Tag Archives: New Orleans

The Gypsy Man

NEW ORLEANS — The Gypsy Man in the blue shirt was shouting, his voice careening off walls and into empty alleys.

“I’m the fucking gazda,” he would say.

It wasn’t quite a scream, or a bellow, or even a holler. It was a quiet shout, if such a thing exists. And he was directing his seeming anger toward a young woman named Gina. I can’t say that Gina was strung out. But she looked it. Her skin was brown, but maybe just a tick too translucent. Her teeth were a mangled mess. Her hair was thinning and brittle. More than that, she appeared disoriented — the toxins in her body winning a battle over the healthy endorphins, if such a chemical process is even possible.

“We’re gypsies!” the man in the blue shirt shouted.  Continue reading

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New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS | It was my first time in New Orleans. Maybe I should start with that. I had arrived on a Wednesday, a full five days of work awaiting.

I had the most superficial understanding of New Orleans. Café Du Monde. Drew Brees. The Superdome. Katrina… and the scenes from the aftermath. Bourbon Street. That Simpson episode where Marge plays Blanche DuBois in a musical adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” And so on.

This was my New Orleans.

And then came Tuesday afternoon. My last day. For five days, I had covered basketball, tracking a Kansas team that wouldn’t wilt, and a Kentucky team that couldn’t. For five days, I had walked the streets of the French Quarter, all of its tackiness and beauty and charm blending together in some strange concoction of Bourbon-infused wonder.

They call this place Le Vieux Carré … the Old Square. Or at least they did.

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Favre Facts

“He’s the best, bar none. Whenever God was making them, He put a little extra in him.” — former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter

“He’s a gunslinger.” — former Cleveland Browns great Tim Couch

– Brett Favre is an NFL quarterback.

– He was born in Gulfport, Miss., on October 10, 1969.

– On Oct. 10, 1969, hundreds of young people — including many from the Weather Undergound Organization — started riots in Chicago to protest the Vietnam war and the trial of the Chicago Seven.

– On Oct. 12, 1999, two days after Brett Favre’s 30th birthday, the World’s population surpassed 6 billion people.

– Brett Favre has thrown 317 career interceptions, the most in NFL history.

– George Blanda threw 277 interceptions, the second-most in NFL history.

– Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have thrown 319 interceptions in their careers – combined.

– Brett Favre has won one Super Bowl, a 35-21 victory over the New England Patriots on Jan. 26, 1997.

– Montana, Brady and Roethlisberger have won nine Super Bowls combined.

– Brett Favre has played for three teams, the Green Bay Packers, the New York Jets and the Minnesota Vikings.

– The last pass he threw for the Packers was an interception. The last pass he threw for the Jets was an interception. And on Jan. 24, 2010, Favre’s last pass for the Vikings was an — wait for it, wait for it — interception.

– Brett Favre has played in five NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, 2010).

– In those five NFC Championship Games, Favre had a total of seven interceptions.

– In 2005, Brett Favre threw 29 interceptions — the most in the NFL since Vinny Testaverde threw 35 in 1988.

– Brett From 2003 to 2008, Favre threw 122 interceptions.

– Brett Favre never led the NFL in passer rating. But he did lead the league in interceptions three different times (1993, 2005 and 2008).

So perhaps all these numbers are a little unfair. After all, I heard these wise words tonight and they seemed to ring true.

“We don’t want to hate you, Brett. It’s the media and the NFL’s fault.”

Of course, I also thought of these words:

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

So maybe Brett Favre really is worthy of the hype.

But you probably know that this quote is often erroneously credited to the great Mark Twain.

And, as you probably know, Twain grew up in Hannibal, Mo., a small port town on the Mississippi river, just a short river-raft ride from the city of New Orleans — the same city where Favre threw two more interceptions on Sunday night.

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