These are times that try men’s souls. Their cultural narrative is either lost or changed, transferred online or posted in pieces to a thousand different sites.

There is endless chatter — broadcasters, reporters, pontificators, but no definitive voice. Gone are the Frank Defords, Howard Cosells and Vin Scullys, and what remains is forgettable. Gone are those who not only told you the score but knew the game of life, that it wasn’t simply winners and losers. It was mythic, it was Shakespeare. It was Icarus flying too near the sun or the fall of Iago. Sports writers and broadcasters were true north.

Now anyone can talk into a microphone. Or postulate. Or fill airtime. It’s easier to do it through the internet, radio or television. Even Deford knew there’s a price to deliver newsprint, “Because when you take something heavy and put it on someone’s doorstep, it costs a lot of money.”

But the Defords of the day also wrote of sports with literary grace and went beyond the locker room to a spiritual level, raising reporting to something more than statistics and injury updates. “If I come on three days after the Super Bowl and say pretty much what everybody else has said, what’s the point,” said Deford. But where you used to get “This was the best it had ever been and ever would be, and it can’t ever get any better. This was such a time in the history of games” you now have instead, “Hopefully we can get some runs.”

Because there’s a bigger picture to sports than what’s played out on the field, and some used to know what it was. And as a female whose beat it is not, you could easily argue I don’t know the whole story.

But I know who did. And those guys are gone.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Victorian Dolls

Where Milan meets New Orleans, make no mistake. Couturier Raoul Blanco showed his Victorian Dolls collection chez lui at The Woodward in Nola's Warehouse District. The exclusive invitation-only event was held in the atrium and showcased couture creations of Gandini silk brocades from Italy, Solstiss lace, Denis & Fils French brocade and Valentino lame. Beautiful Kayla Walker wowed the audience with her silk ribbon coat, followed by Meghan Reed in a black and white jacket paired with a black lace skirt, and provocative Amy Vaughn all in white with a plunging décolleté. Models had that elegant strut, Blanco's dresses were something to behold and the designer was all about the treble this time, no bass. Guests enjoyed wine and caviar, courtesy of Food Art, plus valet services by Royal Valet and jewelry by Kathy Truxillo and Vanessa Winchester. Among the fashion stars in the firmament were the New Orleans Saints' own Gayle Benson in her Christian Dior shoes, Susan Gundlach, Dian Winingder, renowned social swan Margarita Bergen, artist Amber Bayham and Lafayette's Sal and Madeline Ghandour. What we loved: Sitting next to Sally Goodyear and her Hermés scarf; cocktail queen Genevieve Alleyne, who served fresh vodka strawberry lemonade from her front porch, and the drum with beurre blanc at Tableau after the show. There's nothing like New Orleans.

Rio Brunch

The Krewe of Carnivale en Rio honored their royalty with a posh brunch in the City Club Grill Bar. Their Majesties Vernon Moret and Kim Trahan held court and posed for pictures, while others enjoyed cocktails and a beautiful autumn Sunday. Donning hats and looking festive were James and Tracy Richard, royal fiancee Jeannie Simon, Rachael Sudul, who never fails to steer us when it comes to Rio. Rio’s theme this year is “Rio Goes to Wonderland,” and, despite being asked to change their parade date, they will roll when they please.

I’m Every Woman

The Vermilion Room at River Oaks hosted the Lafayette Chapter of Zonta International for their 35th Woman of Achievement Award. The 2017 honorees are Realtors Nancy Van Eaton Prince and Gail Romero, founding partners of Van Eaton & Romero. “The selection is based upon women in our community who elevate women,” said Maggie Warren. "Nancy and Gail broke the glass ceiling.” Among the many congratulatory guests enjoying chef Brian Blanchard’s shrimp with tasso plus some pork roast were proud gentlemen Jim Prince, Bob Romero and Michael Savoy, UL-Lafayette English professor Mary Ann Wilson and Vivian Tullos.