I watched in disbelief as a quick whistle at the Saints-Rams game robbed Cameron Jordan of a touchdown on a fumble recovery.

After the debacle in the NFC championship game and another controversial call in the Texans game, it appears the Saints and the officials need a time-out.

So here's my modest proposal, which I'm offering to the NFL without charge: When any team is the victim of poor officiating three games in a row, it gets to play the next game without refs.

That's not as crazy as it sounds. We never had refs at our backyard football games; as I recall we just argued out any disputed plays. Usually the guy who was loudest (or started crying) won the argument.

Worth a try — heck, it can't be any worse that it is now…   

Houston mountaineer

Marsha R., of Baton Rouge, adds to our discussion of flatlanders and hills:

"Some years ago we recruited our best friends, Bob and Kathy Hornsby, to join us in climbing Mount LeConte in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"The Hornsbys had been our friends in Baton Rouge, but moved to Katy, Texas, so we were all flatlanders.

"Only Kathy had practiced for the trip, so she was in great shape. Us, not so much. We were passed on the trail by everyone, including the pack llamas that carry supplies up to the lodge. (They use llamas because their feet don’t destroy the trails.)

"We were passed by an elderly lady and her friends who celebrated her birthday every year by hiking up the mountain to have lunch at the lodge at the top. They passed us after their lunch on their way down, too.

"At the top we found our shared cabin had two double-wide bunk beds. And the breakfast biscuits did not brown due to the altitude — 6,594 feet. They looked like big white toadstools.

"And how did Kathy prepare? By hiking up and down the ramps of parking garages in Houston. Never doubt the resourcefulness of a Southern woman."

The faithful few

Speaking of hills, Carol Stutzenbecker, of Kenner, says, "We might have a hill shortage in Louisiana, but when I lived in Oklahoma there was an abundance of hills.

"Mostly my memories are of the hilly streets being completely iced over during winter. This made it difficult to get to school, work or church.

"One icy Sunday, since my dad was a die-hard Baptist, he was determined to make it to church anyway. When we got there we discovered that we were the only ones there besides the pastor!"

Which reminds me

I discovered icy hills in the early '60s, when I worked for the Shreveport Times. Unlike most of Louisiana, Shreveport has some hills, and there was a steep one where I lived.

One morning the temperature was 0 degrees and streets were icy, but I tried to drive to work anyhow. When I started down that steep hill, my '56 Chevy developed a mind of its own, and started spinning around and going from one curb to the other as it headed downhill.

Amazingly, I didn't hit any parked cars, and I managed to get to work. I was feeling good about my win over winter — until I got out of the car and stepped on the iced-over sidewalk. My feet went out from under me, and I came down hard on my behind.

I found a job in Baton Rouge before spring…

Special People Dept.

  • Oneil J. Williams Sr. celebrates his 96th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 18. He is the oldest living member of the Thomas J. Hanley Jr. American Legion Post 350 in Metairie, a post he helped start over 70 years ago with his father and brother.
  • Virginia Trembley, of Slidell, celebrates her 96th birthday Wednesday, Sept. 18.

Child's play

Paula King heard this one from a 6-year-old:

"What do you call an alligator that gives directions?

"A navigator!"

Missing person

Marvin Borgmeyer says, "Saw this church sign: "Now is a good time to visit; our pastor is on vacation!"

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821. Follow Smiley Anders on Twitter, @SmileyAndersAdv.