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Entries in Hurricane Katrina (69)


One Year Ago Today

I posted this entry about a worrisome hurricane entering Gulf waters.

At the time, little had been reported in the news about the now-famous Hurricane Katrina.  But I had noticed Brendan Loy blogging up a storm and realized he was onto the year's biggest news story several days ahead of everyone else.

I had started out worrying about how such a catastrophe might effect college football, with the postponement of games such as happened in recent years between Cal and Southern Miss in 2004 and the great UCLA/Miami game that ended UCLA's 20-game win streak.

But there was clearly a little more to last year's hurricane.  It would become one of the country's worst natural disasters, claiming over 1,000 lives and destroying many Louisiana and Mississippi gulf communities entirely unprepared to overcome such a disaster.

It all sounded so strange at the time, the "worst case" scenarios.  In fact, Katrina lost a great deal of steam and charted herself well enough East of an even more horrible path just before landfall, saving thousands more lives.  One reader even responded at the time:

"doomsday hurricane"??? Sounds a little movie of the week-ish.

Well, almost too close for comfort.  A doomsday hurricane it wasn't, but it sure did make for an ongoing terrible situation.

My hope is that we can get through this college football season without further complication and loss of human lives, but we never know with weather.  Look no further than Loy's blog entry from yesterday about Tropical Storm (and soon, possibly Hurricane) Ernesto.  Several days back few predicted the storm would survive, but here it is headed towards the Gulf having overcome a host of impediments expected to derail its progress.

Irony of ironies, I'm now living in the gulf coast, carefully keeping an eye on this storm's progress.  Hopefully it and others like it fizzle out and find more fun dying anonymous deaths deep into ocean waters.  Not everyone's ready.  Louisiana's far from capable of facing another hurricane.  Mississippi's not much better.  Alabama and the Florida Panhandle can probably take a decent sized storm and I have few worries about those who live in central and south Florida.  Hurricanes are old hat to them.

But there is a college football angle to be aware of.  Tulane's vagabond existence last year told us so.  The charmingly odd story of LSU's JaMarcus Russell housing music legend turned displaced survivor Fats Domino is another reminder.  Here's to a interruption-free 2006 season and a more peaceful hurricane season.


BCS Meeting

BCS officials begin "low key" meetings this week in Phoenix---no major changes to the current format are expected.

Other details:

  • Possible changes to the number of at-large teams eligible for BCS play thanks to the extra BCS game and two additional BCS bowl slots
  • Fox representatives will also attend the meetings, as they will televise all non Rose Bowl BCS games
  • Fox will determine the name of the new BCS championship game
  • Sugar Bowl officials expect to return to New Orleans and the Superdome after playing in Atlanta last year when the game was displaced by Hurricane Katrina

A Modest Tangent

I was away for a few days last week and into this weekend, making a pit stop in once-fabulous Biloxi, Mississippi.  Sadly, the city's coastal area was battered by Hurricane Katrina in August of last year.

Seven months have passed, and it continues to look like a war zone (at least the areas I took a look at).

Last year I devoted a lot of blog entries and content to the run-up and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on college football and whatever else that struck me about the storm.  Last week's stop was a striking reminder that New Orleans wasn't the only city devastated by the storm.

It really looks like a wasteland in Biloxi.  Only two of its casinos have found a way to open their doors, and even then, their playing areas have been moved inside because the waterbound facilities have been irreparably damaged.  Within several blocks of the gulf for miles on end, most everything has been deserted and toppled either by the storm or bulldozers.  The only new-looking buildings belonged to construction contractors.  Most roads are passable, but most of the residents have not returned.  None of this information is new or shocking, but it's one thing to see hurricane devastation on the news, and another to take a look at it up-close, and how thoroughly it's destroyed brick, stone and steel and made people leave forever.

However, I snapped a few pictures of modest quality to get an idea of the scene.  Most weren't great shots, so the gallery is small---just eight images.

Link: Biloxi Gallery



ESPN booster series

Last week ESPN.com ran a 3-day series of stories about big-time boosterism in college football and college athletics.  I don't have a lot to add, other than to provide comprehensive links to review all the stories at your own discretion.  Of little surprise, many of the stories are a mix of fact, hearsay, mythology and legalese.

The entries about former Nike CEO Phil Knight and two corporate types who are Troy boosters are very benign in comparison to what is written about Auburn Trustee Bobby Lowder and also the Alabama/Tennessee boster case.

ESPN.com investigative reporter Mike Fish wrote most of the pieces, with some entries by ESPN money guy Darren Rovell.

  • Wave of Support-Tulane University fundraising after Hurricane Katrina
  • Supply and Demand-Ticket prices and how some teams "license" seats through costly donation requirements
  • The Crimson Hide-Logan Young, the Feds, Tennessee... outstanding magazine-like presentation with graphics, photos, video, documents

SMQB's back...

See here.  Katrina had put him under for a good amount of time.

In short: Mississippi's gutted, job's gone, family and home are fine, what the hell happened to Iowa?



We're losing a Tulane blogger

Looks like Anonymous Sportsaholic has removed his entry before, and after Katrina hit.

There's just this last entry saying the blog will be taken down soon.  This upsets me.

I never read the post-Katrina writeup, but it appears it had to do with frustration over the city's inability to assist critically ill hospital patients and their doctors before others less in need.  That was met with a lot of anger I guess, and so now the blog is going to be no more.  Argh.


Katrina latest

I've been slacking on it this week, but FanBlogs is ALL over the Katrina on CFB stuff.  SuperDome may need to be demolished.  Tulane's still weighing relocation options.  LSU has now decided to play ASU in Tempe this week.  More and more and more...


Blog Aid post mortem

I'd like to thank all my fellow college football bloggers (20 or so) who participated for contributing to this unusual but worthy cause/event.  I greatly appreciate it.  More important, it certainly provided at least a little help to those whose lives have been turned upside-down.  You guys (and gals) did a great job.  I promise not to bug you collectively if I don't have to after this.

Thank you's also go out to the generous people who contributed to the relief charity I selected (at least two of you according to the TTLB tracker) and any other contributions that were made at the other bloggers' websites.

I basically devoted the entire early part of this week to Hurricane Katrina and how it affected college football.  It was exhausting, but informative at some level.  No, I didn't talk much about the devastating human and economic impact, because I've long tried to avoid going too off-topic on here, either about my life, or the world at large.  This is a college football blog and for now remains as such.  So within that framework I went along with the college football angle of this, and I think its a relevant one.

Now, we shift the focus back onto college football.  There's certainly going to be more Katrina-related entries, but a lot of the college football stuff has revealed itself.  A few early postponed games, several programs' towns recovering from damage, Tulane in uncertainty, LSU and its relief efforts.

This hurricane has basically become the marker for the beginning of the 2005-2006 college football season, something that will be talked about again and again, etched in our memories.

Anyway, that's getting a little off topic, but thank you once again for rallying alongside CFR for a good cause, for paying attention, for your patience and for your concern.


9-1-2005 Blog Aid Day

Today is the so-called Blog Aid/Blog For Relief/Insert name here Hurricane Katrina relief day across the blogosphere.

Basically, bloggers are asking their readers to contribute to various charities.

Today, I encourage you to contribute to the National Humane Society, rescuing many of the lost animals of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

If you have made a contribution, please note it here and reference CollegeFootballResource so everyone can track the contributions today!

Additionally, I have sent a flurry of emails and messages to fellow college football bloggers to join in.  I will list them below and continue to update this list throughout the day as they notify me of their participation.  I am most appreciative of their generosity and concern.

If you are a college football blogger and would like to get involved, do exactly as I have and make a similar post on your blog along with a suggestion to donate to the charity of your choice.

You can also make your presence known among the blog community by registering at TruthLaidBear's Blog Aid page and adding a reciprocal link to its Flood Aid Page, and then doing the same thing sending an email (pundit@instapundit.com) to Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit blog (arguably the most trafficked blog on the internet) with your URL to be added to its rolls, after adding a reciprocal link to his Flood Aid Page.  Glenn is actually a professor at the University of Tennessee and we presume a Vol partisan.

Read here and scroll down a bit to learn more about the procedural aspect of this.

Please email (collegefootballresource-AT-hotmail.com) me if you in fact participate in this, and I will gladly add you to our list below.

Many other prominent bloggers are participating, and CFR feels proud to be a small part of it.

Right now, TTLB has over 600 bloggers on record as being a part of this effort.  Let's add to the list.

The list of college football bloggers will continually be updated just below, so keep checking back!

Also, we'll keep this post near the top of CFR for today, all other updates and entries can be easily found just below this.  I haven't forgotten that today is the first day of college football and all the excitement that comes with it.

College Football Blog Aid Contributors
I'm just waiting on specific Blog Aid posts before I add the links to several of the above blogs.

Florida Gator football pay-per-view revenues donated to Katrina relief

Approximately $75,000 will be taken in for this weekend's game against Wyoming.



The link


Sugar Bowl viability

There's a lot of time between now and then, but one has to wonder how likely it is that the Superdome (or New Orleans, in fact) can host the Sugar Bowl.

The unknowns are overwhelming and won't be solved for quite a while.  Can the city drain and clean up in time?  How much of downtown New Orleans will remain?  How much needs to be completely rebuilt.  Can the city support (in terms of hotels, lodging, attractions... enthusiasm) the numbers of out-of-town visitors for the game?

Heck, can the Superdome host anything?  It looks like a wreck on television and I have to believe its renovation and restoration isn't high on many people's priorities right now.

There's a lot of time to answer these questions, but might as well start thinking about them right now.


The game is scheduled for January 2, 2006. 


Blog Aid

I'm already getting some responses.  You guys are great.

There's an update coming later tonight with the URLs/bloggers planning on participating or already participating.

I promise not to bug any of you the rest of the year, hehe. 


Call to arms: ATTN fellow CFB bloggers

Let's get in on this "Blog Aid" tomorrow.

Email me collegefootballresource-AT-hotmail.com if you plan on getting involved.

For the gist of it, read  the early part of this entry or here or here or here.

Basically, you blog tomorrow at some point about the hurricane, pointing people to a charity of your choice.  Its simple.  Just contact TTLB on the linked form (easy) to get on their list, and let me know so I can send people to YOUR blog as well.

One day, one entry, that's all.

Remember this hurricane was so powerful it has submerged one of the CFB member institutions, canceled games to several others and brought challenging weather to much of a region considered college football central.  This affected the game we love and many of the teams and fans that make it so great.  Help some of those trying to give a lift to those affected and join in. 


Hattiesburg a big mess

Story from the Hattiesburg American.  Water services are returning, but the town is a real mess.

Hattiesburg, MS is home to Southern Miss University, whose game this weekend was postponed due to Hurricane Katrina.


Arkansas players' families safe and accounted for

The story from ESPN.com.

Just two players, but still good to hear. 


Mississippi State game to go on as scheduled

That appears to be the case.

Here's a story from their official website talking about a ticket giveaway to Hurricane Katrina evacuees in the area. If they're offering tickets (updated within the last few hours) to a football game, there must be a football game, right?

08/31/2005 STARKVILLE, Miss. ­ The Mississippi State University Department of Athletics is providing complimentary football tickets for this weekend's Bulldog season opener with Murray State to those individuals displaced to the Golden Triangle area by Hurricane Katrina. "This is a very difficult time for Mississippians," Director of Athletics Larry Templeton said. "I think everyone has been touched one way or another by this storm and its resulting tragedy. Providing complimentary tickets to this weekend's game is just a small gesture of our hospitality to those who have had to relocate in our area." Displaced individuals in the Golden Triangle area should contact their hotel or shelter administration for more information on the complimentary ticket opportunity. The MSU-Murray State game will kick off at 6 p.m. CT at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field



Fairly obvious by now, but gotta love the readers...

From reader WDE (War Damn Eagle, hehe):

AU and GT are playing. Game on.

Psssst... we have the Tigers as BIG favorites this weekend. The world will be introduced to Brandon Cox.



Starkville power situation

Thanks again to reader Solon. Here's more on Starkville and its recent power situation:

My apologies to all--I got Starkville confused with Hattiesburg. Sorry about that.
More about Jackson--apparently 97% of the city was without power as of this morning. Water is working in some areas, but apparently it is all contaminated and shouldn't be used.
Also, there was apparently at least one death in the Jackson area in connection with Katrina. I can't even imagine what the ultimate human cost is going to be here.

Don't worry, man. Not many of us have the Mississippi geography down. The information has been quite useful to CFR.  Starkville, MS, for the uninitiated, is the home of Mississippi State University.  It appears their game this weekend against Murray State will go forward, despite some weather-related issues.



LSU first-hand account from student assistant in the SID office

This one from Rivals.com.  I won't reproduce, but just read it, shocking.  People being flown in on choppers, people dying, people with gunshot wounds, shocked survivors needing someone, anyone to talk to, badly sunburned, after having had to hack through their roofs just to survive...

There's no way they can play a home game next weekend. 

The story


LSU players unable to locate families

This cuts me up pretty bad. My experience isn't as bad, but to somehow relate this, I was a wreck when I couldn't contact my parents for 2 1/2 days after Hurricane Ivan last year. They had somehow phoned my brother to say they were fine soon after the hurricane passed, but I knew things were bad out there and didn't trust things until I heard their voices again.

This is much worse.

Here's the story, reproduced below:

Some LSU players who had families in the path of Hurricane Katrina have not been able to reach their relatives.
"If you can help us get out the word that they're looking for them we would be very appreciative," LSU spokesman Michael Bonnette said Wednesday, as he drove two hours to pick up his wife and three children, including a 2-week-old, from their home in North Louisiana that has lost electricity.
Running back Shyrone Carey (New Orleans) can't locate his brother. Tight end Mitt Cole (Picayune, Miss.) can't locate his parents. And fullback Steve Korte (Mandeville, La.) can't find his parents.
Korte's father, Steve, was an All-America offensive lineman at Arkansas who also played for the New Orleans Saints.
"We've got a bunch of kids who know they won't have homes to return to," Bonnette said. "There is no way to communicate. We have kids who don't know if their families are alive or dead. We see the pictures. They see their streets and they think their house is under water. But they really don't know."
LSU will practice at 7 p.m. today and also on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, even though the home game against North Texas has been postponed. At 2 p.m. today, LSU's football team will visit the Baton Rouge River Center, a shelter for people who have lost their homes.