It hasn’t even been a full 24-hours, but this New Orleans Saints Super Bowl victory seems like something that will be celebrated for days, weeks, months and maybe all of 2010. Although, this victory goes beyond the gridiron, everyone in the stands and those watching at home last night because this win is truly what the city of New Orleans needed the most.
Last month, I traveled down to New Orleans, but upon my return back to Boston, I have come away with so much more knowledge regarding the aftermath of the hurricane, but also how the entire city’s population relies heavily upon the Saints on Sunday’s in the fall.
This particular team has helped everyone in the city get by, recover and know better days are ahead.
I had the chance to talk with many wonderful members of the city throughout my weeklong journey, some from the neighborhood of the house I was helping rebuild, others from the French Quarter and then the wonderful people who hosted my college’s group.
Everyone has a story in New Orleans. All of them are tragic, heartbreaking and down right awful, but the optimism that I felt from all my conversations was something I will always remember. Everyone was resilient and hopeful for better days, which I assured these people it will come. Yet, after watching a full 60-minutes of football the other night, I could only imagine how this victory hit them in a way many of us will never imagine or experience.
All of the men and women I spoke with explained that when the Saints won on Sunday’s this past fall, Monday’s were so much better. It gave them this feeling that they were literally unstoppable and could accomplish anything. I can imagine on this particular Monday, life is pretty swell.
The entire city is decked out in Saints paraphernalia. You cannot turn a corner, especially in the French Quarter without seeing a Saints t-shirt, hat, bumper sticker or a jersey in the numerous store windows. They are all Saints fans in New Orleans and support their team no matter if they win or lose.
Many people have not returned to New Orleans or possibly never will, but everyone who was affected by Hurricane Katrina knows how special this victory will be for days, weeks, months and years.
An NFL organization, which used to be pitiful, awful, horrendous has turned around from the “Aints” to maybe the “Greats.”
All Americans, those who have helped out with the relief efforts and every NFL fan coast to coast, should cherish this victory. Possibly, New Orleans is turning into America’s brand new team, but before we go that far lets at least enjoy what millions witnessed last night in Miami, Florida.
Last night following all the excitement and before falling asleep, my thoughts turned immediately to every person I encountered last month because I knew this is just the start of great things for all of them and their beloved city.