Tuesday, September 26, 2006


When people come in here and see what's been done in less than a year's time, they are going to say, 'If the Superdome can be rebuilt after that tremendous destruction, my house can be rebuilt, my neighborhood can be rebuilt and my city can be rebuilt.'

So much of this recovery is about confidence and belief. You've got to want it to happen. You've got to believe it. This is symbolism.
--Doug Thornton, Superdome general manager
Forgive me another football post, but this is about more than football, because the New Orleans Saints are more than just a football team.

I just watched the Saints return to the Louisiana Superdome for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

A little over a year ago the Superdome was the scene of despair. What was supposed to be a refuge turned into a death trap. A nation watched in horror as every level of government--whether through incompetence, indifference, or both--failed the people of New Orleans. The Superdome, along with the Convention Center, became a symbol of that failure.

Some wondered if the city would lose their only professional sports team. Now, for the first time in the franchise history, Saints' home games are sold out for the entire season. The Superdome is now a symbol of resilience, even of hope.

The national shame still stares at those willing to look. The Lower Ninth Ward is a graveyard of ex-homes, and the city's population has fallen to 1880 levels. People remain homeless, promises remain unfulfilled, if not outright broken.

So how'd the game go? The Saints blocked a punt 90 seconds in for a touchdown, scored another TD on a double reverse, blocked a field goal, and stymied the Falcons' inimitable quarterback Michael Vick. They won 23-3 to go 3-0 for the season.

If ever a city deserved a little happiness and luck, it's New Orleans. If ever a building deserved to be restored to a place of joy, it's the Superdome.

When is a game more than just a game? When the Saints come marching in.


I was so pleased to see they'd won and to see all the happy people there, I cried. It was a special day.

Posted by: Blogger Gabrielle at 9/26/2006 3:20 AM

I wept buckets, too, especially during the pre-game show. Then again after the blocked punt. I thought only men cried over football.

Posted by: Blogger Jeri at 9/26/2006 7:40 AM

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