NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In this great city of ours there's a passion for football and food. Talking Saints over a shrimp poor boy is for most, including this guy, a perfect meal. I also have a deep love for college football, this will be my sixth-year voting in the Associated Press college football poll, and a strong dedication to soccer.
In this space I'll talk all things "football, fútbol, food." Which means a heavy dose of: Saints, LSU, Tulane, soccer around the world, and go in-depth with the chefs and owners of crescent city restaurants.
In sports and in food everyone wants to know who's the best. Most of us have our favorites and we won't have anyone mess with our choices. Well, I'm not trying to change your mind here today, but here's my top five NFL teams, college football teams, soccer clubs in the world, and my top five restaurants in NOLA.
Top 5 NFL Teams
1. New England Patriots- What's the old saying, "If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best." Well that runs true in my top five. The Patriots have the best coach in the league, and arguably the best quarterback. Since 2001 the Pats own four Super Bowl rings, and racked up 14 straight winning seasons.
2. Seattle Seahawks- They own the scariest defense in the NFL. Russell Wilson just got paid big bucks and he has a dangerous new weapon in Jimmy Graham. I don't see a letdown from a gutting Super Bowl defeat.
3. Green Bay Packers- Wide receiver Jordy Nelson out for the season with a torn ACL hurts their SB 50 chances, but it doesn't kill them. Aaron Rodgers will find a new main target, and crush a weak NFC North.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers- Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown will have the Steel City primed for another deep playoff run. Interested to see how the defense turns out with Dick LeBeau no longer running the unit.
5. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck was dangerous already, now he has more weapons to call on. Frank Gore and Andre Johnson make the Colts "O" scary good.
Top 5 College Football Teams
1. Ohio State- The Buckeyes schedule is laughable in 2015. Urban Meyer's crew will be double-digit favorites in every game this season.
2. Southern California- USC's starting quarterback in 2014, Cody Kessler, threw for 39 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions! He's back in 2015, and he's gunning for a Heisman this time around.
3. Texas Christian- I just pumped up Kessler in the space above and right now I'll push his competition for the award. Trevone Boykin accounted for 39 touchdowns combined by ground and air in 2014, and those numbers just might improve in 2015. The Horned Frogs matchup with Baylor is the de facto Big 12 title game for the second year in a row.
4. Oregon- The Ducks are the wild card in this top five. It took transfer Vernon Adams only two weeks to grab the starting quarterback spot, but is the former FCS QB ready for prime time?
5. Auburn- I have the Tigers from "The Plains' in this spot now, but I think the Tigers from "Death Valley" will knock them out of the top five in week three of the season.
Top 5 Soccer Clubs In The World
1. FC Barcelona- Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suárez form the most lethal goal-scoring trio in the world.
2. Bayern Munich- Three-peat champions in Germany, and primed for a Champions League crown in 2016.
3. Real Madrid- Any club who has Cristiano Ronaldo in their starting 11 is considered a top-class outfit.
4. Manchester City- This English club was mired in mediocrity until Sheikh Mansour stepped in. Mansour is worth 17 billion dollars, so buying up big-time players is no problem.
5. Paris Saint-Germain- PSG's big star is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the most conceited player on the planet. Just google him, great stuff.
Top 5 Restaurants
1. Clancy's- A New Orleans classic in my mind. The wait staff is top-notch. I get the crabmeat salad and veal with crabmeat and béarnaise.
2. Restaurant August- Chef John Besh's crown jewel of his restaurant empire. Handmade potato gnocchi is a must-order to start.
3. Root- Chef Phillip Lopez's wildly imaginative menu makes this restaurant stand out from the rest. Cohiba smoked scallops, black lacquered duck, and pork belly rice bowl you must try.
4. Peche- The Beard Foundation made the right call giving Peche the best new restaurant award. Last time I visited went with the crab and jalapeno capellini to start. I need to get three orders next time, it was that good.
5. Shaya- Alon Shaya's take on modern Israeli cuisine is the new hot spot in Nola. Bring a crew and order the entire menu. Too many fantastic options for just a party of two.