Column: "The Sports Trail": Sports, aftermath of Hurricane Katrina changing fast each week

Thursday, September 15, 2005

by David McNeal

Things are happening fast and furiously, in the sports world and beyond.

Locally, the football season is solidly underway, with teams having two games under their belts. At the same time, the golf teams are about to finish up, as they played their district tournaments on Tuesday, so they now will prep for regional and possibly state matches.

The volleyball teams are well into the 1AAA East schedule, with it appearing that the Berryville and Green Forest senior high squads are on a collision course for top honors.

As usual in this rivalry, one will go away with a headache, but both are capable of advancing to the state tournament, if they take care of business.

The Arkansas Razorbacks must have been looking ahead to Southern Cal this Saturday when they let Vanderbilt slip up on them 28-24 last Saturday in Fayetteville.

People call it a "stunning loss," but it shouldn't stun anyone who follows sports. How about Notre Dame beating Michigan 17-10? Or LSU having to travel to Arizona State to play a "home" game because all the facilities in Baton Rogue are being used for Hurricane Katrina survivors. Oh yeah, the Bayou Bengals also won, 35-31.

Event the Dallas Cowboys got into the act, beating the AFC West defending champion San Diego Chargers 28-24 on Sunday. And the Kansas City Chiefs used, gasp, defense to beat the New York Jets 27-7.

Down in Bayou country, things are also moving fast and furiously, as things are rapidly getting back to normal.

Both our daughters have been staying at our house since the hurricane chased them out of town two weeks ago. Amy, her two sons, Connor and Will, and two cats have been waiting to hear from husband/father Bobby, who stayed to help run a hospital in Covington on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, where he works.

The news has been good, as first water, then natural gas, then electricity returned to their undamaged home in Mandeville. Just 20 miles west of Slidell, which got hammered, their neighborhood is intact, except for a few trees.

Word now is that stores are open, shelves are stocked, service businesses are going full blast, and Interstates 10 and 12 in that area are okay.

Dadgum it. That means the grandkids and grandkittens will be heading out soon, maybe this week. It has been a blast going home to a new fast-and-furious schedule based on nap and meal times that weren't mine.

Our oldest, Kerrie, doesn't have it so good. She still doesn't know if her apartment in New Orleans was flooded or not, but improving information says probably.

The Louie B. Armstrong International Airport in Kenner that services New Orleans opened today for commercial flights, which is how Kerrie gets to work.

She'll stay with us until she finds out if her belongings are gone, and whether she has an apartment and city to go back to. Her uncertainty is shared by all who are going through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but for our family, thankfully, we're all alive with a future.

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