We always say it in times like these....but sports is secondary. Well, not secondary. Heck...they are waaaaay down the list. But there are times when sports and life crash into each other.
The image of the roof of the Superdome peeled off will be one of the lasting images from Hurricane Katrina. It has been a sancuary for 30,000 people...and is currently a staging place for injured people rescued in the city. Families are living there now....if they were to leave, where are they to go? Toilets and garbage over overflowing and causing concern. With no power....the dome has become unbearably hot. New Orleans' chief of Homeland Security reported that a guy even lept from the top section to his death in the stadium.
The governor has ordered the Superdome to be evacuated [with possibly the entire city] as water is slowly rising and it would be a catastrophe if the dome started to flood with no escape plans in place.
*The Saints...tenants of the Superdome...are in California preparing for a preseason game against the Raiders this weekend. They've been practicing at San Jose State since, essentially, evacuating last weekend. After this weekend...who knows where they will be. They could just head to Charlotte...site of their season opener against the Panthers. Week 2 [September 18th] they are supposed to host the New York Giants. That game could either be cancelled...or moved if the Superdome isn't able to be ready by then.
*And what is to become of the Saints if New Orleans is, for lack of a better word, gone? The team has spoken to officials in San Antonio about possibly setting up base there. They could have a make-shift office space, practice facility and possibly play their home games at the Alamodome. Saints owner, Tom Benson, has a history with the city and could find businesses willing to cooperate with the team. The team may also look at Houston [which is closer to New Orleans. The problem with that is there is a fear that the Superdome may not be functional for quite some time. There is the holes in the roof...possible structural damage....no power right now....and just the overall mood to hold a football game in the middle of such devastation.
*Five college football games scheduled for this weekend have been cancelled. Tulane-Southern Miss was postponed until Thanksgiving weekend as both schools' towns have been decimated by the hurricane. North Texas-LSU may be cancelled as the schools have no openings to replay the game. Nicholls State-Utah State, Southern-McNeese State and Jacksonville-Hammond have been postponed. If you remember...a hurricane forced the movement of several college games during LAST year's opening weekend....most notably the Florida State-Miami game.
*Tulane may have the biggest problem. Located right in the mix of the flooding....Tulane University may be closed for quite a while. That raises the question: does the football team go on? Can the team represent a school that may not be open for quite a long time???
*Brett Favre's family still lives in his hometown Kiln, Mississippi. He spoke to his mother Tuesday who told their horror story of having to live in the attic as waters rose in their home. Today, the water receeded and his mother and grandmother left for Brett's brother's home nearby. Mama Favre's home is pretty much destroyed...and most likely have to be torn down to be rebuilt. Favre's mom was pregnant with him when Hurricane Camille hit the Gulf back in 1969.
*The NBA is already preparing it's teams for the Hornets possible relocation. All 30 teams have been notified that the New Orleans Hornets will most likely not play in New Orleans next season...and that no site has been set yet. The leading candidate as of now is nearby Baton Rouge where they could use LSU's facilities including their 14,000 seat arena. That is smallish for an NBA team...but the Hornets were one of the poorest drawing teams and much of their fan base have bigger problems to deal with. It will be interesting to see in the Hornets move to another city entirely.....say Nashville, Memphis or St. Louis.
*The NBA Players Association is quickly on the ball. Union prez Antonio Davis has been on the horn with many players, trying to come up with the most efficient ways to lend support and assist FEMA.