A Wild Few Weeks

Those who follow the local sports scene might find it difficult to take a breath these days. I can’t remember a time when so many captivating storylines were happening concurrently.

The NBA lockout continues. No one knows when the Hornets will play in the Arena again.

LSU players Tyrann Mathieu, Spencer Ware and Tharold Simon were suspended after reportedly testing positive for synthetic marijuana. This comes on the heels of quarterback Jordan Jefferson’s suspension before the start of the season.

Tulane coach Bob Toledo got the boot after racking up a 15-40 record in 4 1/2 seasons Uptown.

Saints coach Sean Payton was leveled on the sideline by tight end Jimmy Graham. Payton ended up with a torn MCL and a broken knee.

The Saints now play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. I counted no fewer than 10 different signs/logos inside the Dome on Sunday and there are many more outside. The integration of the Mercedes-Benz brand is noticeable, as it should be if a report from Forbes Magazine is to be believed. The naming rights deals, according to a Forbes source, is worth between $10-12 million a year over 10 years. That’s a heck of a deal to land in today’s economic climate.

The Superdome debuted an impressive $1.6 million dollar LED lighting system. It is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and features 500 miles of copper wiring. The lights can be programmed to do virtually anything.

That’s a lot to talk about.

The LSU suspensions and Sean Payton’s injury could have been major distractions. It’s a credit to both coaching staffs that neither caused as much as a hiccup.

All LSU did was go out and destroy Auburn 45-10 with a couple of its best players nowhere to be seen. The Tigers now sit at a perfect 8-0 with an eye on another BCS National Championship.

With Saints coach Sean Payton looking down from the press box for the first time in his head coaching career, he handed over the play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael, Jr. The Saints didn’t miss a beat and rolled up 62 points on the hapless Colts.

No one knows what lies ahead, but if the first half of the football season is any indication of what the second half will bring…buckle up.

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