Posted: October 18, 2010
PLAISANCE'S PROMISES: According to Francis Plaisance, president of the 62nd Annual Cattle Festival in Abbeville, he claimed to have secured the appearance of Rickey Jackson, a football hall of famer, to appear at the festival on Saturday, October 9th. Even though Plaisance had no written agreement with Jackson, the Festival spent several thousand dollars promoting Jackson's appearance, had booked a couple of hotel rooms for Jackson's entourage, and had also lined up free air transportation from Houma to Abbeville for Jackson. The Festival had lined up appearances for Jackson to speak to a group of children in the morning, and at another public event in the afternoon. Several thousand people lined up in the streets to see the parade and Rickey Jackson.
THE REALITY: According to an article in the Mississippi Press Newspaper: Although he's been out of the NFL for 15 years, former New Orleans Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson still has a huge following. He was the center of attention Saturday (October 9th) during an autograph session at Walgreen's on the corner of Highway 90 and Market Street in Pascagoula, Mississippi. A long line of fans greeted Jackson, as he signed pictures, posters, jerseys, T-shirts, footballs and even copies of the Cajun Style Gridiron Cookin' Cookbook, which Jackson co-authored with Dean Arnold. "I get that everywhere I go," said Jackson, who has been working with an oil and gas company in New Orleans for the last 14 months. "Being the only Saint inducted into the Hall of Fame, I've been getting a whole lot of attention, as well as other former members of the team."
THE NEXT DAY: On the Sunday night after Jackson's promised appearance, “I was extremely disappointed,” said Plaisance. “I feel I should have been notified weeks before the festival.” There was, however, no contract between the festival and Jackson. It wasn't until the Sunday night that Plaisance was aware he had been shafted. That was when Plaisance opened his E-mail and read the news article about Jackson being in Mississippi instead of Abbeville. “I was extremely disappointed,” said Plaisance. “I feel I should have been notified weeks before the festival.” The Mississippi News received notice the Wednesday before the festival that Jackson would be in Pascagoula (population 30,000). Plaisance also said he has not talked to Jackson’s PR firm about him being in Mississippi instead of Abbeville. What does he expect Jackson to say?
A FEW DAYS LATER: On Tuesday, October 19th, according to an article on the Abbeville Meridional website abbevillenow.com: Rickey Jackson decided to come to Abbeville Tuesday afternoon to try to clear the air on why he did not attend the 62nd Annual Cattle Festival. He was asked what happened, and stated, "I did not give anyone my word that I would be at the Cattle Festival. I do not know where that came from." Jackson said he first learned of the Cattle Festival the day before he was scheduled to appear. Jackson said that someone from Abbeville told him he spoke to Jackson at a conference in New Orleans earlier this year. That person turns out to have been Francis Plaisance. Plaisance also met with some with the SweeDee Waste Disposal Company, who he thought was instrumental in Jackson to the conference. Jackson said he did not remember talking with Plaisance, because he said he speaks to lots of people, and that someone from the Cattle Festival should have contacted him directly because he makes his own schedules. Read More....
WHAT'S UP NEXT: We think it is about time that Francis Plaisance be removed from the presidency of the Cattle Festival in Abbeville. I'm sure there are smarter people in Abbeville to take over this position. While we are at it, we should make an effort to elect someone else to his position on the City Council. The frightening thing is that this man would become mayor if something should happen to the current mayor.
Click Here to read the article from Louisiana State Newspapers - Jackson sacks Abbeville for Miss signing session.
Click Here to read the article from Mississippi Press describing Jackson's appearance in Pascagoula.
Click Here to send an email to Francis Plaisance to let him know how you feel about being shafted.
Update-October 19, 2010: It seems that this site was unduly harsh on Francis Plaisance in this posting. A reader send us this rebuttal message: "Again, while I ordinarily agree with your position on the issues that really matter to us as a community, I have to question you on this one. I'm really not sure what your problem is with Francis Plaisance as it relates to the Ricky Jackson incident? Yes, Ricky Jackson was scheduled to appear. No, there was no contract between the Festival and Jackson. As it was designed to simply be a personal appearance with no concomitant revenue generating event, there was no call for a contract. It's not like he was scheduled to appear at the banquet and speak and the Festival would pay him and sell tickets. This was an appearance at a free event. This article demonstrates much more than a simple disagreement over Jackson's non-appearance and is frankly beneath you. Those of is who are friends of your site and welcome a voice of sanity in the sea of racism and intolerance that we find ourselves in expect better of you than this. While there are many in this community who might disagree with Francis Plaisance on any number of issues, this CANNOT be one of them. And while there might be a number of very vocal critics who would love to see the Louisiana Cattle Festival disappear the simple truth of the matter is that it is an event the overwhelming majority of this community enjoys. One need only look at the dales tax revenues for Abbeville for the other 11 months of the year and you'll discover only December (Christmas) as exceeding October. THAT is because of the Cattle Festival. Since Francis Plaisance has been President of the Festival he has taken the Festival from being perennially in the red to being permanently in the black. There has been a substantial increase in attendance and quality for the festival, a remark shared dozens of times by various and sundry citizens. You have every right to criticize Francis for actions he has taken as Councilman or as Festival President or both. But let's make sure the criticism is an honest one and deserving of that criticism."
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