Mayor defends New Orleans after blackout

992301.jpg

Mayor defends New Orleans after blackout

From Comcast SportsNetNEW ORLEANS (AP) -- New Orleans' mayor defended his city days after a power outage plunged the Super Bowl into 34 minutes of darkness, while authorities still baffled by the cause announced they were bringing in a consultant to help investigate.The outage that embarrassed New Orleans as it sought to showcase its rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina happened despite hundreds of thousands of dollars of improvements to decaying utility lines, documents show.Mayor Mitch Landrieu sought to put an upbeat spin on the matter at a news conference Tuesday, saying the city's performance as host was near flawless despite the lights-out episode."The 34 minutes of darkness will never overshadow or outshine the city of New Orleans and how we performed this Super Bowl week," Landrieu said.He also said the outage won't pull the plug on city plans to bid for an 11th Super Bowl in 2018. It last hosted a Super Bowl in 2002, three years before Katrina swamped the city.Concerned the Superdome might not be able to handle the energy needed for its first Super Bowl since Katrina, officials spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades to decayed utility lines, according to the documents obtained by The Associated Press.The improvements apparently weren't enough, however, to prevent the glaring third quarter outage that was as much talked about as the Baltimore Ravens' 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.Still, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the city did a terrific job hosting this time. "I fully expect that we will be back here for Super Bowls," he said.On Tuesday, Superdome officials and the power provider Entergy New Orleans said they had failed to find a cause for the outage. They added they would hire a consultant to analyze their data. It wasn't clear how long an investigation would take."We thought it was important to get another party looking at this to make sure we were looking at everything that we need to," Entergy spokesman Chanel Lagarde said.Tests on the electrical feeders that connect incoming power from utility lines to the stadium showed decay and "a chance of failure," state officials warned in a memo dated Oct. 15. The documents also show that Entergy expressed concern about the reliability of the service before the Super Bowl.The memo said Entergy and the Superdome's engineering staff "had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy's connection point to the Dome."The memo was prepared for the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, the state body responsible for the Superdome.Authorities subsequently authorized spending nearly 1 million on Superdome improvements, including more than 600,000 for upgrading the dome's electrical feeder cable system, work that was done in December."As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," said an LSED document dated Dec. 19.Superdome commission records show a 513,250 contract to replace feeder cables was awarded to Louisiana-based Allstar Electric. Arthur Westbrook, Allstar's project manager for the job, referred all questions to the management company.A lawyer for the LSED, Larry Roedel, said a preliminary investigation found the replacement work in December did not appear to have caused Sunday's outage.And meters showed the 76,000-seat stadium was drawing no more electricity than it does during a typical New Orleans Saints game, according to Doug Thornton, vice president for the Superdome's management company, SMGHe also ruled out Beyonce's halftime performance. She brought her own generator.Officials with the utility and the Superdome were quick to note that an NFL game, the Sugar Bowl and the New Orleans Bowl also were played there in recent weeks.Both Entergy and SMG said Sunday that an "abnormality" occurred where stadium equipment intersects with an Entergy electric feed, causing a breaker to create the outage. It remained unclear what the abnormality was or why it occurred.

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Bart Scott: Falcons have 'the better quarterback' in Super Bowl

Former Ravens and Jets linebacker - now an "NFL Today" analyst for CBS - Bart Scott usually "can't wait" to make his disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots known. 

He was back at it Tuesday in an interview with CBS Radio's Damon Amendolara, in which he said the Falcons have the better quarterback heading into Super Bowl LI.

“We know they’re the better offense, and right now, you could say they got the better quarterback because they have the MVP of the league,” Scott said. Ryan is the favorite to win the NFL MVP, which will be announced the night before the Super Bowl at the "NFL Honors" show.

“Now that’s a debate, but Matt Ryan has earned the right for his name to be put up there with the upper-echelon quarterbacks," Scott said. "He’s always been elite in the regular season, but now he’s taken this show into the postseason and he’s won the hard battles against the elite quarterbacks and now you have to give him his due.”

More from Scott: “I can’t see the Patriots stopping this offense. So, that means that these receivers are going to have to [keep] pace. It’s all going to come down to what it always comes down to. It’s going to come down to who makes the turnovers, who gets up early and puts the pressure on the other team. Matt Ryan and that offense showed me a lot when they went behind [in the divisional round against the Seahawks]. Seattle came and busted them in the face, and [Atlanta] went right back down and answered immediately.

"The Patriots always find a way, but I think it makes it more close of a game than what people think.”

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Tuesday, Jan. 24: Crosby, Matthews top coaches' poll

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while rooting for “Manchester By the Sea” to upset some favorites at the Oscars.

*Sidney Crosby and Auston Matthews top the annual NHL coaches' poll produced by TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.

*The oral history of Fox’s glowing puck used for the NHL during their run with the league is an entertaining one.

*Mike Babcock gives pep talks to the reporters along with his own players while running the show in Toronto.

*The Vegas Golden Knights are moving forward with their timetable toward hiring a coach with some good candidates out there now, and some other ones potentially available soon. I’ve wondered if Claude Julien would be interested in that spot if he’s let go by the Bruins this season, but the one sure thing is that he wouldn’t be out of work long if he is relieved of his duties.

*Claude Giroux needs to start playing a little more fearlessly and without dwelling on mistakes, according to his general manager.

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill doesn’t believe that fancy stats and analytics have had a major impact on the way the Wings do things.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has the rundown on a Millenial’s dream of performers at the 2017 NHL All-Star Game: Nick Jonas, Fifth Harmony and Carly Rae Jepsen.

*For something completely different: keeping an eye on the notion that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is going to run for President.