone. Salomone's hiring was announced in late May in anticipation of the federal consent decree between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD).

The office will be paid for, at least in part, with fees collected from police officers who work details, but those fees are yet to be announced. In an August 16 council budget committee meeting, Hedge-Morrell said she did not want to vote in favor of the pay plan until she knew how much the new detail system would cost officers.

“I feel very uncomfortable setting up all these payscales until I know how much they’re going to have to contribute," Hedge-Morrell said at the committee meeting. “Are we going to raise the cost? Because I think it’s very important to the officers who are depending on this income … that they don’t see a drastic reduction in what they make when they do those details.”

Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin replied that during consent decree negotiations, federal officials would only agree to allow police details if they were administered and overseen by City Hall. DOJ preferred to get rid of them altogether, Kopplin said.

(More after the jump)

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2012 New Orleans Film Festival competition lineup revealed

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 3:09 PM

The New Orleans Film Society has announced the films that will compete for the grand jury prize at the 2012 New Orleans Film Festival, which takes place October 11 to 18. Highlights include Four, which stars hometown hero Wendell Pierce, and Bayou Blue, a documentary about a little-known series of killings in Southeastern Louisiana. The full list of in-competition films is available here. Short films, Louisiana films, and feature films outside competition wil be announced later this month.

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