Serious life lessons were recently learned in New Orleans, and I need to talk about all of them right now.
I woke up Wednesday morning, the no-man's-land day of Super Bowl week, situated after Media Day but before the throngs arrive, without a single clue as to what to write about. An hour later, my one idea — "Whaddaya think are the chances I can get away with writing something today about how the onslaught of on-air personality ex-athlete commentators are now the most celeb-y people around New Orleans, which is creepy and weird?" — was scrapped because I'm not trying to beef with a bunch of bigger dudes with dad strength, many of whom are sharing the same workspace and wireless bandwith.
So I was back to square one. Nothing.
Slightly panicked, I did what any wise person does when they're in a tight spot:
Grantland's Rembert Browne is in New Orleans for Super Bowl week, and he has some very specific goals in mind: (1) to chronicle everything seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt — emotionally; (2) to wake up first and fall asleep last; (3) to make his way into events he has no business attending; and (4) to somehow talk with Beyoncé. We don't exactly know where he'll be at any given time, but we've asked for at least two dispatches a day, if for no other reason, just so we know he's still alive.
Dispatch 1: "The Scene Was So Thick …"
Monday, January 28, 2013, 5:30 p.m. CST. Approximately 146 hours until Beyoncé.
As so many things do, it all started with Kevin Hart.
Just after exiting the TSA chamber where you throw your Roc-A-Fella diamond in the sky, I heard the strangest of sounds for this torturous section of the travel process: laughter. I was startled. Nothing funny had ever happened in the period between showing your boarding pass and being told to take off all your clothes. I turned around to find two young gentlemen directly behind me, cackling at a joke made by their friend. That friend was Kevin Hart.