Video: CFP national championship had ‘something for everyone’

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NEW ORLEANS – College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock is a former media relations professional and a wordsmith, so he knew he had to acknowledge he was about to mix his metaphors.

“New Orleans,” Hancock said Tuesday morning, “knocked it out of the park.”

Monday night’s CFP national championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was the latest in a 50-year history of major events hosted in the Crescent City.

“When we bid on this event a few years back,” Allstate Sugar Bowl CEO and local organizing committee executive director Jeff Hundley said, “we thought we knew what we were bidding on. We’ve crowned 28 national champions.

“This was even more than we bargained for, and all in a good way. It truly had something for everyone.”

Said Hancock: “It’s an event like they’ve had before, but not precisely like they’ve hosted before.”

“New Orleans has experienced its fair share of greatness,” said Judge Monique Morial, Sugar Bowl president and host committee chair, naming the likes of Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Drew Brees.

“How do all of these happen in a little city on a bend in the Mississippi River? It’s because of the people.

“Our city is known for many things, but sports is one where we shine the brightest.”

LSU’s 42-25 victory over Clemson and the four days of events surrounding it likely produced an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Hundley said.

“Our goal was to host the best one yet,” he added. “Selfishly, we think we did that. It gave us a platform to prove that New Orleans still has game.”

Hundley also was proud of the fact that the CFP “came here and they didn’t just take; they’re leaving things here,” noting the significant initiatives for education of the CFP Foundation.

Monday’s game was the sixth championship in the CFP era.

“When New Orleans won the bid for this championship, we had high expectations,” said Hancock. “As they like to say, ‘laissez les bon temps rouler.’ And the bon temps ‘roule’d’ last night.”

On Tuesday, New Orleans made the celebratory handoff to Miami, which will host next January’s title game.

“It’s been fun,” Hundley said, before adding with a smile, “and I’m tired.”

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder


Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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