Saturday, May 31, 2008

Minicamp Heroes

Nola Chick should have the Pecs in the City scouting report later this weekend. All we've got is a report from the Cafe 641 trenches, which were graciously upgraded to a VIP tent sponsored by Tom Benson's latest media acquisition. From that shaded endzone viewpoint, the Chef could easily observe the following:

* Fox 8 does NOT support Anheuser Busch products. (But Chef will not complain about unlimited free Coors Light, catered chili dogs, or Zapps chips).

* Kim Holden is hot! Jon Stinchcomb not so much.

* Ronnie Ghent made the catch of the morning on a dart from Brees, a receiver-like dive along the sideline past the outstretched hands of Tracy Porter.

* David Patten is ten years older AND smarter than Usama Young. On a hitch and go, Patten hitched a friggin' horse, tied it to a post, gave it water, polished his boots, and still was four steps in front of Young. Oh yeah, there was also that head fake before the hitch that had Young breaking the wrong way.

* The Train Wreck may have lost weight.

* Bobby McCray blew up a running play in the backfield on at least one occasion.

* Rookie free agent DE Marcus Pittman told the Chef after practice that he will make the team. Good luck with that. I'm behind you.

* Jason David threw up the Q with a fan after practice.

* J. David was the only Saints player who removed his jersey before approaching fans to sign autographs. Hmmm. Explanations on this one?

* Reggie Bush and Skyler Green were the last Saints players to leave the practice field after signing autographs for 30 minutes. Other late signers included: Charles Grant, Jason David, Drew Brees, and Scott Fujita.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pop Goes the Warner

In a moving display of family loyalty, Cafe 641 announced a petition drive to have its own Mr. Rita Benson-LeBlanc nominated as a Pop Warner All-American Little Scholar. Mr. Rita's commitment to football and cheerleading -- both activities that Pop Warner, Inc. proudly supports -- deserve recognition.

Let's compare the All-American criteria with Mr. Rita's resume:
All-American: is currently in grade 5 or higher
Mr. Rita: is definitely past grade 5

All-American: has a grade point average of 97% or higher
Mr. Rita: graded out at a 98.6% Superdome fan efficiency during the 2007 regular season

All-American: has a complete prior year's report card
Mr. Rita: has a complete 2007 report card, watermarked with an official Cafe 641 logo, and signed by Chef Who Dat

It's simple really. Mr. Rita's nomination was overlooked -- and possibly discarded -- due to his advanced age (27 years, give or take a year). And the solution is just as simple: Mr. Rita should receive a special invite to tonight's Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc. awards banquet and receive distinction from his mentor, Ms. Rita Benson-Leblanc.

Here's what Ms. Rita Benson-LeBlanc said on Mr. Rita's behalf:
"Across America, Pop Warner is touching and enhancing many young lives, and I am thrilled to touch Mr. Rita on behalf of such an impactful organization."
Please support the Cafe's last-minute petition by adding your support of our candidate in our comments section.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Want Maximum NFL Pleasure?

Because a fuhrer should never be satisfied with just regulating hair styles, Roger G is promoting a new line of NFL enhancement. From the T-P's coverage of this week's NFL owner's meeting, we learn:
"We think our in-stadium experience is extremely important," Goodell said. "We're going to be working with the clubs in order to improve that. We want everyone to come to our stadiums, behave properly, enjoy the experience but don't ruin it for others. We'll be focusing on that."

Hmmm. In-stadium experience? You mean beer prices, beer distribution efficiency, and tasering of fans who sit quietly when their team is on defense? That sort of thing?

"Goodell said he attended a game last year strictly as a fan, sitting in two locations along with his teenage niece at a stadium he would not identify. He said the experience was different in each location, one in the sideline upper deck, the other in the end zone."

Let a Chef read between the lines Roger on this new fan behavior policy you be hinting at:

1. You've been to heaven.

2. Heaven was located somewhere near the top of an unidentified NFL stadium.

3. It was immensely pleasurable for you. You might even say your NFL experience was ENHANCED.

4. You were so ENHANCED, you might even say that you wanted to trade bodies with your teenage niece so you had more years to enjoy it.

5. You now realize that every fan should have this taste of heaven, this ENHANCEMENT, this euphoria of NFL pleasure.

6. You will now commit considerable NFL resources to a mandatory fan training video that becomes required viewing for any fan sitting outside of the upper deck.

That's what you mean, right Roger?

"Goodell said the fan behavior policy will be in place before the start of the season."
UPDATE: Roger elaborates a bit:
"It's very possible and likely that people can come to a game and enjoy alcoholic beverages or beer and do it very responsibly," Goodell said. "What we don't want is there to become abusive behavior. That includes foul language. That includes disrupting other people who are there to enjoy the game."
Oh, yeah. That clears it up. Thanks mein fuhrer. We'll make sure the Cafe falls in line quickly. Just after you speak with the J-E-T-S.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hazing Season Opens.

It happens every May. Just after Jazz Fest and just before Mother's Day.

They arrive with bright faces, open minds, and hearts full of hope. They come both underweight and overweight. With both highly regarded pedigrees and little known pasts. Some claim to be in perfect shape. Others keep their mouths shut.

In every case, though, they deserve the same (with some safety considerations, of course):

Looks like Saints staffers have kicked the 2008 NFL Hazing Season with the distribution of these photos. (Thanks Saintsational for the heads up.) Cafe 641 would like to contribute to Hazing Season by echoing Canal Street Chronicles call for captions:

"Yes. We are completely serious. All our OTs wear a 12-14 jersey. Welcome to the NFL."

"Yo Rico. How ya like me now?"

Chef takes a pass on this one with all confidence in the world that Grandmaster Wang or NOLAchick will take care of business.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Lend Me Some Sugar.

You know when Andre 3000 asks, "What's colder than cold?" And you respond, "Ice cold." Well, you might want to re-think that after tomorrow morning.

After tomorrow morning, you might be saying, "D to the -illy."

A certain Upper Terrace Who Dat is about to set our Who Dat Offseason Training Activities on fire. A certain Upper Terrace Who Dat is about to guarantee that Saints opponents are uncomfortable in their skin when they play in the SacreDome in 2008. A certain Upper Terrace Who Dat is about to do something so incredibly strong, it defies logic.

More to come, but you should probably just check out the original source over the next few days. Brilliance is stewing.

In other news, Chef appreciated so much Hana and Ashley's oldest daughter today during her kindergarten Art Attack performance at Lusher Elementary. Fusing drama with art theory, Katerina played a painter/composer who directed all sorts of colors, shapes, and lines (played by other 5- and 6-year-olds) to do as she requested to form her visual art masterpiece. It was organized chaos, but the end result was real nice. And it made Chef think of her dad, Ashley, in the SacreDome, directing his peeps in Section 635.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dear Kobe: Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend

When Kobe Bryant descends from a luxury suite today at a luxury Los Angeles hotel wearing a luxury suit and smiling a luxury smile as he finally receives a real MVP trophy, the city of New Orleans hopes he don't get his feelings hurt.

We know all too well about hurt feelings, Kobe. It's okay to cry a little. Especially today, Kobe, when you finally receive an award that no one wants you to have in the first place.

The good people of New Orleans -- especially those who reside part-time in the upper expanses of the Sacre dome -- will lend you a tissue if you feel the reservoirs filling today, Kobe. Better yet, you might give a shout to CP3. He helps a brother in need, Kobe.

And (most) people like him.

In fact, on this 6th of May, CP3's 23rd birthday and official blog day, I'd like to share with you a few stories that might warm your heart, Kobe. Take a moment, Kobe, before you break down in well-rehearsed tears this afternoon to hear a couple of tales about how Chris Paul changed the world:
* Listen to a story about a precocious point guard and a troubled running back.
* Listen to a story about a sibling rivalry.
* Listen to a story about two cities fighting over insects.
* Listen to a story about two fans ready to come to blows.
* And listen to a story about how a Chef learned the meaning of friendship.

Take a load off, Kobe. Let me tell you about my best friend.

CP3 + Reggie = BFF
You know that USC running back who got drafted #2 in the 2006 draft and then enjoyed Miracle Monday and the rest of heaven that was the New Orleans Saints 2006 NFC Championship run? Yes, Kobe. The same running back that "dates" Kim Kardashian.

Well, that's the same running back who received a phone call from CP3, who was looking for advice even though he had already been in the league a year longer.
In his third season, Paul has become the Will Rogers of the league, racking up friends and admirers like a walking MySpace page. When the Hornets moved back to New Orleans after a two-year, post-Katrina exile in Oklahoma City, Paul didn't know where to live. So he called Reggie Bush—whom he'd never met—for suggestions. Before long, Paul had bought adjoining, 2,700-square-foot pads (one for him, one for his brother/business manager, C.J.) three floors below Bush's in a Mississippi riverside condo. Now it's not unusual for Bush, and occasionally his girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, to pop in for some Xbox and a meal made by the personal chef the two players share. (Chris Palmer, ESPN The Magazine)
See what I mean, Kobe? CP3's not crying over the MVP award. So either should you. He's too busy making friends.

Chris Paul Saved This Family

See these two kids, Kobe? They're sister and brother. Both excel at school. Both are standout athletes. Both have winning smiles. And both have good hair. But trouble lurks beneath the surface, Kobe. They don't always like each other. Sometimes they fight. Sometimes blood is drawn. The girl once embarrassed her brother by beating him in a foot race. The boy once tackled his sister in front of her friends.

But do you know why they are smiling in this picture, Kobe? No. It's not because of the grown man between them, decked out in an Italian-designed mustard seed yellow double-breasted suit with a CP3 Wooooooo! t-shirt. It has nothing to do with him, Kobe.

They are smiling because of the bright light that is CP3. They are happy to be alive, happy to be siblings, and happy to be standing next to each other because they share a love for CP3. Think about the power of CP3, Kobe. Brother and sister. BFF.

OKC is OK with me
Kobe, do you remember the levee breaches? Some folks call it Hurricane Katrina. Yeah, 2005, Kobe. Well, not unlike the New Orleans Saints (except that the NBA season hadn't even started yet), the New Orleans Hornets relocated to another city. Oklahoma City. That didn't sit well with many New Orleanians, Kobe. We just assumed that we'd lose a team that we didn't know too well in the first place.

CP3 to the rescue, Kobe. From day one, he focused on playing basketball, not the drama, OKC or otherwise. You know the rest of this story, don't you Kobe? It ends like this:

And you know what else, Kobe? That fine-ass man in the mustard seed yellow double-breasted Italian-crafted suit reps New Orleans. The man to his left reps OKC. And they like each other just fine.

Can't We All Just Get Along?
No we can't, Kobe. It's the playoffs. And we're not supposed to like each other until we have the trophy in hand. Or until J Kidd is incarcerated and Byron Scott kicks Jerry Stackhouse's ass.

So, when the Dallas Mavericks came to town in round one, and this polite young Mavs fan sat in Section 306, he was treated with contempt. He became the J Kidd/Stackhouse posterboy. And Hornets fan Big Ray was having none of it.

Until Chris Paul happened. And then an amazing thing happened, Kobe. This polite young Mavs fan finished his vodka double, stood up next to Hornets fan Big Ray, shook his hand, and said, "Wooooooooo!"

Chef Who Dat + Big Ray = BFF
Who is Big Ray? That's an excellent question, Kobe. It's the very question that Chef was asking himself while rocking this bad-ass mustard seed yellow, Italian-crafted, double-breasted suit.

So let me lay it on you, Kobe. Big Ray is my best friend. Big Ray is New Orleans. Big Ray has big binoculars. Big Ray is a Hornets fan. Big Ray likes the Soul Rebels. Big Ray is a Who Dat. Big Ray likes to bounce.

I can see you're confused, Kobe. So let me lay it on you again. Big Ray sits in the Sacredome eight Sundays out of the year in Section 643, Upper Terrace, Row 20-something. Big Ray has tasted the Cafe 641 menu. Big Ray has dapped up the Chef in the Dome. These two grown men were friends before they even sat down in the Arena for Game 5 of the Mavs/Hornets series. They had broke bread together.

But sadly, Kobe, they never recognized each other outside of the Dome. And that's where CP3 -- the same CP3 who you know deep in your heart is more valuable to his team, league, city, and planet than you could ever dream of being -- happened again.

This time Chris Paul struck in an ordinary way. By unselfishly passing a tap out rebound from Tyson Chandler over to Peja Stojakovic to close out the Mavs. At that very moment, Big Ray hoisted Chef well over his head, spun him around 4-5 times, until he noticed that Chef was wearing his black & gold, customized, Who Dat Chuck Taylors. Big Ray put Chef back on the ground, looked him in the eye, and cautiously asked, "Chef? Is that you." "Yes it is. Big Ray. Yes it is."

So there it is Kobe. Now you know why Chef Who Dat calls CP3 his MVP. I just hope you can find in these stories some inner fortitude as your name is called to the MVP podium so that we don't have to witness your emotional breakdown with your daughter and wife in tow. If all of this is just too much to remember, though, I'll break it down for you nice and easy:

CP3: where BFF happens.

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's a Boy! . . . Girl! . . . Boy!

During a hurried press conference this morning, Cafe 641 representatives announced the birth of Who Dat golden spoon triplets born into Section 641, Row 41, Seats 20-22.

The newborn spoons were birthed at 10:21 a.m. by Who Dat ticket representative midwife Angel at the New Orleans Saints headquarters on Airline Drive.

Chef Who Dat declared this a fine day for the Cafe family. "You can't choose family," Chef said. "So anytime you have the opportunity to bring good Black & Gold blood into your Cafe, you stand up and say, 'Hell to the yes!'"

Though Chef Who Dat fathered the triplet spoons, his marriage and ongoing Cafe 641 romances and bromances led him to give up two of the all-access golden spoons for adoption.

Chef K-Paul, creator of the Creamed Cowboy Corn and Shrimp Smackjacks, quickly adopted the spoons. You can find the Cafe's latest additions to the family here. K-Paul and his lovely bride Leslie (named for the Saints first ever 1st round pick, Leslie Kelley) have already agreed to the Cafe 641 Four Quarters mantra. Their son, Charcutier, is a smoked meat specialist who has been employed by the Cafe since 2006.

Chef Who Dat will keep the additional spoon for use by Lil' Reggie, Super Saint Girl, or the Sous Chef.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Who Dat Battle Cry from Section 635

(logo from hornets hype)

Berto of Dilly-berto fame says it best in quoting a famous Arab: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

This is no vacation from our offseason training activities, Who Dats. This IS our OTA for May. Breaking the balls of all those who would seek to break ours. This is our mission. As my boy Sir Mix-a-lot might say if he held season tix in the Upper Terrace: "Awright San Anton. Jump on it then, beeotches."

Scores must be settled. One at a time.