Galactic geometry has been credited for causing an untold number of events, ranging from the height of pleasure to apocalypse. The collision of heavenly tangents can be the only rationale to explain how on Earth the Super Bowl converged upon Mardi Gras in New Orleans. By consensus, the most lauded and learned institutions seem to agree that it will be light years before another such cluster of events takes form.
In the past there have been very pleasant blendings of the venerable Valentine’s Day falling in the weekend preceding Mardi Gras, and doubtless events of lesser distinction. From Twelfth Night to Fat Tuesday there are many opportunities for preemption, but the sanctity of Mardi Gras has always held a hierarchal position to which all other events pay homage.
Personally, I cannot claim great knowledge, but I’ll be damned if I can remember the parades being scheduled astraddle a celebration or contest, given the favor of prevailing wind, for a few days amid the sacred season of Carnival. Unprecedented, Super Bowl XLVII will tread upon the toes of parade-goers and Mardi Gras celebrants, but with hope the intrusion will be but a once-in-a-lifetime happening.
The economic gains given the community by this Mardi Gras hiatus are welcome and worthy. However, Super Bowl fans, you’ve got four days in paradise, and then you can go back home. Thanks for coming, and we’ll see you in a light year or two. A likely exception to this surly admonition could be granted if the Saints are playing.
Meanwhile, back in the crescent, the breach of Mardi Gras is of less consequence than the more serious breaches of recent years, such as levees, laws, and public trust. Having dealt with every sort of shared difficulty, New Orleans residents simply bend with the wind and forge on. Carnival will be bigger and better than ever, as has been the trend for a hundred years or so. Kids and old folks alike will tax their load limits with bags of beads and similar contraband.
The parties, parades, balls, and bites of king cake will all be memories soon. So, we pardon the interruption because we know that Rex meets the Zulu King on Lundi Gras come hell or high water, and Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday. Never mind the impediments along the way.
Can you throw me a little “Iko Iko,” Mister?
Ned Cheever observes New Orleans for NolaVie.