First, as a Saints fan, I'm proud that the beatdown Monday night was so bad that it caused the coach to flee Atlanta and his multimillion dollar "contract."
Second, it made me think of carpetbaggers, whom Wikipedia aptly desribes as follows:
an exploiter who does not plan to stay. Although the term is still an insult in common usage, in histories and reference works it is now used without derogatory intent. Since 1900 the term has also been used to describe outsiders attempting to gain political office or economic advantage, especially in areas (thematically or geographically) to which they previously had no connection.Apparently the term gained usage during the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.
Coach Petrino got the Atlanta Falcons job after a "national search," I'm sure. The Falcons ignored the fact that he had just signed a 10-year contract with the University of Louisville.
Thus, it seems disingenous when the Falcons' leadership cries foul and plays the victim. That same leadership actively pursued a man who was under long-term contract with another employer.
Can they actually be shocked when the same guy shows no loyalty to them and chases dollars with another team? Can they be shocked when he shows no ability to fight through tough times (e.g. a losing record and player-related scandal)?
Now, let's bring this story home to New Orleans. We are in our own period of Reconstruction, though of a radically different kind.
Who are the carpetbaggers now? They're here--people who have come since the storm and levee failures not because of a concern for humanity and our civilization, but because it's a well-paid gig. I can easily point to some of them associated with prominent New Orleans institutions (but I won't do that here).
My point is that we should all give a hard look at the neo-carpetbaggers. They had better be darn good at their jobs, because we need to understand that they will just move on to the next gig, even if it means leaving here before their jobs are done.
They'd ditch us in a heartbeat. Or half a heartbeat.
Let's not bring in mediocrities who will leave us. If we have to do "national searches," let's hire only the best, or (better yet) find locals who have world class skills and intelligence AND have a real commitment and loyalty to World Class New Orleans.
Too many New Orleans institutions chase the mediocre carpetbagger over the World Class local.
Are there carpetbaggers in your life? Maybe their skills make their presence here worthwhile. Maybe not.
It's worth thinking about and asking, Are they really worth it?
In the end, Dr. Morris got this about right in February 2006.