I get asked often, “Yo, Casey — how do you like the transition going on at the newspaper?”
So, I will answer that right now so that everyone can see my answer in print.
I love it. I absolutely love it.
I think it’s awesome that we’ve evolved past physical space deadlines and constraints in print media and have moved to a world where we can do what we want, when we want and how we want.
I think people want that. Heck, there’s no “I think.” I KNOW people want that. Our web numbers have been crazy the past month and a half.
So with that said, a quick announcement. My Q&A mailbag will now be all-encompassing. Before, it was in the Sports section of the paper, so I had to strictly talk sports.
Now, I’m opening it up to sports, news, politics (eh, a little, anyway, no endorsements will be given), entertainment, pop culture and the full nine yards.
Send questions to email@example.com or on Twitter @casey_gisclair.
Q: If you could only attend one prep football game locally this season, what would it be? (Asked by Tom, Houma)
A: Well, Tom, that’s a great question. I think my answer would have to be Terrebonne vs. Destrehan, though. It’s the low-hanging fruit, but I think it’s such an obvious answer that there’s no sense in trying to come up with something different. That game is going to feature high-end college-level talent, two top-tier contending teams and a Terrebonne team hungry for revenge. I don’t know if they’re going to get it, but it will sure be fun to watch them try.
Q: Hearing rumors about injuries all over Nicholls camp. Can you confirm? (Asked by Brandon, Houma)
A: I know that Sully Laiche and Evan Veron have both been sidelined and there is widespread speculation that those guys may be on the shelf for quite some time. If that’s the case, that’s a huge blow to the Nicholls football team. Both Laiche and Veron are All-Southland-caliber players — guys who are impossible to replace, especially in the middle of a season. Will see. Time will tell. I know this. If I have Chase Fourcade in my huddle, I still feel pretty comfortable about my football team.
Q: Way more home runs in baseball. Are the balls juiced? (Asked by Matty, Houma)
A: Intentionally juiced? Nah, I don’t think so. But I don’t think there’s any question that something has happened that’s caused the baseball to be so jumpy this season. Home runs are up at an astronomical clip. There are more dingers now than literally ever before in the game. Some of that is because guys are more conscious of their swing and their launch angle and all of the mathematics that go into hitting a home run. But I think the ball has something to do with it, too.
Q: What went wrong for Jimmy Cantrelle in Lafourche Parish? (Asked by Roman, Thibodaux)
A: Well, I think a couple of things were in play. For one, I think he got elected to office because the timing was absolutely perfect. Lafourche Parish voters (fairly or unfairly) wanted something new after several terms of former Parish President Charlotte Randolph, and Mr. Cantrelle was just somewhat of the “next man up.” People seem to forget. Mr. Cantrelle was never an overly popular candidate in Lafourche. He was never considered a political prodigy. He’d unsuccessfully run for the presidency several times before actually winning. But Randolph fatigue finally won him enough favor to push into the presidency in 2015. As for what went wrong? I think a little bit of the mudslinging on both sides is correct. I think Mr. Cantrelle ran into an overly ambitious council comprised of a few members more worried about chasing future office than serving their current one. On the flip-side, I think Mr. Cantrelle also was a poor communicator who had issues relaying information to the council and to the people of Lafourche, which further caused the divide. It’s unfortunate, but I think he made the right decision. Lafourche Parish needs stability and change.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve? (Asked by Amy, Cut Off)
A: I’ll give you three, because I have too many to name one. First, I’ll say that it drives me nuts when people go below the speed limit in the left lane of a four-lane highway. That drives me insane. I’m not a heavy-footed driver. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket in my life (knock on wood). But I also have the courtesy to work the right lane unless I need to pass someone. Second, I cannot stand “actually” guy in every circle. We all know this guy. Everyone is talking, conversing and having a good time, and every 5-6 sentences, he/she chimes in and says, “but actually,” then spits a dissenting opinion, which usually is exactly the same thing that’s already been said, but just with fancier words. Don’t be that guy. Go with the flow. Third, I don’t like when people make unnecessary noise with their car. I’m talking revving an engine. I’m talking music that can be heard from a mile away, the full nine. No one thinks that’s cool, bro. We just think you’re going to be deaf soon.
Q: Give a win/loss record for the Saints, LSU and Nicholls, please. (Asked by Tom, Houma)
A: Sure, Tom. Let’s go 11-5 for the Saints, 11-1 for LSU and 8-4 for Nicholls. I think all three teams have a great chance to make the playoffs.
Q: One pitch. Barry Bonds at the plate. Who do you have throwing it from today’s game? (Asked by Bill, Lockport)
A: Wow, what a question! My gut instinct tells me to go with Jacob deGrom, because the dude is absolute filth — probably the top guy in this era. But then, I put my manager’s cap on and start to think — Bonds is a lefty. So I would want a lefty arm to get him out. That would make me lean a little bit toward Josh Hader, who is just absolutely filthy coming out of relief for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Q: What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as a reporter? (Asked by Robbie, Houma)
A: There’s been hundreds now, but let’s see. I once misspelled the word duck and used something that rhymes with it, instead. Use your imagination. Luckily, copy editors caught it and it never ran in the paper. I misspelled Hurricane Isaac on the front page of our paper in 2012. Our editor at the time was out on a trip and a storm was brewing. I was nervous. It was my first time working the paper alone as the sole person in charge. And I spelled the storm’s name wrong in big, bold letters across the front page. Humm, let’s see, what else? I once forgot to change the name on our weekly Player of the Week, so a girl’s photo ran with a boy’s name. That was fun. Nothing ever malicious or reckless — just usual newspaper guy boo boos.
Q: Who’s the best mid-card wrestler of all-time? (Asked by Dawson, Houma)
A: Dawson, I saved your question for last because this is, by far, the best question on this list. For starters, what is a mid-carder? To me, every, single former world champion is disqualified from contention because by holding that title, you’re a main eventer for life. Let’s start there. That narrows the waters quite a bit. Given that criteria, I want to say a guy like Jake Roberts, but he was such an attraction that I think he legitimately drew money and could be considered a main event-caliber guy. What about Hacksaw Jim Duggan? He never held major titles. He was an elite-level mid-carder. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat is up there for me, too. But if I had to pick one and just one, I think it would have to be Mr. Perfect. He never was a world champion — often confined to the smaller titles. But he always made those smaller titles feel significant. And to me, that’s what being a mid-card wrestler is all about.