This is primarily a Tulane football blog, although I do occasionally comment on all matters Tulane that may or may not be any of my business. I love following Tulane Greenwave football, zing-zang Bloody Marys, hostessing cute tailgating parties, and life in New Orleans. It's fabulous. oh and I adore Mr. Hullabaloo. PS This blog is not affiliated in any way "officially" with Tulane University or Tulane Athletics. It is purely the crazy antics and obsessions of Mr. and Mrs. Hullabaloo who love them some greenwave (I say tee-ay (!) y'all).

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Feast For the Eyes

Our super cah-uuuuute tailgating. Ta Da!

Our theme was "Jamaican" in honor of Nico Marley (yes that Marley). "One Love": The Greenwave of course!

And what was super cool, was that Nico Marley's family came by to say hello before going in to the game. They were so tickled that we had red stripe beer and everything.

The menu (recipes below) was: jerk pineapple chicken wings, coconut shrimps (store bought frozen, I was lazy), cilantro lime rice (sooo delish), black bean salsa, plantain and yucca chips, pepper jelly and cream cheese, honeydew with kiwi & blackberries, brownies and a big ole chocolate cake for Mr. and Mrs. Koozie's anniversary. Everything was a hit. Oh, and Preacherman brought hurricanes to share in honor of the anniversary of Katrina as well.

Everything turned out beyond my expectations for tailgating. Especially for being midweek - we had tons of new hullabaloo huddlers come by, including many new female fans who have gotten swept up by our enthusiasm and have now paid dues to officially join our little well-behaved booster club. Even some MrsHullabaloo twitter followers came by to identify themselves. I was so delighted to meet y'all! Thanks for coming to introduce yourselves, please do drop by again and I mean that sincerely.

Our cutest little visitor though was the darling Kepa!

Kepa just came back from his first trip to Spain where he was one of the youngest peregrinos on the "Camino de Santiago" walking pilgrimage across Northern Spain. He has a blog about his adventures and everything. Kepa is our favorite-est little pelican!

So, oh yes. Post-tailgating there was a game.

And if you missed the Jackson State J-settes, word. Those girls are known as the "Feast of a Million Eyes" and they are not kidding. The J-settes held the entire Tulane Nation in complete rapture during their performance. Binoculars and Ipad videotaping was in full effect.

This video is not their performance from the game, but it gives you the idea. The J-settes actually danced to Blurred Lines (hey, hey, hey!) executed perfectly by the Sonic Boom marching band. The J-settes were as, if not more, impressive than the University of Hawaii Rainbow Dancers Dance Team that Coach Hullabaloo and I witnessed two seasons ago. And that left quite an impression on us, let me tell you.

Anyways, about the game itself.....I will be 100% honest that I was lax in the paying attention part. I was too distracted catching up with my peeps and players mommas that I have befriended. What was pretty funny was that when Koozie walked in at the beginning of the game he heard that there was an interception, but his immediate thought was, "We've been interception already dagnabbit!".....ha!

So Bandwagon Fans: please forgive us longtime fans for not immediately already assuming the worst. I do caution that I am purposely reserving any presumptive booty shaking until we can avenge Louisiana Tech and ULM, for reasons which I have discussed previously here. So after the Louisiana Tech game is when I feel that I can commence commenting upon this season for sure.

My favorite picture from the game yesterday. I love the unis, but our ancient fan base complained that nobody could read the numbers.

My favorite play of the game yesterday. Smackdown at the goal line.

(both pictures by Chris Granger, Times Pic photographer)

I do sincerely apologize though that I am unable, at this time, to revel in any post-win glow. And it's not for any lack of effort on the part of the team. I do fervently hope that the team enjoyed their win as they deserve every success for their effort every week and for enduring what the Greenwave Nation has had to endure. And most especially, I hope this guy enjoyed the win: Dante Butler

(Derick Hingle, USA Today)

Dante was a freshman during Toledo's last year. When I first met him in person, he assured me that he was there to help turn things around and that he would be satisfied if we went 10 and 3 that year. Son, if Tulane went 10 and 3, New Orleans would spin off the map or something. But it was a very endearing comment and I hope that he gets to see that this year.

My hangups, of which Coach Hullabaloo can attest that I have many, is that it was a big let down for me to have to observe us play a divison 2 school that was just not very good. Not that I'd want to revisit other D2 nail biters of our recent past like when we opened against McNeese or SLU. But one of our younger Hullabaloo-ettes started calling the JSU QB "groundcover" instead of his last name Ivy because of the amount of time they spent flat on the turf.

What is also nagging me is a very disturbing possibility that following a winning streak, our Athletic Department might seriously consider settling and make us participate in the New Orleans Bowl should we qualify. Oh girl - you know I'll be out there front and center with a tailgate party to end all tailgate parties since Coach Hullabaloo flatly refused to send us to Hawaii in 2003. A sin so egregious I have tortured him about it daily. However, after my misery over this season's schedule and after putting the kibosh on Fan Day, now we gotta get pumped up about more Superdome? Because we haven't seen enough of the Superdome. I mean, we'll be having to park here next season anyways, so we'll have plenty of opportunities to visit the dome and rekindle our fond memories. I get it that the Nola Bowl will be the easiest bowl for them to coordinate. But seriously, just kill me now, ok? So that's kind of zapped my bubble a bit.

But keeping us distracted and entertained in the interim was a gametruck that they booked for tailgating which I had to admit was preeeetty awesome. I know it was for the students, but I had a good time checking it out. This is a similar game truck to the one that was parked outside.

Ok, so down to business of recipes.

The inspiration for some of this was this ah-mazing lunch I enjoyed on a stormy day of shopping in downtown Hamilton, Bermuda last year. There was a food truck with an umbrella for the tiniest bit of shelter from the elements and I decided to give it a whirl. These jerk chicken wings were by far the best thing I ever ate. Made me forget I was eating them in the rain, sopping wet and completely ladled with shopping bags.

Mrs. Hullabaloo's Interpretation of Jerk Pineapple Wings
A bottle of Cattleman's Carolina tangy BBQ Sauce (Winn Dixie sells)
generous quarter cup of soy sauce (eyeball it)
dashes of paprika
dash of cumin
third cup brown sugar
generous dashes of ginger
2 stalks of chopped green onion (reserve half for garnish)
three quarters cup of crushed pineapple (strain some of the liquid)
3-4 lbs of drummettes and chicken wings
Jerk spice (I made my own)

Take the liquid ingredients, pineapple, spices, brown sugar and simmer until blended. Add the green onion. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile I brushed both sides of my chicken wings and drummettes with jerk seasoning and put them in the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes. I took out the pan and drained out all of the fat, turned the chickens to the other side and set them in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until they started to look golden. I took about a quarter to half cup of the sauce and brushed that on both sides of the chicken and then turned OFF the oven and left the rack of chicken to baste a little in the oven with the temperature dropping. I just coated the wings a touch, enough to give them a little something something. I garnished the top of the wings with chopped green onions and set out all of the sauce so that guests could add as much or as little as they wanted.

Mrs. Hullabaloo's jerk seasoning
ground onion
ground allspice
ground cloves
ground cinnamon
ground ginger
ground cumin
tiniest sprinkle of celery salt
tiniest sprinkle of ground garlic
a quarter of a scotch bonnet de-seeded and minced
two tablespoons of canola oil

Now, I did not use measurements because I was crazy. I could not find store bought jerk seasoning mix anywhere. So I mixed a dash each of the dry spices first until I had a batch that I was happy with the combination. I can note that I added more onion though than the others, and was generous with the salt and with the thyme. Then I took the minced scotch bonnet and let it sit in the canola oil a spell and then added the mixed dry spices in pinch by pinch until I had a sludgy consistency that tasted jerk-ish.

Cilantro Lime Rice from Melissa D'Arabian

Cupnahalf of Louisiana Long Grain Jasmin Rice
half cup of Whole Foods 365 organic coconut milk (I opened several cans to try which one I liked best and this one won)
half cup of homemade chicken bone broth (because this is very healthy for you)
2 cups of water
tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil
couple of cilantro leaves to keep things honest
zest from a lime
a couple tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
toasted shredded coconut

Add liquids and rice to your rice cooker. Voila, very easy. Once it's done, fluff in the lime zest and chopped cilantro. Garnish with the toasted coconut for a pretty presentation.

Ok, so September is a holy month, not just for Football, but for our Tulane Community as it is Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. So next week our tailgate will celebrate the New Year with a Jewish Menu. We are calling it Challah-Baloo (ray ray)!

Ciao my chamudis!

P.S. I am starting to give credence to this Gus Kattengell El Gato Negro thing. We almost had a shut out until he allegedly said something on air. lol!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Send Men, Supplies and Don't Loot our Football Team

Picture by Thomas Campbell of USAToday

Well, well, well....

What do we have here? Football crazy New Orleaneans woke up from their purple psychosis last Sunday and noticed that Tulane had a legit QB under center. And what's that? Come Again? Hokie Gajan ate his words also?

I'm sorry, but could you repeat that please? I couldn't hear you the first time: What's this about Hokie Gajan saying he was wrong about talking out his mouth? Blabbering like a fool that Griff wasn't NFL material? In his oh so very esteemed opinion?

Makes me hold out hope that Tammy Nunez might one day apologize for being recorded off camera making fun and laughing that John Curtis could beat Tulane.

But for real y'all, I felt like I needed to give the wheel a spin and buy a vowel after Griff's touchdown to Tanner. How D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S was that?! Did you catch yourself wondering if the Big Lee Towing guy sat on his hands or if he actually cheered for that touchdown?

If you'd like to rewatch this nationally televised moment of brilliance by a Tulane Product, click on this link here.

...So now back to my final order of business this pre-season: San Antonio <-- where Tom Benson threatened to move the Saints to during Katrina. And oh yes, the home of the Roadrunners whom Tulane must play in our final season in Ex-Cusa.

The Alamadome where the Roadrunners play.

With all this talk about the Saints, fools who flap their jaws, and San Antonio - I was reminded of this article by Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express titled "Stealing Saints Would've Been a Crime" wherein he apologizes on behalf of those egregious looters called the City of San Antonio who attempted to steal our NFL Team after Katrina.

San Antonio, despite this lapse of judgment, is actually a very important landmark in the history of the independence of Texas. Did you know that leading up to the attack on the Alamo, William B. Travis had sent him off some letters up his chain of command asking for reinforcements and supplies? Not unlike how the "Lunatic Fringe" at Tulane have been reminding TPTB that we have a D1 program here that needed serious paying attention to. Unfortunately Travis only received another 100 men even though there were facing thousands of Mexicans as was told to make do. (Sound familiar Tulane fans??) The Texan and American men lead by Travis were promptly decimated in a very lopsided attack on the Alamo. Outrage ensued and so the Texians regrouped, rallied and fought back in San Jacinto and kicked the Mexicans out of Texas. Except that now we eat their food and import them as cheap labor all these years later.

If you can follow my thoughts, and put aside the political economy of US-Mexico geo-socio relations: Tulane rounding out our final year in Ex-CUSA by playing in San Antonio is kind of ironic and interesting in a Playbook/Toledo Extension kind of way.

Another interesting connection between San Antonio and Tulane is that Coach Johnson was Larry Coker's wide receivers coach at Miami. The current UTSA head coach, Larry Coker, was head coach at Miami. Here's to hoping that the student (CJ) has become the master. Because honestly, the last thing I need is to lose like a fool to a someone straight out of division2 in this lamest of lame schedules in the history of American College Football. We are better than this schedule gives us credit for.

So to put together my review, I was able to go in house for consulting. Coach Hullabaloo lived in San Antonio for many years. And one of my sorority sisters who lived in San Antonio was very helpful as well. Below is where they would suggest we spend pre- and post-game in San Antonio.

Getting to San Antonio

There are no direct flights to San Antonio from New Orleans. You can take Southwest for two hops, connecting either through Houston Hobby or Dallas Lovefield. It's about a 4-5 hours traveling. There's also American Airlines with a connection through Dallas DFW. The costs for either are about $300 each way.

Driving is a straight shot across I-10 west for 544 miles. You can break up the trip in two by pitstopping in Houston for dinner and a layover. Or you can kamikaze straight through for 8-9 hours and want to just die because this is the most boring stretch of highway in the history of the world.

Another fun option, which Coach Hullabaloo and I enjoy very much, is railgating on Amtrak. The cost is $75 pp each way. The train leaves downtown New Orleans at 9am and arrives in San Antonio at midnite. And the train station is literally one step from the Alamodome. The food on the train is awful, so pack your own lunches. But you can sit in comfortable seats and work in peace all day, read a book, watch a movie on your laptop and you don't have to stare at endless highway for 8 or 9 hours.

Staying in San Antonio

I could not get over how reasonable the rack rates were at San Antonio hotels, as well as how many options there are close to touristy stuff. as well as just the sheer number of choices in the San Antonio area with easy access to the stadium even if you decide to stay a few miles out. If you choose to stay out towards SeaWorld and Six Flags (about 10 miles to the Alamodome), you can find rates for under $100 per night at decent national flagged properties.

Below are the properties that I would check out. Just note that most of the places near the Riverwalk and downtown will charge additional for parking. There seem to be plenty of parking garages to park on your own, and the majority of hotels offered valet parking services as well.

The Hotel Valencia looks to be a gorgeous and Texas-inspired boutique-style hotel in the thick of the touristy area. Rates are $165 with tripleA or $199 a night. And lucky you: the Valencia also offers a "Shoot and Shop" birthday package for those ladies who enjoy a round at the gun club followed by an afternoon hitting the stores. Nice.

Grand Hyatt San Antonio is a full service convention property that is a convenient half a mile from the Alamodome, close to touristy areas and is also situated on the Riverwalk. Rates are $150 per nite.

TownePlace Suites Downtown San Antonio is a limited service property that appears to be clean, comfortable, safe and in a convenient location to touristy areas in the Riverwalk area and is 1 mile from the Alamodome. The rooms at this hotel also have a kitchenette to store and prepare your pre-game beverages and to refrigerate/reheat your take out boxes from eating out, etc. Rates were $145 per night.

I kind of got the ebbie geebies reading online reviews of petty crime and room burglaries on tourists, even in otherwise safe-looking hotels. It goes without saying that those of us from New Orleans know how to take precautions to keep ourselves safe: Never wander alone at dark in an unfamiliar area. Do not experiment with short cuts. Take a cab door to door. Walk in groups. Do not keep more on your person than what you need for that particular outing (leave any unnecessary credit cards, jewelry or cash at home). Pack all of your belongings, especially electronics, back into your suit cases everyday with TSA/travel locks while you are out of your room. Double check your door before leaving to make sure it has locked completely.


My sorority sister insists on shopping at La Cantera, which looks to be a basic Texas mall with a regular Neimans and all of the stores that you are used to seeing at malls.

Another friend also raves about the outlets of San Marcos which has clearance center for Neimans, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tory Burch, Kate Spade and other yummy stores.

I might check out Beach Hill Marketplace, which is a thrift/flea shop that is supposed to offer hours of poking around and great finds. And hopefully a man chair for Coach Hullabaloo to park himself and fondle his Iphone so that I may wander the aisles in peace. And if he behaves I might go check out the other antique thrift shops on Hildebrand Avenue.

Melissa Guerra Kitchen Market is supposed to be a great place to find regionally inspired kitchen and entertaining stuff. of which I always need more of.

BBQ and Tex-Mex

A few years ago for my birthday I shanghai'd Coach Hullabaloo into taking me on a nostalgic tour to sample the ultimate BBQ, TexMex and Texas peach cobbler joints situated between Austin and Houston. We ate BBQ until we could no longer stand it and I also bought these Tulane boots for the equivalent price of a small country. I think Coach Hullabaloo is sufficiently recovered from our meat and corn chip overdose so that we may adventure again in the San Antonio area.

It was quite overwhelming sifting through hundreds of restaurants and reviews to settle on my list. (I will happily assume all blame if these suggestions turn out awful)

Tex-Mex - I settled on Tito's restaurant, El Mirasol or Soluna (sister restaurants), and El Mirador. These seem to be authentic Tex-Mex menus, good execution and all have great reviews by users and bloggers. Tito's also offers breakfast (yummy). El Mirasol seem to be a more high falutin fancy restaurant.

My BBQ selections were The Smoke Shack which was started by Mississippi natives, so you know it has to be good. The Barbecue Station which is a side of the road former filling station kind of a joint and The Big Bib BBQ which is also a greasy spoon BBQ joint. All of them portend to serve excellent Texas brisket, finger lickin' sauce and pork ribs. With all of the usual trimmings that BBQ places should have: slaw, tater salad, etc. etc.

In the same genre of Southern and regional cooking which I love so, I was so excited to stumble upon Max's Wine Dive. I have underlined and highlighted this Texas-style comfort food brasserie in my list as a place I need to check out. Pulled pork stuffed peppers, oyster nachos, and "haute" dogs for Coach Hullabaloo. Their scrolling words on their website are hilarious: "Fried chicken and champagne? Why the Hell Not?" lmao. But seriously, they claim to have award-winning fried chicken and that's all I really need to know about that. My kind of place.

And lastly, when you need a break and want something normal: The Gunther House for breakfast. The Gunther House is a lovely 1920's mansion home that now serves breakfast and lunch and is also available as an event venue. It has a beautiful wood paneled ballroom used as the main dining room and lovely outdoor dining porch as well.

Tailgating at UTSA

The Alamodome is located off exit 140b on Interstate 37. From interstate 35, you can take interstate 37 south and then take exit 140b toward Durango Boulevard (east). From Interstate 10, you'll take exit 574 north to interstate 37 and then take exit 140b toward Durango Bouleavard (east).

Tailgating is allowed in Alamodome parking lots B and C. Although you might have to park in another lot and then walk to B and C as those lots only offer premium patron parking.

Seating at the Alamodome

Visitors and The marching band will be seated in section 138.

Lagniappe info for the moms: The visiting locker room is located through the southeast loading dock entrance.

Ok, Tulane fans. I have so enjoyed scouting out our upcoming road trip games. Now the moment we've been waiting for 9 months is two days away: Tailgate and pre-game before our season opener against an FCS school... Hoo-ray! Meet you at the dome!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

That Certain Je Ne Sais Quoi

Mrs. Hullabaloo calls "shotgun!" on behalf of Greenwave Nation on the CUSA-tie in 2013 Bahamas Bowl!

Hell to the Yes on that. Might as well take advantage of this bennie of our final year in Ex-Cusa, amirite?!

And, ta da - check it out. Coach and Mrs. Hullabaloo got nice season tickets!

I was so delighted and pleasantly surprised considering that Coach Hullabaloo procrastinated til the last possible moment to renew our tickets. Seriously, I totally forgot and then Coach Hullabaloo had to be nagged for weeks on end to call in. So I was prepared to just suck it up for being a slacker and be happy with the regular print out tickets. So imagine my delight when we opened up the mail today: Thank you ticket office!

But I am sad to report that my happiness was shortlived because I also found out today that Boooooooo Hissssss on No Tulane Fan Day for 2013.

And Boooo Hissss x2 on not even attempting to resuscitate Let's Talk Football for 2013 either. This used to be such a fun event.

What did we as Tulane Fans do to deserve such a dreary pre-season calendar of events I ask?

Who knows. We are SUCH complainers! and demanding. Some nerve we have. To want a for real college football experience. If only we would just be content with the little things.

Anyways, so because I love innovative ideas and merriment making, I thought I would just throw caution to the wind and dare to dream. Put out there in the universe whatever fun ideas that could happen were Greenwave Nation to just and RiseUp go rogue and have liberty to plan fun events. And promote that certain "je ne sais quoi" called School Spirit, Pride, and Taking Ourselves Seriously So That Others May Take Us Seriously. We could call ourselves the T Party (get it, Tea, T....anyways).

I'm sure that the logistics due to the construction of Yulfogelmevlin were insurmountable.

Plus it's hot. Hurricanes to contend with. Flower beds to plant and oyster restaurants to sample. etcetera.

So below are just some of the brain hurricane ideas on What Mrs. Dr. Hullabaloo, Senior Advisor of Tailgating Advancement, would suggest if the Greenwave Nation could plan a Rogue Tulane Fan Day in the absence of an Official Fan Appreciation Event:

  • A Block Party.....somewhere (By Brunos? With Campus Connection? on McAllister? In front of the Newcomb Sports Exhibit?)

  • Take a SuperFan Pictures with Cairo and His Lou Groza Trophy, or his likeness as a cardboard standup.

  • Autographing of 2013 Football Season Posters by Future NFL Wide Receiver Ryan Grant (in an NCAA compliant manner, of course)

  • Autographing of the 2013 Season Tickets by the Tulane players that are actually on the tickets and who are in driving distance, like Terrence Jones. "A Night With Legends" #38intheDome

  • "Be a Mini Mascot" Camp for kiddos lead by our in-house elite mascot trainer that is on staff

  • and for a community service angle: Postcard writing to our Alumni Service Members in partnership with the Tulane ROTC offices. Postcards can depict our spirit groups (Cheer, Shockwave, our Majorette) saying "Roll Wave, Thank you for your service!" or similar.

So much inspiration. So much room for initiative..

Alas...So how about you? Do you have any Fan Day ideas if you could plan a Rogue Fan Day for Greenwave Nation?

And speaking of Rogue Activities.....

The Booster Club Lunch.

I won't say who's idea this was, but it was an idea. and it came to fruition with minimal amounts of stink eye and pushback from Tulane. And I am here to simply to report upon it objectively. As being awesome, of course.

The Booster Clubs of Tulane warmly welcomed the next generation of fans this week (yay!). Tulane hosts a pre-Move In orientation program called "The NOLA Experience." Nola Experience is a week-long program where a hundred or so first year/freshmen students participate in a crash course on New Orleans before classes start. The students are divided up into "Tracks" by specialty and are immersed in that topic whether the topic is New Orleans music, cooking, community service, what have you. The foodie track eats at Dookie Chase's and Lil Dizzies - you get the idea.

One of the tracks is a "Sports in New Orleans" track and the activities includes a Tulane Day where a couple of dozen students get to tour athletic department facilities, meet with a couple of student athletes, participate in a seminar/lecture with Gabe Feldman (head of Tulane's Sports Law program), etc.. The other days they get to tour the Superdome and the Pelican's arena, etc.

So the booster clubs rounded up some food donations from the Tulane fans at Cafe 615 Da Wabbit, baked us some cookies, printed up some koozies with the 2013 Home Schedule, made a Welcome Banner, and put out some cute Tulane colored table cloths. Easy Peazy.

It was a dee-lightful and positive event. Big Mike got to say things only Big Mike could say (because no generation of Tulane students should leave Tulane without knowing of Big Mike). And the booster clubs were glad to help out in a positive way.

This here is a picture of Big Mike with CB Darion Monroe, DE Julius Warmsley and former SGA president Evan Nichol.

You never know.....the future Conk Naquin, Doug Hertz, Malcolm Glazer or Big Mike could be in that group. We were glad to roll out a green carpet for them. So in the end, we hope it planted a seed to be proud of their Alma Mater and have fun supporting Tulane wherever life leads them.

And at least come watch Ryan Grant once for free before they have to pay to watch him play in person on Sundays.

One more week y'all and then it's officially Tailgating Season! Hullabaloo ray ray!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Del Boca Vista

Lawd have mercy was it challenging and bittersweet to write this blog post.

Forced me to confront the reality that Tulane is actually playing in that bastion power center of college football known as Boca Raton, Florida. And we can't blame Katrina or a lack of proper flower beds at Wilson Center neither for this schedule. As Winston Churchill said, "If you are going through hell, Keep Going" and well, Mrs. Hullabaloo is keep on keepin' on. If for nothing else than to make a statement that: No. I Am Not Going Away. I will continue to subject the Tulane community to my cute tablescaping.

Ok, so Del Boca Vista Community College Florida Atlantic University has been interesting to learn about. Most of Coach and Mrs. Hullabaloo friends who know that we like to hit the road for away games have all had the same reaction of "Where?!" when we get to the FAU portion of the schedule.

Panorama picture of FAU's 30,000 seat stadium.

So FAU is an upstart in the college football world, being one of the youngest teams to make it to a bowl game. FAU football was also birthed by THE Howard Schnellenberger.

Coach Schnellenberger is famous for being a "Program Builder" and save for his one year barnstorming through Oklahoma, he successfully transformed The U (Miami), Louisville and now FAU.

Coincidentally, Coach Schnellenberger had this to say about Conference USA way back in the day.

I'll just let this statement kind of sink in for those titanic aficionados who attached their hips for a decade. I am just sayin'....

So I discuss Coach Schellenberger in a Tulane geeky kind of way, to point out that Coach CJ came up through The U (Miami) and has this whole "State of Tulane" mindset he's been aggressivley pounding the recruiting trail with. And yes indeed, it is within striking distance of paying off.

Oh Dear Sweet Baby Jesus, purveyor of all that is good and true in the world: if once all is said and done and this whole decade of debacle actually leads to something miraculous happening to save one of the most historic programs in the NCAA, it will truly be the sweetest thing. I just wished the route hadn't been so plagued and self-inflicted like a script for Dante's Inferno.

So speaking of traveling to Hades.....Boca Raton. Boca Raton is in South Florida and every guide I seem to read about it all say the same thing: old people + college students + flashy money. Coach Hullabaloo and I love Miami, and this will be our first extended time to spend in the Boca/Palm Beach/Delray area.

Getting to Boca Raton

First things first: If you are traveling to South Florida and want to get there quickly and painlessly: Fly into Fort Lauderdale.

Fort Lauderdale Airport is 25 miles south of Boca Raton. Fort Lauderdale Airport is actually also like 15 minutes up the road from the Miami area, so it's even convenient if your intended destination is Miami or to drive down to the Keys. Miami International Airport is the biggest clusterf in the history of traveling, so unless you enjoy tossing yourself into a buzz saw, I would almost strongly suggest taking your time and driving 11 hours from New Orleans to avoid Miami Airport. But seriously folks: just take a non-stop Southwest flight from Moisant Field into Fort Lauderdale and call it a day.

Equidistant to Boca Raton, is also Palm Beach Airport. Palm Beach Airport is 25 miles north of Boca Raton. Flights between Nola/MSY and PBI would require a pit stop in Atlanta on either Delta or Southwest/Air Tran. There are also direct flights from Southwest from Houston to Palm Beach Airport.

Driving is actually not as bad as it might seem. Coach Hullabaloo and I have done the drive many times. There are lovely stops along the way and you can make a mini holiday out of traveling to get there. It takes about 11 hours from New Orleans.

Where to Stay

Lawd, this is Florida. So just throw a dart at a map bursting with your average hotel chains and chose your pick.

We will either descend upon one of our many friends and relatives in South Florida, or get hooked up with one of Coach Hullabaloo's juiced in work deals. But if we had to make hotel arrangements, these would be my suggestions:

The Seagate Hotel in Delray Beach would be at the very top of my list. The Seagate is 10 miles north of Campus. Rooms are around $175 a night. This is a true boutique hotel property that provides a relaxing and pampered getaway. Namaste!

Fairfield Inn is directly behind the stadium next to the Boca Raton Airport.

Alternatively, The Boca Raton Resort and Club is a massive hotel complex built around Addison Mizner's historic hotel in downtown Boca. It is a Waldorf-Astoria flagged property and the rates are around $189 a night.

Marriott Renaissance Boca Raton Hotel is located near the Galleria-esque, Town Center Mall. It is convenient to restaurants and stumbling distance to campus and is about $150 a night.

Good Eating

This is Florida, so take advantage and enjoy the closest you can find to authentic Latin American and Caribbean cooking.

For the unadventurous, there are umpteen chains close to FAU: Houston's, California Pizza Kitchen, Capital Grill, Cheesecake Factory and many others yadda yadda yadda... Folks have raved in yelp about the choices in the food court at the Boca's Town Center Mall. Coach and Mrs. Hullabaloo, however, will be making a bee-line to overdose on as much Mofongo as possible.

Mofongo is a dish that is definitive proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. As Coach Hullabaloo sez: it's so good, it's stupid good. Many countries claim the Mofongo, but my only experience with it is from the US state of Puerto Rico. It is apparently African in origin, a version of an African dish called FuFu. So what it is: Mofongo is a heavenly pile of mashed savory plaintains that have been cooked with onions, garlic, chicken broth and pork crackling and then molded into a mound like a sandcastle. And then if that wasn't enough, it is topped with your choice of Ropa Vieja (slow cooked, shredded pork or beef) or my personal favorite: Shrimp Creole. But not just any old shrimps creole y'all - this here shrimp creole has been made with mangoes for an unimaginable savory sweetness that will seriously make you pass out from utter happiness after your first bite. It will make you feel like you had an angelic encounter.

Apparently there is a Mofongo stand in San Antonio, so I'll be getting two Mofongo opportunities this road trip season. Silver Lining!!! Oh Happy Day!

So where I shall be sampling Mofongo: Borinqueya Restaurant in Davie, Florida, La Cocina Puertorriqueña in Pembroke Pines, Old San Juan Restaurant down in Miami.

And of course, we can't forget the ever present Cuban options: Havana Cuban Restaurant in West Palm, the Cuban Café near campus in Boca Raton. Or you can make the drive to the official motherlode of Cuban restaurants: Restaurante Versalles on Calle Ocho in Little Havana in Miami. The café con leche (café au laît) is worth the drive alone.

Between our Mofongo appointments these are some additional suggestions for eating in the Boca Raton area

Taverna Opa in Hollywood, Florida.

Ok Hollywood is actually the Fort Lauderdale area, but it's close enough to suggest you check it out. I highly enjoy Taverna Opa in South Beach in Miami, so I am going out on a limb that their northern outpost in Hollywood would be worth a venture. It's Mediterranean food with table-prepared hummus, fried cheese Saganaki that is amazing, delicious calimari and grilled Mediterranean meats that are also delish. It's almost like a dinner theater with really fun upbeat club-type music playing throughout dinner which usually ends up with dancing on the tables F&M-style and a confetti of napkins littering the revelry.

Those of us who shook our bootys on the F&M pool tables will feel right at home. Good times.

The Rebel House is an eclectic, funky gastropub.

Menu items include eggplant parm "poppers," white asparagus salad with green goddess and truffle oil dressing, duck with sweet potato/brussel sprout hash, bahn mi, tacos and an aggressive charcuterie platter that is de riguer these days on the food scene. Coach Hullabaloo will have to taste test their charcuterie platter to see if it surpasses the ones he loves from Revolution, Café Degas and Toups Meatery.

Ben's Kosher Deli. Because we are talking about Tulane here y'all.

This is a Florida outpost of a New York chain. In addition to the authentic food, there's apparently lots of kitchy Jewish humor on display as well. Including something along the lines of "For 5000 years we were wandering people. At then we found Boca" Oy! Barump, bump!

Brewzzi Microbrewery Looks to be a basic American suds and grille joint with some craft beers on tap that appear to be worth a taste.

Seasons52 is a "fancy casual" restaurant and wine bar with a seasonally-inspired menu. They do lunch and dinner, but the options are things like turkey skewers with hoppin john and zinfandel bbq, garlic shrimp with saffron-chorizo risotto, seared tuna salad with pineapple, almonds and miso vinaigrette. Cheers.

Getting to FAU Stadium

First of all, I just have to point out that the FAU Stadium was to be corporate sponsored by The GEO Group. Ummmmm: Oy! The FAU radio announcer coined the phrase Owl-Catraz, and following an uproar from the FAU community, the naming deal was cancelled.

The FAU Stadium is located on the north side of campus and online reviews say that navigating thru campus to find the stadium area is an undertaking. Adding to the confusion is that FAU shares campus roads and land with Palm Beach State College. Plus the roads on campus are two lanes and there is no signage pointing directions, just the occasional attendant with a bright yellow shirt. I am double praying here that Tulane is not taking instructions from FAU on rolling out gameday for Yulfogelmevlin.

FAU stadium: Take I-95 to exit 45 (Glades Road) and head east to University Drive which is like an outer loop road around the main part of campus. Follow University Drive to FAU Boulevard where the stadium is situated.

Tailgating at FAU

Since this is a new football campus and their stadium is three years old (and their website contains no and/or old information): Your guess on what to expect is as good as mine. Rules and locations seem to be ever changing from season to season.

I did about fall over when I read that they have to get "Food Waivers" for food served at tailgating that is not purveyed through the university catering. WTH with that. I hope and pray that TPTB didn't get any ideas when they toured FAU during the due diligence tour for the new additions to Ex-Cusa.

From what I have read in their online materials: Tailgating activities are authorized in any ground-level open air parking lot; however, they are not permitted in any parking garage on any level, sidewalks or within 20 feet from buildings. FAU is building a parking garage next to the stadium on the northside of campus that will be used for visitor parking on gameday.

As you can see there are several lots surrounding the stadium, so when Tulane announces the 411 on Tulane Tailgating at FAU, I shall promptly share the information herewith.

Stadium Seating


Alas. There's a whole lot in an area of 5 million people, but not a whole lot of interesting.

Towne Center in Boca Raton and near FAU campus is a Galleria-esque type place with Neimans, Saks, Bloomies, Macy's and a Sears. Mizner Park is more upscale and pretentious. There's a cute shopping district off Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach called Pineapple Grove Arts District that looks like Magazine Street-ish with a cute preppy store called the Snappy Turtle. and then I could outlet shop to my heart's content at Sawgrass Mills which is supposed to be a ginormous outlet mall to out do all other outlet malls of the western hemisphere.

So next up on our tailgating previews will be San Antonio. We all know Houston, so I won't need to profile that for you. So check in soon for our upcoming visit to the Roadrunners.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Roadtrip to Monroe


Gratuitous pictures for haters who feel that the citizenry of America should be oppressed and forced to watch monopolized sports.

Like we are some sort of dictatorial communist country that discourages Competition, Freedom and the American way.

Anyways, while I hope that the Wave adds to our string of wins against ULM and avenges our down year last year, I tip my hat to the Warhawks for silencing the stupid idea that there should only be an "elite" division within the FBS. Stupidest idea ever. Get over yourselves.

Anyways, back to what you came here to read about: Railgating to Monroe! The excitement never ends with the 2013 Tulane Football Schedule (<-- snark).

Monroe was formerly known as Poste du Ouachita and is the 8th largest city in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Yes Sir. And the Greenies shall be descending on this fine hamlet in a little over a month. Picture of Malone Stadium where the Warhawks play.

So here I have compiled my list of recommendations and thoughts about Mon-Row. Many thanks to traveling Baylor fans who have compiled many comments across their forums from which I have borrowed liberally with regard to the gameday experience at ULM for visitors.

How to get to Ewe Elle Emm

This is a similar land route up The Boot in getting to Ruston, but a few miles closer.

You can take I-10 west to I-55 North to just before Jackson, cut over and cross back into Louisiana via Vicksburg, Mississippi for a shortcut to I-20 west (287 miles, 4.5 hours). Or you can take I-10 West to Corndogland/Bataan Rouge and then rural highway US 425 north thru Natchez, Mississippi up to I-20 west (270 miles, 4.75 hours). Half dozen of one, six of the other. Make sure your Ipod is loaded up and your Netflix is streaming either way. If you go via Natchez, I would suggest Jerry Lee Lewis on the Ipod and Dennis Quaid's Great Balls of Fire on video in homage to passing thru Ferriday, Louisiana.

Where to Stay in Monroe

In doing research, Mrs. Hullabaloo was done quite impressed with how much Monroe has grown up since I was stuck there a little over a decade ago when I worked a corporate job.

Hotel suggestions: Three miles from Malone Stadium is a Courtyard ($119 a night), TownePlace Suites ($99 a night) and Residence Inn ($119 a night).

There also seems to be an interesting-looking B&B called Hamilton House which is $130 a night and is located about 5 miles from Malone Stadium in downtown West Monroe.

Shopping in Monroe

Bayou Gypsy

This place looks totally my speed. Young, cute, and comfortable dresses, shoes and accessories.

Downtown Monroe Rivermarket

Looks like a cute outdoor Palmer Park Art Market kind of a thing with vendor stalls and crafty items.

Dining in Monroe

THIS about knocked my socks off.

Like the heavens parted and angels sung when I found this fabulous little place online. Easily my most anticipated stop in the 2013 round of Coach and Mrs. Hullabaloo's Excellent College Football Road Trip Adventures is Cotton, Creative Southern Cuisine, by CHOPPED Champion, Chef Corey Bahr. Pimento Cheese Beignets?! Oyster Potato Caviar?! Muscovy Duck and Okra? Lawd, get in my belly!!


Coach Hullabaloo and I are big fans of Monjunis.

Their sweet red gravy is truly epic. I could drink it through a straw. There was a Monjunis in Nola for a blink of an eye in what is now Delachaise up on the avenue. I practically subsisted on their chicken spinach lasagna. If we ever find ourselves in Shreveport, we will inevitably beeline to the original Monjuni's. Apparently there is a Monjuni's in Bataan Rouge, but we don't like actually ever subject ourselves to going to Bataan Rouge unless under duress.

Restaurant Sage

This is the restaurant where Chef Bahr worked before opening Cotton. Sage recently won best appetizer at a Monroe Chamber of Commerce event for their Caramel Macchiato Pork. Coach Hullabaloo would love that. Link to Restaurant Sage facebook page.

Waterfront Grill

Waterfront Grill is across from Malone Stadium.

It is a seafood joint with gumbo, crabcakes, catfish, BBQ shrimps, grilled and baked seafood. And what looks like a cute view of Bayou DeSiard.

Malone Stadium and Tailgating

ULM is north of Interstate 20. Take the Bastrop exit (Exit 118) and then travel north on US Highway 165 to the DeSiard Street exit. Turn right on DeSiard Street and follow until University Ave. You may continue past University Ave and roll past the front of campus to Warhawk Way which is one of the traffic bridges crossing the bayou to Malone Stadium.

*** Official Tulane Tailgating ***

Tulane Government Affairs Committee and the Tulane Alumni Office have teamed up and gotten a spot in the "Pecan Grove" tailgating area, which is actually in the ULM tailgating park.

Tulane has been allotted space #1 in Pecan Grove, which is situated between Bon Aire Drive and the student section side of Malone Stadium. Festivities begin at 3pm and all Tulane fans are invited to attend. Tulane has invited Louisiana and area politicians to attend, so everyone act on their best behavior okay?

Visitor Parking and Tailgating is actually on the westbank of Bayou DeSiard from the stadium, just a hair north of ULM's campus.

If you would like to set up your own tailgate space, visitor tailgating is where you will be directed to. When you get to campus, you'll need to hang a left up University Ave and then right on either Northeast Drive (by the Starbucks) or Bayou Drive/Lasalle Street. Visitor tailgating is also held in the area by Warhawk Way and Bon Aire Drive just west of Malone Stadium. From the bestbank tailgating there are three bridges: a pedestrian bridge off Bayou Drive and two traffic bridges (Northeast Drive and Warhawk Way).

Postgame traffic flow is directed as follows: West on Northeast Dr. toward Highway 165; South on Warhawk Way from Northeast Drive to Desiard St; North on Warhawk Way from Malone Stadium.

Link for more info from ULM about tailgating

Seating at Malone Stadium

The Wave bench and visitor seating is the General Admission seating on the EAST side of Malone Stadium, in Section 118.

Hope you enjoy planning your road trip y'all! See you soon Greenwave Nation!