Are you trying to decide whether you should make the trip to the Sugar Bowl?
Here's something to consider: New Orleans is the greatest city in the world to attend a big sporting event.
Trust me, I speak from experience.
For starters, everything is within walking distance - the downtown hotels,
And it's ideal for a big sporting event because nearly all of the fans congregate in the French Quarter every day and night wearing their team gear. You'll see everybody you know that made the trip, and will undoubtedly run into friends you haven't seen in years. Additionally, you'll see the
My first taste of The Big Easy was in March of 1987 when I covered the Final Four for the
And speaking of first tastes, the trip marked my introduction to the Hurricane - the unofficial cocktail of
I returned to New Orleans nine months later for the Sugar Bowl between Syracuse and Auburn - a game that ended in controversy as Tigers' coach Pat Dye played for the tie with one second remaining (before overtime was added in college football).
Attending the Sugar Bowl gives you the chance to ring in the New Year in a city where "last call" doesn't exist. I've celebrated New Year's Eve in Times Square, but I think it's less crazy and more fun in
I vividly remember doing the countdown to midnight in five time zones on
I was tucked away in bed by the time they got to
While working for Fox 19, I covered the 1997 Super Bowl in
Favre was the big story all week because he was from nearly Kiln,
Daddy was a coach, showed him the way
Team, fight, win . . . that's the form-u-lay
It's the one and only time that I've busted out this hideous orange Hawaiian shirt.
Between business and pleasure, I've probably been to
Hotel: The International House. It's somewhat pricey, but worth it.
Restaurants: K-Paul's. If you like stuff "blackened", nobody does it better.
Irene's Cuisine. Get the rosemary chicken.
NOLA. It's an Emeril Lagasse restaurant, but cheaper and easier to get to than Emeril's.
Brennan's. The ultimate "gain 5 pounds" brunch - Bananas Foster is a must.
Commander's Palace. Take the trolley to the Garden District and splurge.
Clover Grill. A dive where you can get a burger cooked under a hub cap after hours.
Hanging Out: Café du Monde. It's famous for its coffee and beignets (little powdered donuts) and open 24 hours a day. I witnessed a powdered sugar fight there at 3 am once.
Bars: Pat O'Brien's. It doesn't get much better than enjoying Hurricanes (remember . . . stop at two!) around the fire fountain in the outdoor courtyard.
Napolean House. Usually not that crowded since it's not on
Whatever is designated as the "Bearcat" bar. One of the spots in the French Quarter will cover its walls with UC gear and become the unofficial home of
Wherever Marva Wright is singing. She suffered two strokes this year so I don't know if The Blues Queen of
Aside from the BCS Championship Game, the Sugar Bowl would be my pick for the Bearcats bowl destination every year.
I'll get there on December 31st. See you on
I'd love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard