Thursday, September 01, 2005


Obviously, this blog covers Tulane sports. And I don’t know what to write today. Like all Americans, I am staggered by the ruin. I pray for a swift recovery. I grieve the lost- and am heartened that they are with Our Father in Heaven.

I am not going to say more than that. First, I am not smart enough to offer comments or suggestions on flooding, contractors, levies or rebuilding efforts. Second, this is not the proper or appropriate forum for such a discussion. I am also not going to post my season prediction or comments on Tulane football until it becomes obvious that the team will play.

As all of this pertains to Tulane and New Orleans, I have only a pair of comments. Both are offered in the spirit that I know they are not pertinent to the disaster today.

It has become increasingly clear that Tulane will not be able to play any football games in New Orleans this year. In the scale of this tragedy, it is no big thing- except as further evidence of the utter devastation being inflicted on our friends and neighbors.

But there is no shame in playing the games somewhere, trying to play them in Louisiana, striving to make them a small event in the restoration of the city. After 9/11 in New York, the tribulation of the Mets and the Yankees, the Giants and the Jets, were completely unimportant. New York was not exactly glad to have them back- but maybe we also wanted the games again. Honestly. Try and play them. Play the home ones as close as you can. And if it is at all possible, throw open the doors of the Superdome for the last one- invite everyone- and restore another small bit of New Orleans.

There is something good about the civic connection with sports and teams- and it ought not to be dismissed casually. Right now, New Orleans certainly isn’t ready at any level- but someday sooner than we think- it will be. Throw the doors open then and say: You are all welcome here.

My second thought is Tulane is going to obviously be one of the engines to rebuild New Orleans- and rebuild is literally what we are talking about here. Obviously, we are months from that part. But rebuilding gives Tulane a real chance to improve the physical footprint of the university- and as discussions begin about the Superdome restoration, a new home for the Saints, etc.- it would behoove Tulane to have an aggressive plan to move all its facilities, academic and athletic, forward in an environment that ought to be very development friendly.