by Jim Miller
Only New Orleans can turn abject disappointment into a party.
Of course, just about anything that happens in New Orleans is reason enough for a party. Even deaths are celebrated by jazz funerals in which the sorrow of passing is replaced by a celebration of a life well lived. And that’s what happened Sunday when thousands of fans turned off their televisions and descended downtown to protest the game they should have been in. The impromptu Blackout and Gold parade marchers second-lined at Jackson Square, down Canal and Poydras streets and gathered at Fulton Street in a massive display of anger. And the world noticed, especially after a relatively dull Super Bowl that featured the least points and the most punts in the game’s 53-year history.
The New Orleans Saints have been in operation for 51 years and have only delivered one Super Bowl championship to their faithful fans. Nevertheless, the most loyal fans in the world still bleed black and gold and are passionate about supporting their team. Maybe it was because of the fact the team was announced on All-Saints Day in 1966 but supporting the team has become a religious experience.
There are three ways to lose a game. First, you get beat by a better team. You can understand that and you go back to the drawing board to get better. Second, you can lose a game with poor execution or an ill-timed mistake. But stuff happens and you can understand that. Third and the worst of all is when you do nothing wrong, your execution is good enough to win but you get it taken away from you. And that’s the one you can’t understand nor forgive. And that’s what happened to the Saints Sunday in the Superdome.
by Jim W. Miller
There was little question and little doubt the last time the Saints made it to the Super Bowl. Our local heroes went through the 2009 season like a buzz saw, winning their first 13 games and clinching the NFC top seed before the partridge flew into the pear tree. Oh, they had close wins at St. Louis, Washington and Atlanta, and, yes, they lost the last three meaningless games in a strategic move to rest the starters for the playoffs. But there was little doubt the Saints could and would win the Super Bowl.