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The voodoo that who do?

October 26, 2009

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I wasn’t at the game this past Saturday night in Baton Rouge. I didn’t even watch it on TV or listen to it online or on the radio. I was, as some of you know, at a good friend’s wedding in New Orleans – not a college football fan obviously – and followed the game until my phone battery died, via updates on ESPN’s mobile site. We were less than 2 hours away though, in the lovely confines of the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Friday night in the Big Easy there were plenty of Auburn fans out and about and partying like Rock Stars. Saturday, they were still out wandering the streets of the Quarter up until early afternoon, where presumably, they made their departures to Baton Rouge. Sunday, the Auburn family was crammed into cars and SUVs hastily beating a retreat up first I-10, and then I-65.

My Auburn weekend in enemy territory went about like this –

Friday late afternoon arrival at our hotel and I’m certain I asked the valet for a drink. I throw my bags at the half open door to our room and sprint back to the still open elevator. Drinking commences as we meander through Bourbon Street. Dinner is late, and at Desire Oyster Bar in the Royal Sonesta. I opted for the shrimp and grits while Josephine tried the fried green tomato and shrimp po-boy. Drinking continues of course.

The roux was the best part of dinner. There were plenty of fresh ingredients swimming alongside the shrimp and grit cakes, but the roux was cooked down to a thick brown and spicy gravy. The bread could have been two weeks old and still would have been wonderful with each pass through the roux. I seriously doubt the waiter could tell the difference between my bowl and the ones just out of the dishwasher when I finished.

Friday night ended with a loud, “War Eagle!” outside our hotel.

Saturday brought a cajun bloody mary and the beginning of ESPNs College GameDay. I couldn’t tell if the bartender was shocked more at the timing of my order or the Auburn attire I dared to bring out. Brunch was outside at The Court of Two Sisters and almost made me forget the upcoming contest between the Tigers.

I sampled their eggs benedict, bacon, cajun hash browns, grits, glazed ham, orange crepes, egg and potato salad, fruit and cheese bar before making a fool of myself at the dessert station. I tell you, if you go to the Sisters, and you should, do yourself a favor and bathe in the hollandaise sauce – it is that good. Josephine swore the sweet potato casserole and cornbread dressing were the best she’d ever tried, and then tried to ditch me for the cook before we rolled out.

Saturday afternoon meant more booze and by the time we started getting ready to leave Huck Finn’s Cafe and the UT vs. UAT game, I loudly proclaimed, “if my friend didn’t want to see me drunk at her wedding, she shouldn’t have gotten married in New Orleans!” Josephine was clearly unimpressed.

Yes, I was that asshole guy checking his phone for updates during the wedding. At least I refrained during all of the prayers and when the bride walked.

Auburn kicked off while we were getting our first round of drinks at the reception. I wasn’t as shy about pulling my phone out of my jacket pocket to watch the refresh and follow the action during dinner. The bartender did ask me where I got my prosthetic hand, and when I asked what he meant, he responded, “you haven’t turned loose of that damned thing since you got in here. You’ve got a beer in one hand and a phone in the other.”

Okay, maybe the beer in the other hand was an exaggeration.

We shared our table with a Mississippi State fan, a Naval Academy graduate, and two folks who attended a Division II school and admitted having a passing interest in college football. They were Ravens fans or I might have asked they be removed from the table for their own safety.

The interesting and sad fact I observed over the next two hours was how happy the State fan was that his team was staying with Florida. Meanwhile, yours truly has kicked over the carving station, told the bride’s mother the SEC was using “scrub” referees this year, and foolishly proclaimed to the table behind me, “we’re a second half team.”

And then, my phone battery died. The last update I saw was LSU scoring to go up 30 to 3. Thankfully, it died before the extra point got recorded. My State fan was so happy to report 16 to 13 Florida, and that he thought State had two pick 6’s on the night. I was incredulous.

Walking back to the hotel, there were just too many bars to pass up. I saw the score flashed across the bottom of the screen in bar number three. We walked out, full beer in hand. My mind stumbled almost as much as my feet at the thought of 5-3 with an upcoming Navy Nightmare. New Orleans had wreaked some Voodoo havoc on me and the Nutt would surely do the same thing.

And so Monday is here and I’ve read all that I can stomach. Apparently there are fresh calls for Chris Todd’s head and repeated cries for that of Ted Roof’s. And yes, the ever-present call for the Auburn family to remain united and supportive. Sad, but true. The players got a “day off” in the form of film study and interviews yesterday and we can only hope that it helps. For those of you ready to move on from the Bayou hangover, check out Andy’s all around the league Monday links.

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