Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The New Orleans Regional Falls

Glory. Glory. A Regional Championship.

And a victory lap too. Very classy!

Am I the only one sort of disappointed that LSU was humiliated before they got to Tulane? Stupid Rice. I know the Times-Picayune only begrudgingly covers the Wave- but the Tigers getting swept by the Wave would have generated at least some T-P coverage, right? If just along the lines of: “Tigers Swept by Wave- Sun Should Still Rise”

Regardless, I am not bringing the Skull to Turchin for Rice. No offense to the Owls, but candidly it'd be disrespectful to Mike IV, America's favorite curio, don't you think?

I don’t know much about Rice per se, other than I sense this ought to be a tougher series than we might expect. True, Tulane dominated its Regional by scoring a bunch of runs. But I tend to think Rice holds the pitching match-up in Game 1- so they have to like their chances. This is where the Wave’s lack of true lights out, top of the rotation, starter hurts.

But accordingly, the Owls really probably must get the first one. Tulane seems to hold the advantage on the hill in the next two games- and ought to be able to throw three real quality arms at Rice out of the ‘pen. And of course, Tulane truly hits like the #1 team in the country. The Wave is playing, truly, at home- in front of what will be a howling partisan crowd. You can almost sense the fans can smell it. Two more wins- and you can seriously start thinking about the two most glorious words in collegiate sports: National Championship. But not yet. Keep it in the recesses of your heart. And let the hate grow, blossom, and flower.

I am a little disappointed at the decision to play at Turchin. Okay, like most things in life, there are ups and downs to any decision. Clearly, if you just want to focus on winning, play Turchin. So I am not going crazy at this decision.

But part of me thinks this event is one of those chances for Tulane to try and partially re-connect with the people of New Orleans. So part of me wants to see them go to Zephyr, sell lots of $10 walk up tickets, and throw open the gates. Let all Tulane ID holders of any type in free. Push university employees to go and bring a neighbor. Quietly demand every Dean attend. Really try and sell this series as a "New Orleans" event: a nice night, bring your kids, family atmosphere, support the local school- that kind of thing. Give the City every chance, every excuse, to rally around this underdog program that has been kicked its share of times.

This is a nice thing for Tulane. But this is also a nice thing for New Orleans. Our kids are athletes and they go to school. They play an entertaining brand of ball. They freaking win. Tulane ought not to be shy about telling folks that. Part of having such a disproportionate out-of-state focus for students and alumni, due to the wreckage of Louisiana public schooling and local post-undergrad economics, Tulane is- deservedly or not- frankly insular to most locals.

Let's at least try to bust that open for one weekend. Rather than catering to the parochial TJ Quill's mob, the Frank Scelfo crowd, and others who frankly don't like to share Tulane sports with anyone- I would have liked to see Tulane try to move 20,000 tickets at $10- rather than a few thousand to donors and students.

Lastly, there are some great pictures at:


No American should ever get tired of pictures of helicopters and victory laps.