Tuesday, September 26, 2006

At Home Now and Forever

I'm going to lay off of writing any flowery praise for all of the beauty around last night's Saints-Falcons game in the Superdome. That's been overdone in the last few day's like nobody's business. Sure, it was awesome to finally see some joy coming from down in New Orleans after we have been hit mercilessly for the last year with photos and news of disaster and suffering following Hurricane Katrina. It was a feel-good night all around, especially with the Saints winning in a rout. No doubt. But there really isn't anything I can say that hasn't been said already. Overkill is clearly not a concept people in the media understand (as if we didn't already know this.) Good Lord...Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, and Joe Theisman were driving me crazy last night with their endless blabbering about the situation. Yeah, football back in the Superdome was a major storyline, but they were already repeating themselves for the umpteenth time by late in the first quarter. They beat that horse until there was no more horse carcass to beat. It disappeared into dust - and then they kicked the dust. And then they killed another horse so they could beat that horse carcass, too. Fuck. I had to shut the game off early in the third quarter. (Well, the fact that I bet on the Falcons to win and cover four points wasn't helping my inability to enjoy the game, either. But still.)

So all I will say is that it was a joy to see so many smiling faces down on the bayou and leave it at that.

I will, however, use this opportunity to say that I hope that all of this means we will stop hearing the constant rumors of the Saints leaving New Orleans, most likely for Los Angeles. Oh, this rumor has refused to die for years. It's been floating around since long, long before Katrina ever swept through town. Tom Benson was well known for being an asshole looking to pick up the team and leave, and everytime someone spoke of a NFL franchise moving to Los Angeles, the Saints were usually the first team mentioned.

This always pissed me off. For as long as I can remember, Saints fans have always been great, as diehard as anyone. I can't recall ever watching a Saints game in the Superdome with anything less than a packed house, or at least close to it, and that includes many forgettable seasons for one of the league's least successful franchises. The Saints were usuaully the only major sports team in town and, no matter how bad they were, the city was clearly in love with them. Always.

No, the NFL could never, ever use the excuse of poor fan support in an attempt to move the team. If the Saints were to ever be moved elsewhere, it would be an utter injustice and a kick in the face to a city full of fans who have supported the team through thick and (mostly) thin.

So as I watched last night I wanted to believe that if Hurricane Katrina taught us one thing (at least as far as football is concerned as I hope it taught us many things), let it be that the Saints are an integral part of the city of New Orleans and should never be moved anywhere, no matter what sort of disaster strikes, no matter how greedy and slimy Benson is.



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