These are “strange and beautiful days” in New Orleans. It is hard to describe the recent events that have impacted this great city. From the lowest of lows and the highest of highs this city has endured. The five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is fast approaching and for many the memories of August 29, 2005 and the days that followed are still fresh. Fast forward to September of 2006 and the city was overjoyed by the coming home of the New Orleans Saints. No matter their record, the fact remained that they were coming home. It was something that many people longed to do. This video shows the crowds reaction to a blocked kick. It took 37 seconds for the crowd to regain composure. That was 37 seconds of pure, raw emotion. The recovery of the city has been slow and marred with challenges, but again that fades to the background when discussing the Saints. With a simple “Who Dat” you can spark a conversation with a total stranger. Just this year, in February 2010, the city hit it’s highest point of elation when the Saints went to the Superbowl. The two weeks in between the NFC Championship game and the Superbowl were two for the history books. It was if everyone was riding one collective high. The kids in school were allowed to wear black and gold and hosted Saint’s pep rallies. No matter where you went there was a sense of festive in the air. Then they won. The Saints, in the blink of a Tracy Porter interception, became World Champions and the city erupted. It erupted in celebration. Since then we are still grasping for ways to remember that feeling. Now, we face a new challenge. The oil spill following the explosion on the Deep Water Horizon rig is threatening out entire way of life. It is again time for this city to come together with one voice and rebuild the industries that are so important to Louisiana and it’s way of life.
I stumbled unto this video on ESPN today while searching for information on last night’s ESPY awards. Seeing the Saints take home team of year was just a reminder of how special they really are. I hope that if you are not familiar with the culture of New Orleans that this video gives you some glimpse into it’s relationship with it’s football team. Even if you don’t know a 1st down from touchdown, know that what the Saints accomplished transcends a game.