OH, THE HORROR...

Ken Hoffman's 2 true travel tales from troubling trips

Hoffman shares a New Orleans horror story. Photo by Mario Tama, Getty Images

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

I have some very smart friends. Really, I do. I know government officials, doctors, lawyers, comedians, and lots of really bright journalists. And then...

True story: My buddy, we’ll call him “Bob” to protect his stupidity, flew to New Orleans a few days ago on “business.” He checked into a hotel on Canal Street. At some point during his visit, he lost his driver’s license. I think it’s best not to question how or where or what time of night. Let’s move on.

File this one under "Travel Horror Stories (self-inflicted)."

Losing your driver’s license is always a pain — even at home. On the road, losing your license can be a crashing headache. You can’t cash a check. You can’t check into a hotel. Some of New Orleans' more elegant five-star restaurants and regal drive-through daiquiri stands require a driver’s license before accepting a credit card.

Most important, you can't rent a car to drive home, or board a plane back to Houston.

Not to worry. My friend had it all figured out. He called his wife and asked her to find his passport and FedEx it to his hotel in New Orleans. At least a passport will get him on a plane.

Next day, "Bob" went to the front desk and asked if there was a package for him.

Receptionist: "Yes, the package arrived. Let me get it for you."

Bob: "Thank goodness, you have no idea what problems I'd have without that package!"

Receptionist: "Glad to help ... I'll just need to see your driver's license."

TV sleepers
The "Bestest Poll the Planet" RV stopped in Houston last week. The RV is on a national tour, interviewing Americans about their habits, beliefs, and opinions on hot topics. The "Bestest" app team gave me a couple of samples.

Sixty percent of respondents were against Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

More people use "haha" than "LOL" in emails.

I figured as much. But one poll result shocked me: According to the "Bestest" app, 33 percent of American adults can only fall asleep with a TV on.

Only 33 percent (including me)? Here's another true story, about a sleepless night that radio superstar Sean Pendergast and I spent in La Grange a few years ago.

Pendergast, a dedicated all-night-TV sleeper like me, decided to give the BP MS 150 charity bike ride a shot. Pendergast, another friend named Jeff, and I reserved a room at the ritzy Motel 6 in La Grange, the overnight halfway point between Houston and Austin.

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Jae'Sean Tate had himself a night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

No Christian Wood. No Kevin Porter Jr. No Jalen Green. No problem. Jae’ Sean Tate became a complete superhero for the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

He recorded 32 points, 10 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals and shot 73 percent from the field. With that stat line, he joined former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon and other historic big men from the past, which Tim MacMahon reported.

Tate is known for his leadership and the ability to be humble. When a reporter asked Tate about the stat line, he said, “How many turnovers? Nah, 25 assists, that’s what sup! Can’t be mad at that.” An expression like that shows the importance of putting his teammates first before taking all the shine. Tate is providing more passion with communication and being the rock that the "Baby Rockets" can lean on.

Coach Silas' confidence in Tate is something built from last year and it shows. Those two have constant dialogue throughout the game, and it’s seen before the huddle or when Silas is standing on the sideline before he calls a play. Silas has run consistent sets for Tate, as he did that within the 15-game losing streak. He dialed up an out of bounds action with 33.4 seconds left, so Tate could make a clutch layup towards the rim.

“Long, long, long ago in his rookie year…we definitely have a bond and with those two guys out, we needed some scoring,” Silas said. “He was the guy who was playing the hardest from start to finish and down the stretch we ran that elbow iso for him. And he just went through his defender and finished. And he made some huge plays in the 4th quarter, which is what you need. Yeah, I trust him as much as anybody else, and he has earned that, and he deserves it.”

“That just shows the confidence Coach Silas, and my teammates have in me,” said Tate. “We lost some of our primary guys tonight. And not only me, but everybody also stepped up.”

His usage rating is slowly going up, which is posted at 18.9 percent per NBA stats. In isolation, Tate is averaging 1.00 points per possession, which puts him in the 75th percentile(!) per NBA stats. Tate is seeing more action out of the corner, so it can allow him to get to his left hand on offense. The elbow iso action is a play that Tate has run since high school, college, overseas, and in the NBA now. He mentioned that the set allows him to get comfortable when his number is called.

“That’s not my primary role and I think everyone knows that,” Tate said. “I am very confident [in] what I bring to the table offensively. Not only scoring wise but seeing the floor and being able to make [a] decision in space. And that kind of helps me when they overlook the scouting report.”

“[I've] been running that play since I was [in] high school. At Ohio St. I ran that. Even when I was overseas, Will Weaver, that was a play he put in. To have that called tonight, it felt familiar and it’s one of my strengths. And playing in the mid-post area and getting to my left hand.”

Tate was excellent for the Rockets on both sides of the ball, as he had a 116.9 offensive and 108.5 defensive rating with an 82.5 percent in true shooting versus the Thunder. Hopefully, Tate can be the leading catalyst again, as the Rockets face the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, which are winnable games. It should become a six-game winning streak, as John Wall might play if his condition is right.

Up next: The Rockets face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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