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Top 12 New Orleans Top 10's


b>"We will be the pride of the NBA next year. We will be playing to big crowds. New Orleans will be in the Top 10 of everything."

The above was said last week by Hornets co-owner Ray "Trailerboy" Wooldridge, after the NBA's Relocation Committee gave a preliminary OK to the team's move to the Crescent City. Apparently, self-esteem sometimes slops over into self-delusion. The Hornets are going to make New Orleans Top 10 in everything, huh? Well, the city's already in the national Top 10 in a few categories, and here they are -- plus a few honors that will be brought on by the Hornets:

New Orleans' Current Top 10's

1. Among Top 3 American cities known for great cuisine.

2. In Top 5 American cities with a unique, fascinating, and diverse culture.

3. In Top 3 cities that turned part of their historic district into a squalid sideshow.

4. Among Top 4 American cities known for a corrupt, brutal police force.

Upcoming Hornets-Triggered New Orleans Top 10's

1. Among Top 10 cities with lousy schools and a crumbling infrastructure due to too much taxpayer money being handed over to a pro sports team.

2. Number 1 city with brand new Trekkies, inspired by Ray Wooldridge's resemblance to William Shatner.

3. Runaway Number 1 in the combination category of having monstrously huge cockroaches and team owners who are often mistaken for them.

4. Number 1 city with new shiny teal and purple gowns worn by drag queens in the historic district.

5. Among Top 5 cities in which the pro basketball team's offices receive bomb threats after owners deal away star players in order to cut costs.

6. Among the Top 10 cities in which a pro team's owner cruises for chicks in rehab centers.

7. Among Top 3 American cities with disgusted citizens angered by team's demands for a new arena.

8. Number 1 in volume of teal-colored vomit in the streets as a result of new Hornets specialty drinks.

Old dogs, old tricks Last week, local media were full of regrets and what-ifs after the Hornets' move to New Orleans was given tentative approval. The national media, though, cast blame on Lemonhead and Trailerboy, while giving kudos to the city's voters. For instance, the New York Times wrote, "Based on a forfeit of ownership credibility. . .and Charlotte's refusal to deliver the standard pro sports welfare package in the form a publicly financed arena, the Hornets are. . .on their way to New Orleans."

If local "leaders" hadn't fallen all over themselves trying to lick Wooldridge's boots during negotiations, they could take some pride in the city's "refusal to deliver the standard pro sports welfare package." You'd think they would at least have learned a lesson from the past year, and started looking for ways to improve the center city other than an arena. Instead, early this week they headed to Indianapolis to take notes on how that model of urban sophistication revitalized its downtown -- by building sports facilities.

My great-uncle once had a dog that, after mastering just one trick, never could learn any more. He finally got rid of it. *

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