Monday, February 8, 2010
No New Orleanian could remain indifferent to the Saints' stunning triumph in the Superbowl. In my case, it feels like a kind of welcome home present to someone who moved away in 1967, the first year of the Saints' franchise, and returned to live here 40 years later. I spent most of that time in New York and Paris, and missed (perhaps mercifully) the bag years and the jokes about the 'Aints. But I could follow enough of it in the papers to know that the Saints were struggling through most of those four decades. I moved back in the wake of Katrina to find a city still reeling from the effects of the storm, badly in need of heroes, and dreams and renewal. New Orleans has shown surprising signs of revitalization in the two years since my return, but nothing has done more to restore the city's pride and confidence than the Saints' triumphant 2009 season and Superbowl victory. Coming on the heels of Mitch Landrieu's landslide victory in the mayoral election, which heralds a new start in city government, the Saints' championship brings hope that New Orleans come together and build a better future. That's something worth cheering for.