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'Big Easy' split between Saints, Mannings

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By Greg Summers

In New Orleans, parades are a common occurrence.

But Sunday’s was a real drag.

More than 5,000 men showed up at the Superdome in heels, make-up and wigs for a 12-block walk to Bourbon Street in honor of the late Bernard “Buddy D” Diliberto. 

I got a report on the festivities from my brother-in-law, Steve Ellis.

Steve and his wife, Rose Mary, live in Algiers Point, which is directly across the lower Mississippi River from the French Quarter.

To understand what making it to the Super Bowl means for a long-suffering city that’s fighting back from Hurricane Katrina, you have to be a long-suffering Saints fan like WWL sports radio broadcaster and talk show host “Buddy D,” Ellis said.

Buddy is given credit as the originator of the paper-bag-over-the-head wearing “Ain’ts” when New Orleans went 1-15 in 1980. 

“He always had three sayings,” Ellis said. “Buddy said that it would be a cold day in hell before New Orleans ever made it to the Super Bowl and that pigs would fly first.

“‘Buddy also vowed that he would wear a dress and dance down the middle of Bourbon Street if the Saints ever made it to the Super Bowl,” Ellis said.

Buddy died in 2005 after suffering a massive heart attack, but former Saints quarterback Bobby Hebert, who succeeded Diliberto on WWL, kept the late sportscaster's pledge alive and led “Buddy Brawds” on Sunday.

Hebert was dressed in a black and gold sequined mumu and a blond wig with pigtails.

“It’s going crazy down here right now,” Ellis said. “Everywhere you go, everybody is talking about the Saints going to the Super Bowl.

But Ellis said that doesn’t mean that loyalties aren’t split. In a cruel twist of fate, Peyton Manning, one of the Crescent City’s favorite sons, stands in the way of New Orleans Saints’ NFL championship win.

Peyton’s parents, Archie and Olivia, live on 10th Street in the Big Easy. After Hurricane Katrina, Peyton, and his brother Eli (Giants quarterback) filled an airplane with relief supplies and had it flown to Louisiana.

The elder Manning, a much beloved, hard-nosed former Saints quarterback who guided New Orleans for 10 non-winning seasons, finds himself in the middle.

Ellis said Archie Manning saw his share of hard hits and hard times from 1971 to 1982, but never complained. Archie Manning is still revered as the Saints’ greatest player and as a man who stuck it out in tough times.

And loyal Saints fans, Ellis said, have never forgotten that.

“On Sunday, you saw a lot of people at the parade wearing blue, No. 18 Colts jerseys,” Ellis said. “Archie is going to be pulling for his son and I think everybody here understands.

“We will be disappointed if the Saints don’t win it, but we won’t be that disappointed if a Manning wins,” Ellis said. “I don’t think you could’ve written a better script for the Saints to finally make it to the Super Bowl.”

You might find yourself in the same rooting predicament as Archie Manning on Sunday, but here are two regional recipes from “the Crossroads of America” and “the Pelican State” that can get you into the theme of the game.

Hearty and spicy Hoosier Daddy Chili is a recipe inspired by Justin Swarens, whose recipe has won several chili cookoffs in Indiana. The key, Swarens writes on allrecipes.com, is to use a name brand tomato soup as a secret ingredient.

Louisiana Bar Cake is a specialty by my sister-in-law, Sherri Summers. This is a dessert that disappears quicker than would-be dishwashers at family get-togethers.

Justin’s Hoosier Daddy Chili

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed tomato soup

2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 (15.5 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained

cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

– Crumble the ground beef into a soup pot over medium-high heat. Cook and stir until evenly-browned. Drain off most of the grease. Add onion, red pepper flakes and half the cumin. Cook and stir until the onion is tender.

– Pour in the tomato soup, chicken broth and crushed tomatoes. Season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Pour in the beans and season with remaining cumin and cayenne pepper; simmer for another 30 minutes.

– Recipe from allrecipes.com 

Louisiana Bar Cake

Cake ingredients

1 box yellow cake mix

1 egg

1 stick butter, softened

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Cooking spray

Topping ingredients

1 box powdered sugar

8-ounces cream cheese, softened

2 eggs

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

– In a large bowl, combine cake mix, egg and butter and stir together. Using your fingertips, work the butter into cake mix until well-blended and evenly mixed. Pour mixture into baking dish and pat out until it forms an even layer.

– Spread pecans over the cake mix, pushing them down evenly into cake mix.

– For topping, mix together powdered sugar, cream cheese and eggs and pour on top of pecans, spreading evenly.

– Bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

– Recipe from Sherri Summers