Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Road to WrestleMania New Orleans: Elimination Chamber adds appetizing items to the 'Mania menu

Posted By on Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 2:13 PM


While not nearly as newsworthy as the 2018 Royal Rumble, Sunday night's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view had lots of action, a memorable segment with Ronda Rousey, and settles some questions about who will be doing what April 8 at WrestleMania 34 in New Orleans.

The show, which was exclusive to the Monday Night Raw brand, featured two matches set in its namesake structure. "Elimination Chamber" may sound like a euphemism for the water closet, but it's one of WWE's more reliably engaging gimmicks, a impressively mountainous enclosure of chain-link and steel with locked Plexiglas pods in each corner containing contenders. At predetermined times during the match, a quote-unquote random pod will open and release a new combatant into the fray.

The first-ever women's Elimination Chamber match opened the show, and it was very good. Good, not a revelation, in part because the RAW women's roster is a little shallow. The first-ever women's Royal Rumble was able to draw from Raw and Smackdown as well as the women's division's past competitors. As a result, that historic match was a veritable Who's-Who of women's wrestling, while the women's Elimination Chamber was more of a "who's that?"

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Cappuccino and conversation with wrestler Jimmy Hart, 'The Mouth of the South'

Posted By on Wed, Feb 14, 2018 at 9:00 AM


It wasn't difficult to pick out Jimmy Hart, "The Mouth of the South" in the lobby of the Ace Hotel. Not only did his magnificent bouffant mullet immediately distinguish him from the conservative close-crops of all the slack-faced tech bros, but he was wearing a suit jacket festooned with high-contrast hearts and sunglasses with piano-key frames. At his side was his signature airbrushed megaphone.

Few in pro wrestling history have had less need for a megaphone — his distinctively shrill voice could cut through the noise of a jet engine — but Jimmy Hart's never been subtle. Why settle for annoying fans in just the first 50 rows when a little amplification could let you hector the entire arena?

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sportscaster Jim Henderson announces retirement after 30 years as 'Voice of the Saints'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 3:33 PM

Jim Henderson. - WVUE-TV
  • Jim Henderson.
"Turn down the TV and turn up Jim."

It's been a New Orleans Saints gameday ritual for decades — muting the television sound and tuning into the WWL Saints Radio Network to hear Jim Henderson call the game.

Those days are over. "Hondo" has announced his retirement.

“It’s time. This is a good year to go out," Henderson said in a press release from Entercom Communications today, "It was a great season; the Saints were in two highly competitive playoff games and the future looks bright. It’s good timing."

Henderson began working at WWL-TV in 1978 and moved to a part-time position at WVUE-TV in 2012. Among his most famous utterances was "Get ready to party with the Lombardi, New Orleans! The Saints have won the Super Bowl!"

Henderson, who brought a literate and seemingly effortless touch to the on-the-fly world of play-by-play announcing, worked for years calling game with the late Hokie Gajan. In recent years,  his on-air partner has been former Saints running back Deuce McAllister.

"In a way you wanna cry, but in a way you’re so happy and proud, because you know the work, the heart Jim put into his job," McAllister said in a statement. "This brought joy to everyone who loves Saints football."

No replacement was named. In the Entercom statement, Diane Newman, WWL-AM operations and program director, was quoted as saying "Now the search begins."

(And good luck with that.)

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Road to Wrestlemania New Orleans: Royal Rumble a crowning achievement

Posted By on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 at 12:03 PM

click image Asuka in action, applying the Asuka Lock on Bayley, just seconds before winning at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. - PHOTO BY MIGUEL DISCART/CREATIVE COMMONS
  • Asuka in action, applying the Asuka Lock on Bayley, just seconds before winning at NXT TakeOver: Dallas.

What if the Phorty Phunny Phellows, who stuff themselves inside a streetcar to inaugurate Carnival Season, were ... hotter?

And what if the Phellows strove furiously to throw one another out of the streetcar, because the last one left inside earned the chance to become King of Carnival and would, on Fat Tuesday, fight last year's Rex for the crown inside the Superdome? I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like the absolute quintessence of entertainment.

That, reader, is WWE's Royal Rumble, which last night kicked off 2018's Wrestlemania Season, a rather slicker, longer and more profitably produced Carnival which will culminate at the Superdome April 8 at Wrestlemania 34.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sports Illustrated goes deep in a lengthy profile of Alvin Kamara

Posted By on Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 2:14 PM

Running back Alvin Kamara was profiled in Sports Illustrated. - PHOTO BY DERICK HINGLE
  • Photo by Derick Hingle
  • Running back Alvin Kamara was profiled in Sports Illustrated.

There have been digital reams of copy written about New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara, but most of the focus has been on his on-the-field play rather than his personal life. Sports Illustrated's Ben Baskin spent a weekend in New Orleans with the man who's a shoo-in for Rookie of the Year, and came away with a great profile:
While most of his Saints teammates live near the team facility in Metarie or Kenner, Kamara decided to move downtown, into a ground-floor apartment, his floor-to-very-high-ceiling windows facing directly out to the street and the people on them. He walks home from games, from the Superdome to his front door, amid the revelry and the hordes of adoring fans; down Canal Street to high-end fashion stores to browse; around the block to get breakfast at the Ruby Slipper or to pick up groceries. He considers himself a foodie and has dined at the city’s most famous establishments and the hidden gems on every street, in fancy neighborhoods and not-so-fancy— he has tried beignets and oysters for the first time, and has grown to love the char-grilled variety of the latter.
Other notes:

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Y@ Speak: frozen pipes

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 6:08 PM

Here is your not late, completely unthawed, 100 percent defrosted, not cold at all edition of your weekly Twitter recap. Happy New Year.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Y@ Speak: It's Christmas now.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 4:20 PM

Thanksgiving happened, the Saints broke a win streak, and election cycles never end. Welcome to Christmas.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Y@ Speak: patriot games

Posted By on Mon, Oct 2, 2017 at 12:30 PM

The Saints go to London, KISS comes to Gretna, and Sen. Bill Cassidy beefs.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Baby Cakes tickets at last homestand Sept. 1-4 benefit Harvey relief

Posted By on Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 12:02 PM


During the final homestand of its season Sept. 1-4, your favorite pastry-obsessed, ignominiously-named baseball team New Orleans Baby Cakes will donate $1 from each ticket sold to American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Funds collected will be matched by MiLB Charities.

The team, which is wrapping up its inaugural season under the watchful scowl of its king cake baby mascot, also will collect cash donations for Harvey relief at its customer service window. Donors will be entered into a raffle. And on Sunday, Sept. 3, Junior League of New Orleans will collect diapers, baby wipes, diaper cream, feminine products and $20 Target or Walmart gift cards at the stadium. People who bring those items to donate will be offered a free ticket to Sunday's game, which is followed by a fireworks display.

The 'Cakes play the Nashville Sounds at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m. Sunday and 1 p.m. Monday.

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Y@ Speak Classic

Posted By on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 4:06 PM

While today's Twitter fills up on bad open-mic jokes about airplanes, we look back at last week's hot takes on our favorite New Orleans subjects: sports, dysfunction, and festival behavior.

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