Our current mayor, looking at our next one.
Earlier this week, I asked what it would take to get you to leave New Orleans.
No, it isn't.
The more I thought about it, the more I thought that he was right.
The only leadership we've seen in this city in the past 2 years has come from Sean Payton and the Saints. The only leadership.
The only thing we've really had to give us any hope in the past year has been the New Orleans Saints.
Today, going to a barber shop in da East, going to Casamento's for lunch, at a daiquiri shop on Chef Menteur, going to da quatah, dropping off some donations at Common Ground and submitting my daughter's application to pre-K (that's Kindergarten, not the other thing), I ran into people that were just brimming with excitement.
I've learned that despite the citizens' best efforts, the only optimism we have in this city is due to the Saints.
If they were to leave, it would be tragic, it would be painful, it may be fatal for the city of New Orleans.
There's no leadership here. When Nagin and Riley made the announcement of their toothless plan, councilpeople Stacy Head and Shelley Midura were standing behind him.
Oliver Thomas made a good old preachy announcement, full of nice sound bites like "check your thug card at the city line".
Where's the leadership?
We desperately need it from our elected and appointed officials.
Can someone please explain to me why we need to crack down on littering? Is this the best use of police time? Will this lower the murder rate?
Can someone tell me how having hundreds of officers involved in checkpoints is going to catch murderers? How many of those murderers were driving cars? How many were out exactly between the hours of 2 and 6? Well, what do I know. It seems to me that nothing is being done to change things...only to shut us up.
That ain't gonna happen.
If things don't change, expect a bigger march next time.
But thank God we're getting leadership from people like Michael Lewis, aka Beerman.
"The city believes," Lewis says, with feeling, "because we believe."
We get it from Deuce McAllister.
We get it from Fred McAfee.
We get it from Sean Payton.
The last Saint game of the regular season was used to rest the regulars. Fred McAfee scored a touchdown, after being cut at the beginning of the year, then resigned, then cut, then resigned 2 days before the game.
This week, Fred McAfee was put on the injured reserve list.
The way the IR works in the NFL is that a trip to the IR list means you're done for the year. You still get paid, you're still part of the team.
Coach Payton did not cut FreddieMac, rather, he put him on the IR.
So Fred is still part of the team, and will still get a ring if we play in Miami.
We all know that FreddieMac isn't hurt. He may have played his last game, but he's still a Saint, he's still getting paid, and he'll still get a ring.
Coach Payton is a class act.
Coach Payton is a leader.
Perhaps Mr. Nagin, Mr. Riley, and Mr. Jordan could learn something from Mr. Payton.
They haven't learned anything yet.
Does Nagin's bodyguard look like he's gonna go all Danziger on Bart at any second or what?
Oh, and the idea that people showed up because a white woman got shot is wrong. They were there because of everybody.
They were there because of Steve Blair, Monier Gindy, Corey Hayes, Eddy Saint Fleur, Don Morgan, Jealina Brown, Larry Glover and Cheryl Nitzky.
I carried a marching snare drum there, partially because all parades need drummers, partially because I want to play in a brass band around town, partially because I haven't marched a drum in a parade since 1986, but mainly because Dinerral Shavers played snare drum.
I talked with the guys in the Hot 8 after the speakers finished. They were the coolest bunch of guys, with hope in their faces, not fear and sorrow. I told them I brought the snare to honor Dick, and they smiled and rapped my drumhead.
The kids who were in Dinerral's high school band were there, and they also had the look of hope. Unfortunately, they didn't have the look of innocent children, either. They had that jaded look of kids who have had part of their childhood stolen away from them.
I wonder if Riley and Nagin feel any guilt about that. Hell, I wonder if they feel guilt about anything.
I wonder if they feel.
I did get to talk to Morwen for a while, and she feels just like I do. She went to the starlight, and I should have gone with her. Instead, I talked to Arnie Fielkow for a bit, and then wandered (with parade snare drum in tow) over to Johnny White's.
I didn't want to let it all go, so after an Abita Amber or 6, I called adrastos. He was with dangerblond, and they came over to Johnny White's. A guy from Beaumont bought two rounds, and then we wandered the quarter aimlessly looking for food. Eventually, we ended up back at Johnny White's, and then a wine bar.
In case y'all ain't noticed, I'm not really a wine bar kind of guy.
So for now, I'm going to enjoy the biggest event ever to happen in the Superdome. I'm going to be part of the loudest crowd of people ever assembled in an American Football arena. We will not just not allow them to hear the snap count, they won't be able to hear the plays in the huddle. We will deafen them, we will crush them, we will break them.
Then, we will celebrate. We will show that country to our north, as well as Canada, how to pass a good time.
Then we'll wait for Seattle to come down, and do it all again next week.
Lisa captured my feelings well, Bart should be drafted for mayor (seriously), Karen showed Clarence that mirrors don't always provide a flattering view, and Maitri has the roundup of the press coverage.
It's sad here, it's desperate. But tomorrow, between 7 and 10 pm, we will see the best examples of leadership New Orleans has to offer.
At this point, the only example.