Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome To The Nation Mark Kriegel

FOX Sports on MSN recently released a blog post from Mark Kriegel that bears closer scrutiny. You can read the original post here.

I was going to comment directly, but I really don't want to sign up for their spam campaign, so then I was going to use their 'Contact Us' option, but it only allows 1000 characters. Lucky for me, I have my own blog.

Dear Sirs,

Regarding Mark Kriegel's post today about New Orleans and the BCS Championship. Perhaps if he spent more time away from Bourbon Street he'd have something more to talk about than strippers and drunkards. A few corrections:

1. "the French Quarter was awash in dismally drunk tourists,"
The drunks on Bourbon street are rarely dismal, especially when it comes to the college football fans. More appropriate descriptives are raucous, flamboyant, enthusiastic, crazed, happy, and wild, any of which are infinitely more acceptable than dismal. Perhaps you can provide Mr Kriegel with a thesaurus before he attempts to paint any more "word pictures."

2. "Too tired to fling beads,"
Even though January 6th marks the beginning of Carnival Season, Mardi Gras is still a few weeks away and although thousands of tourists do indeed fling beads year round, bead season has not officially started yet. The locals here have a few words for tourists who fling beads out of season. The nicest is 'idiot,'

3. "clutching plastic goblets filled with neon-colored potions"
Most probably, Mr Kriegel is referring to the "Hand Grenade," an original New Orleans concoction available only at one of the three Tropical Isle bars or the Funky Pirate in the French Quarter. In fact, the plastic "goblet" is neon-colored. The drink itself is deep green in color, much resembling bile. Feel free to use dismal to describe the color of this drink.

4."With so many cops... ...trouble couldn't be far behind."
How irresponsible can you be? The police are there to ensure the safety of French Quarter visitors. There will always be the usual trouble when frat boys ingest alcohol, but for the most part everyone manages to enjoy themselves in a fairly responsible way. You make it sound as if certain death stalks every visitor in the city. On top of that, the words "trouble couldn't be far behind" are used in a foreshadowing context which is never fulfilled. Bad form, sir.

5. "a bad scene in a once-beautiful city, party-pooped drunks shuffling through that stalemated space separating the gangbangers and the cops."
Are you sure you weren't visiting downtown L.A.? Or are you simply so racist that to you, any black male in a sports jersey represents a member of the Bloods or the Crips? Please Mark, we have enough tension here without you starting the next big race riot. Stick to the sports and leave the editorializing to those more capable. Like fourth graders.

6. "Even the grand hotels have a Blanche DuBois quality, fading dames with their lipstick amiss."
This is a very pretty sentence. It's a shame you misappropriated a line which for the past half a century has been used to describe some of our historic plantation homes. Our "grand hotels" are all more or less recent constructions and are made of the same glass and steel box style just like they are in the rest of the world. They even have air-conditioning, mini-bars and room service.

7. "on this late stroll through The Quarter, it appears that the only businesses to thrive and proliferate in Katrina's wake are strip joints."
This was preceded by a statement of how Mark has been to New Orleans pre-Katrina. It must have slipped his mind that Bourbon Street has always been festooned with strip joints. Perhaps if he had walked one street over to the left or right he might have noticed the restaurants, art galleries, antique stores and historic buildings that also make up the French Quarter.

8. "but topless and even bottomless establishments seem pedestrian vices in a city where mere meals once qualified as sinful experiences."
For the record, "bottomless" in this context means without pants, shorts or skirt. Panties or thongs are required by law in all New Orleans strip clubs. Also, meals are still sinful experiences here. You just need to visit Arnaud's, K-Pauls, Brennan's, Galatoire's or any number of other fine restaurants we have to offer. Unless I miss my guess, I think you're trying to reference that brief period directly after Katrina when an MRE was a godsend or a blessing. If so, you failed miserably.

9. "I recommend you click on Charissa Thompson's piece from the 9th Ward, lest you think this place really looks as it does in those credit card commercials."
Wow! Charissa explains it all! Except she ignores some very real facts. Yes, the Lower Ninth is still a shambles, but I notice Charissa didn't bother to mention Brad Pitt's Make It Right project, which to this date has collected enough money to build 65 of a promised 150 homes in that area. Nor did she mention Harry Connick's Musician's Village in the Upper Ninth which has rebuilt or replaced entire blocks of homes. Look out of your hotel window again Mark. Our city looks exactly like it does in those commercials. You just need to open your eyes to see it.

10. "The population is down (from 455,000 before the storm to 288,000), but murders are up again, almost 30 percent. Since December 29, according to NBC, more Americans have been killed in New Orleans than Iraq."
Actually, the most recent numbers place the population at 320,000. It is true that the the murder rate has increased, but you should use the words "almost 25%." Murders rose from 168 in 2006 to 209 over the last year. A 24% increase, unless my math is wrong, which it's not. Nothing to be proud of but far lower than the 900+ American casualties in Iraq last year. And those are just military deaths. I think both you and NBC need to check your numbers again. Speaking of NBC, doesn't FOX have any statisticians? You had to use another networks numbers? Incredibly sad and terribly sloppy research there Mark.

11. "what struck me most was back on Bourbon Street: a sign offering lap dances at 'moderate prices.' Some things you don't want at a discount."
So after complaining about the strip clubs you're now going to be a snob about them? Does FOX overpay you so well that you can afford the Platinum Plan? It's a marketing gimmick, Mark. Just some cheap words they use to lure in the suckers, much like "fair and balanced." Ironically, another word for suckers is "marks." Interesting, don't you think?

After the these first few paragraphs, Mark finally gets down to the business of talking football. After a relatively uninspired discussion of the BCS Championship game he closes his blog by stating "College football players can't change anything. Nothing they did would drop the murder rate or raise the price of lap dances." Murder and sex aside, I've seen and read stories of a number of college athletes who have donated money, time and sweat to help many families and neighborhoods in our area and their help is greatly appreciated. Many college athletes devote precious time to young children in order to help them avoid lives of crime, and while this may not have an immediate effect on our murder rate, I guarantee it will make a difference in about ten years. As it stands, it makes a huge difference in the lives of those kids who might not have had a role model without the college athletes you so casually disregard.

Let me ask you this Mark: Other than writing line after line of offensive drivel in order to make our city and our citizens look bad, what have you done to help? Or are you just a bitter hack masquerading as a sports writer. Perhaps your next assignment will be more pleasing to you than an all-expenses paid trip to one of this country's most historic cities including tickets to the BCS Championship game. Maybe you can go back to biographies. I hear there's some interesting things going on in the lives of Barry Bonds and Marion Jones.

Welcome to the Nation of Morons, Mark. Don't let the screen door hit you in the ass on the way in.

1 comment:

"J.A.U.G." said...

What a dip! First those drunk - frelling football fans, geeze his own peeps!!
Every football game looks like this in the Quarter! Did he notice how clean it was? WTF was his hotel - Metairie?

What KIND of journalist doesn't check his facts (actually most of them these days, editors too!)

What time did he stumble, er stroll down Bourbon?

Pah, what a frelling redneck!