NEW ORLEANS ‑ All is not football when one visits the Crescent City of New Orleans, which sits hard on the banks of the Mississippi River and possesses about as much history as any other southern locale you can name.
Sure, the primary attraction for all Georgia fans is the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl battle between their 5th-ranked Bulldogs and the 15th-ranked Texas Longhorns but for Bulldawg Nation, when they visit ol’ New Orleans, there is so much more to take in than just the battle that will ensue on the floor of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Tuesday night.
And we media types aren’t any different than the rest of the folks wearing red and black who are visiting this very quaint city.
When we can escape from the story typing and the picture taking, we also like to get out and see the famous sites that comprise such venues as New Orleans, Louisiana.
Such was the case Sunday afternoon and evening when a fellow media colleague, Dave Piper, who covers the Bulldogs for his Thomaston radio station, and I visited the World War II Museum here and then also took in a fun-filled media party on the infamous Bourbon Street in the also infamous French Quarter.
People, if you haven’t ever taken in the World War II Museum in downtown New Orleans, you need to do so. All of the videos, pictures, narrations of the war fought by America’s “Greatest Generation” will not only leave you in awe of the sacrifices these men and women made to allow us the freedom we enjoy today in the United States but, it will also bring a tear to your eyes to see exactly what our servicemen went through on the battle fields of Europe beginning after the day of Dec. 7, 1941 when the Japanese unleashed their bombs on a naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The World War II exhibit is mammoth, housed in huge buildings on both sides of the street, and you need to allow several hours to complete the tour of this facility. I would say that today, young people simply have no concept what our country was involved in during the war years of 1942-45. When they visit the World War II Museum, they will get that concept. And as we walked through the buildings Sunday afternoon, there were many, many young boys and girls accompanying their parents and grandparents while gazing intently at all the weapons, military uniforms and the like that have been amazingly preserved from D-Day, the Battle of the Bulge, the invasion of Pearl Harbor and all the war fronts of World War II.
But, as mentioned, the entire day wasn’t all one of solemn remembrances for us; there was also the media party Sunday evening in the French Quarter.
To me, as we all looked down on Bourbon Street from our railed patio on the second floor of the restaurant that provided us always-hungry media people with some excellent Louisiana cuisine, the scene resembled a mini-Times Square on New Years’ Eve –which I believe is tonight – when the ball drops to welcome in 2019. The narrow street was so crowded that all the people, both young and old, hardly had room to traverse back and forth. But back and forth they walked most of the night with the music from Bourbon Street establishments embellishing the fun and revelry.
And yes, there were many folks wearing the Red and Black of the University of Georgia as well as many folks dressed out in the burnt orange of the University of Texas joining in on what seemed like one huge party for the city of New Orleans on this late December evening. And on numerous occasions, you would hear the usual “Go Dawgs” and “Hook ‘Em Horns” being shouted at a high decibel. Even saw that Kirby had let the Dawgs out, as we spotted several UGA football players walking down Bourbon and taking in the sights.
So for the Bulldawg Nation, New Orleans is certainly not a bad consolation prize. Not a bad consolation prize at all if its football team couldn’t quite make the national playoffs this season.
And now, about that game coming up in the Superdome Tuesday night ……