Posts Tagged ‘superdome’

Sports Power Weekend Destination: New Orleans

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

October 1-3 Friday
Saturday Tennessee at LSU
Sunday Panthers at Saints


The Fleur-De-Lis and Debauchery Down in New Orleans

What’s not to love about the Big Easy?

The food is in a class by itself, the nightlife is top notch, the music and the feel-good vibes course through your veins as you walk the streets, and there is even some beautiful architecture for the non-sports loving WAGs. Oh yeah, on certain weekends in the Fall you can see the defending Super Bowl champion Saints and the perennial BCS-contender LSU Tigers take the field in what are widely considered the top home-field advantages in professional and college football, respectively.

Where to stay

  • Holiday Inn French Quarter
  • Sheraton New Orleans (French Quarter)
  • Marriott New Orleans
  • Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans
  • W Hotel

Note: It pays to stay down by French Quarter, even if it is slightly more expensive than alternatives. Taxis from hotels near airport and on outskirts of the city can cost upwards of $30 each way.

FRIDAY NIGHT

  • Acme Oyster House
  • Cat’s Meow
  • Pat O’Briens

Fly into New Orleans on Friday night and check in to one of the many reasonably priced hotels on Canal Street next to the French Quarter. Take a stroll up Canal to Bourbon Street and make sure you bring your appetite. One block off Bourbon on Iberville Street is the famous Acme Oyster House. Acme has been serving award-winning hand-shucked oysters since 1910 and is a must while you are in town.

There are often lines out the door (no reservations), so tell your buddy to grab you guys some Big-Ass Beers to help pass the time on the line. Yes, you can drink on the street without fear. If raw oysters aren’t your thing, try the Fried Peace Maker Po-Boy, and don’t be shy, ask for some Hush Puppies on the side too. For those who are trying to watch their figure while in New Orleans, well you may just have to put those ambitions on hold for 48 hours.

After you feast you might as well experience everything else Bourbon has to offer. Walk the streets and check out the freaks. Hop in and out of bars at your own volition as you continue to walk towards St. Peter street to the Cat’s Meow, the “World’s Best Karaoke Bar.” If you don’t want to partake and you get sick of hearing drunken Bon Jovi songs, double back one block to Pat O’s, originator of the New Orleans favorite “The Hurricane.” The dueling pianos are worth the wait for a table. Be mindful, more than two Hurricanes can be detrimental to your reputation.

SATURDAY

  • Mother’s Restaurant
  • Jackson Square
  • Café DuMonde
  • Tiger Stadium
  • The Boot
  • Harrah’s

As you shake off the cobwebs from last night, you are sure to build up another Cajun appetite. Make your way towards Mother’s Restaurant on Poydras for their renowned Ferdi Special po boy. Make sure to try to one of the gumbo or jambalaya apps as well.

After lunch, walk east on North Peters (turns into Decatur) or along the Mississippi River towards Jackson Square. The Square, which is in the shadow of the Louisiana State Museum and St. Louis Cathedral, has been around since the 1700s and prominently features a statue of Battle of New Orleans hero Andrew Jackson on horseback.

Just outside of Jackson Square is yet another food landmark, Café DuMonde. Beignets, fried dough smothered in powdered sugar, at Café DuMonde are a necessary part of any New Orleans visit. After your quick treat continue walking on Decatur until you reach Frenchmen Street. Frenchmen is a quaint street lined with musicians and performers in front of nice local shops and its fair share of bars with live music. Take a seat, have a drink and relax, because soon when you’re in Baton Rouge at Tiger Stadium – often referred to as Death Valley – you will be on your feet and surrounding by cheers so loud your head will ring for days.

Photo courtesy of LSUSports.net

Rent a car and take the 1 hour and 20 minute drive from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. Make sure you leave enough time to account for pregame traffic as well as ample time to tailgate and mingle with the fans. There are 90,000+ fans in Death Valley during the game and additional 20,000+ who show up on gameday to tailgate.

A couple of hours before the game catch the “March Down the Hill,” where LSU coaches, players, cheerleaders and Tiger Band march down the hill between Tiger Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. If you have time you can check out the LSU mascot Mike the Tiger’s new habitat on campus. Get to your seats well before kickoff for one of the top pregame routines in all of college football as the band takes the field.

Tennessee coming to town for an SEC showdown is sure to bring out the best in the LSU crowd. This is a crowd that once made so much noise that the shaking of the stadium registered on the Richter Scale in the geology building down the street. Opposing coaches like Georgia’s Mark Richt say this place is the loudest stadium they have ever heard. Wide receivers Terrence Tolliver and Reuben Randle form one of the nation’s best wideout duos and all-purpose wide receiver Russell Shepard is a former five-star recruit that will be sure to bring the crowd to its feet throughout the course of the game. Make sure to represent in some purple and gold to maximum enjoyment.

After the game head back to New Orleans to cap off the night right. Keep the college motif going uptown at Tulane’s top bar The Boot (1039 Broadway Street). As you make your way back to Canal you can press your luck at Harrah’s. Just make sure you don’t bet your Saints tickets away.

SUNDAY

  • Surrey’s Café
  • Superdome

Photo courtesy of AP Images

With a noon local start, you will be hard pressed to get up and do much before the Saints game. It is definitely worth your while to set the alarm a little earlier than you normally would in order to check out Surrey’s Café for a pregame fill up. You are definitely going to need to get your energy up if you want to jump around and scream Who Dat! in your Saints jersey for three hours in the Superdome.

The Super Bowl XLIV champion Saints defend their home turf against NFC South-rival Carolina in an early-season contest that could shape the division race. The Superdome crowd is sure to bring the thunder in what Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, among others, consider the loudest stadium they have ever played.

With Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees taking snaps out of the shotgun, flanked by a multitude of weapons, the Saints are poised to make another run at the Lombardi Trophy and their third division title since realignment. The Panthers counter with the one-two punch of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the first tandem of running backs to rush for 1,100 yards in the same season in NFL history (2009). This promises to be a high scoring affair with “Stand Up and Get Crunk” blaring over the speakers consistently after Saints touchdowns.

You might not be too well rested, and you may desperately need a workout after your flight home, but when you look back at your pictures and videos it’ll be well worth it. You didn’t forget your camera at Pat O’s, did you?

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