I'm in New Orleans, staying in the Warehouse District, an arts-and-industrial area a bit away from the French Quarter.
I spent much of this week traveling back and forth between New Orleans and Kiln, Ms., home of Brett Favre. In today's paper, I wrote about New Orleans, the Saints, and the recovery from Hurricane Katrina through the eyes of local legend Angus Lind, the longtime columnist for the Times-Picayune.
In the Sunday paper, I have a long piece on the characters who populate Kiln - most notably, Bonita Favre, Brett's mother. At one point on Friday, as her friends were erecting a sign honoring Brett, she was juggling two MIller Lites and a Marlboro. Skills run in the family.
The Kiln story will be on 1A, and I'll have a lengthy story in the sports section based on a candid conversation I had with Vikings coach Brad Childress earlier this week.
New Orleans is one of my favorite towns to visit - friendly people, great food, great atmosphere, warm weather. Everywhere I go I hear people saying ``Who dat?'', short for the Saints rallying cry, ``Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?'' I went to dinner at Emeril's on Thursday night, and the entire Saints defense was dining there at a long table, with Darren Sharper at the head.
I'm picking the Vikings on Sunday, but I'm not very confident. I think Percy Harvin's status could be the key factor in the game. Either way, I expect a big game from Adrian Peterson. He's due, he's motivated, and the Saints' defense is not strong against the run.
Of course, all this prediction stuff is just fun nonsense. None of us know how the games will play out. If we did, we wouldn't need to watch.
I think I'm more interested in this game than any game I've ever covered. When I cover the Twins in the playoffs, I really don't expect them to go on and win a World Series. When I've covered the Vikings in the playoffs, I either haven't expected them to win a Super Bowl, or I've found them to be an uninteresting bunch.
This team, with Favre playing his best season and a group of professional people in the lockerroom, is much more fun to watch, and to talk to.
-I still can't believe Tim Brewster would keep the offensive scheme that caused his offense to bottom-out in the Big Ten, even as he hires a coach who has no track record as a coordinator. Jeff Horton? Really? You're going to keep a scheme that failed and hire someone without a track record to fix it?
I have nothing new to add about the morass that is the Gophers' athletic department.
-I plan to have Brad Childress on Sunday Morning Sports talk, 10-noon on KSTP, am-1500. I also plan to have a national guest and a New Orleans writer on to talk about the big weekend. We'll also do picks with Reusse and The Biltz.
-I contributed an essay to the FSN North Hockey Day program. I know the people at FSN have been working like crazy putting the show together.
-Scrimmages at the Gophers basketball practices are simple these days: Active players vs. suspended players, make it-take it.
You can follow me on Twitter at SouhanStrib. I'll post another blog tomorrow from the Superdome.