Super Bowl Victory Revitalizes New Orleans

staffwriter

By Sebastian Gutierrez
At oh six hundred hours on the morning of August 29, 2005, the category 5 hurricane breached the levies and began its total destruction on the once cheerful city of New Orleans, Louisiana. This horrific natural disaster not only took a tangible toll on the environment of New Orleans, but the people whom resided within. The entire infrastructure of the city, as well as the spirits of the residents, was crushed. The history was as colorful as the local architecture, but was washed away with the storm.

New Orleans’ spirits and charisma had been at an all time low, until the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts were matched up head to head in the most recent Super Bowl. It was time to prove that the Saints were no longer the “Aints.” This city feels a deep connection to its football team and stadium causing the Saints’ victory to be especially meaningful. Many of the fans resided in the Super Dome for temporary shelter during the aftermath of Katrina.Steve Ewanouski, a former quarterback for Louisiana State University and an avid New Orleans Saints fan, said, “I never expected the Saints to pull it off. I guess I just never expect anything good around here anymore. But I can tell you, that was the best football I have seen in years.”

“I get teary almost every single time I see the saints win. I honestly get emotional,” said Pierce Freeman, a die hard Saint fan and New Orleans resident since birth. “Football aint the same down here as it is up there [the North]. It’s like a religion down here. It’s all we got left. Ya’ll like it because it makes Sunday’s entertaining up there,” said Freeman after being asked how important football and the Saints were to the people of New Orleans.

It seemed that the Saint’s winning was  inspiration that miracles can happen. By defeating the Colts in their first Super Bowl appearance, the team solidified that victims still have hope to overcome life’s greatest difficulties.

Following the victory of the Saints over the Colts, the infamous Mardi Gras victory parade was held in New Orleans. The smell of smoky barbecue, the boom of high pitched snare drums, and the claps of overwhelmingly content fans filled the air, serving as an appropriate welcome atmosphere for their beloved Saints team. Littered all over the streets was sparkling gold confetti, as if it was path greatness for “the boys” as they paraded down the streets. Beads were thrown from atop the perches of floats and balconies to the residents of New Orleans as well as fans crowding below.

“It was a different atmosphere” said Doug Miller, senior director of New Media for the Saints, with the twang of a true man from Louisiana. Doug Miller followed by commenting, “The people of New Orleans weren’t used to the optimism and high spirits that the victory brought to the City. Hell, it sure was refreshing though!”

Overwhelming amazement following the win of the Saints’ caused such a spark in the city of New Orleans, and this parade was proof. Many could not believe the news. One could not by pass the non-stop high fiving and greeting of one another with the chant of “Who dat? We dat!” The City was united by the thrill of triumph.

Arthur Weiss, a resident of New Orleans, says that he was stopped and asked a few personal questions regarding his attitude towards Katrina and the Saints winning the Super Bowl. Immediately, tears welled up in his eyes and he says he hates thinking about the devastation of the hurricane. When he saw Drew Brees, he says his memories of the hurricane seemed to be completely overshadowed by Brees’s presence. It took just a glance of the hometown hero to calm Arthur Weiss down. Maybe, it was that the city of New Orleans finally had something to look up for the first time in over five years.

“Before this season, it seemed that everyone in the city was still sad and felt helpless,” stated Ricky Zeller, Director of Communications for the New Orleans Saints, said about the days following the category 5 hurricane that left the majority of the city underwater, infested with crime and which claimed more than 1,800 lives. He finished by proudly saying, “We aint sad no more.”

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