Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ain't this just Super for New Orleans?

I had expected to get a call Sunday night from at least one of my good friends.

Some kind of friends, eh?

You see, I knew they were in New Orleans, hopping from jazz club to jazz club in the French Quarter. They were there, in the heart of Saints country, enjoying the Super Bowl on television; they were hoping, praying and cheering for not just a team but for a city.

For if any city in America deserved to win a Super Bowl, if any city deserved to celebrate living, to turn its attention away from a decade of heartache, disaster and despair, hard-luck New Orleans would be that U.S. city.

The place has had its share of disappointment -- more than its share, actually. Can any big city claim the kind of hardships that had visited this port city in the past decade? The place almost lost what had been its signature: the ability to party like it's 1999.

How do you party in the face of so much despair, though? Is it unholy to look at life in this peculiar Southern city and not mourn its struggles?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Arenas one star worthy of our forgiveness

    You can find no quick truths to a man's contrition. Take Gilbert Arenas, for example. Arenas wrote a column in The Washington Post decrying the stupidity of his brandishing handguns, as if he were Wyatt Earp, in a place where Glocks and .44 Magnums didn't belong.


    His essay was a compelling piece of prose, words worthy of a man who knew his behavior was outside the lines.

    "I understand the importance of teaching nonviolence to kids in today's world," Arenas wrote an op-ed piece for The Post. "Guns and violence are serious problems, not joking matters -- a lesson that's been brought home to me over the past few weeks."

    From his words, he sounds as if he understands his civic failings, though who can be certain. I mean, what Gilbert Arenas wrote might just be another one of those SportsCenter moments that athletes are fond of.

    For we've seen apologizes aplenty from high-profile athletes - from men like Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Donte Stallworth, Michael Vick, and we all know that, at some point, we will see Tiger Woods producing his camera-ready moment. It will, of course, come with the appropriate tears and the maudlin words penned by Tiger's agent to give humanity to his client's serial infidelity.

    But Tiger and Tyson and none of the other athletes gone wild are what interest me this day. Besides, a few of them have already fallen on their swords in hopes of being forgiven. I'm sure some people have forgiven, knowing that nobody's life is absent flaws.

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