School sports are over for 2018-19 — that’s a bummer.
Now, it’s time to move into the summer months and get ready to do it all again.
With a little downtime in local activity this week, we decided to open up the ol’ mailbag and take some questions from our awesome readers.
It amazes me how much our mailbag has grown. We went from just a few submissions every week to getting a few per day.
Have a question? Send it to email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter @casey_gisclair.
Q: What was the best moment of the 2018-19 athletic year for you? (Asked by Rose, Houma)
A: Oh gosh, Rose, there were so many. It was a joy to see Terrebonne football do so well this past fall. Those kids deserved their moment and I sincerely would have liked to see them make it to the Dome. It was also awesome to see local baseball programs push their way deep into the state playoffs in recent weeks. But look, let’s not kid ourselves here — the best moment of the 2018-19 athletic year for me was watching Thibodaux push all the way through the Class 5A State Playoffs and into the Championship. The Tigers’ run was epic. It ignited the entire community. And it was loaded with drama. In every, single round, that team was challenged and tested. In the Championship Game, the Burton Complex was rocking. I will remember that ballgame for the rest of my life.
Q: What local team should we look out for in the 2019 football season? (Asked by David, Thibodaux)
A: I mean, I could say Terrebonne, but that’s kind of like cheating, because people already know what they’re all about. So I will go the opposite way and say Central Lafourche. The Trojans have their skill guys back and are very well coached. I think they have a chance to turn some heads this season. Looking around the landscape, I also think there’s a real chance that South Terrebonne is pretty good again, too.
Q: Who will the Pelicans trade Anthony Davis to? (Asked by Mel, Houma)
A: This will sound like I’m “hating on” the Pelicans, which I’ve been accused of doing in the past (albeit everything I’ve predicted has come true, see also Boogie Cousins leaving and AD demanding out, too), but I’m not sure there will be a great offer for the Pelicans this summer for AD. OK, so people like to say Boston. Well, for one, that’s not on his list of destinations, so the price automatically gets lower because the Celtics won’t take out a new mortgage for a rental. For two, if Kyrie Irving leaves, will the Celtics really trade their young cupboard away? I doubt it. Some people say the New York Knicks. Well, they’re likely to get Kevin Durant and maybe even Kyrie Irving, too. What would they have in a trade to offer New Orleans to make it work? All they have is a draft pick and that may not be enough. So now, we’re circling back to the Los Angeles Lakers who have a ton of young players, but also a poor relationship with the Pelicans’ front office. I’m not sure where he will go. The answer may be that an unknown rises up and gets him like Oklahoma City did with Paul George or Toronto did with Kawhi Leonard.
Q: What’s the best sports movie of all-time? (Asked by Tim, Houma)
A: There is absolutely, positively no way that I could narrow this down to just one. So, I will give a few each for each different category. For serious/dramatic movies, I go “Miracle,” “Rudy,” and even “The Wrestler” is an underrated one not many give consideration to. For comedies, I go “Happy Gilmore,” “Major League,” and the old-school “The Longest Yard.” For children’s movies, “The Sandlot” is king, but “Rookie of the Year” is a personal favorite, as well. Oh yeah, and “Angels in the Outfield.”
Q: What does a Sports Writer do in the summertime? (Asked by Benjamin, Thibodaux)
A: We work. Our business is predicated on filling space based on the purchases of advertisers in our newspaper, so all summer long, we’re going to have a sports section. It’s up to me to come up with creative feature stories and topics that keep readers engaged and entertained throughout the summer. It’s usually not too bad, and look, you’re right, by and large, things do slow down during the summer. So to give a better answer to your question, I can say that I spend a lot more time playing video games and golf. I’m good at video games, but terrible at golf, though I’m trying hard to get better with practice almost every afternoon.
Q: Is this the end for Paul Mainieri? I know you’ve been vocal about him for a while. (Asked by Reggie, Houma)
A: I doubt it’s the end, but it should be. Listen, it’s been a decade since LSU baseball won their last National Championship. Most of those seasons, they’ve not even been close to contention. I hear all the excuses, “But Casey, the game is harder now than it was in the 1990s,” “But Casey, there is parity now,” “But Casey, more teams are investing into their programs.” It’s all hogwash. LSU spends more money on baseball than anyone else, recruits better than anyone else, but gets results that are not head and shoulders better than their competition. And that’s firmly on Paul Mainieri’s shoulders. Don’t believe those things people say in support of Mainieri. Earlier this year, college baseball conferences voted AGAINST adding a third full-time assistant coach in 2020. Let that sink in. More than half of the country said they were AGAINST investing in college baseball’s future. Half the country doesn’t care and LSU still can’t consistently win big with the big bankroll and the top talent. It’s not acceptable.
Q: Describe the last athletic year in 7 words or less? (Asked by Tommy, Houma)
A: Man, where did all the time go?