Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Big One!

Bless them boys, Who Dat! and Geaux Saints! As someone that spent most of my life in Louisiana, the Saint's getting to the Superbowl feels like an impossible dream that just came true. As someone who lived in New Orleans most of my adult life, who watched from afar after moving away from Louisiana the city that was the state's most visible symbol destroyed by the "big one," that no one thought would come seeing the Saints eligible to play in the "Big Game," that again, no one thought would come, seems surreal. In New Orleans before Katrina, the newscasts would advertise for hurricane preparedness, asking proverbally "what if the big one hit New Orleans." Well it did, and the city has never been the same. For many, the New Orleans Saints represented a break from the reality of mold covered homes and lost possessions -- a way to forget that the city they loved was now forever marked by the eye of a perfect storm, that destroyed lives, houses, and hopes. No symbol was more emblematic than the Superdome -- a building whose exterior mirrored the cities pain for so long.

Tonight's game was bigger than football. It seemed to confirm that the past is over. And maybe that's ok. In New Orleans, the past, before Katrina seemed ideal. It was the after-Katrina world that was so scary. But tonight's win in the same dome where people's lives in the city were forever changed, maybe offers a glimmer of hope. Perhaps the future can be better than the past was. The past was filled with inequality and political cronyism. Maybe that has not changed, but with every new day lies new hope. The Saint's showed that the future does not have to be worst than the past.

In reality, the last few minutes of the game seemed to encapsulate the Saint's and New Orleans' history. The Saint's offense seemed more like the aints' after the first half; the defense gave up first downs and big plays; and the season seemed like so many others of late -- lots of promise, but just short of the big one. And then, as if by divine intervention, the Big Ones came -- the biggest interception; the biggest forty-yard kick-off return; the biggest fourth and inches conversion, and the biggest forty-yard field goal; and, perhaps, the biggest win that the team and the city of New Orleans needed. The future is bright. The only thing I think I can say to match my thoughts -- Bless them Boys! And Geaux Saints.

And now, pulling a trick from Dean Chen's book, I can think of no better song to offer you than U2 and Greenday's The Saints are Coming

Marc (MLR)

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