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It’s Finally Football Season Again!

It’s Finally Football Season Again!

By Mario Jerez

Click aqui para español->¡Por fín regresa la temporada de football!

Last January, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs broke the city of New Orleans’ collective heart. Diggs took advantage of a defensive blunder and scored a last-second touchdown to eliminate the Saints from the NFL playoffs.

The “Minnesota Miracle”, as the play has been dubbed, will live on in NFL infamy and has tortured Saints fans with constant replays throughout the off season. However, the new season is finally upon us. And the Saints are about to get their shot at redemption.

The core of last year’s team, which went 11-5 and won its division, is back to take another crack at a title. Sean Payton and Drew Brees are one of six active head coach-quarterback combinations to have won a super bowl.

 Twelve years into their tenure, they remain the orchestrators of one of the league's best offenses. For the first time in a long time, the Saints also had a solid defense in 2017. This year, the unit hopes for continued improvement under third-year defensive coordinator Dennis Allen.

These factors, combined with several others, have created high expectations for the upcoming campaign. Around water coolers and on sports talk shows, the Saints are as good a pick as anyone to win it all. The team even hung a large banner that reads “prove them right” at their practice facility, a reference to the praise the Saints have garnered from local and national media.

They will have to take it one game at a time, and nothing is guaranteed. But, in New Orleans, the anticipation is the highest it’s been in years! This team has the talent to win a championship. But the NFL season is long and unpredictable, and preseason expectations can become irrelevant quickly.

Still, the city of New Orleans is right to be excited. This team has a chance to do something special and hopefully, they’re able to rise to the challenge.

The Saints open the regular season on September 9th in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

A Summer Update on the New Orleans Pelicans

A Summer Update on the New Orleans Pelicans

By Mario Jeréz

Click aqui para español->Los sucesos del verano de los New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory. Despite a season-ending injury to all-star DeMarcus Cousins, the Pels swept the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It was the second post-season triumph in team history, and the future looked bright. However, the team was eliminated quickly in the second round, and they’ve already lost multiple players to other teams this summer. Meanwhile, they’ve also added some new players.

LOSSES

Veteran point guard Rajon Rondo signed a one year, nine-million-dollar contract with the Lakers. The Pelicans didn’t have the necessary funds to make a better offer, and they lost their starting point guard. Rondo averaged 12.2 assists per game in the 2018 playoffs, ranking first in the NBA. Following Cousins’ devastating Achilles injury last season, the Pelicans deemed resigning him too risky for the salary he wanted. Cousins went on to sign a one-year deal with the Warriors. In two seasons, the Pelicans had a 31-28 record with him in their line up.

ADDITIONS

With Cousins and Rondo leaving, the Pelicans had to act fast, and they signed a couple of promising young players. Forward Julius Randle agreed to a two-year contract with New Orleans. The 23-year-old is coming off his best season with the Lakers, averaging 16 points per game, and he was heavily recruited by Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis. The Pelicans also signed New Orleans native Elfrid Payton to a one-year contract. The 24-year-old point guard averaged 12 points and six assists per game for the Suns and Magic last season.

CONCLUSSION

Rondo’s leadership and elite passing abilities will be tough to replace. The Pelicans have already had success without Cousins, but, when healthy, he’s an elite player, and time will tell if letting him walk was the right decision. The good news is New Orleans will still return its two best players in Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday. Also, the team can still make some minor roster moves before next season. But to replicate last year’s success, the Pelicans will need the new arrivals to make significant contributions.

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Publisher's Note

Spring Fest Time

With the warmer days ahead, everyone is ready to soak up some sun and get back to the outdoors.

Music is the center of it all. We prepare our wallets to support us during every festival coming up that brings the talented musicians on-stage and the food vendors to serve their signature creations. This month is the third edition of Top Taco, an event that has grown exponentially each time.

This event, that takes place on March 14th this year, has become a great avenue for restaurants and their business owners and for the promotion of mezcal and tequila brands. Latino cooks and restaurateurs have been able to connect to the New Orleans community, and Top Taco has allowed exposure to many restaurants, including little mom and pop's that otherwise American residents of New Orleans would have never known.

With Agave Week happening March 10th to March 14th and its tasting events, seminars and parties at the ACE Hotel, Top Taco is sure becoming a New Orleans signature event. We are excited about its growth because it gives visibility to the growing Latino community and some of its great culture.

 Enjoy the wonderful Spring events and don't forget to tag VIVA NOLA in all your pictures!

AnaMaria