Crescent City Blues
As the NFL prepares for their showcase event , it seems somewhat tactless that the city of New Orleans as well as the NFL hierarchy simply tries to gloss over the blight that still affects the city to this day , in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina . Crime within the city has petered off slightly, but New Orleans’ homicide rate remains amongst the highest in nation , ranking it up alongside that of Chicago’s. New Orleans’ mayor , Mitch Landrieu while happy to see the event staged in the Crescent City , has to know that while the city comes under a global microscope this upcoming Sunday , his greatest concern has to be , how to best deal with the blight that still ravages his city , with the ongoing corruption , mistrust of the Police Department and the very fact that his predecessor , Ray Nagin will soon go to trial, on corruption and mail fraud charges in an indictment obtained by the US Justice Department .
While there are wildly differing views and economic estimates as to the economic impact the staging of the Superbowl has on a municipality , it would not be out of the realms of reality to suggest it would in excess of $1 billion ($1,000,000,000) in the leadup to the event itself , during the fortnight in which the city will have been the beneficiaries of the revenues in question . One billion dollars is something of a conservative estimate, in view of the events that are staged within the confines of New Orleans . Furthermore , with the exposure gained , there has to be future growth potential derived from the event’s staging. through the city
Now, while the city’s residents can take pride in the fact that this will be eleventh time that they will have staged a Superbowl . It cannot have escaped their attention how poorly the city , state and federal government by way of FEMA , still remain , poor in responding to their needs . Billions of dollars have been poured into the state, and the city to repair infrastructure , but yet there remains several thousand homes and businesses still left in a state of disrepair. Be it, through graft and corruption, the long-held notion as to how things are done within the city and state , there remains little if any optimism that the New Orleans can once again return to the splendor it once had .
All of the altruism and optimism , that went with the election of Bobby Jindahl (R-La) , who succeeded the “ hapless” Kathleen Blanco , as governor of the state , has now become all the more glaring , when one considers that Jindahl’s administration and the legislator are hopelessly gridlocked in dealing with so many of Louisiana’s, most acutest of needs .
The Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana , will be the stage for the NFL’s showcase event , as the Baltimore Ravens will play their NFC counterparts , conference champions , the San Francisco 49ers . . Both teams had truly tremendous seasons by way of their play and the results record over the their respective schedules .
A great deal will be made of the fact that that the two opposing head coaches are siblings , with Jim Harbaugh facing off against his brother, John Harbaugh , in a game that might not necessarily create warring factions amongst the Harbaugh clan . But that remains to be seen between now and the culmination of the big event . Whatever one might now feel at this juncture , both teams are thoroughly deserving of their present positions , by way of their play in the postseason .
Quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick have been placed on the game’s greatest stage , where they will be both entrusted teams on a path to undoubted success . In what will be the most important games of their respective careers , these two quarterbacks will be looking to extol their abilities and indicate to the fans that their ascent to their present positions is no mere fluke but a belief in their own skill-set and the imbued faith shown in them by their respective head coaches.
Now while the media seeks those emotional stories to tug at the heart strings , as the game approaches, while Ray Lewis seeks to bow out , after an illustrious career in the NFL , his story , will be , by no means the biggest to be had , in the buildup to the event on Sunday. There are, a number of subplots to be expounded and placed in the public domain . Another seasoned veteran , who has been overlooked for much of the season , has been Niners’ wide receiver , Randy Moss . The player brought in earlier this season by GM Trent Baalke , to complement what was as such a moderately average wide receiving corps , could very well be playing his last professional game in the NFL , should the San Francisco 49ers prove to be triumphant. As to whether or not Kaepernick will now rise to the occasion in the biggest game of his career with the weapons at his disposal , will go a great way in telling us a great deal about the demeanor of this sophomore quarterback drafted by the franchise in 2011 .
While the rumblings have now subsided, with many questioning Jim Harbaugh’s decision to have Colin Kaepernick replace Alex Smith earlier in the season , after Smith initially went down with a concussion . I have always felt that the young quarterback offered his team more chances to win , than his more experienced predecessor ! Kaepernick , having won the position outright , he now has the franchise on the cusp of seeking their sixth Superbowl title .
Ozzie Newsome , the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens , might just be one of the most unassuming front office executives in the entire NFL . He has quickly, transformed this roster into in all action fully accomplished and cohesive unit. In recent years, his drafting of a pool of players , who have proven to be productive. And it has been this mindset that has allowed Harbaugh coaching staff to have attained the success we have seen recent weeks from the Baltimore Ravens , in spite of the recent upheavals to that staff. Cam Cameron , was summarily dismissed as the offensive coordinator , when it felt, that the team was not getting the best out of their running and passing game during the months of November and December . The dismissal of Cameron , led to the immediate promotion of Jim Caldwell , the former head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. In the ensuing weeks that have followed , primarily in the playoffs , where we have seen Joe Flacco raise the level of his play , to the point where he might now be considered the best performing quarterback during the postseason.
With Joe Flacco’s existing contract set to expire at the end of this postseason , the rumblings are that the player will seek a deal , commensurate with that of the highest paid players at the position within the NFL . If that amounts to a five or six year $100 million deal , I am not so sure , even in light of a Ravens’ triumph, the player is entitled to that sort of a compensation package. As good as Flacco has been for this Baltimore Ravens , it has only been in 2012 , where we have seen the maturation of the player simply reach a “peak level “ of efficiency and maturity on his part , and amongst his peers in the AFC , let alone amongst the rest of his contemporaries in the NFL , as a whole .
There have been relatively few meetings between the two teams , and their most recent match-up was not exactly a memorable event in terms of all-round productivity from either of these franchises . A 16-6 victory by the Baltimore Ravens was enough to suggest that we might well be in for either a thoroughly enticing ball game , showing the defensive capabilities of both teams or we the fans will granted the unwanted privilege of witnessing an event that could end up being a monstrous bore . And with the anticipated viewership , tens of millions nationally , and upwards of 1.3 billion globally , in what of what should be this year’s highest rated and watched television event. I for one , will be hoping , that this Superbowl provides us with a thoroughly exciting game , and one which will be totally memorable for all of the right reasons ! The NFL needs that sort of an uplifting event after the mishaps and pratfalls imparted upon the fans after another disastrous season of leadership during the tenure of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell .
As a fan are you entirely happy with the staging of Superbowl 47 in the city of New Orleans , even as the city and state slowly work towards repairing not only its infrastructure, after the recent natural disasters, but also, its still tarnished reputation ? And what if anything , do you hope to see from this game, in terms of the undoubted competitiveness of both teams ? By all means, do take time to leave a comment on this, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) An aerial view perfectly captures the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. AP Photo / John Hall …
(2) The New Orleans Superdome where thousands sought refuge from what was desribed at the time as the worst natural disaster to hit the Southeast , since Hurricane Andrew , in August of 1992. AFP/REUTERS/Arnold Gillespie …
(3)President Barack Obama, center, is greeted on the tarmac by from left to right, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu , and Gov. Bobby Jindahl, during his arrival at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012, in Kenner, La. Obama traveled to the region to view the ongoing response and recovery efforts to Hurricane Isaac. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais …
(4) Kathleen Blanco , former governor of Louisiana , is seen here with President George W Bush at an emergency operations center in New Orleans , Louisiana , during the state and FEMA’s relief efforts. Critics raised questions as to Blanco’s and the state’s handling of the relief efforts , and the overall incompetence shown by the federal government , whose ongoing work continues almost eight years after the natural disaster in August 2005 . AP Photo/ Mitchell Hamilton …
(5) FILE – JANUARY 18: According to reports, former mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, has been charged with 21 corruption charges. WASHINGTON – SEPTEMBER 23: New Orleans Mayor C Ray Nagin testifies on Capitol Hill on September 23, 2008 in Washington, DC. Mayor Nagin spoke about his city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina as well as its recent experience with hurricanes Gustav and Ike . Officials from the Gulf area were on Capitol Hill requesting lawmakers for federal funding to aid in recovery efforts for over $14 billion worth of damage after the two recent hurricanes devastated the region. Nagin has plead not guilty on all counts , and having been arraigned , and indicted , he now awaits trial in US Federal Court in New Orleans , Louisiana . Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images ….
(6) A Lower Ninth Ward resident inspects a telephone pole that was toppled onto her home by Hurricane Isaac on August 29, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The large Level 1 hurricane slowly moved across southeast Louisiana, dumping huge amounts of rain and knocking out power to Louisianans in scattered parts of the state. Getty Images North America / Mario Tama ……
(7) A tree blown over from Hurricane Isaac lies atop a cemetery tomb on August 29, 2012 in Oakville, in Plaquemines Parish , Louisiana. The parish, south of New Orleans, was the most heavily damaged by the hurricane. The system, which was downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Weather Service, moved slowly across the state, dumping large amounts of rain and knocking out power to half a million Louisianans. Getty Images / John Moore ….
(8) The Superdome is pictured Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in New Orleans. The city will host the Super Bowl XLVII football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers Sunday. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …
(9) Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, parents of Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, kiss during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, for NFL football’s Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Their sons will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl on Sunday. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert …..
(10) Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis speaks at an NFL Super Bowl XLVII news conference on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in New Orleans. The Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, Feb. 3. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …
All-time head-to-head meetings between the Ravens and Forty Niners
Singer Christina Aguilera .