New Orleans puts on its best
New Years Eve brought a plethora of fireworks over the Mississippi River at Jackson Square as midnight ushered in 2008.
And then the spirited fans of Hawaii and Georgia continued their revelry the next day in preparation of the big game in the Sugar Bowl that night. Though the Dawgs executed their dominance, it was a thrilling climax to even Hawaii fans who loved the friendliness and Joie de Vivre they experienced in the Big Easy.
As they packed to leave and boarded their planes and cars the next day, another group prepared for excitement was beginning to come in. The Buckeyes of Ohio State and Tigers of LSU were next on the agenda of thrilling episodes to introduce the new year. Many came in plenty of time to roam the streets, cheer on their teams and take in the history and atmosphere of America’s most interesting city.
Even for area residents it was great fun to walk the streets and gaze on the crowds of excited people in red and purple jerseys enjoying the preliminaries to the most important college football game of the year.
One Buckeye fan I saw wore a shiny nut necklace that she told me had been fashioned some 30 years ago. I wondered just what the word Buckeye meant and was told by an LSU fan that they were really nuts that had no purpose. Later when I looked the word up in the dictionary, I found that it also means a nickname for Ohio, as well as horse chestnuts.
And then came the big day. The excitement flowed in the air through the crowds that filled the streets between the French Quarter and the Superdome. A lot of pre-game entertainment brought them to the gates of the Dome well ahead of the 7:20 kickoff.
LSU fans suffered interminable torture during those first few minutes when the Buckeyes took a 10-point lead. It appeared the Buckeyes were unbeatable. Then the Tigers began to roar and turned the tables with 24 unanswered points.
The game ended with LSU accepting a $30,000 crystal football made by Waterford for its 38-24 victory. Tiger fans stayed on for awhile enjoying their victory while Buckeye fans went on to many of the establishments they learned to enjoy in the City that Care Forgot.
And that’s not the end of this explosive period in which the unique culture of the city next door is being explored and enjoyed. Upcoming is Mardi Gras, of course, and an NBA All Star Game. And that won’t be the end because this is a city that can be enjoyed 24/7/365.
Its future looks good, indeed.
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