Last Week's Roller Coaster Ride

Posted by root | 30 Aug, 2011

My commentaries also appear in Bayou Buzz, www.bayoubuzz.com.

This past week was one of those weeks where so many things happened that I thought I would take a few words to reflect on them.

Last week LSU football fans were hit with the shocking news of the arrest of the team’s starting quarterback, Jordan Jefferson, and Joshua Johns, a sophomore, on a felony charge stemming from an altercation outside a barroom. I don’t know about you, but my first thought was what were Jefferson, Johns, and maybe others doing anywhere near a barroom in the first place. The season opener was just a week away. Here is a young man, Jordan Jefferson, a senior, at the height of his college career, facing a huge season opener, a season that will make or break his chances to play in the NFL, a game that will directly affect the Tigers national rankings and post season hopes; and he gets himself arrested and suspended from the team. What was he thinking? What a way to let down your coaches, your teammates, and the fans. Let’s hope that this incident is not a distraction on Saturday night as the Tigers face the Oregon Ducks on national television.

Over the weekend Hurricane Irene devastated the East Coast of the United States. Wind damage and massive flooding were everywhere the wrath of the storm touched. Most people evacuated as they were told while others rode out the storm at home. Now many of those people are being rescued from their homes by boat as flood waters rise. A few commentators are criticizing some local, state, and national leaders for “overreacting” to Irene’s severity. What’s their problem? Living in Southeast Louisiana we know the dangers of hurricanes. We can only hope that the federal, state, and local authorities where Irene hit take lessons from what was done right and what was done wrong here following Katrina some six years ago. Congratulations to those who evacuated. You were smart. Safe is always better than sorry.

And speaking about Katrina, August 29th was the anniversary of this terrible storm. Many lives were lost; the weaknesses of government in its response in the days following the storm and the weak recovery in so many areas are all reminders that these kinds of storms can devastate a community and change it forever. If there is a moral to Katrina it is do not depend on the government, local, state, or federal, to bail you out of a crisis. If you do you are in even deeper trouble. Government at all levels is dysfunctional, especially when it comes to things that are out of the ordinary like a hurricane; and the red tape is a nightmare. With time we can only hope that the changes to our community caused by Katrina will be for the better as we continue to work toward full recovery for everyone.

Monday morning we awoke to the heavy smell of a burning marsh fire in New Orleans East. Watery eyes and irritated throats affected many people as they headed off to work and went about their daily activities. As I looked out of my office on the eleventh floor of the Galleria there was a haze blanketing Metairie and the New Orleans CBD. This would certainly have been a good day for rain out in the east.

The good news from this past weekend was the New Orleans Saints impressive victory over the Oakland Raiders, 40 – 20. Next up is the final pre-season game against the Tennessee Titans, at home in the dome. Then one week later, on national television, our Saints, winners of Super Bowl XLIV, battle the Green Bay Packers, winners of last season’s Super Bowl, in the NFL season opener.

So the ups and downs of the past week have been like a roller coaster. But at the end of the ride, there is always another ride waiting for us. Let’s hope that the next ride is all fun, and that the Saints and LSU provide us with many over the top moments this season.