Who Dat: Part II

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First, please read my earlier post on the media coverage surrounding the Saints.

Now, read this.

I’m sorry, but football doesn’t “save” a city. It just doesn’t. It might make people happy, it might provide a release, it might even make your life a little bit more joyful. But if you’ve lost everything via Katrina, the Saints reaching the Super Bowl is a Band-Aid atop an amputated leg.

3 thoughts on “Who Dat: Part II”

  1. Jeff, you are way, way off. Way off. I spent some time in New Orleans a few months ago and have never in my life seen a city more in love with a team. Everywhere you go, you see Saints-colored beads, posters, fleur-de-lis symbols, and banners that say “Who Dat?” The folks down there are very much inspired by the Saints, excited about the Saints, and everyone’s spirits are amazingly high due to the success of the Saints.

    You may call this providing a release, or making life a little more joyful, but when lives have been ruined what else is left but joy? Seriously. A good friend of mine lost her house and all her property in Katrina. She lives in DC now and doesn’t have a TV, so she spent last night listening to her mom’s play by play over the phone.

    You can trivialize all this by saying that it doesn’t physically rebuild the city, but it DOES improve the mindset of the citizens and the overall mood of the city. That’s at least half the battle, isn’t it? And who are we to trivialize that?

  2. I’m with you, Jeff.

    Dave, it’s not that we want to trivialize the morale of the citizens of New Orleans, but it seems foolish to place too much importance on the Saints’ success. For one thing, New Orleans has been rebuilding itself for 4 1/2 years already, long before the Saints were Super Bowl contenders. They’ve been rebuilding not because their spirits are lifted by their football team, but because New Orleans is a beautiful city to call home.

    Secondly, I also went to New Orleans a few months ago, and I can’t quite agree that I’ve “never seen a city more in love with a team.” Having also spent time in Pittsburgh and New York this season, I’d say those cities’ respective love for their Steelers and Jets have been just as intense. (Or at least PIttsburgh’s love was intense before the Steelers collapsed.)

    And finally, any rational person shouldn’t tie too much of their morale to a sports team. If the Saints get clobbered in the Super Bowl, or go 0-16 next year, should we expect New Orleans to get down in the dumps again? I should hope not. I’m sure they’ll continue rebuilding their wonderful city no matter what the Saints do.

    Look, New Orleans is my 2nd favorite city in this country, after my hometown of New York. I’m happy that they’re happy, and I’ll be rooting hard for the Saints in two weeks. But to tie the Super Bowl together with Hurricane Katrina is, as Jeff has pointed out, bad journalism- lazy, predictable, opportunistic, and just plain silly.

  3. Jeff the Saints going to the Super Bowl won’t save NOLA or the Gulf Coast…but where a chronic low grade depression has been grinding away at us…it has helped to be united in an underdog’s dream! “When Hell freezes over….”! Hey, if our Saints can go to the Super Bowl then maybe there is hope for us. Maybe we will get back to “normal” one day. Being “Happy” cannot be over rated. Being Happy is the opposite of being Depressed….thats a big deal.

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