September is the other August. Hot. And, from where I sit right now on the first of July, the heat is the only thing I can predict for either month. So much is up in the air and, like most folks, I am tethered to the many hopes, dreams and dangers that float above. Every day waiting to see which of those hot air balloons will burst and which will stay buoyant.
Hurricane season traditionally reaches its peak in September. The presidential race will be accelerating with danger around every turn for my candidate (Come on! Who do you think I’m voting for?). Our City’s newspaper is about to become an embarrassment unless someone with the likes of Warren Buffet is allowed to adopt it (best we can hope for is Jimmy Buffet hosting a benefit). HBO will be deciding if David Simon’s team gets to continue representing our City with his amazing “Treme” series. And of course, there are the New Orleans Saints.
When our Saints finished up last season (losing a very close chance at making it into a second Super Bowl), we licked our wounds and then held firmly to the belief that we were going to the Super Bowl this season. That was because we knew it was meant to be; that it was okay because we really wanted it to happen in New Orleans when we host the 2013 Super Bowl. I got goose bumps just hearing folks talk about it. I mean, can you imagine our city, our team, and our Super Bowl? We’d be on fire! Or so I believed.
Then that big damn water balloon in the sky drenched our hopes. Now I am so conflicted about the Saints and their purported lack of sainthood. Bountygate has cast a spell of gloom and doom over me. But it’s still early as I sit here composing about my lack of composure. I am still mad as hell and keep waiting for some sort of “Say it ain’t so, Joe” or at least, some really fine display of redemption – like the team rescuing an elderly lady, a little blind dog and a big ole yellow school bus from an oncoming train. Risking their lives and saving the day! Now that would be some kickass mea culpa. Or simply: “Breaking News Tonight at 10 – The NFL Admits its own Bounty on Saints. All Charges Dismissed. Lawsuits Pending.” Just some small miracle to save the school dance. If this were a Frank Capra film, Jimmy Stewart would find a way, save the day, and the City would take to the streets dancing and cheering. “Oh, Joe. Say it is so.”
Okay, it is what it is and maybe I’ll just have to suck it up and get my game face on and be realistic about the virtues of football – it ain’t a school dance, and even then folks don’t always dance nice. They step on toes. But I still don’t like it one little bit.
Why can’t they just play nice? “Well Debbie,” you might say, “this ain’t no goddarn silly movie. Go watch your Lifetime movie of the week if you want a happy ending!” Well okay! I’ll give you my rewrite of some events and my game plan for others.
HBO, listen up. Wonder why viewership for “Treme” is slow, low and dismal? Maybe you need a bit more advertising. You can’t rely on Dave Walker of the Times-Picayune to be the only trumpeter for “Treme”. He just can’t reach the entire U.S. press (And will he still have a job?). When I was vacationing in New York during the first season of “Treme”, I saw three billboard promotionals for the show. In all the areas I covered from Coney Island to Park Avenue, only three measly “Treme” ads among the hundreds of other entertainment promos. And back home in New Orleans, I rarely ever see a “Treme” billboard. Of our tourists that I’ve queried, those viewing “Treme” love it, but most folks never heard of it. Advertise!!!
So if “Treme” doesn’t get a fourth season from HBO, then I suggest David Simon and his staff of writers begin printing a newspaper. Yeah I know Newhouse said, “They had no intention of selling – no matter how much noise is out there.” Well, he doesn’t even know what noise is. Let’s get our Who Dat Nation to amplify our desire for a full-time Times-Picayune for our fulltime city. And while I’m tweaking reality, let’s sic Goodell on Newhouse and gang.
So, after the Who Dat pep rally (so loud it is rumored to have driven all Formosan termites to swarm Lake Pontchartrain – may they rest in peace) and Goodell’s use of power to trump greed – the Buffets ride in and save the Times-Picayune. To ensure profitability, Jimmy builds a new Margaritaville adjacent to 3800 Howard Ave. They could even keep current bigwigs, Amoss and Mathews, on the payroll – delivering the paper. Drew Brees could give ‘em some pointers on how to pitch those papers squarely on our front steps and not in the bushes. I think John Goodman would look just fine behind the desk of editorin-chief. And Sean Payton will moonlight writing for the Sports page (he will also write a marital advice column).
Not to worry, all former T-P staff will be reinstated and to make good use of our additional “Treme”/Saints crew, the newspaper will print and distribute eight days a week.
Before I wrap up my wish list, I’d like to make one small change to Hurricane Season: shorten it to three months and hold it in the winter. Cooler temps will make for a far more agreeable experience as cars are less likely to over-heat and the beer will stay cool longer during power outages.