Over a recent vacation break, I took in the entire season of Amazon Prime's show "All or Nothing." It documents the entire 2015 season of the Arizona Cardinals in eight episodes. Unlike "Hard Knocks" on HBO, which only covers training camp and preseason, "All or Nothing" starts from training camp and ends with the Cardinals' NFC championship loss to the Carolina Panthers. It's a fascinating look at an NFL team week-to-week throughout the season.
Two nuggets from the show caught my eye from a Saints perspective. The Saints opened the 2015 season at Arizona. The Cardinals mounted an impressive 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to start the contest. During the drive, Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer noticed the Black and Gold defense a little sluggish in the early goings.
"Dudes are out of shape you feel it. They're getting tired, we gotta suck this thing up. The longer we drive, the softer they get," said Palmer.
The Saints lost the opener 31-19. The defense gave up 427 yards of total offense.
The Cardinals also set up shop at The Greenbrier during the 2015 season, home of Saints training camp. They faced Detroit and Pittsburgh back-to-back weeks on the road. Arizona elected to stay on the east coast between games. Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin inquired about the Cards stay at The Greenbrier to Arizona's head coach before the game. Coach Bruce Arians gave a glowing review of the facilities. If the Saints don't return next year to West Virginia, there's no doubt other NFL teams are ready to step in for the Black and Gold.
In the NBA it's a foregone conclusion that the Warriors and Cavaliers will be in the 2017 NBA Finals. The drama level with free agency should be minimal with a stacked Warriors squad.
The English Premier League was a different story all together in 2015-16. The big clubs: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United all spent a ton of money in the transfer market, but that didn't bring home the title. Leicester City, with odds of 5,000-1, took home the crown. This is why the EPL is so popular, you never know who will win it all.
Incidentally, Saints are currently at 65-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, in case you're planning a trip to Vegas anytime soon.
Since opening in August of 2011, Company Burger is considered by many in New Orleans to be the best burger in town. With two locations Uptown on Freret St., and Downtown on O'Keefe Ave., the burger business is booming for owner Adam Biderman. The Newman grad is known nationwide as the "burger guy," but Biderman's talents go much deeper. He was consulting opening chef for Cure, as well as Cane and Table, and hasn't ruled out other moves away from the burger culture.
"You don't want to be creatively pigeon-holed into one thing. I did a fundraiser event where I did two salads recently. Everywhere I show up people are like where's my cheeseburger? I love that unexpected aspect of doing something else. It definitely scratches the itch, but it doesn't make it go away," said Biderman.
Expanding Company Burger could be an option in the future if Biderman stays in the successful "burger game."
"Other factors come into play like finances, and the health of the business, which is very strong. We're very fortunate to sell a product that's very delicious, and very consistent, people really love it. Watching the way people have gravitated, grabbed onto Company Burger, has been one of the most fantastic experiences of my career," said Biderman.
Biderman won state championships in shot put and discus at Newman. Protected Eli Manning on the offensive line for two years. He walked on the Georgia football team, and stayed on the sidelines for one season. He came to the realization in Athens that being a chef was his calling, and gave up his gridiron dreams. Now he rarely takes a vacation, and makes Company Burger a 24/7 obsession.
"I visit both restaurants every day. It's a seven-day operation, and it requires my attention all seven days," said Biderman.
A seven-day operation that could be coming to a town near you compliments of the "burger guy." That's if he doesn't scratch that itch.