Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke: Just three weeks left to football season
by Deke Bellavia,posted Jul 9 2012 9:18AM
Yes, we have just about made it through the dog days of summer. No, I’m not talking about the weather. I’m talking about the long period of time that fans down here in the Deep South have to go without having any football.
With that said, this off-season has been anything but ‘’off’’ since the 1st of March. Yes, from last year when all we were doing was waiting for the pen and paper battle to conclude between the NFL and the NFLPA, to this off-season, when more legal news has been on a weekly basis about our beloved Black and Gold. This has been a very unique yet rather entertaining off-season.
We start off with the launching pad for stardom and that of course is on the prep level. Now for those of you who think you are too big time or you don’t have time to follow prep, let me break it down for you this way!
Would you learn the letter B before A in alphabet practice? Would you learn how to run before you walk? The obvious answers to both of those questions are a resounding no! So I invite you to start off with prep football this season.
If you do, you will find out that the numbers will be easier to follow and the stars that are now winning BCS Titles and Lombardi Trophys all got started in prep football. And of course we are very lucky to have the type of prep football that we do down in Louisiana. And you know as always I’m as excited about covering the prep football scene as I am any level of football.
So will we have five new champions this season? Or will the mighty West Monroe Rebels, Neville Tigers, St. Charles Comets, Curtis Patriots and OCS Eagles repeat as prep state champs in each of the state’s five classes? The trek to the dome for the state finals begins Friday Night August 31st!
Then we move up to the college level where last season our great state was well represented in post-season action. Although they floundered in the national title game, the LSU Tigers, along with the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech and the lone team to win a bowl game in the ULL Ragin Cajuns, all made us proud.
I mean, if our prep football is what the rest of the country says it is shouldn’t this state have several bowl-eligible teams each year? The Tigers are in everyone’s pre-season top three, the Cajuns once again have high expectations and the Bulldogs are now on the national radar as a team to be reckoned with.
Enter Curtis Johnson. Yes, Coach C.J. is now at the helm Uptown and he has the Green Wave fan base excited as they well should be! Coach Johnson is recruiting at a high level and he has long been respected for his work ethic and the results that he has helped produced. The Green Wave will become a much better program and I can envision a nice cool October afternoon in Uptown New Orleans with thirty plus thousand fans packing the new Tulane Stadium one day soon!
If you are a Green Wave Fan, if you’ve been a closet Green Wave Fan and were too afraid to admit it, now’s the time to get on board as things are as bright as ever for the Wave. I could be wrong but I don’t think it’s going to take Coach Johnson as long as some think to make the Wave very relevant in CUSA!
Throw in Nicholls State, ULM, Northwestern State, SLU, Louisiana College, and of course Grambling State and Southern, and you have a complete line-up of teams to follow this season here in Louisiana.
But without question LSU will be the lightning rod for national attention this season. With a new, already heralded, great QB, a team that is loaded on both sides of the ball, and a coach that is known for high drama and unique vocabulary, the Tigers are once again a made-for-TV program that will once again provide the rest of the country with some great football this season.
And of course our final stop is here in the Big Easy with the New Orleans Saints. The Black and Gold hit the practice field in three weeks with as many questions about them and their season as there are about the other thirty-one teams in the National Football League.
Since Friday March 2nd, the news that has been steadily coming out about the Saints has not been all that pleasant, to say the least. The Saints are still favored to win twelve of their sixteen regular season games despite all the punishment dished out to them.
But as this week begins, we know that there is no Sean Payton, there will be no Loomis and no Vitt for the first six regular season games…And perhaps the most disappointing news is that there is still no Drew Brees.
I mean, I know that at this level football is still a business but it’s time to get this deal done. Yes this is a team sport, but we all know that the Saints have no chance at all to be a contender without number nine under center. That’s the truth.
Get the deal done so the Who Dat Nation can start to focus on the first game of the season! The “us against the world” mentality, that has served this city and this franchise well in the past, can once again get us all together on the same page and we can take advantage of all the media attention that will be centered on the Saints this season.