Big weekend in Big Easy



NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With the sweet smell of powdered sugar and rich coffee wafting through the air, trumpeter John Mitchell plays to the audience savoring the French Quarter morning and the anticipation of the weekend ahead, tooting a brassy version of “When the Saints go Marching In” before segueing into “Hold That Tiger.”

It’s music to the ears of many in New Orleans as the New Orleans Saints and LSU get ready to strut their stuff primetime in the Superdome. The Saints on Saturday night in a first-round NFL playoff game against the Detroit Lions and the Tigers on Monday night against Alabama for the BCS title.

The games have stirred the hearts of fans and filled the tills of merchants, restaurants and hotels in a city that is finally shaking off the last vestiges of Hurricane Katrina.