by Clay A. Smith
There's something inherently organic and genuine about New Orleans' love affair with the Saints. Its transcendental and at times can be extraordinarily profound. It's unpretentious and unique, and its for those reasons that its able to tap into the hopeless romantic in all of us, that wants so desperately to believe in miracles. Its for those reasons that it can't be captured in text or duplicated by any sort of reasonable facsimile. In a town that's never needed a reason to celebrate more than it does right now, the Saints are a respite, a distraction, but more importantly a reminder of what this city is capable of when it decides to come together.
For more than four decades devout "Who Dats" have tithed in vein to the patron Saints of futility, only to have their faith in a star crossed franchise rewarded with years of insufferable agony. Unguarded in their zeal, their love is unconditional. They've been there for the "Aints," they've weathered Katrina, and not even brown paper bags could mask their disappointment. Its an odd fraternity, one whose beginnings are rooted more heavily in a broad sense of mutual frustration than anything else.
You need only look into the joy filled faces of a city blanketed in black and gold regalia, to begin to quantify what Super Bowl XLIV meant the city. Some moments are far too precious to be cheapened by hyperbole. Super Bowl XLIV was without question one of them. Simply put, it was more than just a game. It was overjoyed fans writhing in tearful jubilation. It was strangers hugging strangers, uninhibited by prejudice. If ever there were questions about the impact of sports, their ability to inspire, or bring out the best in us, they were all answered this past Sunday when for the first time ever the city New Orleans was officialy crowned champions.